Your Thursday News Brief: March 8

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

WALKER– Carbon Monoxide is blamed for the death of a Bemidji man during the Eelpout Festival. According to an updated release from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office found that 21-year-old Samuel Schooley died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency personnel responded to a fish house on Leech Lake Sunday, February 25 and found Schooley unresponsive. He was transported to a Park Rapids hospital where he was pronounced dead that morning.

BEMIDJI– Visit Bemidji was recently recognized during the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference. According to a release, the award ceremony was held at the Verizon Center this week and several individuals, organizations and tourism bureaus were recognized at the Excellence in Tourism Awards banquet for their contributions to the state’s 15 billion dollar leisure and hospitality industry.Visit Bemidji won an Explore Minnesota Marketing Award for their Marketing Campaign. Visit Bemidji, directed by Susan Goudge, was instrumental in assembling the application that led to Bemidji winning Minnesota Monthly’s “Best Minnesota Town” contest.

DULUTH– Five D-F-L candidates running to replace retiring Eighth Congressional District incumbent Representative Rick Nolan will be meeting at a forum in early April.  The candidates will meet April 4th at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet.  The event is sponsored by House District Eleven A D-F-Lers and the district party.  The event will be a meet the candidates-style forum. Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District includes much of north central and north eastern Minnesota.

DULUTH– The high speed rail project between Minneapolis and Duluth is one step closer to construction. The Federal Railroad Administration issued a Finding of No Significant Impact on the Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Assessment for the Northern Lights Express. The findings indicate that the project will not have significant environmental impacts and can proceed to seek funding for final design and construction. The environmental assessment examined the 152-mile project corridor relative to social, economic and environmental impacts.

ST. PAUL– Governor Dayton is proposing a 21-million-dollar school safety plan.  Dayton released details about the Safe and Secure Schools Act yesterday including focuses on improving school building security, assisting expelled students and adding mental health services.  The DFL governor also said he supports some proposed gun control bills but doesn’t want controversial additions to keep his proposal from moving forward. According to Dayton’s release, at least 21 threats have been made against Minnesota schools in the past three weeks.

ST. PAUL– Governor Mark Dayton recently announced a plan to reduce nitrates in Minnesota waters.

According to the release, “the proposal would help reduce elevated nitrate levels in groundwater and ensure more Minnesota residents have clean, safe, reliable drinking water supplies.”

Minnesota House Agriculture Finance Chairman Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake said he is disappointed that the governor is not trying to find solutions with the legislature and farmers.

“This affects farmers directly, let’s have this be farmer driven,” said Hamilton. “Let’s make sure we listen to them and have them be part of the solution.”

According to the Governor’s release, the proposal came after 17 public hearings that engaged more than 1500 farmers, landowners and other Minnesotans.


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