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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Bags and boxes of food and clothing quickly piled up around State Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, while she was sitting outside of Elden's Fresh Foods in Alexandria on Saturday, Dec. 8. Franson was collecting the items for a day-long clothing and food drive to help people in need in the Alexandria area. Proceeds and items collected will be donated to the United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties and the Outreach Food Shelf. A total of 560 pounds of food was collected, along with many clothing items and blankets.
A three-vehicle crash west of Alexandria sent three people to the hospital Thursday afternoon. At about 2 p.m., a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville driven by Greta McCleary, 16, of Farwell rear-ended a 2007 Chevrolet Impala driven by Mark Kevin Anderson, 63, of Alexandria on Highway 27 in LaGrand Township, according to the State Patrol. The Impala was traveling east, waiting to turn onto County Shore. The Impala was then pushed into west-bound traffic, striking a 2018 Ford Edge, driven by Gerald Lefebvre, 69, of Alexandria.
Bomb threats were emailed to several Alexandria businesses today, Thursday, Dec. 13, and are believed to be part of a nationwide scam, according to authorities. The Alexandria Police Department was called to several businesses to investigate the threats, which were all made through email. In a news release, Police Chief Rick Wyffels said the threats seem to be a phishing or spoofing scam in an attempt to have the business send Bitcoin. Police do not believe there is a threat to the public or any of the businesses involved.
Alexandria's tax levy will bump up 3.91 percent next year. The $6.99 million levy, approved at Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting, is $14,000 less that the preliminary levy increase of 4.12 percent approved in September. Although the overall levy is increasing slightly, the city's portion of property taxes are expected to dip a bit for many homeowners — if the value of their property stays the same. Taxes on a $150,000 home, for example, are expected to decrease from $611 to $607.
At its Monday meeting, the Alexandria City Council gave final approval to an ordinance that regulates short-term private vacation home rentals, often referred to as Vacation Rental By Owner, or VRBOs. Douglas County approved a VRBO ordinance in March. The goal of the city's ordinance will be to provide a consistent licensing process for VRBOs across the county, according to City Planner Mike Weber. The city's proposed regulations follow the same process for licensing as the county and is set to take effect on the same date as the county's — Jan. 1, 2019.
The Alexandria City Council approved several permits and licenses at its Monday meeting. Charitable gambling permits were issued to: Douglas County Pheasants Forever to sell raffles for a Feb. 23 event at Broadway Ballroom; Outreach Food Shelf to conduct bingo at the VFW on Feb. 12; and Alexandria Area Hockey Association for a gambling premise permit that will allow pull tabs, tip boards and a paddlewheel to be operated at DJ's Tap House.
An outdated phone number was listed in the story about the Jingle Bells Telethon. The correct number to call during the telethon is 320-762-0505. The correct number is now listed in the story.
'Twas two days before Jingle Bells, when all through the night, volunteers were shopping to buy gifts that were just right... That's just one item volunteers for the Alexandria Jaycees' Jingle Bells Telethon will cross off their to-do list before the program airs live this Saturday, Dec. 8, from the Lake Geneva Christian Center. "This is a very, very busy week for the volunteers to get everything ready," said Jaycees member Mike Schreiner, who handles public relations for Jingle Bells.
Something suspicious is popping up in lawns around Osakis — plastic pink flamingos. But don't let it ruffle your feathers. There's a way to stop them from roosting in your yard: Buy "Anti-Flocking Insurance" for $20. And you can, for a price, arrange for the flamingos to show up on a friend's property. This kind of shenanigans may sound like it's for the birds but it all goes toward a good cause — a fundraiser to help 10 Osakis students fly to Washington, D.C. in the spring. Osakis Close Up students are the ones spreading the flamingo cheer.
State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, will chair the Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee again in 2019 and 2020. Minnesota Senate Republicans announced the selection Wednesday. Ingebrigtsen served as chairman of the committee during the 2017-2018 session. He changed language in Minnesota's buffer law, helped reform the state's regulatory process and supported environmental protections.