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Several members of the Minnesota Opera will be setting up shop in Alexandria next month as part of a week-long community residency. The visit will feature sessions at all eight schools in the Alexandria School District and two public events during the week, and concludes with a joint concert with the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra. "It's an incredible opportunity for the community to hear this caliber of musicians, and also to be able to participate in workshops and learn from the best," Deb Mercier, a CLSO musician and board member, said of the Opera's appearances.
For the past two months, Ron Stoen has been unpacking. It's a slow process when you're 78 years old and you're sorting through more than a half-century of your life. Ron and his wife, Jeanette, owned Stoen Farm Supply on Highway 55 in Lowry for 55 years, until last November when a combination of health issues and age caused them to close the doors.
Already this winter there have been two dozen reported cases of break-ins to fish houses in Douglas County. One of those was Carol VanderWeyst's fish house on Blackwell Lake, which she said vandals hit on Christmas Day. That prompted her into action. She wants "people to start looking and watching" in the hope that someone sees something that will lead to an arrest in the theft and vandalism at ice fishing houses on lakes in the region. "Somebody knows something. Somebody has seen something," VanderWeyst said.
The Alexandria Senior Center is expanding its lineup of entertainment offerings on Sundays for what amounts to the school year, from September through May, beginning this Sunday. The senior center will be working with the Red Willow Arts Coalition on the Sunday programs, which run from 1-3:30 with the exception of the fourth Sunday, when a Tea Dance runs from 1-4 p.m. The center has recently raised funds to improve its sound and lighting systems in the community room, for the benefit of both music and drama offerings.
Here we are, another year older. In the words of John Lennon, "Another year over, and a new one just begun." They say with age comes wisdom. So as we flip the pages on 2018 and look ahead to a brand new slate of 365 days, we thought we'd tap into some of that wisdom that exists in spades around here, and see what others are expecting 2019 to bring. The question we posed was broad enough to include both stone-cold predictions and humorous takes on the year to come. Following are the responses we received: • Bigger, sandier beaches due to low water levels.
Traffic on Interstate 94 between Evansville and Brandon is moving once again this morning, after the eastbound lanes were shut down Thursday night due to a tanker that tipped over.
Many years ago, Connie Hammje took an order from a woman who had purchased Dutch House caramels while in Alaska. The caramels, made in Douglas County, had made such an impression on the woman that when she returned to her home in Massachusetts, she wanted to order a bunch for her father. He happened to live in Alexandria. That customer had no idea that those remarkable caramels had been produced in the Alexandria area. All these years later, Dutch House Confections remains an unheralded success story, even to county residents.
Snowstorms don't always come as advertised, but so far this one — the first of the winter for Douglas County — appears to be living up to its billing. Forecasts were for anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of snow, and possibly more, for this area of west-central Minnesota. As of noon Thursday, Miltona was reporting 10.5 inches of snow had fallen. Alexandria was at 5.9 inches and a station near Evansville was at 5.2 inches as of 11 a.m. Thursday, while Carlos reported 6 inches at 5:30 a.m. And the snow was still falling Thursday afternoon.
It has been a half-dozen years since a group of former and active Marines and Fleet Marine Force corpsmen from the area got together and came up with the idea for a community service project in the days leading up to Christmas. This the sixth year the Runestone Detachment 1409, Marine Corps League, has been holding the Toys for Kids drive, in partnership with Love INC, and the community service project continues to become more popular. During that time, more than 1,000 boys and girls age 15 and younger have received gifts.
If you've never owned a dog, you may not understand just how completely one can fully work its way into your life — or even take it over. Ryan Hopper of Alexandria knows that all too well, and so does his family. "My son is just in love with her. He's a single guy, and for him to have someone to come home to at the end of the day, waiting for him, means a lot," Ryan's dad, Scott, said of Lola, an 8-month-old, 7-pound Yorkie mix puppy who was a survivor of an Arkansas puppy mill.