A soldier from New London was killed in combat Monday in Afghanistan after his convoy came under fire. Army Pfc. Ryane Clark, 22, died when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the lead vehicle in which he was a passenger, his father, Rick Clark, said Tuesday. His death sent sad shockwaves through the Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC).
They all had their own technique. Some made a mad dash for it, belly-flopping, cannon-balling or leaping into the water. Some took their time, inching up to the edge of the ice a couple of times before splashing in feet-first. Some wore costumes to boost their bravery - a banana suit, a super hero outfit, a tutu, fashionable hog apparel complete with ears and a curly tail. Some formed teams.
An Alexandria physician triggered a federal investigation of suspected Medicare fraud at a Wheaton hospital that resulted in a settlement of $846,461 with the U.S. government. Dr. Steven Radjenovich, who owns and operates the Midway Medical Clinic in Alexandria, is being credited as the "whistleblower" in the case. He filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Wheaton Community Hospital, where he once worked, of violating the False Claims Act.
A plan to restore the historic Brandon Community Center recently received a big boost. The Otto Bremer Foundation announced last week that it is contributing $40,000 toward the project. It's one of 28 grants totaling just over $1 million the foundation awarded in Minnesota for the month of November 2009. Brandon Mayor Doug Johnson said the grant will help a project that the entire community has been planning and supporting for years.
If you thought Saturday's 25-below temperatures were cold, imagine racing a snowmobile in those bone-chilling conditions. It could be a new kind of "extreme sport." That's what about 70 die-hard snowmobile drivers did on Lake Darling Saturday during the Vintage One Lunger Series (VOLS) Big Ole Holiday Spectacular. Organizers said the entries were down about 30 or so from past years because of the bitterly cold weather. But that didn't stop the fun.
Rainbow Rider: More and more people aren't leaving home without it. Harold Jennissen, director of the Rainbow Rider public transit system, provided the Alexandria City Council with an update on the service's operations at a meeting Monday night. Rainbow Rider buses serve residents in Douglas, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and southern Todd counties. It is available to everyone.
Some may look back at 2009 and say, "Good riddance!" The year brought a variety of perils for Douglas County - an economic downturn, job cuts, zebra mussels, the H1N1 flu outbreak, disruptive snowstorms, fatal motor vehicle crashes and a sharp division between city and county leaders over sharing law enforcement space. Still, there were bright moments in 2009 - signs of a rebounding economy; new public buildings opening their doors - including a new elementary school; the culmination of the dream to build a YMCA in Alexandria; efforts to make roads safer, such as a four-way stop at Carlos Co
The city of Alexandria is forming a new committee to start the new year on a welcoming note - a cultural inclusiveness committee. The committee, which has already had two organizational meetings, will advise the city council on developing policies and programs to foster a community that is "welcoming, vibrant and inclusive of diversity," according to a preliminary amendment the city council approved Monday. The committee includes seven members, appointed by the council, who will serve one and two-year terms.
The Echo Press website allows the newspaper to see which stories received the most page views in 2009. The stories on the website are not necessarily the ones the newspaper editorial staff selects as the top 10 stories of the year. Watch for that list in the Friday Echo Press, which will go online Thursday morning. Meanwhile, here are the top 10 Internet stories and their online publication dates: 1. "Alexandria man dies in rollover," March 15 (about James Lee Blanchette). 2.
While the weather outside was frightful, the feeling inside the First Congregational Church in Alexandria on Christmas Day was delightful. People were enjoying a meal of meatballs, ham, potatoes, corn, rolls, salad and a strawberry cheesecake dessert.