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The pending sheriff's sale of Viking Plaza Mall that had been set for next week has been postponed until July 20, a Douglas County sheriff's deputy told the Echo Press. Deputy Kevin Wiseman said he received an email Wednesday, June 6, confirming that it had been pushed back a month.
As population falls in most surrounding counties, Douglas County has not only added people, but growth is picking up the pace. According to recently-released U.S. Census data, the county tallied more residents every year from 2010 to 2017, the only years included in the data release. Some of those gains were modest, such as when 54 people were added from 2012 to 2013. However, Douglas County growth started gathering speed in 2014, with 233 newcomers from the previous year, and continued through 2017, when the county population grew by 402.
As online genealogy programs hummed on their laptops, the women's stories came one after another. They had unearthed old family secrets, discovered unknown cousins, dispelled ancient family myths. Some of the women have spent decades painstakingly researching family trees. Now they had come together to learn the latest, revolutionary methods in figuring out who they were: genetic testing through online genealogy companies. It was part of DNA Day at the Douglas County Historical Society.
Here's how to succeed in the music business, members of the well-known Twin Cities band The New Standards told an auditorium of art students one recent school day. You need business sense — or at least a business-savvy partner. You have to market yourself, because there's really no record label to do that nowadays. And you have to be motivated. "You've got to want it the most," bassist John Munson told them. He, pianist Chan Poling and vibraphonist Steve Roehm performed and answered questions at Alexandria Area High School's Performing Arts Center May 22.
As excited children filed into a clearing in a wooded area near the Brandon-Evansville High School football field, Nick Lundeen surveyed them, hands behind his back, a pleased look on his face. The dimpled, bespectacled sophomore had a treat for them: His Eagle Scout project, a brand-new, outdoor classroom. "I hope that teachers will use it and you can get out here with laptops and all that boring stuff," he joked to the crowd of 100-plus students and teachers. A passionate young voice protested, "That's not boring!"
"Doc" Paul Engebretson and his band will perform traditional Dixieland and gospel music during a free concert on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn in Alexandria Thursday, May 31. Engebretson has performed in the lake area and beyond since the 1960s. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and is the second in a series of weekly performances scheduled throughout the summer. Organized by The Red Willow Arts Coalition, the free concerts are sponsored by Anderson Funeral Home and Elden's Fresh Foods, as well as nightly sponsors. Thursday's music is sponsored by Billmarks Insurance.
On an overcast Tuesday, a small bit of color arrived in the home of Bill MacDonald, where the former Air Force mechanic crew chief is enduring the final stages of Parkinson's disease. It was a May Day basket presented by high school senior Raylinn Garrett. She had made the basket herself, and filled it with a handmade card, tissue-paper flowers and wrapped caramels and peppermints. "Do you want me to open a candy for you?" asked Garrett. MacDonald was one of 14 hospice patients Garrett visited on May 1, delivering bright baskets and conversation.
As Newton Earl hung from a helicopter door, spraying the jungle with machine gun fire, he didn't think about dying. He thought about the job he had to do. Below him in Vietnam's Mekong River Delta, two Navy boats were trapped in a muddy canal, one boat disabled and the other nearly so, both taking sniper fire that was getting stronger. Twelve American lives were on the line. It was May 3, 1969, and Earl, a 21-year-old Eagle Bend graduate, had willingly volunteered for the dangerous position of door gunner for the Navy Seawolf helicopter unit.
Music will blow through Alexandria streets again each Thursday evening as Concerts on the Courthouse Lawn begins another season on May 24. It is the 10th season if you count its first, short stint at Fort Alexandria, or the ninth if you only count the courthouse, said Chuck Wencl, program director of the Red Willow Arts Coalition, which organizes the concerts.
Before I started working at the Echo Press, I didn't know much about Alexandria. I live in Otter Tail County, so Fergus Falls was where I shopped, doctored and had my hair cut. Well, it's been a year now and I've enjoyed getting to know this place. Cities each have their own flavor, their own culture, and while I'm not an old hand here by any means, I thought I'd share some observations about Alexandria. Wanna hear 'em? Here goes.