Share this!
subscribe_today.png

 
Regional and Local Briefs: March 2015
Wednesday, March 11 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
Average user rating    (0 vote)
Share this!

FOND DU LAC BAND TO SPEND $3 MILLION ON MORE MODERN LOOK AT CASINO

DULUTH, MN – The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians will spend $3 million on upgrades at its casino in Duluth, Minnesota.

The Fond-du-Luth Casino will get a more modern look. Work will start this summer and take about four months, WDIO reported.

The casino has been the subject of numerous legal battles over a revenue sharing agreement that was invalidated by the federal government. The tribe paid $75 million to the city of Duluth before payments stopped in 2009.

In November, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments over an additional $12 million that is in dispute. A decision hasn't been announced.

In addition to the Duluth upgrades, the tribe is installing a one-megawatt solar panel near the Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton.


APPEALS COURT RULES FOR TRIBAL FISHING RIGHTS

ST. LOUIS, MO – The federal government can’t prosecute members of an Ojibwe tribe who gill-netted fish on a Minnesota reservation and sold their catch off-reservation, an appeals court ruled on Feb. 10.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge John Tunheim correctly dismissed charges against four Native men who were indicted in April 2013 for fish poaching. “We conclude that the historic fishing rights of the Chippewa Indians bar this prosecution of defendants for taking fish within the Leech Lake Reservation and selling them,” the appeals court said.

The four arrests came as part of a federal crackdown on poaching on some of northern Minnesota’s most popular lakes.

“The ruling affirms the traditional fishing rights that the Chippewa Indians have had for more than 150 years. The ruling upholds what they negotiated in 1837,” attorney Paul Engh said, referring to a treaty Chippewa Indians signed at Fort Snelling. Regrettably, he said, defendant Marc Lyons died a month ago, “before he could see his victory.”

Chris Niskanen, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources, said the DNR was disappointed by the decision. “These were very serious violations that involved the illegal and black market sale of protected game fish,” he said, adding that they would be encouraging prosecution of the individuals in tribal court.

Rich Robinson, natural resources director for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, said the cases are in tribal court. “We did not think the cases should be in federal court because we have our own laws here. One of them is that you cannot sell or barter game fish.”

Tunheim had ruled in November 2013 that the four federal indictments should be overturned because the 177-year-old Indian treaty trumped the legal case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office. Charges against four others were dropped last year at the request of federal prosecutors. Two other cases were put on hold, awaiting the outcome of the 8th Circuit.

Attorney Jan Stuurmans represented one of the two, Alan Hemme, a restaurant owner accused of aiding and abetting the Indians by buying fish. Stuurmans said he expected federal prosecutors will dismiss charges against Hemme “because the principal claim has been dismissed.”

 


PRAIRIE ISLAND OPPOSES LIFTING NUCLEAR MORATORIUM

ST. PAUL – The owner of Minnesota's nuclear power plants has no plans to build a new one, but wants flexibility to do it if needed.

A state law bans nuclear plant construction, however, State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, says it's time to give Minnesota utilities the ability to consider a new nuclear plant. She is a sponsor of a bill to overturn Minnesota's nuclear power plant moratorium.

Nuclear plants near Red Wing and Monticello provide a significant amount of Minnesota's electrical power. Their licenses to operate end in the early 2030s and if a new plant were to be considered, planning would need to begin soon.

The Prairie Island Indian Community, which sits next to the Red Wing-area nuclear plant, sent a statement to Marty's committee opposing lifting the moratorium. The Tribal Council's statement said the tribe is not opposed to nuclear energy, but any increase in generating capacity or storage of waste nuclear materials "is irresponsible without a long-term national solution for storing spent nuclear fuel."

Nuclear opponents said new plants cost too much, builders cannot find adequate financing and they offer too much safety risk. "Nuclear power plants remain an unacceptable power source," said Bill Grant of the Minnesota Commerce Department.

Since the last Minnesota nuclear power plant started in 1973 and the last coal plant began producing power in 1987, the state has added wind, natural gas and biomass power, Grant said. Now, he said, the state is well positioned to get electricity from more natural gas plants and Canadian hydroelectric facilities.

The issue returned to the Minnesota Legislature on March 3 for the first time since Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was seriously damaged by a tsunami created by a major earthquake March 11, 2011. A bill that many thought would pass the Legislature that year ceased progress with the tsunami.

A Senate energy committee heard Kiffmeyer's bill and one specifically lifting the moratorium on the Monticello plant, but took no action. Chairman John Marty, D-Roseville, said he doubted that any bill coming out of his committee would overturn the moratorium, but he predicted that there would be attempts to amend an overall energy bill in his committee and the full Senate to strip the ban.


SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON TO PAY FOR ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE

Construction to reduce congestion and create a third southbound lane between County Road 21 and County State Aid Highway 83 in Shakopee is expected to begin in April.
The project, which is anticipated to be completed in August, is being led and funded entirely by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

As part of the project, the southbound Highway 169 shoulder will be reconstructed to add an additional driving lane prior to the County Highway 83 exit. To minimize disruption, both existing lanes and the exit ramp will be open to traffic during this project.

When complete, this one-mile stretch of road will contain a new driving lane with a 10-foot shoulder all the way to the County Road 83 exit ramp. Currently, southbound 169 drops from three lanes to two lanes one mile before the heavily-used County Road 83 exit. The new road will carry three lanes all the way to the exit ramp. The additional lane will make it easier and safer for residents, workers and visitors to access the region south of the Minnesota River.

The $1.5 million project is the latest of the SMSC’s contributions to local infrastructure in Shakopee and Prior Lake. Since 2010, the SMSC gave nearly $2.5 million for Scott County infrastructure improvements and to Scott County-based organizations.


Users' Comments (0)

No comment posted

Add your comment



mXcomment 1.0.9 © 2007-2017 - visualclinic.fr
License Creative Commons - Some rights reserved
< Prev   Next >

****SPONSORS

Share this!
bald_eagle_erectors_web_size.jpg  bsbc_ccs_online_logo.jpg
Share this!

mia.jpg commonbondsmapleterrace.jpg commonbondsoakridge.jpg commonbondswesttonka.jpg

 


Share this!