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The Alexandria School Board has until August to get an operating levy request on the November election ballot. However, it could authorize one at its regular monthly meeting Monday. During a work session this past Monday night, the board reviewed three options and appeared to settle on one. It has yet to determine the dollar amount of the levy it will seek from taxpayers, and that is expected to be the focus of any discussion at its July 15 meeting.
Tom Lehman walked up to the green on No. 18 on Sunday with the roaring crowd at the 3M Open serving as the soundtrack for a moment he won't soon forget. He had just plopped his final approach shot within a few feet of the hole, and after tapping in for birdie, he tipped his cap as the gallery at the TPC Twin Cities gave one last roar for the hometown hero.
More than an hour into the Alexandria School Board's second work session to address the district's projected budget deficits, board member Dave Anderson cut through the ideas for solutions that were being bandied about — with most asking taxpayers to approve a 10-year operating levy. "My biggest concern is to get it passed," Anderson said. That was a common goal among board members Monday night. The questions they were working through involved the details of how to get there.
Carol Swenson was effusive in her praise of two boats that were recently given to the Legacy of the Lakes Museum, and she has plenty of company. The boats, a 1934 Gar Wood Runabout and a 1915 Fay & Bowen Launch, were gifts from Jack and Betty Thomas, who donated them last year before Jack died. "These two very special boats really enhance our collection," Swenson, the museum's executive director, said one night last week at a reception where Betty Thomas was introduced along with the boats.
The annual parade that is part of Evansville's Red White and Boom Days is moving back to July 4 after being held on a Saturday in 2018. The Lions Grand Parade is set for 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, as part of an action-packed day that concludes with a fireworks spectacular at dusk. The holiday also includes a fire department breakfast, a color dash 5K run/walk, bean bag tournament, a pedal pull, kids' games, a pork chop dinner, music, a baseball game and watermelon feed.
Melvin Boesen joined the military in 1949 after graduating from Brandon High School, and eventually his three younger brothers followed suit. Bernie signed up for the U.S. Army, with Melvin, Gary and John all opting for the Navy. The brothers, who were born at roughly six-year intervals and raised in Millerville, all served overseas. "This is something we felt we should do, serve our country," Bernie said. "Dad was pretty proud of us, that we all served. (He said) 'My boys went and fought for our country.'" That wasn't all Clarence Boesen said.
Participation in activities at Alexandria Area High School increased this past school year, led by an 8.5 percent jump in winter activities, while fall participation fell by 3.1 percent. At last week's Alexandria School Board meeting, activities director Bob Brakke outlined the district's philosophy, which is: We prepare, plan and play to win, but winning is not our purpose. Instead, the purpose involves three components: teaching and learning; human growth and development; and connecting students to caring adults.
When Minnesota's two-year spending plan was signed into law recently, it included a 2 percent increase in education funding each of the next two years. For the Alexandria district, that meant an extra $2.28 million over the two years compared with current funding levels, with $410,886 of it in special education funding. Trevor Peterson, director of business services for the district, had already budgeted for a 1 percent increase, plus accounting for enrollment projections. So the 2 percent hike amounted to less than $500,000 that had not been expected.
The Alexandria School Board repealed a policy for selecting and reviewing instructional materials at its Monday night meeting, and took the first step toward replacing it with a new version. The changes are in response to objections by a group of parents to a half-dozen books that were among those offered to eighth graders as part of a new language arts unit this past school year.
Last year, the United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties launched a Fight Against Summer Hunger campaign to raise enough money to supply more than 200 families with food for two months. Through that campaign, approximately $6,000 was raised. This year, the organization's goal is $8,000, which would fund two mobile food drops this summer, in both counties. Jen Jabas, executive director of the United Way program for the two counties, said the summer months create a need for some families that is filled during the year through its Backpack Attack program and school meals.