Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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The past will come back to haunt you. In the world of property assessment, two years in the past directly affects the present. On March 26, 2013 the Douglas County assessor and auditor/treasurer offices will be sending out nearly 30,000 assessment notices and tax statements.
The long awaited, long debated roundabout coming to Highway 29 south of Alexandria nudged forward at the March 12 Douglas County Commissioners' meeting. A resolution was passed that allows the county and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to continue with plans to make improvements paving the way for more changes down the road. An estimated $305,000 is expected to be paid by the county for reconstruction of County Road 87 which will be the east leg of the roundabout.
Downtown Alexandria will be transformed into a pedestrian paradise in the next few years through the city's "complete street" construction plan.
Alexandria city and Douglas County boundary lines continue to converge since the governing bodies first joint meeting on April 25, 2012.
Although it was billed as a legislative town hall meeting, a Friday gathering in Alexandria felt more like a political platform for Republican leaders to analyze the DFL's recent proposals. Douglas County residents, city council members and county commissioners congregated at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria to hear local Republican leaders' takes on DFL Governor Mark Dayton's plans for Minnesota.
As hybrid hype rages through the nation, a local public transit company has ditched the technology that touted promise of fewer greenhouse gases and lower fuel costs, because it didn't deliver. Rainbow Rider was granted $845,000 in 2010 to purchase eight electric hybrid buses. After two years of complications with Variable Torque Motors (VTM), Rainbow Rider has decided to go back to straight gasoline.
Exposure to the elements takes a toll on the power lines that stretch across Douglas County. A foot of snow dumped sporadically throughout the winter, high winds and time alone can damage the components that deliver the convenience of electricity, hot water and heat to homes.
Tina and Ike Turner, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Rihanna and Chris Brown, Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, and the list goes on. It seems every decade has at least one highly publicized case of domestic violence among celebrities. Despite a spotlight on the abuse, many communities still deny it exists. Alexandria is not one of those communities.
Douglas County Social Services is preparing for what could be an influx in medical assistance cases come January 2014. An estimated 1,500 people could be added to the department's case load since the federal Affordable Care Act passed the House and Senate quicker than anticipated. Social Services Director Mike Woods said at Tuesday's Douglas County Board meeting some people on MinnesotaCare will be coming back to county-provided medical assistance. "Certain assets and income guidelines have changed," Woods said.
Ice swimming. Norwegians, Swedes and Fins do it all the time for no apparent reason. Folks of all ilks banded together on Sunday at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria to be freezin' for a reason - to support Special Olympics by jumping into the icy-cold waters of Lake Darling. The Alexandria Polar Bear Plunge started with 45 brrrrave souls six years ago.