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Alexandria's Inclusion Network, the Douglas County Car Care Program and The United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties were among 18 regional organizations to receive the first-ever Community Change Makers Grant awards from West Central Initiative. The Inclusion Network received $3,750 to follow up on a 2007 study that looked at diversity in Alexandria. Its new study will include all of Douglas County.
As the noontime sun beat down on the blacktop, five guys worked on a ride called the Dragon Wagon, hauling pieces of track off a trailer. Across the way, three young women scrubbed a food trailer on hands and knees, getting windows and cabinets sparkling clean. Meanwhile, 4-H'ers hauled a steady stream of projects into the 4-H Building, speaking to judges about their paintings, photos, a dog house, a feeder for Nigerian dwarf goats, Lego projects, and a robot made from tin cans and a funnel.
Alomere Health has had to forfeit $242,000 in federal payments this year — much of that because of infections affecting very few of its patients. In June, hospital officials learned they were ranked in the bottom quartile of hospitals around the country when it came to patients developing urinary tract infections caused by catheters. Federal health privacy laws prevent them from releasing exactly how many patients developed these infections, but Medicare rankings indicate just one or two affected patients could have triggered the penalty.
An adobe-style building that provided a haven for military veterans since World War II in Miltona is closing down. The VFW was down to 15 members and its income from raffle tickets and fees had also fallen substantially, said quartermaster Roger Schwartz. "We don't have any money," he said. "Nobody comes to the meetings anymore. Young guys don't want to come."
Can women be funny as men? Three female Twin Cities actors will take the stage at Theatre L'Homme Dieu next week to prove that indeed they are. It all started when Daleko Arts, a theater group from New Prague, was trying to decide how to put its own spin on "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged]."
At its Wednesday, July 25 meeting, the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District board unanimously approved the hiring of a new sewer chief to replace executive director Bruce Nelson, who will retire at the end of August. Scott Gilbertson, a water/wastewater supervisor at Detroit Lakes Utilities, will take over the top job beginning Sept. 6. Board chairman Roger Thalman said he spoke to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency about the hire. "Their comment was 'Fantastic, he's got a high reputation with the MPCA,'" Thalmann said. "He's respected throughout the district."
A list of demands made this month by a group of lakeshore owners seeking additional lake protections is receiving some pushback from local officials. "I'm a little disappointed with the word 'demand,'" said Alexandria Mayor Sarah Carlson. "Our community is more of a partnership kind of community, so I would have rather we worked together with everybody. Setting out demands doesn't exactly set the right tone."
A tornado ripped through Miltona in 1970, and the city has been partying ever since. Not because the twister touched down, but because the city survived and then recovered. "It was kind of an instant urban renewal," said city clerk Kevin Lee, who was a junior in high school at the time and remembers debris flying horizontally outside his family's window. The storm's path was a block-and-a-half wide and three miles long. It destroyed the lumberyard and café, the depot, gas station and elevator, and several homes, damaging many other buildings and farms.
The man with the white cowboy hat drawled instructions at the throng of novice donkey jockeys. Don't pull the donkey's hair. Don't pull each other's hair. Don't get behind the donkey's rear end. "If you get bucked off your donkey, what's the first thing you do?" asked the man, CJ Cordell of Wisconsin-based Dairyland Donkey Ball. He demonstrated: Roll sideways. Protect your most important parts. "I'm scared," a young woman confessed.
The bicycle bling was one clue that there was something unusual about the Habitat for Humanity home going up in Brandon. Bicycle tattoos were another. The third? Customized blue-and-white nail polish jobs proclaiming, "Habitat 500." "People notice them, especially if they're on gentlemen," said teacher Michaela Roske of St. Cloud, a cyclist and Habitat volunteer who said she painted them on at least 25 sets of fingernails. "They're a conversation starter."