Your Friday News Brief: January 12

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

RED LAKE– The Red Lake Tribal Council ended an $18.5 million dollar land deal with Enbridge during a meeting Tuesday. The deal, as part of Resolution 281-15, was put in place in December 2015, to address and legalize the trespass on tribal lands conducted for decades. The land parcel, an 8.5 acre plot near Leonard, contains four pipelines, installed by Lakehead but now owned by Enbridge.

Tribal member Marty Cobenais presented during the meeting, and now that the deal is over, wishes to thank the Tribal Council.

“I ask that members and others in the community acknowledge and thank the tribal council for this decision, and for our continued resistance to the oil and fossil fuel industry.”

The vote to rescind Resolution 281-15 was 5-3 in favor, with one abstention. While no official decision on the next move has been made, Cobenais says this is the right move for the Red Lake Nation.

“It makes a great stand for the Red Lake Reservation to show that they continue to be a leader in tribal sovereignty, and for other reservations across the country to watch Red Lake.”

BEMIDJI– The City of Bemidji will hold a public hearing on the closure of a mobile home park during their meeting Tuesday. The owner of Westwood Acres Mobile Home Park on 23rd Street closed the west half of the park in 2016, and now the closure of the east half is scheduled for September. Westwood Acres residents who own their manufactured homes have the option to apply for relocation assistance from the Relocation Trust Fund, provided by the state, and the owner, according to city documents, indicated that he has been working to help current residents relocate. No action by the City Council will be taken except for holding the public hearing Tuesday.

ST. PAUL– A judge is throwing out a state proposal intended to protect wild rice from sulfates.  Both industry and environmental groups are celebrating the decision but for different reasons.  Environmentalists and Indian tribes say the state’s existing sulfate standard would work if it was enforced.  Industry representatives say the new rule would be expensive and unworkable.  The judge reimposed the original standards.

BEMIDJI– A Cass Lake man who triggered a Code Red Alert this summer after escaping from custody was given a stayed 19-month prison sentence Monday for the offense. Keanu Joseph Major, age 22, will spend the next five years on supervised probation. Major escaped custody after being brought to the hospital after a jailhouse fight, and was located in a St. Cloud apartment complex days after his escape. Major also received credit for 109 days served in jail.

ST. PAUL– Flu season is still in full swing, and data from the Minnesota Department of Health indicate that as of last week, there have been over 1700 flu-related hospitalizations, 55 outbreaks of flu in long-term care facilities, 43 outbreaks in schools and one pediatric death. Officials urge Minnesotans, especially the elderly and the very young, to get their flu shots. The main flu strain hitting Minnesota is Influenza A, or H3N2.


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