Community Announcements (1)

Public Service Announcement:

Please join us Sunday, January 16th from 2-4 p.m. Emily Albrecht from the Equal Rights Institute, and the Sanctity of Life committee from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria invite you to become an effective Pro-life advocate. Emily is a speaker who will share through a combination of conversational strategies and quality discussion, how you can bring peoples walls down, change hearts and minds, save lives, and promote a culture of life in your community.

Please join us Sunday January 16th from 2 -4 p.m. at the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria, MN.


Douglas County to Offer Childcare Grants

Funds designed to reduce shortage of available care

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners recently approved a request for $50,000.00 to assist existing and new childcare providers. The funds will be taken from the grant the county received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Douglas County families need more childcare options,” said Laurie Bonds, Community Human Services Director. “The shortage has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health emergency and we are hopeful these funds will reduce the shortage of available care.”

Newly licensed providers in Douglas County are eligible for a grant up to $2,500.00. The money will be used to cover some of the expenses associated with licensure including costs for first aid supplies, computer and printer, background studies, health and safety items, other equipment, and modifications needed to a house or yard.

Existing childcare providers may also apply for a grant up to $2,500.00 to expand the childcare services they are currently offering. That can include changing their license type to take in more children, expand hours of service to cover more work shifts, and adding a co-licensor or staff.

The application is available on the Douglas County website at https://www.co.douglas.mn.us/day-care-licensing. Look on the right-hand side of the page for the Family Childcare Provider Grant Request.

Anyone interested in learning more about the details of the grant program should contact Laurie Bonds at laurieb@co.douglas.mn.us or 320-762-3815.

All expenditures will be reviewed by a team at Douglas County to ensure they are appropriate under this grant. The grant program will be available until funds are depleted.


Habitat for Humanity Seeks Bids for 2022 Build Season

Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County invites competitive bid proposals for the construction of (3) three-bedroom and (1) four-bedroom single-family homes to be built by Habitat volunteers beginning April 2022. One home will be located in Brandon and three homes will be built in Alexandria.

Professionals perform several skilled tasks during the construction of a Habitat home including excavation, foundation work, mechanical systems, electrical, well drilling, drywall finishing, and lawn seeding.

Information about the bidding process can be found on the website, hfhdouglascounty.org/get-involved.

Please contact Randy Hansen, Construction Manager, via email at randy@hfhdouglascounty.org with any questions

All bids are due by 4 pm on Monday, February 7, 2022, at the Habitat office located at 1211 N Nokomis NE, Alexandria.

 

Red Cross: National blood crisis may put patients at risk

Dire situation facing blood supply, those in need of blood transfusions Donors have the chance to help save lives, win trip to Super Bowl LVI

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 11, 2022) — The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.

Blood donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments, and donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment now to give in the weeks ahead. In recent weeks, the Red Cross had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals. At times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met.

Pandemic challenges

The Red Cross continues to confront relentless challenges due to COVID-19, including about a 10% overall decline in the number of people donating blood as well as ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations. Additionally, the pandemic has contributed to a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges.

“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care.”

Make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross and the NFL are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the national blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.

Who donations help

Kala Breder knows all too well how dire not having blood available can be. In July 2020, hours after the birth of her son by emergency Cesarean section, Breder developed a complication and began bleeding uncontrollably. As doctors fought to save her life, they exhausted the entire blood supply at the hospital as well as all available blood within a 45-mile radius. Ultimately, she was flown to another hospital because there wasn’t enough blood locally.

Breder credits the 58 different blood products she received with helping save her life. “Without one of those, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I needed every last unit.”

Volunteers needed

In addition to blood donors, the Red Cross also needs the help of volunteers to support critical blood collections across the country. Blood drive volunteers play an important role by greeting, registering, answering questions and providing information to blood donors throughout the donation process. Blood transportation specialists – another volunteer opportunity − provide a critical link between blood donors and blood recipients by delivering blood to hospitals in communities across the country. To volunteer to support Red Cross blood collections, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.

Blood drive safety 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

 Save time during donation

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Health insights for donors 

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.    

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross 


 

 

Belgrade Library Updates Hours for 2022

Great River Regional Library is pleased to partner with the City of Belgrade and the Myrtle Mabee Library Board in providing reading, literacy and information resources to the community. Due to a recent evaluation of the open hours in the Belgrade Myrtle Mabee Public Library, adjustments will be effective January 3, 2022.  We are confident that this adjustment best aligns with the needs and schedules of the library users.

