Your Friday News Brief: May 11

By: News Director Shawn Campbell

BEMIDJI MN – The 1855 Treaty Authority says they will be protesting today to protect treaty rights and resources at Lake Bemidji, which they say, is part of their treaty territory. The 1855 Treaty Authority has authorized a one-day fish off- Reservation at Lake Bemidji the day before the Minnesota fishing opener. Leech Lake Secretary Treasurer Archie Larose said, “The state deeming us to have their license is not respect for or recognition of our Chippewa rights to hunt, fish, and gather by the state of Minnesota.” The Fish Off 2018 Reunion treaty rights rally is in Bemidji because of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline abandonment plans and new route project through new wild rice waterways mostly in the 1855 territory, according to the press release. The Fish Off is scheduled for 10 AM at the downtown public landing near the bridge. The DNR says they will confiscate illegal fishing equipment and issue citations for anyone fishing out of season.

BEMIDJI – Stittisworth Meats broke ground on their $2.5 million expansion, which is said to create 27 new, well paying jobs in the area.

BEMIDJI – Unite Against Hate-Bemidji invites artists to submit 2D artwork for an exhibit that will be on display at Brigid’s Pub. The goal of the exhibit is to create solidarity across racial, religious, sexual, and gender lines to bridge the divides that exist in our communities. Unite Against Hate – Bemidji hopes to harness the creative power of art to continue dialogue and spread the messages of “Diversity is Strength” and “Unity in the Community.” Artists of all backgrounds and experiences are invited to submit proposals for consideration. Submissions will be accepted through May 21st.

BEMIDJI – MNDOT and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe are teaming up to reduce crashes one Highway 2 and Cass County 75 Bingo Place Road in Class Lake. Construction is scheduled to begin May 14th. The intersection redesign, called a Reduced Conflict Intersection, improves safety by significantly reducing crashes and fatalities. The new intersection is referred to as a J-turn, R-cut. According to the Federal Highway Administration these types of intersections reduce severe crashes by over 70 percent. The intersection will only affect drivers on County Road 75 when making a left onto Highway 2 towards Cass Lake. Those drivers will now have to make a right, travel 800 feet then make a U-turn. Highway 2 will remain open during construction, although lane closures and a speed reduction will be in effect. Motorists on County Road 75/Bingo Palace Road will be detoured to County Road 149.

ST. PAUL MN – On Wednesday Governor Mark Dayton vetoed an attempt led by State Senator Justin Eichorn and State Representative Dale Lueck to remove a state water quality standard designed to protect wild rice. In a letter to MN House Speaker Kurt Daudt ,Governor Dayton called the bill “an extreme overreach that eliminates important protections for wild rice”, and “attempts to exempt Minnesota from the federal Clean Water Act”, a violation of federal law. Dayton also stated “Wild rice is very special to Minnesota. It is essential to the culture and spirituality of many Native American Tribes in our state.” Dayton urged lawmakers to put forth a new proposal in the next 12 days. The State Legislature is set to adjourn on May 21, 2018.

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