Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. She enjoys running and has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon distances.
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Torn and tattered flags were properly disposed of during an official flag burning ceremony at the Osakis VFW on Thursday, June 14. According to Calvin Uhl, senior vice commander for the Osakis VFW, community members dropped off their flags at the VFW so that they could be burned during the Flag Day ceremony. Nearly 200 flags were burned, including 133 full-size American flags, 45 stick flags, eight POW flags, one auxiliary flag and one Minnesota state flag.
Go out and explore and don’t be afraid to try new things. Derek Hetland, Osakis High School senior, shared that advice with his fellow classmates during the Osakis graduation ceremony Saturday, June 2. Hetland, along with four other seniors – Lauren Savageau, Riley Mounsdon, Karlee Hoffarth and Shane Massmann – were the speakers during the ceremony. There will 57 graduates in the Class of 2018.
When the Osakis High School principal found out he was the winner of a student-led contest, he thought there had to be a mistake. "I joked with the students that I wanted a recount," said Tim Roggenbuck after he was told he won the "Kiss the Goat" contest. Shane Massmann, an Osakis High School senior, whose family owns "Mazie," the goat Roggenbuck got to kiss, explained that the senior class held a fundraiser to help pay for their trip to Washington, D.C.
Cassie Walsh is hoping that when her uncle, Jim Tenhoff, looks down from heaven, he feels proud of what she is doing. Walsh, a 2002 Osakis High School graduate, took over the role of Osakis VFW quartermaster from Tenhoff after he passed away from pancreatic cancer last December. "And, as it would happen, I am also the first female officer at the Osakis VFW," said Walsh. "We don't have many female members in our ranks, though we're actively recruiting them."
Students throughout Douglas County were treated to extra milk during their lunches the first two Tuesdays in May. Dubbed "Two Milk Tuesdays," the event was sponsored by the Douglas County American Dairy Association. The association did a similar event a few years ago, but this year, it was for all schools throughout Douglas County, said Frank Klimek, chair of the Douglas County American Dairy Association.
More than 50 couples attended this year's prom at the Osakis High School. The theme for the evening was "Enchanted Garden." The evening's event started with a social hour that ran from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. with the grand march taking place immediately after. Students took to the dance floor from 9 p.m. to midnight followed by an after prom party, which started at 12:30 a.m. and ran until the next morning.
Once a combat engineer in the U.S. Army, Jacob Turner now serves as Douglas County's new veterans services officer. As a U.S. Army specialist, Turner completed two tours in Afghanistan and received numerous medals and commendations. He holds an associates degree in fire science from Kaplan University. "My goal is to assist the veterans of Douglas County with assessing benefits and programs that help them and their families," Turner said in a news release. "As the Douglas County veterans services officer, I will strive to continually meet this goal to the best of my ability."
Anyone who walks into the Douglas County Veterans Services Office will be greeted by two new faces. Jacob Turner has been hired as the new veterans services officer and Rhonda Fuchs was hired as the assistant veterans services officer. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved Turner's appointment at the Tuesday, April 3, board meeting, and his official start date was the next day. Fuchs was hired earlier this year, and officially started on Feb. 2.
Brad and Kristie Kirckof have two goals in mind: To keep everything the same and to continue the tradition that was started back in 1955 by Norman Hansen. A tradition that will provide the community of Osakis and surrounding areas with "the best quality food at fair prices in a pleasant family-friendly atmosphere." The Kirckofs, who live in Sauk Centre, said they are truly looking forward and are excited about this next chapter in their life — as the new owners of the Tip Top Dairy Bar in Osakis, an iconic business on West Nokomis Street for more than 60 years.
More than 100 kids enjoyed Osakis Easter Day at Pollard Community Center this past weekend. The event, which took place Saturday, March 31, was put on by the Osakis Fire Department Auxiliary. There were plenty of games, egg hunting and the Easter Bunny was on hand to visit and take pictures with the kids. Organizers were pleased with the turnout and thanked those who donated items to the event, including Osakis VFW, Osakis Lions Club, Alexandria Elks, Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center and the Alexandria Area United States Bowling Congress.