Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. She enjoys running and has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon distances.
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Donald Hanson believes the current Brandon and Evansville school facilities are just fine. At the monthly meeting of the Brandon-Evansville School Board Monday night, he said he was happy last fall's referendum to build a new school failed. "These buildings do the job for us," said Hanson, an Evansville farmer. "We just need terrific instructors."
To Hope Braaten, changing the tobacco age from 18 to 21 is a no-brainer. Braaten is a youth advocate who, along with many of her peers, is on a mission to create a tobacco-free generation. "Increasing the tobacco age will prevent 30,000 Minnesota kids from becoming smokers over the next 15 years," said Braaten, an eighth-grader in the Minnewaska School District. "It's common sense."
The public is invited to celebrate "National Healthcare Decisions Day" by attending a free seminar sponsored by The Written Gift, a nonprofit organization that helps families in the advance care planning process. The seminar is from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the community room at Grand Arbor, 4403 Pioneer Road SE, Alexandria. The event will include a guest speaker and a panel discussion with community members who will share their experiences and answer questions regarding health care directives.
Three years ago, Alexis Katterhagen couldn't float on her back, whether in a pool or in a lake. The 15-year-old, despite being attracted to the water, would never dunk under and get her face wet. And, she always had to have a lifejacket on because she likes to wander, especially around water. Until now. Alexis, the daughter of Amy and Mike Katterhagen of Alexandria, has been taking swim lessons through Education for All Squid School. Alexis has non-verbal autism.
Someplace Safe in Alexandria is hosting its 9th annual TEA fundraiser Saturday, April 21. The TEA — Teaching Everyone Advocacy — fundraiser will take place at Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria, 115 30th Avenue E. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. with the program and lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $25 and are available online at www.someplacesafe.info/events/calendar . Entertainment will be provided by the Quad Squad Improv from the Andria Theatre.
Members of the Forada Lions Club have set a lofty goal: To put together 50,000 Harvest Pack meal packs. And they have invited all Lions clubs in the area to help by donating their time or money to purchase the supplies. Jim Schoeberl, a member of the Forada Lions, said the club has packed meals before, packaging just under 15,000 meals during its last event. "I thought maybe we could do better than that this time and (we) decided to go for 50,000 meals," he said. "If we don't, we don't, but at least we can try."
A group of social workers from Douglas County Social Services expressed concerns to county commissioners during Tuesday's regular board meeting about labor negotiations, lack of support and how they've been treated.
Anyone who walks into the Douglas County Veterans Services Office will be greeted by two new faces. Jacob Turner has been hired as the new veterans services officer and Rhonda Fuchs was hired as the assistant veterans services officer. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved Turner's appointment at the Tuesday, April 3, board meeting, and his official start date was the next day. Fuchs was hired earlier this year, and officially started on Feb. 2.
A car caught fire after it veered off the road and struck an electrical box Wednesday morning. According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, a preliminary investigation indicated that the driver, Richard Guillette, 59, of Alexandria, was eastbound on County Road 73 Northeast when he left the roadway near the intersection of East Lake Geneva Road Northeast. His vehicle got stuck on the large electrical box and started on fire. Guillette was able to safely exit the vehicle and reported only minor injuries.
There was a sense of frustration among school board members and those in attendance at a special board meeting Monday night of the Brandon-Evansville School District. The topic of discussion quickly turned from what grades should attend which school to a discussion about facilities and how the district is going to move forward.