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NO WRONGDOING FOUND IN TASERING OF 8
YEAR-OLD ROSEBUD CHILD
PIERRE, S.D. – Two months after an 8
year-old girl was tasered by a police officer in October of 2013, the
Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner released a report
that stated “she was satisfied with an independent investigation,
deploying a taser was the best viable way to diffuse the situation,”
and no charges would be filed against the officer or the child.
Attorneys for the family, Dana Hanna
and Patrick Duffy, said the acts committed by the police were
atrocious and that they do not believe the report accurately reflects
In October of 2013, four Pierre police
officers responded to a 911 call about an 8 year-old girl wielding a
knife. The call came from the girl's babysitter, who told the
dispatcher the girl was trying to cut herself. According to the
police report, the officers were on the scene for just two minutes
before tasering the youth.
NUCLEAR COMMISSION DECISION DISAPPOINTS
RED WING, Minn. – Red Wing city
officials and leaders of the Prairie Island Indian Community say they
are unhappy with a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling that
does little to resolve the ongoing dispute over storage of spent
The Prairie Island nuclear power plant
is on the Mississippi River in Red Wing and is adjacent to the Indian
community. According to reports, the NRC ruling opens the door for
on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more. The language
also lifts a suspension on licensing additional nuclear facilities
even without the creation of a national repository for nuclear waste.
Ron Johnson, president of the Prairie
Island Indian Community's tribal council, said in a statement, "…
the NRC affirmed a new rule and generic environmental impact
statement that concluded that spent nuclear fuel – some of the most
dangerous and toxic substances known to mankind – can be safely
stored 600 yards from our homes indefinitely if no geologic
repository is ever built. No other community sits as close to a
nuclear site and its waste storage."
According to the paper, Xcel Energy
says it has "38 casks containing nuclear waste near Red Wing and
is permitted to store waste in 64 casks when the current operating
licenses end in 2033 and 2034."
TRIBAL AND CITY OFFICIALS ADOPT BIOCHAR
MINNEAPOLIS – The mayor of Minneapolis and the chairman of the
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux signed an agreement Sept. 2 that promotes
the use of biochar.
Jim Doten, Minneapolis’ environmental
services’ supervisor, says it’s a product similar to cooking
charcoal that’s used for gardening. “They really increase the
soil fertility, it increases crop yields, it reduces the amount of
inputs you need, the amount of fertilizer you need,” he said.
Biochar is typically made from waste
wood which is heated to 500 degrees in a sealed container. The
resulting product is very porous, so in garden soil, biochar holds
water and nutrients.
According to Doten, biochar will be in
the soil for hundreds of years, rather than breaking down and being
released into the atmosphere.
The Indian Health Board of Minneapolis
is currently one of five biochar demonstration gardens in the city.
The idea, according to organic farmer Christina Elias, is to grow
more food on smaller plots, near communities that need fresh produce.
The biochar for these gardens is mixed with compost at a Mdewakanton
organic recycling facility in Shakopee. This all-natural blend takes
the place of chemical fertilizers. The substance helps the atmosphere
as well. Traditional burning of waste wood creates carbon dioxide –
a greenhouse gas that contributes to atmospheric warming.
The making of biochar prevents this
harmful emission by keeping the carbon in the ground.
MILLE LACS BAND NAMES NEW COMMISSIONER
ONAMIA, Minn. – The Mille Lacs Band
of Ojibwe announced on Sept. 1 that Catherine Colsrud was appointed
as the new commissioner of administration. Her responsibilities
include providing oversight of the commissioners of community
development, health and human services, natural resources and
environment and the assistant commissioner of administration.
“I am honored that Chief Executive
Benjamin and the Band Assembly have placed their trust in me,”
Colsrud said in a statement. She will also oversee the day-to-day
operations of the tribal government, including fiscal
responsibilities, human resources contract and grant management. She
will serve as chief of staff to the Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin.