Here is an overview of the current schedule and the new schedule at the Belgrade Myrtle Mabee Public Library.

Current Schedule                                     New Schedule

Monday             9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 2 – 7 p.m.                   9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 2 – 6 p.m.

Tuesday             Closed                                                         Closed

Wednesday      2 – 7 p.m.                                                   2 – 7 p.m.

Thursday           Closed                                                          Closed

Friday                 2 – 6 p.m.                                                   9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 2 – 6 p.m.

Saturday            9 a.m. – 12 p.m.                                       9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Come visit your local library and celebrate the New Year in community!

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries and one to-go system in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. GRRL2GO is a locker system that allows you to pick up items at the Sartell Community Center. GRRL supplies the residents of Central Minnesota with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, and information services.


Sauk Centre Library Updates Hours for 2022

Great River Regional Library is pleased to partner with the City of Sauk Centre in providing reading, literacy and information resources to the community. Due to a recent evaluation of the open hours in the Sauk Centre Sinclair Lewis Public Library, adjustments will be effective January 3, 2022.  We are confident that this adjustment best aligns with the needs and schedules of the library users.

Here is an overview of the current schedule and the new schedule at the Sauk Centre Sinclair Lewis Public Library.

Current Schedule                       New Schedule

Monday             12 – 5 p.m.                                    10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesday             1 – 7 p.m.                                     12 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday      10 a.m. – 3 p.m.                          10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Thursday           1 – 7 p.m.                                     1 – 7 p.m.

Friday                 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.                          10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday            9 a.m. – 12 p.m.                          9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Come visit your local library and celebrate the New Year in community!

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries and one to-go system in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. GRRL2GO is a locker system that allows you to pick up items at the Sartell Community Center. GRRL supplies the residents of Central Minnesota with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, and information services.


Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County and Alexandria Area High School

DECA students receive State Farm grant

Alexandria Area High School students Brynn Kosters, Aisling O’Connor, and Izzy Kent, have chosen to partner with Habitat for Humanity’s Cardinal Build as their DECA project. Because of this partnership, State Farm® has awarded Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County with a $10,000 matching grant, one of 15 in the nation.

“We are grateful to have been selected as one of the matching grant recipients,” said Executive Director Lori Anderson. “The grant will help us to construct a house with a family in our community.”

The theme for the student-led project is “Give Home for the Holidays.” Scheduled fundraising activities include selling “fan-tastic shims” during the home AAHS basketball games on Thursday, December 2, and Thursday, December 9, 2021. The DECA students have also coordinated a community soup supper on Friday, December 17, 2021, from 5-7:30 pm in the AAHS Commons area.  This event is a free-will offering where everyone can enjoy a warm bowl of soup and bread while visiting with family, friends, community members, Habitat homebuyers, and homeowners and also learn about Habitat.

Community members will also have the opportunity to learn about the cost of a home and to donate to the Give Home for the Holidays campaign when the students sell pin-ups at Cub Foods on December 4, 10, and 12. The pin-ups are also available in the ReStore.

All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the State Farm grant!    Donations can also be made by texting DOUGLAS to 26989 or visiting hfhdouglascounty.org

“We are proud to support young leaders in advancing Habitat’s mission in communities across the country,” said Ed Woods, Director, Corporate Responsibility at State Farm. “At State Farm, we make it our business to be a good neighbor and are committed to building safer, stronger, and better-educated communities.”

In addition to State Farm supporting Habitat for Humanity’s youth programs since 2007, many local Habitat organizations also receive ongoing support.


Do. Co. logo

Douglas County License Bureau Offers New Service

Driver’s License Written Exam

The Douglas County License Bureau is expanding the opportunity to take the written Minnesota Driver’s License Exam. Staff will provide what’s called proctoring for those needing to take the exam necessary to ultimately get a Minnesota Driver’s License.

“We are able to offer this important service 5 days a week, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.,” said License Bureau Director Susan Crotteau. “People needing their drivers permit and moving here from other states need to first pass a written test to obtain a license. They can now take that exam with one of our staff members monitoring.”

People who are interested in more details about this new opportunity should call 320-762-3897 and press Option #2. Staff members will ensure the prospective test taker is eligible and explain the exact process. There is a $10.00 fee.  No appointment is needed.

