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. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.
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OSAKIS POLICE DEPARTMENT* June 26 Animal complaint, dog tied to stop sign, 4th Ave. W. Public assist, Oak St. W. City nuisance, complaint about grass, King St. W. Citation for texting while driving, Calvary Rd. SE. Warning for speed and no MN license, Calvary Rd. SE. Business check, E. Nokomis St. Dog bite, Nokomis St. W. Business check, Nokomis St. W. Bar check, 8th Ave. E. June 27 Public assist, person worried about dust from business due to health, 2nd Ave. W.
A newly-formed Memory Loss Resource Center at the Douglas County Library will be expanding, thanks to a grant the library recently received. Library Director Dawn Dailey shared the information with commissioners at the June 4 Douglas County board meeting. Dailey applied for a Library Services Technology Act grant for $79,885.90, and found out May 31 that the library would be receiving the full amount. "It will help our library and the other libraries within our system to start their own memory loss program," she told the commissioners.
A close incident with a near drowning while lifeguarding piqued Elizabeth Pahl's interested in becoming an emergency medical technician. A senior at Osakis High School, Pahl recently became a first responder with the Osakis Emergency Medical Response crew. And even though she is still in school, if her pager goes off, she is allowed to leave. But she did have to get permission from the high school principal, Tim Roggenbuck, first. And the OEMR had to get approval from the city council. Once both gave the go-ahead, she was able to join.
The date of the 2019 St. Jude's Bike-A-Thon has been set. This year's event will take place Saturday, May 11. Registration will be held that morning from 8 to 8:45 a.m. at the Osakis Visitor Center. The ride will start at 9 a.m. Proceeds will support the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital — a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases. At last year's event, more than 25 participants raised $2,315, which was the second highest amount in 27 years, according to event organizer, Mary Lou Quistorff.
The Pollard Community Center was hopping with activity last Saturday as nearly 200 kids enjoyed Osakis Easter Day. The event, put on by the Osakis Fire Department Auxiliary, was deemed a success by organizers and was busier than last year's event. Children of all ages took part in fun games, egg hunting, cookie decorating, and the Easter Bunny was on hand to visit and take pictures with event-goers.
This area saw some of the best snowmobiling it's seen in the last 20 years. This is what Jeff Linn told the Douglas County commissioners at their regular meeting on April 16. Lind, trail administrator for the Douglas Area Trails Association, said this past winter the trails were officially open for at least 12 weeks and the association groomed 6,600 miles of trails. "That's our trail system 18 times," Lind said. "It was a great year for snowmobiling and we heard lots of great comments. We finally had some good snow this year."
Osakis City Council members received good news last week. They received a "clean and unmodified" audit. Michael Bosl, an audit manager with BerganKDV, presented the information at the April 8 city council meeting. A clean and unmodified review is the highest review that can be given for an audit, said Bosl. "It's the best you can get," he told the council.
Two Osakis sisters want to help residents get healthy — one shake at a time. Hannah Schad, a 2012 Osakis graduate, and her sister, Holly, a 2014 graduate, opened their new shop, Empower Nutrition, this past January. The sisters serve up Herbalife shakes, teas, coffee and more, and are excited to be in their hometown. Holly and Hannah said they love the support they've received so far from the community and its residents and they're impressed with how many people have reached out to them. "It's taking Minnesota nice to the next level," said Hannah.
Roughly five years ago, the Douglas County Veterans Service Office was moved under the umbrella of the Social Services Office. This meant that the veterans service officer was no longer the head of the department, and reported to the Social Services director instead of directly to the county board. This didn't sit well with area veterans, who did not want the veterans office to be associated with Social Services.
The fight against aquatic invasive species continues in Douglas County on a number of fronts, Land and Resource Management representatives told county commissioners at the March 5, county board meeting. Dave Rush, Land and Resource Management director, and Justin Swart, the county's aquatic invasive species prevention coordinator, noted that each spring they implement a plan focusing on education, public awareness, inspection and decontamination.