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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The Douglas County Fair wraps up a four-day run Sunday -- a night when heavy rains soaked the midway shortly after 6 p.m. The fair was still deemed a success by several exhibitors. "It was a good fair -- a beautiful fair," said Patty Wicken of Alexandria who operates corn dog and lemonade stands, along with her husband, Roy Wicken. "It was great. We have no complaints. We are blessed to have a well-organized, well-run fair. It's the nicest county fair in the state."
Douglas County voters were in sync with the rest of Minnesota in Tuesday's primary election. In all nine primary races, they preferred the same candidates as those who received the most votes state- or district-wide. The percentages were a bit different, however. The Republican race for governor between Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson, for example, was tighter here, with Johnson picking up 50.5 percent of the votes compared to Pawlenty's 46.0 percent. Statewide, Johnson prevailed with 53 percent of the vote.
Races for city councils, mayoral seats and school boards throughout Douglas County will spice up the ballot this fall. There will be council races in Alexandria, Evansville, Garfield, Kensington, Miltona and Osakis. Three cities — Bandon, Evansville and Osakis — have contested mayoral races. And school board races will take place in Osakis, Parkers Prairie and Brandon/Evansville. The B/E race is the wildest one, with 10 candidates vying for three spots on the board.
We didn't want to write this editorial. We know some people will jump on it as an example of "liberal bias."
It has been nine years since Peter Achermann left to run errands and never returned home. Achermann was 82 when he went missing on July 24, 2009 after leaving his home in Leader to pick up groceries and his wife's medication in Staples. His abandoned vehicle was found the following day. Despite searches and a substantial reward, no trace was ever found. Achermann has ties to the Douglas County area. He farmed near Osakis and Millerville in the 1950s and married his wife, Delaine, in Belle River Township. They moved to the Leader-Motley area in the early 1960s.
Residents in Douglas County Commissioner District 2 will have a new commissioner next year.
A key step toward building a Veterans Memorial Park in Alexandria was taken Monday night. The Alexandria City Council authorized the city attorney to prepare an agreement that will spell out the final terms of the park project between the city and the Veterans Memorial Committee. The agreement is expected to provide clarity for all those involved in the project, not only for site design but also for the construction and management of the park after it is built.
The Alexandria City Council is working with the Alexandria Police Department to put together a policy for portable recording devices — or body cams — and the public has two opportunities to express their views. On Monday, Aug. 20, the police department will hold an open forum on the topic at the police station, 501 3rd Ave. West, beginning at 6 p.m. After input is gathered at that meeting, the Alexandria City Council will hold a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27 at City Hall, 704 Broadway.
The work at the Runestone Community Center parking lot and entrance road is on schedule. City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven updated the Alexandria City Council on street projects Monday night. All of the work at the RCC that was planned to be done before the fair is complete, Schoonhoven said. The remaining work consists primarily of placing a blacktop wear course on the parking areas and parking lot striping. This is a joint project between the city and the Douglas County Agricultural Association.
If you've thought about running for public office, now is the time. The filing period for city, school and township positions opened on July 31 and will remain open through Tuesday, Aug. 14. Those who file will be on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election. In Douglas County, several positions are up for election, including: Brandon City Council — mayor and two council seats. Brandon Township — one supervisor seat. Brandon/Evansville School Board — three positions. Carlos City Council — mayor and two council seats.