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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The names of the four deputies involved in a May 7 shooting in Kensington have been released by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, along with the name of the injured man. Three of the deputies — Sgt. Wade Lerfald and deputies Adam Kavanagh and Grant Larson — are from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The fourth deputy, investigator Jonathan Danner, is from the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Minn. — Casey Skinner was at Chippewa Park on Saturday, Aug. 25, with family members enjoying the day. He hadn't seen his nephews in awhile, so his family decided to have a get-together at the park. Suddenly, he heard his brother's girlfriend yelling and screaming. "I thought it was because of the dogs getting into something, but then I heard someone else yelling, 'You ran over my baby,'" the 17-year-old from Alexandria said Monday morning.
BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Minn. — A 23-month-old girl who was run over by a vehicle Saturday, Aug. 25, is in stable condition and recovering in a Twin Cities hospital, according to her mother, Catherine Moran. "I was scared," said Moran, the 32-year-old mother of six. "She's my baby. As I saw her face, when she was pinned (under the vehicle), I knew right there I was going to do everything possible to get her out. Mommy mode kicked in."
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—One of the three men charged in connection with the abduction of a 15-year-old Alexandria girl last fall entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning in Douglas County District Court. Thomas Barker pleaded guilty to kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree with a dangerous weapon and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree causing fear of great bodily harm. All are felony-level charges.
FORADA, Minn.—Whitney Olson is a farm girl through and through and has been involved in 4-H since she was in third grade. Just last month, she competed and came out a big winner at the National Western Stock Show in Denver with her heifer, Demi. She won two national championship titles — the Supreme Champion Percentage Simmental in both the Junior Show and the Open Show.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — When Kreg Anderson was growing near Lincoln Elementary School, the Alexandria Municipal Airport was basically in his backyard. Hearing and seeing airplanes is what he said he believes fueled his passion for aviation. When he was bored, Anderson, a 2013 Alexandria Jefferson High School graduate, said he would ride his bike, no matter the weather, to the airport just to hang out. At 15, he began taking flying lessons and the day after he turned 16, not only got his driver's license, but flew his first solo flight the same day .
As the judge read his verdict, the sounds of sobbing grew louder and louder in the small federal courtroom. With tears streaming down her face, Nancy Estrada exchanged a look of disbelief with her husband, Julio Estrada Escobar, as they learned that he is being deported back to his home country of Guatemala. At the end of the 45-minute verdict read by Immigration Judge Ryan Wood on Wednesday, Dec. 13, he said, "This was a difficult day and I made the best decision I could. I wish you the best."
WASHINGTON — At this Thanksgiving celebration, there could only be one "Drumstick." Two Alexandria, Minn., turkeys were gobbling up attention at the White House on Tuesday afternoon. But only one ended up in the spotlight in a ceremony televised and streamed live on social media.
ST. PAUL—Wearing tan pants and a dark-colored sweatshirt with shackles on his hands and feet, a teary-eyed Julio Estrada Escobar admitted that he's made mistakes but he wants a different life for his children. "They need to be raised and taught good moral values," Escobar said, glancing a look at his two children, Julio, 13, and Candis, 11. "I want to teach them to be good."
FARWELL, Minn. -- A 58-year-old western Minnesota farmer died in a farming accident over the weekend. On Sunday, Oct. 29, at 7:42 a.m., the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a farm accident near Farwell about 20 miles southwest of Alexandria in western Douglas County.