Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.
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At first thought, a new federal rule that requires all hospitals to post out-of-pocket costs of medical procedures would seem to help consumers. They could compare prices from hospital to hospital and get a clearer picture of how much their procedure will cost. But according to Alomere Health leaders in Alexandria — and other hospitals throughout the country — it's not working out that way, at least for now. All in details
Douglas County Safe Communities Coalition will host the Toward Zero Deaths Traffic Safety Recognition Luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from noon to 1 p.m. at Douglas County Public Works, 526 Willow Drive, Alexandria.
More than $60 million is available to provide affordable mortgages to first-time homebuyers through a collaboration with Minnesota cities and counties, including $222,407 for Alexandria. Homebuyers can take advantage of these resources through the Minnesota Housing Start Up loan program, which offers fixed interest rates and downpayment and closing cost loans up to $15,000 for eligible first-time homebuyers
Bad weather is once again closing schools early today, Thursday, Feb. 14. Here are the schools affected (as of 11:30 a.m.): Osakis closing at 12:30 p.m. (basketball game with Melrose is off); Alexandria closing two hours early (no afternoon early childhood program and decisions about high school activities will be made on a case-by-case basis); Minnewaska (elementary closing at 12:30 p.m. and high school at 1 p.m.).
A long-dormant landlords association in Alexandria may be revived. The association was a prime mover in creating a rental registration program in the city in the late 1990s and there is interest in starting it up again, according to information shared at Monday night's Alexandria City Council meeting. In a memo to the council, City Planner Mike Weber said there was "good discussion" about reviving the association during a landlord training session at City Hall on Jan. 29.
The Alexandria Fire Station will soon receive a new roof. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council accepted a bid of $91,082 from Buttweiler's Do-All to remove the old roof, install a new rubber one and replace any wet or damaged insulation and roof boards. The bid was lower than the city's estimate of between $95,000 and $100,000. The roof measures about 15,500 square feet. The bid, the lowest of three submitted, comes with a 20-year warranty. It also includes installing high density foam, new metal flashing and other roofing related materials.
Progress continues on building a Veterans Memorial Park in Alexandria. The Alexandria Park Board is going to review conceptual drawings for the restroom/gazebo area of the park at its Feb. 12 meeting, City Administrator Marty Schultz told the council in a memo for its Feb. 11 meeting. The goal is to bring an agreement for the council to consider at its next meeting. "We are now looking at a 'phase 1' agreement that would be for the memorial only," Schultz said. "A 'phase 2' agreement for the restroom/gazebo will likely follow shortly after that."
Besides corn and soybeans, Osakis farmer Tom Williamson has been growing something else — new memberships into the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. Williamson, who farms 250 acres near Battle Point on Lake Osakis, was inducted into the association's Recruiter Hall of Fame and was honored at the Minnesota Ag Expo in Mankato on Jan. 23. To get the honor, members must recruit more than 300 members and be an active recruiter for at least five years. Williamson easily surpassed that, recruiting more than 400 members, including 105 in the last year alone.
A new organization has formed to support the Alexandria FFA program. The "Alexandria FFA Alumni" has attained non-profit status, drafted bylaws and will hold an informational meeting for anyone interested in joining on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Alexandria Area High School's agricultural room near the greenhouse. Those attending will learn about opportunities to support students as they develop leadership skills, personal growth and career success. Bernie Van Zomeren, one of the organizers for the Alexandria FFA Alumni, outlined the group's main goals:
Here's a way to reel in a bargain on a new fish house and help students in the Alexandria Area High School's building trades class — make a bid on one of the two fish houses the students constructed. Last year, the students built a "tiny house," which was auctioned and they are doing that again this year with the fish houses, using an Alexandria Education Foundation grant.