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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Jim Tenhoff's big impact
Why become a VFW member? Osakis VFW Post 7902 Commander Mike Kral says a big reason traces back to the very beginning of the organization when a small but determined group of veterans came together to help all veterans who put their lives on the line while defending their country's freedom. The local post is looking for new members to join and is holding a membership meeting on Monday, Jan. 15, starting at 6 p.m. Those interested in becoming a member are invited to attend. In an effort to encourage membership, Kral provided the following information.
Osakis experienced a lot of ups and downs in the second half of 2017. Several crime stories made news, many involving drugs and theft. A guilty verdict also came in on a Todd County murder case.
How will the 2017 be remembered in the Osakis area? It was a year of transition with several community leaders moving on to the next chapter in their lives, including Superintendent Joe Broderick, teacher Connie Ferris and Galeon CEO Dave Carlson. It was a year of unexpected surprises, both good and bad — a Christmas ice storm, a visit from American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and news that Just Like Grandma's was closing and up for sale.
Selective TV reminds viewers that CBS/WCCO Channel 7 will go off the air permanently at one minute past midnight this Saturday night, Dec. 30. Selective TV is now providing over-the-air access to CBS/WCCO on Channel 4.1 and The Decades Channel on 4.2. Viewers may have to do a channel re-scan to access the new channels. If your antenna is aligned with the Westport tower near West Union along I-94, you may, depending on your location, have to realign your antenna toward the Selective TV tower, which is located near Garfield.
Christmas songs, favorite classics and new renditions filled the Osakis Fine Arts Auditorium on Dec. 18 when the Osakis High School Music Department presented its Winter Band Concert. The event featured the Osakis High School's Senior Band, Junior Band and Jazz Band. The free concert included 16 selections under the direction of Randy Resley. A new twist to this year's show was a new lighting system that flashed colors of red, green and blue during some of the performances. There are 46 students in the Senior Band and 39 members in the Junior Band.
A new recycling option for food waste may soon be available for Osakis residents. With the Green Bag Organix Curbside Program, residents could put their food waste and food-soiled paper into 13-gallon compostable bags and place it in the same carts they use for their general trash. Haulers will take it to the Pope Douglas County Solid Waste Management facility in Alexandria where the bags will be sorted out and sent to a local composter.
Osakis joined communities throughout the nation on Saturday, Dec. 16 in a special remembrance of those who fought for America's freedoms. It was Wreaths Across America Day. Thousands of wreaths were laid at more than 1,500 cemeteries across the country. In Osakis, volunteers met at the Osakis Veterans Memorial for the second annual Osakis Wreath Across America kickoff ceremony. Seven wreaths, each representing a branch of the military, were placed at the foot of the memorial.
The true meaning of Christmas was brightly shining inside the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Osakis on Thursday, Dec. 14. That's when students and teachers from St. Agnes put on their Christmas program, "Catch the Christmas Spirit." In the play, students took time out in the middle of the busyness of Christmas to read the Christmas story from the Bible. As they read, the story came to life around them — with students playing the parts of Joseph, Mary, angels, the Christmas star, shepherds, kings and more.
The Osakis City Council approved a property tax levy increase of 9.4 percent for 2018. Before taking the unanimous action at its Dec. 12 meeting, the council held a Truth in Taxation hearing but no one from the public spoke. The levy was set at $716,000 — a $62,000 increase from this year's levy of $654,000. The city's total budget for next year is $3,219,621 — an increase of less than 1 percent from 2017's actual budget of $3,192,375.