Rescued dog helps grieving worker

Thumbs Up: When Randy Heuer, a worker at Elden’s Fresh Foods, lost his father he received comfort through a dog, Rilee, shown above, who seems to have a fascination with a mail truck. To bring Rilee and Heuer together, Elden’s co-owner, Elliot Christensen, and his wife, Linda, made a donation to the Lakes Area Humane Society, which rescued Rilee. “That dog means the world to me,” said a grateful Heuer. “He helped get me through a tough time.”

Disregard for the elderly

Thumbs Down: At around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 21, an elderly couple at Grand Arbor were afraid and then angered after loud explosions shook their apartment so hard it rattled their windows. “I could feel the compression of the explosions,” he said. At first, they thought it might have been a gas line explosion but after investigating a little further, they found out it was fireworks being set off to honor the Alexandria soccer team. “These just weren’t little fireworks; it was a professional display as wide as the whole block,” he said. The part that really upset the couple was that no one in their apartment knew it was coming. They said they received no advance notice, and that when they called the police, they didn’t know about it either. “Whoever let this happen showed complete disregard for the elderly and others who live here,” he said. “There should be an apology.”

Not cleaning up after dogs

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Thumbs Down: Fall is the ideal time to go on a walk with your dog but before you head out the door with your happy pooch, remember to bring a plastic bag to clean up after your pet. We’ve received more than a few complaints from readers who don’t have a dog, but have come across doggy messes while mowing the lawn or doing other yardwork. Dog owners should realize some simple facts: Dog poop isn’t a fertilizer. It’s toxic for grass. It pollutes the environment. It can stimulate algae growth on lakes. And it can even carry diseases, such as roundworms, salmonella and coliform bacteria. Yuck! Bag it.

Veteran treated to unexpected surprise

Thumbs Up: An Alexandria reader who is a veteran came across a pleasant surprise over the September 11 weekend while he was getting ready to play a round of golf at the Osakis Country Club. “We went into the clubhouse to pay and grab a key when the lady in charge asked if anyone in our group was a veteran. I am and proud of it, but didn’t know how it mattered to a golf course. Then, the lady informed me there was no charge for veterans on the 9/11 anniversary!” So here’s a thumbs up to the Osakis Country Club for their support and respect to veterans.

Concerts to remember

Thumbs Up: The Red Willow Arts Coalition thanks all those who supported another successful Thursday Night Summer Concert Series on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn. Program Director Chuck Wencl said a variety of individuals and groups make it happen: County commissioners for letting them use the lawn; the Echo Press for its weekly previews of the entertainers as well as other media for spreading the word; lakes area residents and tourists who enjoyed the great music; Anderson Funeral home and Elden’s Fresh Foods for being the major sponsors from the beginning and Bethany on the Lake which showed its support this year. “Like any big project, there are so many involved who have helped make these concerts possible,” said Wencl. “If you have supported us with donations, volunteered your time or assisted in any other way, we are truly grateful.” He added that the coalition is already planning for another great series in 2022.

ALP Utilities gives back to community

Thumbs Up: ALP Utilities has been providing public power for more than 132 years and these days, because of technological improvements, long-range planning and putting nearly all of its overhead power lines underground, it’s more reliable than ever. That’s a cause for celebration. ALP Utilities will host a Public Power Open House on Monday, Oct. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. You can enjoy a free meal, visit with staff while your children color, take a tour of the power plant, get a free LED light bulb and more. Each year, more than 2,000 community-owned utilities, like ALP Utilities, across the nation observe Public Power Week during the first full week of October. It’s a celebration of these not-for-profit electric utilities that proudly serve the electric power needs of about 40 million Americans – or almost 15 percent of electricity consumers. Megan Chisholm, marketing and communications specialist for ALP Utilities, noted, “As a public power provider, a few key benefits our community experiences are affordable rates, reliability, diverse energy sources and a spirit of giving back to the community.”

If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.