Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.
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ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- The pending closures of J.C. Penney and Herberger's have triggered a foreclosure notice for Viking Plaza Mall. A notice to foreclose the mortgage was recorded April 6 with Douglas County for Viking Plaza Realty Group, LLC. However, Scot Snitker, who manages Viking Plaza for Lexington Realty International, says this does not mean the mall is closing. "It just needs to be refinanced, and we have been looking for that," he said. "It will happen." Early in 2018, Herberger's fell behind on its rent.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—Despite not yet having a team assembled and an arena that is still under construction, a Christian school in Alexandria has been accepted into the inaugural season of a prep hockey league. NorthStar Christian Academy in Alexandria will have team in the upcoming season of the North American Hockey League's Prep League, playing home games in an arena being built through the Fellowship of Christian athletes.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—Mike Fealy remembers former Alexandria residents Sarah and Jennifer Hart — two of the women killed in a northern California seaside crash discovered on Monday, March 26, as good neighbors and kind women. The two women, along with six children, were all presumed dead after their SUV plunged off a 100-foot cliff and landed on a rock along California's coastal Route 1, according to the Portland Oregonian. The family had lived in West Linn, Oregon, but in 2017 they purchased property in Woodland, Washington, the Oregonian reported.
The person believed to have struck and killed an Alexandria man in a hit-and-run has contacted the Alexandria Police Department and is cooperating with them, the department announced Tuesday, March 27. The individual came forward Sunday, March 25, after seeing images of a vehicle the police were seeking in the case and recognizing it as their own. "We have a responsible person who came forward and believes they are responsible for this incident," Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—Danny Sieve needed a way to get his three daughters out of the house and away from the screens of electronics. So he began blowing snow into a large pile near a tree in his Alexandria yard. He molded the snow against the tree and began carving into it, making his way through the yard until he'd formed a track. Then he took a hose to the course, creating ice along the track, until he had formed his very own backyard luge.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—One of the three defendants in the Jasmine Block abduction case is seeking to suppress evidence. Steven Powers, 20, appeared in court on Thursday, Feb. 15. He faces charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment. Powers' attorney requested another hearing, during which they plan to file motions to suppress evidence, according to Douglas County attorney Chad Larson. It is not clear yet what evidence they seek to suppress.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—One of the anchors of Viking Plaza Mall in Alexandria will soon be empty, as J.C. Penney will be closing its doors May 12. On-duty manager Karen Brazel confirmed that the Alexandria store is among the J.C. Penney stores that are closing. The store will begin liquidating its merchandise March 5. Last year, the retailer closed eight locations in Minnesota, including Baxter, Fairmont, Faribault, Hibbing, Hutchinson, Red Wing, Thief River Falls and Winona.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—It was a sad, skinny horse named Jeb that set it all in motion. "His pasture consisted of 15 feet of nothing but dirt due to him eating down to the roots with no water," Jeanie Young said. "He was severely dehydrated and about 200 pounds underweight. You could tell that he had not been cared for in a long time." Young and her husband, Jim, both horse lovers and Minnesota natives, were working and attending college in Madison, Wisconsin, when Jeb came into their lives.
BRANDON, Minn. — When Adrianna Sletto realized her 2-year-old daughter Kaidence seemed to be under the weather in early December, she took her to the doctor. She was told it was a virus and was sent home. In the next few days, Kaidence's fever began to drop and she started feeling better. But over the following weeks, her cough continued. Then Sletto noticed swollen glands in the back of her daughter's neck. Knowing that could be a sign of strep throat, Sletto brought her daughter back into the clinic on Dec. 17.
ALEXANDRIA—It was Tuesday, Sept. 5, when something on the law enforcement scanner caught my attention. "She says her name is Jasmine and she matches the description," said a voice. The name Jasmine had become one heard often in our community, as 15-year-old Jasmine Block had been missing for nearly one month. Flyers were hung in storefronts and on bulletin boards, advertising the search for her. They adorned many vehicles in the area as well. "This can't be real," I remember thinking as the scanner went off. "This has to be someone playing a sick joke."