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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You’ve probably heard of breast cancer. You may even know it is the most common cancer among women in the U.S., with one out of eight developing it at some...
Some locals wanted to know why water was shooting out of a fire hydrant in Garfield during the hot, dry days of August. What the newspaper thought would be a simple question with a simple answer ended up not being quite so simple. We heard that the spewing water may be tied to the repainting of the inside of the city's water tower. After numerous calls to Garfield's City Hall and individual council members, we finally spoke to council member John Nienaber Jr.
District 206 school board members voted Monday night to decrease taxes for some area residents while increasing revenue for the school district. Yes, you heard right - school revenue will increase, but taxes may actually drop for some. "With a referendum increase, you'd usually think that taxes will also increase, but that's not the case here," noted Trevor Peterson, director of business services with District 206, at Monday's regular school board meeting. The board passed a resolution to authorize a new board-approved referendum authority for approximately $85 per adjusted pupil unit. The
Another Douglas County Fair is now behind us. For many local residents, that event is one of the highlights of summer. For me, it's always been bittersweet. I was a 4-H member for more than 10 years, so thoughts of the fair began months earlier. 4-H projects take planning, record keeping and a lot of time and hard work to complete. Hours, days, weeks and months were spent getting projects ready for the highlight of a 4-Her's year - the county fair. When the fair finally rolled around, it brought with it a mixture of emotions.
Nearly 48,000 people turned out to celebrate the 125th anniversary celebration of the Douglas County Fair. Mother Nature was again kind to fair-goers, providing sunny, warm days. "Everything was just wonderful," said Dale Buchholz, secretary of the Douglas County Agricultural Association that organizes the fair. "The weather was absolutely perfect." Organizers estimate that the attendance for the four-day event was up about 2 percent from last year. "That's our best estimate," Buchholz said.
Pick your fun: rides, games, 4-H exhibits, corn dogs, races or just strolling down the midway. It's Douglas County Fair time! This year's fair swung into action Thursday and continues through Sunday.
The Douglas County Agricultural Association is celebrating 125 years of service to the community this year. Its main purpose is to put on the annual Douglas County Fair, and it's the dedicated board members who work to not only ensure that the fair goes on, but also that it continues to grow and maintain its status as one of the most successful county fairs in Minnesota. George Dyrstad of Alexandria was asked to join the board in 1965, when he was the manager of Lake Region Co-op.
Kristy Eastlund of Alexandria is a natural caregiver. She's patient, caring, compassionate and quick to offer food or help with chores when someone is in need. Despite that, she adamantly said "no" when a friend encouraged her to become a hospice volunteer. When asked what held her back she quickly replied, "Death." Eastlund has seen her share of suffering and loss.
Ah, graduation time. Seems like only yesterday I was walking up on the Brandon High School stage to get my diploma. But (sigh) it was actually a bit longer ago than that. My class is celebrating its 25-year reunion this summer. Where does the time go? Once I decided to write about graduation for this column (at 9 p.m.
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.