Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter.
A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University.
She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.
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"Home is the nicest word there is." That's one of my favorite lines in the Little House on the Prairie book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The word "home" is like a warm, cozy blanket. To me, the word means comfort and security. It brings to mind years of happy memories of a place that offers peace and refuge and quiet from the rest of the world. A solid house and a loving home are things I've taken for granted most of my life.
Ahhh, summer in the Alexandria lakes area.
The Runestone Museum in Alexandria has been receiving some national attention lately, and this time it has nothing to do with the famed Kensington Runestone. The attention focuses on another exhibit - a native American "tinkle cone" dress. According to Julie Blank, Runestone Museum director, the dress was part of the Dr. Clifford Irwin Oliver collection, which was donated to the museum shortly after it opened in 1958 by Oliver's daughter. The dress caught the attention of Dr.
At a special meeting held May 31, the District 206 School Board took action to accept bids for the first contracts related to the new high school construction project. The combined bid packages for work such as paving, site electrical, irrigation and fencing totaled close to $6.8 million. Other site work bids still remain, but if they come in at the $1.7 million estimate, the project will be about $240,000 under the total site budget of $8.7 million. A total of 53 bids were received covering 12 different work scopes.
The Vikingland Band Festival (VBF) committee recently announced that Jim Eidsvold of Alexandria was named grand marshal of the 2012 VBF parade marching championship. Eidsvold was selected for the honor because of his dedication to the festival and to the Jefferson High School (JHS) Marching Band. The honoree served on the board of the JHS Band Boosters in the 1990s and was instrumental in raising funds for new band uniforms.
Twenty teenagers and their parents learned how to help make Minnesota roadways safer by attending the Teen Distracted Driving Event Monday evening. The event is offered to teens ages 14 to 17 and their parents by the Douglas County Safe Communities Coalition, in partnership with Casey's Amusement Park and Partington, Zimny Insurance. Attendees were able to experience the dangers associated with distracted driving in a safe, controlled environment.
Some pawn shop owners may question the "reality" in two popular reality television shows - Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn - but many are happy the shows are running, nonetheless. "Our traffic has doubled since those shows started," said Dan Tillberg, who works at Viking Pawn and Pay Day Loans on Broadway in Alexandria. Hardcore Pawn is a truTV documentary reality series that shows the day-to-day operations of American Jewelry and Loan, a family-owned pawn shop in Detroit. History Channel's hit series Pawn Stars is filmed at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, which is owned by three c
What's your favorite sound? I have a lot of them. The one I hear right now as I write this is the quiet, gentle song of the wind chimes on my front porch. But to be honest, quite often my favorite sound is silence. Yes, I know what a wonderful gift the sense of hearing is and I hope I never take it for granted. I couldn't imagine not knowing what the voices of my family members sound like, or never hearing laughter or a waterfall or music. I love music. But sometimes, I simply love silence.
More than a time or two, Johan and Sonja Hinderlie questioned where God was leading them. But they kept moving forward despite uncertainties, and now look back with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. The Hinderlies are retiring after 28 years with Mount Carmel Ministries near Alexandria. While both admit it wasn't the career path they expected, it definitely became a labor of love. A NEW OPPORTUNITY Thirty years ago, the Hinderlies were living in Wisconsin where Johan pastored a church.
When 19-year-old Morgan Abel of Farwell spent most of the winter coughing, she didn't think much of it, even after her mother encouraged her to see a doctor. She figured she'd go in for a simple office visit, be prescribed some antibiotics and be on her way. Even the fact that she'd experienced some unusual finger clubbing didn't make her concerned. The visit went as planned - after some blood tests and routine checks, Abel was sent home with an antibiotic prescription. After a week of not improving, however, she made a return visit with her mother, Heidi.