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 first day of winter is approaching and many have already had their bout of illness this season. But it may not have been a case of the flu if you live in Douglas County. A higher precedence of flu is expected between the end of February and the beginning of March, said Douglas County Public Health Nurse Doreen Hanson.
Douglas County commissioners will be deciding on salaries for the county's four elected officials over the next two weeks. It is expected that a decision will be made by the next board meeting on December 27. Salaries need to be set before the end of the year. County Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow stated that she requested an increase last year and an amount less than the request was granted.
How do you fit 2,500 books into a shoebox? You buy an e-book reader. The most widely known e-readers are the Kindle by Amazon, which can hold up to 2,500 e-book titles, Nook, iPad, Kobo and the Sony Reader, each with varying capacities and capabilities. You can even download e-books to your smart phone from the Douglas County Library. "This is the kind of service where all a person needs is a library card," said Library Director Karen Simmons. "They're going to be huge this Christmas." Douglas County Library, part of the Viking Library System, began providing e-book services in May 2011.
The Alexandria Police Department has released surveillance video of a November 14 burglary. Police responded to a burglary call at Ace Hardware, 406 Broadway Street, in Alexandria on November 14. The burglary occurred in the early morning hours and police were on scene at approximately 7 a.m., according to a report released Monday, November 28. Suspects stole power tools and hand tools worth more than $10,000, Chief Rick Wyffels said. Other valuables estimated at $6,000 were also taken. The exterior door was pried open and wires were cut to gain access into Ace Hardware.
Kensington and Brandon firefighters were called to 16609 Hilltop Lane SW in Kensington Wednesday around 3 p.m. A trailer house used as a wood shop was fully engulfed and nearby buildings caught fire. No injuries were reported.
Not enough cookies this holiday season? Call your legislator. The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) announced in August that it would have to increase admission fees for the general public to compensate for a $1.6 million cut in state government funding. On December 1, visitors to the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul had to shell out $11 instead of the $10 previously requested. In addition, visitors to the state Capitol are encouraged to leave a voluntary $5 donation for their free tour. The decrease in funding affects historical societies that depend on MHS for grants.
The Alexandria Police Department has released surveillance video of the November 14 burglary. Alexandria Police Department responded to a burglary call at Ace Hardware, 406 Broadway Street, in Alexandria on November 14. The burglary occurred in the early morning hours and police were on scene at approximately 7 a.m., according to a report released Monday, November 28. Suspects stole power tools and hand tools worth more than $10,000, Chief Rick Wyffels said.
Douglas County commissioners approved bids for work on the Douglas County Services Center in a unanimous vote on Wednesday. Larry Filippi, owner of Contegrity Group Inc., broke down the bid proposals for the board from last week's bid meeting. A total of 70 bids were submitted on 15 packages. The awarded bid package comes in at $3,700,715 and includes work to be done on the Law Enforcement Center. Two line items in the bid are already budgeted at a total of $300,000 combined.
Progress on Douglas County's 800 MHz radio system conversion continues at a steady pace. Commissioner Paul C. Anderson would like to see that pace quicken. "We are lagging behind on time," he said at the regular county board meeting on November 22. Equipment has been distributed to local emergency agencies and is awaiting installment.
Solar Skies in Alexandria was the featured attraction of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's (DEED) Minnesota Solar Manufacturing Supply Chain Roundtable on Wednesday, November 16. Randy Hagen, president and CEO of Solar Skies, said his product reaches as far as Hawaii, Guam and Guantanamo. Solar thermal collectors are assembled right here in Alexandria but not a lot of businesses in the city - or state - are using them. "When people think solar, they think of places where the sun is shining with warmer temperatures," Haugen said.