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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Smoothing out that bumpy road has just bumped up the cost of your license tab renewal. Douglas County commissioners approved implementation of a new wheelage tax at Tuesday's meeting. Beginning in 2014, when Douglas County residents register their vehicles each year, they will be paying an additional $10 per vehicle. A resolution to adopt the fee was passed in a 4-to-1 vote.
A local woman has been convicted more than one year after her involvement in a violent crime. On July 23, Yasmine Angelique Chumley, 21, of Alexandria was convicted of misdemeanor fifth degree assault in Douglas County Court. Chumley was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which she had already served, and ordered to pay a $50 fine and $135 in court fees. She served a total of 240 days. Chumley and Mario Dupree Hutchinson, 22, of Alexandria stabbed and beat a woman near a residence on 6th Avenue and Jefferson Street in Alexandria on June 27, 2012.
The end of the rainbow is on the horizon. In two weeks same-sex couples across Minnesota can legally submit marriage applications. While approximately one-quarter of Minnesota's 87 counties already have forms on-hand, people will have to wait until August 1 to pick up an application at the Douglas County Courthouse. "The new applications and licenses are getting printed as we speak," County Recorder Dawn Crouse wrote in an e-mail on Thursday, July 11.
Babies are born every day. Sometimes the nursery is ready and moms and dads are anxiously awaiting their new additions. Other times, babies' mothers are poor, experiencing their first pregnancy and feel alone, but they're not. In 28 Minnesota counties, including Douglas, first time mothers can have the advantage of a registered nurse at their side. Douglas County is part of a national Nurse Family Partnership ( NFP ) program.
Douglas County commissioners will be voting on whether or not to implement an additional motor vehicle tax at their regularly scheduled board meeting on July 23. The topic was discussed and tabled on July 9. A decision must be made by August 1. A "Wheelage Tax" is being considered by counties statewide. If approved in Douglas County, residents will be paying an additional $10 per vehicle to renew their license plate tabs beginning in 2014. The wheelage tax rate would remain at $10 until 2018 when counties have the option to increase the fee to $20.
A two vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Broadway and 10th Avenue in Alexandria on Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. Darren Larson, 43, of Alexandria was driving a Chevrolet truck on on Broadway and was involved in a crash with Mark Zeise, 62, of Lakeville who was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on 10th Avenue East. The Jeep appeared to be travelling westbound on 10th Avenue and the truck south on Broadway. Alexandria police and North Ambulance responded to the scene. No injuries were reported by Douglas County Hospital.
The Douglas County Attorney's office released additional information regarding Tuesday's high speed chase in Alexandria. Unconditional bail was set at $400,000 for Joshua Hamilton, of Alexandria.
Douglas County's basic sliding fee child care program could affect 124 families and 190 children if the program is transferred to the West Central Community Action Partnership (CAP) agency in Elbow Lake. Douglas County Social Services Director Mike Woods said if the program migrates, a local presence could be lost but it could also free up the need for one financial worker in his office.
Douglas County commissioners are breaking the rules. During Tuesday's county board meeting, the routine of approving permits to allow temporary dwellings on rural properties was challenged. Land and Resource Management Director Dave Rush often presents commissioners with permits approved by the planning committee for final consideration at county board meetings. Commissioner Bev Bales proposed the county save time and money, for both local government and property owners, by changing rules and regulations surrounding the issue.
A concerned citizen reported a sinkhole between residences at 110 and 114 South LeHomme Dieu Drive in Alexandria Tuesday evening. The Alexandria Police Department coned off the area around an approximately 1.5 foot caved-in section of pavement on the south side of the street.