Celeste Edenloff, a reporter for the Echo Press, has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from May of 1999 to February 2011, and is happy to be back and once again sharing the stories of the people in this community. Besides being a reporter, Celeste is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching bootcamp classes through Snap Fitness. She also enjoys running and has participated in more than 170 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.
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Taking the stage at Andria Theatre in Alexandria in a production that debuted nearly 140 years ago will be 45 students ranging in age from 10 to 18. One of them is Brody Uhlenkamp, a 16-year-old Osakis High School junior who plays the role of Samuel in the theater's production of "The Pirates of Penzance Jr."
Stricter rules are now in place for private vacation home rentals. On Tuesday, March 6, Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved amendments to the Douglas County Zoning Ordinance and Lodging Ordinance that will now require all private vacation home rentals to be licensed through Horizon Public Health. However, even though the commissioners approved the licensing, they also delayed enforcement of the overnight guest capacity provision until Oct. 1.
Property owners who rent out their homes to vacationers may soon have to fork over more than $300 to have their homes licensed for that purpose. A proposed amendment to the Douglas County zoning ordinance will require all private vacation home rentals to be licensed through Horizon Public Health.
Douglas County Commissioners are looking into two possible solutions for the driver program that transports veterans to medical appointments — part-time driver positions and a shuttle service. Veterans have been upset with the county since commissioners cut a $40-a-day stipend for volunteer drivers for the Veteran Service Office. The commission made the cuts in September and they took effect Jan. 1.
The sun was shining, but the wind was brutal at Alexandria Industries annual "Fishing for the Cure" ice fishing event. The tournament took place on Smith Lake between Alexandria and Osakis Saturday, Feb. 17. According to organizers, the event exceeded expectations and raised more than $50,000. More than 1,400 participants took to the ice during Saturday's tournament with one of the largest fish in the event's history being caught - an 11-pound, 3-ounce northern. Cash prizes were awarded for the three largest fish in five categories — crappie, northern, perch, sunfish and walleye.
Anyone applying for a land use or special permit through the Douglas County Land and Resource Management office may see an increase in fees — depending on the permit. Douglas County commissioners on Tuesday, Jan. 16, approved several permit fee increases that took effect Feb. 1.
The main driver of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. is opioids, both prescription and illicit. In fact, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths across the country in 2016. This is five times higher than in 1999. But what about locally, how is the opioid epidemic closer to home?
If you plan on attending an Osakis School Board meeting, plan on being there 30 minutes earlier. At the Jan. 8 regular meeting, school board members approved moving the meeting times from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The meetings take place on the second Monday of each month. Also at the meeting, the officers were elected and included the following: • Chairperson — Becky Hensley. • Vice chairperson — Michael Collins. • Clerk — Genny LeBrun. • Treasurer — Greg Faber.
The message from the Douglas County commissioners to veterans attending the Jan. 16 county board meeting was loud and clear — the county wants to work with the veterans on the issue of volunteer drivers, they support veterans and they are not out to get them. At a September board meeting, commissioners discontinued a $40 stipend for volunteers who drive veterans to their appointments at Veterans Affairs clinics in St. Cloud, Minneapolis and Fargo.
The Osakis Hunger Coalition is hosting a "Soup and Sandwich Meal" this Sunday, Jan. 21. The event, which begins at 11 a.m. at the Osakis Community Center, will feature chili or chicken wild rice soup, sandwich and homemade pie. Free-will donations will be accepted and will go to support the Backpack Attack program in Osakis.