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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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.
HOFFMAN, Minn. — At 10 years old, Skylar Hedstrom is mature beyond her years. When part of a lawnmower blade sheared off and struck her in the face, leaving her with a 4-inch scar running from the top right side of her forehead to between her eyes and down the right side of her nose, Skylar didn't let it bother her. During the hour-and-a-half ambulance ride to Fargo's Sanford Medical Center, Skylar calmly looked at her dad and told him, "It doesn't matter what people look like on the outside, anyway."
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."
A 35-year-old Hoffman woman was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital after a two-vehicle crash early Monday on Highway 27 at the intersection of Highway 114 west of Alexandria. Rachel Gulbrandson was driving a 2004 Pontiac Sunfire eastbound on Highway 27. Kale Hensel, 29, of Park Rapids, was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado westbound on Highway 27, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The crash report stated that Hensel was turning southbound onto to Highway 114 and failed to yield and the two vehicles collided.