Jessica Sly has been working as a content writer at the Echo Press since May 2012, contributing, proofreading and editing content for both the Echo and Osakis Review. A Wadena native, she graduated from Verndale High School in 2009 and worked that summer at the Wadena Pioneer Journal as an intern reporter. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul (now the University of Northwestern - St. Paul), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in Bible. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano (and learning the violin), reading, writing novels, going to the movies, and exploring Alexandria.
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It's no secret that I'm a devoted fan of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," both movies and books. They're full of rich characters, masterful prose, real themes, rolling landscapes, inspiring music and a history so expansive that you would willingly believe that it actually happened. Among those themes, one of the most prevalent is the idea of moving forward.
Paul and Lisa Bowden of Alexandria have seen the effects of orphan hosting first-hand. In 2015, they opened their home up to four Ukrainian orphans through the Force for Christ hosting ministry. After the children returned to the orphanage, Paul and Lisa and could see the effects in the children they hosted and in other children who had been hosted by other families. "They're the first kids to come talk to us, and they actually look us in the eye," Lisa said. "Orphans are so shunned in their country, and they had hope. You could just see it in their faces."
After substantial growth in 2016, Aagard leaders identified a need for a tool program for current and new employees, evident through witnessing employees coming to work without the appropriate tools and/or the funds to purchase tools. The team worked for seven months on designing a solution, the Aagard Tool Program, and rolled it out at the end of February.
Patricia Ferguson captured this image of a pileated woodpecker and a downy woodpecker sharing space under a birdfeeder at her home on Lake Miltona. Pileated woodpeckers can peck rectangular holes deep enough to topple a small tree, while downy woodpeckers frequent mixed species flocks in the winter to help it find food. If you have a great photo, email it with a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Celebrate Recovery invites the public to a night of worship and personal testimony from Cody James on Monday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Alexandria Covenant Church. James grew up in a musically talented family and has written songs for Loretta Lynn, Pam Tillis and Mark Chesnutt. He will share how God delivered him from 25 years of addiction, restored his life and gave him renewed purpose. Celebrate Recovery is a place to gather and find God's healing power through teaching rooted in the Bible and recovery practices.
The public is invited to join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for an Easter breakfast on Thursday, April 13, at 6:30 a.m. at Alexandria Area High School, with featured speaker David McIver sharing his story at 7 a.m. At the event, McIver will share how God is working through his role as executive director of Praise FM and ministering to the Minnesota Twins organization through baseball chapel. A freewill offering will be accepted.
Douglas County Hospital March 27 Boy, Breeanna Houck and Nicolas Irizarry, Glenwood Girl, Samantha and Kevin Pommier, Long Prairie March 30 Girl, Annie and Brent Pederson, Dumont April 1 Boy, Cami and Michael Huss, St. Cloud April 2 Boy, Jayme Mikel and Daniel Urman, Long Prairie Girl, Johanna and Jaimie Freiheit, Alexandria Births from Jan. 1 to April 2, 2017: 159.
UCare will host two informational meetings about its UCare for Seniors Medicare health plan options, as well as Medicare basics, on Wednesday, April 19, at Hampton Inn and Suites in Alexandria. The first meeting about UCare for Seniors will be held at 2 p.m. A salesperson will be present with information and applications. To register or for accommodation of persons with special needs, call 1-877-523-1518, ext. 200.
Ten Destination Imagination teams representing Alexandria Public Schools recently competed in the Minnesota Regional Competition in Moorhead. Six teams qualified to advance to the state competition on April 22 in Champlin. Destination Imagination is a creative problem-solving team challenge held annually through the Community Education program in which teams choose an open-ended problem to solve in one of five areas: technology, scientific, engineering, fine arts and improv. This year, Alexandria teams chose to compete in all but the improv challenge.
Hypnotherapist Leslie Reynolds, C.H., in conjunction with the nonprofit organization Health Awareness Clinics, will conduct a free hypnosis seminar on Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at Holiday Inn, 5637 Highway 29 S., Alexandria. Anyone 16 or older is welcome to attend. Pre-registration is not required, but attendees are encouraged to arrive 20 minutes early to sign in. Everyone in attendance will be hypnotized twice during the seminar. Support materials will be available.