Celeste Edenloff, a reporter for the Echo Press, has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from May of 1999 to February 2011, and is happy to be back and once again sharing the stories of the people in this community. Besides being a reporter, Celeste is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching bootcamp classes through Snap Fitness. She also enjoys running and has participated in more than 170 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.
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There is always something to be thankful for. I've thought about this a lot leading up to the day known for giving thanks. With the way my year has played out so far — losing both my parents in less than four months — I wasn't feeling real thankful. But after giving it some more thought, I decided to give myself a swift kick in the ol' arse because truly, I have plenty to be thankful for. And yes, I'm about to get all mushy.
Terrie Premis of Alexandria knows what she is thankful for this Thanksgiving — the means to get to and from her new job at Prairie Senior Cottages. Premis, who moved to Alexandria about a year ago, was the 200th recipient of a donated car from the Douglas County Car Care Program. On Wednesday, Nov. 22, Premis picked up the new-to-her vehicle, a 2001 Toyota Highlander, at Koep's Korner in Alexandria. "It's not about the vehicle," said Premis, with tears in her eyes. "It's about having a way to get to work so I can better provide for myself."
At this Thanksgiving celebration, there could only be one "Drumstick." Two Alexandria turkeys were gobbling up attention at the White House on Tuesday afternoon. But only one ended up in the spotlight in a ceremony televised and streamed live on social media. "Drumstick," the National Thanksgiving Turkey, was presented by Carl Wittenburg, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, along with his wife, Sharlene, to President Donald Trump during a ceremony at the White House celebrating the 70th anniversary of presenting the president with a turkey for Thanksgiving.
Douglas County will be following suit with more than 60 other state, county and city governments around the country and suing opioid drug manufacturers and distributors. "We have a crisis in our country," Chad Larson, Douglas County attorney, told the commissioners at the board meeting Tuesday morning. "Those drugs (opioids such as OxyContin, morphine, fentanyl) are marketed to physicians for pain management, but they were developed for end of life care."
The fundraiser for the Brandon History Center was deemed a success with an estimated $11,000 raised and more than 200 people attending the event. The open house fundraiser took place Wednesday, Nov. 15, and featured entertainment by musician Bob Piotrowski and dancers from The Johari Tribe. Money raised from the event will go toward the remodeling project of the kitchen at the Brandon Auditorium and to fix the bubbling and cracking walls of the gymnasium. The estimated cost for both is $40,000 — $33,000 for the kitchen remodel and $7,000 for the gym walls.
The Brandon-Evansville School Board gave the green light to hire extra help at the elementary level for after-school supervision. The decision came after Trent Hintermeister, a special education teacher and dean of students in the Brandon-Evansville School District voiced some concerns at Monday night's regular school board meeting.
As the pair of presidential turkeys strutted their stuff in front of the cameras at a press conference Monday morning in Washington, D.C., Carl Wittenburg of Alexandria, the 2017 chairman of the National Turkey Federation, announced the two names that were chosen for the presidential turkey and his wingman.
Craig Bjerke has a heart of gold, is compassionate to the point of it feeling like a blunt force trauma, speaks the truth whether someone wants to hear it or not, and possesses an undeniable love for God and teaching of the Bible, family and friends said. They added that he also loves a good prank and surprising people when they least expect it. Bjerke was himself surprised Friday afternoon when he received this year's Ernie Unruh Christian Award. He had attended the Unity Foundation luncheon thinking someone else was the honoree.
A brother to the two chosen presidential turkeys raised by Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg of Alexandria visited the State Capitol this morning. The turkey, named Truman, along with 4-H member Katie Kent of Alexandria, took part in the annual Thanksgiving ceremony with Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith. The turkey will not be pardoned, but will be processed and donated to a food shelf.
Actively making strides for individuals who struggle with mental illness is just one of the reasons the Alexandria Police Department earned the Criminal Justice Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Minnesota. "They recognize that by ignoring the problem or just bringing them (patients) to jail does nothing but create an escalating revolving door and does nothing to treat the person," said Kesha Anderson-Trinka with Region 4 South Adult Mental Health Consortium, the person who nominated the department.