Colsrud is a Mille Lacs Band member
from District III and is a resident of Sandstone. Prior to her
appointment as commissioner of administration, Colsrud worked at both
Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley in a variety of
positions, including community relations manager, director of special
projects, assistant general manager and general manager. She holds a
bachelor’s of arts in business administration from Augsburg
College, member of Delta Mu Delta and National Honor Society for
WHITE EARTH NATION VETERAN TO RECEIVE
WHITE EARTH, Minn. – White Earth
Nation citizen Muriel Alexander-Alvarez, of Waubun, Minn., was one of
30 Minnesota veterans from across the state recently nominated for
making outstanding contributions to their communities.
From several nominees, 10 “Legacy”
veterans – a new 2014 award category – and 20 “On the Rise”
veterans were chosen to receive awards at the Minnesota Humanities
Center’s second annual Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony on Sept.
11 in St. Paul.
To broaden the scope and celebrate
Veterans of all wars, the Humanities Center added a new “Legacy”
award category this year to recognize Minnesota veterans age 41 and
over. These veterans have honorably served in the military and are
now giving back to their local communities.
Alvarez, a “Legacy” veteran,
served in the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard as an Army
medic. She supports Wisdom Steps, an elder health care program on
White Earth Reservation, and the White Earth Council of Elders
program. She was also the first woman to serve in her National Guard
More than 381,000 veterans reside in
Minnesota and over 88,000 Minnesotans were deployed to Iraq and
Afghanistan. The Humanities Center recognizes the contributions of
Minnesota Veterans and will create new opportunities for Veterans to
speak in their own voice and connect with other Minnesotans.
HO-CHUNK NATION REMAINS OPPOSED TO
BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The
Ho-Chunk Nation remains opposed to other casinos within its
aboriginal territory, President Jon Greendeer said.
The tribe operates six gaming
facilities in Wisconsin. The proposed Menominee Nation
off-reservation casino falls within Ho-Chunk territory, according to
“We don’t have a position against
the Menominee casino project – we have a position that is generally
applicable to the Menominee tribe that southern Wisconsin is Ho-Chunk
territory,” Greendeer told media. “There’s really nothing
formal that says we oppose the Menominee project, but what there is
is a position that objects to any tribe coming into Ho-Chunk
However, the Ho-Chunk Nation and the
state have come to an understanding regarding the Menominee Nation's
proposed $800 million off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The
Ho-Chunks will be relieved of revenue sharing payments under its
Class III gaming compact if the new development ever opens.
"We estimate the Ho-Chunk Nation
may be relieved of future revenue sharing payments a few years after
a fully operational Kenosha casino opens," Department of
Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote in a memo that Gov. Scott
Walker (R) sent to lawmakers who asked about the status of the
Menominee Nation casino.
The Ho-Chunk gaming facility nearest
to Kenosha is in Madison. That's about 95 miles away from the
WOUNDED EAGLE REHABILITATED AND
ONAMIA, Minn. – On July 18, Mille
Lacs Band citizen Nora Benjamin called Mille Lacs Band DNR
conservation officer Mike Taylor to report she had seen an eagle that
was unable to fly in a ditch next to Shakopee Lake Road.
Taylor then notified Kelly Applegate,
MLB Wildlife Biologist. With the help of staff volunteer Jeff Mau,
Applegate captured the young bald eagle and delivered it to Dr.
Debbie Eskedahl at the Garrison Animal Hospital.
Eskedahl is in charge of the Hospital’s
Wild and Free program, a non-profit initiative that helps to rescue,
rehabilitate and release orphaned and injured wildlife. The
malnourished eagle was successfully rehabilitated and made a full
recovery after about three weeks of care. It was released in Kathio
State Park on Aug. 8. Band citizen Henry Sam said a prayer for the
eagle upon its release.
Band citizens, staff and guests who
witnessed the release included the band’s Chief Executive Melanie
Benjamin, DNR Commissioner Susan Klapel and DNR Executive Director
Brad Kalk. Nora Benjamin was also present for the release.
Applegate said that it took a strong
team effort to capture, rehabilitate and finally release the eagle,
adding that many people shared credit for the success. He said
special credit goes to Eskedahl, whose rescue program operates
entirely from donations.
“It was great to see so many people
turn out to see the beautiful Migizi released back to its home. It
was a great honor for me,” Applegate said.