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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A new name is in the works for the Douglas County Hospital and its partner clinics. On Wednesday, Douglas County Hospital CEO Carl Vaagenes officially announced what hospital and clinic employees learned a few weeks ago. "I'm thrilled about what this means for our organization, our team and our community," said Vaagenes in an email to the newspaper. He cited three key reasons for the upcoming name change, which will be unveiled at a communitywide celebration on May 11.
A long-range plan would transform Alexandria's Big Ole Central Park into a "trail head art park." It would improve the farmers market, expand the parking lot, install interactive fountains and sculptures, and add picnic tables, benches, sidewalks and more. The Alexandria City Council's decision on April 9 to accept a bid for public restrooms in the park is part of the Big Ole Central Park Concept Master Plan, according to Bill Thoennes, parks department director.
Motorists on I-94 between Garfield and Evansville will experience alternating lane closures along the eastbound lanes today, Wednesday, April 18. The lane closures will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are to prepare the lanes to carry head to head traffic when construction begins on the westbound lanes. Last year, crews resurfaced the eastbound lanes and replaced the eastbound bridge decks over Highway 79 and Highway 114.
A 32-year-old St. Paul man was injured in a one-vehicle rollover near Evansville Sunday morning. Andrew Charles Peterson was driving a Chrysler Pacifica east on Highway 79 just west of Interstate 94 at about 6 a.m.
Republicans from Douglas and Otter Tail counties in Minnesota Senate District 8 held their endorsement convention in Miltona on April 7. Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, was unanimously endorsed for a fifth term in District 8B. Also endorsed by Otter Tail County Republicans from District 8A was Rep. Bud Nornes, who prevailed over a challenger by a vote of 25 to 2. Nornes is seeking his 12th term in office. Todd Jensen of Alexandria, who serves on the Alexandria City Council, was elected as Senate District 8 Chair.
A new bill would help breweries, wineries and distilleries throughout the country — including Carlos Creek Winery. U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, R-Minnesota, visited the winery on April 4 and talked to owners Tami and Kim Bredeson about the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. It aims to reduce excise taxes, compliance burdens and regulations. The craft beer, winery and distillery industries continue to blossom. There are more than 5,300 breweries, 8,000 wineries and 800 distilleries across the country.
An Osakis woman was sentenced April 4 in Douglas County District Court for leaving methamphetamine paraphernalia, including needles, a pipe and syringes, near her children. Jessica Jean Wagner, 28, who entered a guilty plea, was ordered to serve 60 days in jail and placed on supervised probation for five years. She received credit for the 40 days she spent behind bars while her case proceeded.
The former manager of the Osakis VFW Post faces two felony theft charges for allegedly taking money from the post's ATM machine for her own personal use. Michelle Renee Manders, 39, was charged in Todd County District Court on April 3 with theft of more than $5,000 and theft of more than $1,000. She is scheduled to appear in court on April 23. On Jan. 25, the Osakis Police Department contacted the Todd County Sheriff's Office about a report of theft from the Osakis VFW and Manders was identified as the suspect, according to court documents.
Fifteen months before Travis Pennig of Alexandria was struck and killed by a vehicle while he was walking along 34th Avenue, a resident contacted the city of Alexandria about the possibility of installing a sidewalk on the street. No one knew it at the time, of course, but if Pennig would have been walking on a sidewalk, he likely wouldn't have been hit on March 19.
A problem that's plagued Alexandria for years — a lack of public restrooms in the downtown area — will soon be resolved for a cheaper price tag than the city envisioned. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council accepted a low bid of $96,800 from Tradesmen Construction of Alexandria to build restrooms at Big Ole Central Park. The bid, one of four submitted, was well below the city's estimate of $125,000.