By: Larissa Donovan, News Director.
ST. PAUL– The series of public hearings on Enbridge’s Line 3 plans will begin Tuesday in Bagley and Grand Rapids, and Wednesday in Cass Lake and Park Rapids. The meeting in Bagley will be held in the Rice Lake Community Center from 10 am to 1 pm. Canada-based Enbridge is seeking state approval for the seven-billion-dollar project, and Minnesota regulators will hold 22 public meetings this month across the state. Enbridge hopes to replace the existing Line 3, which was built in the 1960s to carry Canadian crude to the terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, and abandon the existing line in place. Opponents of Enbridge’s plans are caling this the next Dakota Access Pipeline battle. The final decision on the Minnesota portion of the replacement isn’t expected before 2018. More information on the meetings is available on the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s website.
GRAND RAPIDS– A motion to dismiss an indictment and suppress all evidence in a murder case was denied in Itasca County Court last Wednesday. Judge Lois Lang made the decision, but did allow the last four minutes of Joseph Thoresen’s 80-minute statement to police to be suppressed. According to Itasca County Attorney John Muhar, Thoresen is accused of four counts of murder, after an incident last summer where Thoresen, and his girlfriend Kayleene Greniger, used knives, a baseball bat, and a machete to kill a man on June 21, 2016. Thoreson is currently being held in the Itasca County Jail, and his trial date is set for August 14.
GRAND RAPIDS– A Squaw Lake man will be tried in the U.S. District Court in Duluth after a decision made in Itasca County Court was announced Friday, according to Attorney John Muhar. Thirty-eight-year-old Jaysen Lane Heyer is accused of felony drug possession, being a felon in possession of a firearm and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. According to the court documents, about 210 grams of methamphetamine were recovered last December in his apartment. Muhar reports that the decision came because penalties may be harsher on the federal level, and state charges have been dismissed. If convicted, Heyer faces a maximum of 40 years for the drug possession and an additional 10 years for the firearm.
ST. PAUL– Representative Matt Bliss says provisions in the state’s legislative budget that he authored have had some success during the latest session. Among the successes included a telecommunications equipment exemption and a provision to increase transportation funding for Bemidji Area Schools. While Bliss’ authored bills provide several provisions to Veterans, the Bemidji Veterans Home was scrapped. Bliss says that Governor Dayton would not sign the bill until the Bemidji and Montevideo Veterans Home were removed from the related omnibus finance bill.
BEMIDJI– Construction on Division Street will begin Tuesday. The project, in a collaborative effort between the City of Bemidji, the Bemidji School District, Reierson Construction and Karvakko, will involve the removal and replacement of the pavement, aggregate material, concrete curb, gutter, and turf establishment. During this phase of the project, Division Street between Adams Avenue and US Highway 2 will be closed and traffic detoured. The next two phases will be completed under traffic, and the project is scheduled to be completed by September of this year.
ST. PAUL– The Minnesota Department of Transportation will start full summer overweight permits in the north frost zone Wednesday. Full summer overweight permits are already available in other frost zones. Road restriction maps indicating the locations of weight restricted routes and those state highways open to maximum 10-ton axle weights are listed on the MnDOT Seasonal Load Limits website.
ST. PAUL– Motorists can expect lane closures and delays on Highway 2 between Bagley and Wilton beginning Monday, June 12, as crews complete a preventive maintenance seal coating project called microsurfacing. Microsurfacing is a short-term, preventive maintenance technique that uses a quick setting emulsion of oil, water, cement and aggregate to level out the existing driving surface by eliminating wheel ruts and minor imperfections. It is designed to extend the life of the existing roadway an additional seven to ten years.