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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Residual smoke saturated the shell of a building left where Blue Smoke BBQ opened for business in Alexandria just two months ago. An early morning fire ripped through the interior of the building causing the restaurant to close. The Alexandria Fire Department ( AFD ) responded to 403 3rd Avenue East at 2:58 a.m. Friday morning.
Summer hasn't yet passed and autumn projects are on the agenda for the Douglas County commissioners. A courts remodel project is slated to pick up where it left off and funding requests are becoming common as budget talks draw nearer. Presently, a shelled out area in the courthouse awaits interior work expected to begin this fall. Once the work is finished, the courts will have an additional courtroom, a jury deliberation area and necessary offices that have been non-existent for the past two years. Beutow 2 Architects has been selected for the job.
Fifteen people in Douglas County saved a combined total of $31,694 on prescription drugs so far this year. Since the Coast2Coast prescription savings plan hit the streets and shores of Douglas County last fall, residents using the program have paid just $20,089 for $62,949 worth of medication - a 68 percent savings. The Coast2Coast prescription card plan is endorsed by the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) and has been used in Douglas County pharmacies since September 2012.
The railroad crossing on County Road 14, 1st Street, in Miltona is scheduled for replacement next week. Work will begin on Monday, August 5 and should be completed by the evening of Thursday, August 8. County Road 14 will be closed at the Canadian Pacific Railway crossing. Douglas County Public Works Director/County Engineer Dave Robley said a detour route will be signed on Main Street, Miltona Carlos Road, Willow Road and County Road 65. People will be able to access businesses and homes during construction from either end of the project.
In a fabled time, when food was scarce one man fed a village. As the story goes, curious townsfolk approached the man and asked what he was brewing in his cauldron. His reply, "Stone soup." One by one, villagers added what vegetables, spices and meat they could spare. The community bonded as the ingredients stewed. Only the man knew that the soup began with a stone at the bottom of a pot of water flavored by good intentions. Something similar is brewing in present day Holmes City.
Two suspects are in custody at the Douglas County Jail after an attempted break-in at 5th Street Properties in Alexandria just after midnight on Tuesday morning. At 12:19 a.m. on July 30, Alexandria police officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress at 112 5th Avenue West. Officers found evidence of an attempted break-in and located David L.P. McClellan-Beliviau, 30, of Alexandria and Rochelle Latimore, 33, of Hibbing near the scene. McClellan-Beliviau and Latimore were arrested on probable cause and are being held at the Douglas County Jail facing several charges.
Greg Wagner and Tom McSperron with West Central Initiatives ( WCI ), based in Fergus Falls, requested Douglas County contribute $8,000 to its endowment fund in 2014. Douglas County has given a total of $192,023 in past years. Funds contributed to the endowment are matched by the McKnight Foundation.
Blaze Fugina has joined the Echo Press and Osakis Review sports team as the new sports reporter. Fugina started covering local sporting events in July. His coverage area includes Osakis, Alexandria and the surrounding communities in Douglas County. "Alexandria and Douglas County have some nice people and it's very scenic with all the area lakes," Fugina said. Fugina moved to Alexandria from Minneapolis where he was community editor at The Laker.
Last year, controversy stirred over scientists testing the effects of Zequanox on zebra mussels in a mobile lab set up on the shores of Lake Carlos. Testing on Little Lake Darling in 2013 will be an expansion of that study. In 2012, Zebra mussels were removed from Lake Carlos, along with lake water, and placed into containment units. The mussels were treated with Zequanox while in control bags.
Buzz has been circulating that another Zequanox trial is planned for a Douglas County lake this summer. It's true. In 2012, a mobile laboratory trial was conducted on Lake Carlos. The 2013 study planned for Little Lake Darling will determine how effective Zequanox can be at saving native clam species from zebra mussels. Denise A.