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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Rebecca Worley's long and fruitful career actually began at age 6, when she begged her parents to let her take piano lessons. "My parents bought a piano, which was no easy task on a pastor's salary in those days," she recalled. As the oldest of six children, her persistence paid off for all of her siblings, who also got to take lessons. By 5th grade, Becky was playing piano at the church and nursing homes in Boston where her father was leading services. In 7th grade, she found her passion when she began playing the organ.
Brady Lind of Alexandria is your typical 9-year-old rough-and- tumble boy. He loves hockey and baseball and playing with his brothers Evan, 12, and Caleb, 7. That's why his parents, Scott and Linda, weren't surprised when he ended up with a possible fracture in his elbow. His first "bump" came while playing knee hockey with his brothers in the basement at the end of February. A couple days later, he fell on the same elbow during a hockey game. He was taken in for X-rays.
After 33 years of harried deadlines and countless evenings and weekends spent covering area sporting events, Larry Holverson was looking forward to retirement. But his vision of what retirement looked like changed considerably just two weeks before he wrapped up his career. In May 2007, the Echo Press sports editor was told he had Parkinson's disease (PD). It was a nurse with family connections who first suspected Larry may have Parkinson's. She saw him at an event and was concerned with the way he shuffled his feet.
Here's one statistic Minnesota doesn't want to brag about - it's the third largest state per capita impacted by Parkinson's disease (PD).
Throughout the school year I am fortunate to have the opportunity to go into area classrooms and teach students about newspapers through Newspapers in Education (NIE), an international program that promotes children's literacy by using newspapers as teaching tools.
The annual Passion Drama presented by members of Zion Lutheran and Good Shepherd Lutheran churches of Alexandria has been cancelled this year due to the weather. In its 14-year history, this is the first time the drama has been cancelled. "Many hours of time go into preparing such a community outreach, which makes the decision to cancel the drama this year that much more difficult," noted Jeff Roste, event organizer.
A child's first hair cut is a big deal. Not only for the child, but for the mother as well. In the case of Jessa Streich of Alexandria and her mother, Tabitha, it was a monumental moment. Jessa is a 5-year-old who has suffered from countless health problems ever since she was born prematurely. Some of those problems are a mystery for the family and doctors. But even though she has endured more than most children her age, the young girl is still giving back to others in a special way. Thursday, March 4 was the date of Jessa's first haircut.
The only thing Harry and Joan Davis of Brandon have to worry about during retirement is how to find enough time to get everything done. Their shop is full of projects patiently waiting to be completed. While the projects themselves aren't in any hurry, the Davises are. "We've got so many things we want to do.
Although Julia Olson's poetic inspirations began as a child, she said they were "locked away in the depths of her mind until now and like spirits of the past, waited in the shadows for someone or something to set them free." Fortunately for poetry lovers, those inspirations were set free, and Olson recently celebrated her first published book, titled Emerging from the Darkness: Poetry From the Heart, published by Outskirts Press. Several of the poems were written at Lake Carlos State Park or about Lake Carlos, where Olson's father and his siblings spent their childhood.
For most parents, protecting their children is one of their main objectives.