The Douglas County License Bureau is located at 821 Cedar Street. The only entrance is from the new, large parking lot located at the Administration Building which houses the License Bureau. There is no access from Douglas Street.

 


Great River Regional Library Asks for Support in Year-End Campaign

In November each year, the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) begins its Year-End Campaign fundraiser, but the 2021 campaign is extra unique.

GRRL plans to announce its extension of its “fines free” efforts in 2022, but the library needs your help to get there. With the help of generous donors like you, we can remove the financial barrier of fines to allow everyone to explore, learn, and connect in their community.

“Fines Free,” the popular buzzword amongst libraries across the nation, is the removal of overdue fines on late materials. This means that there will no longer be a fine on your checked out materials when you return them late. This is important to central Minnesota so that GRRL is free, open, and welcoming to everyone – regardless of financial status and ability to pay back fines. The 2021 Year-End Campaign is supporting and setting the stage for the big change in 2022.

If late fines never prevented you from using your library, the library asks you to consider paying it forward. The library’s Year-End Campaign is an opportunity to give back and show your support of your library going Fines Free. With the help of generous donors, we are able to make this a reality. Give now in support of GRRL’s fines free efforts at https://griver.org/donate/year-end-campaign.

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries and one to-go system in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. GRRL2GO is a locker system that allows you to pick up items at the Sartell Community Center. GRRL supplies the residents of Central Minnesota with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming, and information services.


Public Health logoHorizon Public Health has launched a Community Health Survey to better understand how the environment in which people live, work, play and age shapes overall health. Information from the survey will be analyzed to help shape future programs and healthy living initiatives in the counties that Horizon Public Health serves. This data will become part of the 2022 Horizon Public Health Community Needs Assessment.

Please click on the attached file and it will bring you to a link that you can click on and complete the survey. It will take lass than 10 minutes to help our agency. We ask that you share this info to others who live in Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse Counties.

The survey is available in both English and Spanish. If you have questions or would like to request a paper copy call: 800-450-4177.

Survey PR


Do. Co. logo

New Address for New County Building

Enter only on Cedar Street  

 Alexandria, MN — The newly opened Douglas County Administration Building has a new address. It’s officially 821 Cedar Street instead of 822 Douglas Street.

“The main entrance to our new administration building is on Cedar Street so changing the address just made sense,” said Commissioner and Board Chair Jerry Rapp. “We also realize that many people put the address into their GPS and 821 Cedar Street gets them right to the door they need to use.”

The Administration Building houses the Douglas County License Bureau on the main level, along with the board of commissioners meeting room. Downstairs is the Auditor Treasurer’s Office which is accessible either by stairs which are to the right of the main entrance, or an elevator located to the left of the main entrance.  The doors on the east side of building facing Douglas Street are for exit purposes only.

“Please tell your friends and family about the new location and the new address,” said Rapp. “If you hear folks talking about getting their license or tabs renewed, let them know about the new location, and that they need to park in the lot off Cedar Street.”

Both the Cedar Street and Douglas Street addresses will be used for the next year to ensure all mail intended for the county departments housed in the building will arrive without delay. The county Finance Department and Coordinator’s Office are also in the new Administration Building.

 


 Douglas County Services Location Changes

 Auditor/Treasurer and License Bureau Move

 Alexandria, MN — Douglas County residents will be visiting a new location for certain services effective September 15, 2021. The Douglas County Administration building, located at 822 Douglas Street, is now open.

“We are pleased with the successful renovation of a well-known building in our community,” said Douglas County Board Chairman Jerry Rapp. “This location offers ample parking, a license bureau on the main level, and an easy-to-access area for paying taxes and conducting other county business.”

Parking is available on the west side of the building which is accessed off of Cedar Street.

The following services are now located in the Administration Building:

  • Auditor Treasurer
  • License Bureau
  • Coordinator’s Office
  • Finance

All phone numbers and emails to the relocated offices will remain the same.  A tax payment drop box will be located at the entrance on the west side. A conveniently located drive-thru drop box is also available in the parking lot. Those able to conduct county business without a face-to-face interaction never have to leave their vehicles. This drop box is ideal for:

  • Tab renewals
  • Property tax payments

The University of Minnesota Extension Office also recently relocated. It is now open in the northwest wing on the second level of the Douglas County Courthouse at 305 8th Avenue W. U of M Extension houses 4-H, Horticulture and Master Gardeners. Staff phone numbers and emails remain the same.