The Latest News From Minnesota Daily News Dot Com
22nd December 2014
An Illinois angler faces nearly $2,200 in fines and restitution, plus the loss of his boat and equipment, following an investigation by conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Charles H. Siegerdt, 54, Keenyville, Illinois, was recently found with a gross over the limit of 21 bass (42 fillets) and 19 northern pike (38 fillets) at an Itasca County resort. The daily possession limit in Minnesota is six bass and three northerns. “Mr. Siegerdt admitted to possessing an over limit in the initial contact, about 14 bass and northerns combined,” said Conservation Officer Jayson Hansen of Big Fork. When asked where he kept his fish, Siegerdt pointed to the resort cabin he had been staying at and said the fish were in the cabin freezer. Siegerdt led the officer into the cabin and opened the freezer. “The freezer was full of plastic bags with frozen fish in them. I immediately recognized this as over the legal limit,” Hansen said. When asked if he had skin patches on all the fillets, Siegerdt said, “No.” Minnesota law requires anglers leave at least a one-square-inch patch of skin with scales so fish species can be identified when transporting them. Siegerdt said he had been coming to Minnesota to fish for 35 years. Siegerdt asked if he had to pay the fine and restitution immediately; he was told he could, or he could pay it later, or he could go to court. “Mr. Siegerdt said he wasn’t going to fight anything,” Hansen said. Conservation officers also confiscated Siegerdt’s boat, boat motor, and boat trailer. He also surrendered two rods and reels. Those items will be auctioned off at a later date with the proceeds going to the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund. Siegerdt was cooperative during the investigation. “After collecting his personal items from the boat he reached out and shook our hands, said he understood, and said it wouldn’t happen again,” Hansen said. Hansen added, “Basically I want people to understand that if they are caught with a gross over limit they will face large fines, loss of privileges in all Wildlife Violator Compact states, and the loss of their equipment.” The Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement between states that recognizes the suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in member states. Minnesota is one of 43 states that participate in the compact.
Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the 24-hour, toll-free Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.
20th December 2014
Effective immediately, Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf except in the defense of human life.
A federal judge’s decision to immediately reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan place the animals under protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wolves now revert to the federal protection status they had prior to being removed from the endangered species list in the Great Lakes region in January 2012. That means wolves now are federally classified as threatened in Minnesota and endangered elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.
Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if depredation occurs.
15th December 2014
Seven people were injured in a three car crash Sunday evening near Bemidji. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office saying a 911 call came in about 6 pm Sunday reporting a three car crash on Roosevelt Road near Frohn Road East of Bemidji. Deputies and emergency responders arriving at the scene found a pickup truck driven by 51 year old Verlin Kingbird of Redby had crossed the centerline and struck a sedan being driven by 23 year old Trisha Lindstrom of Bemidji, and continued on to strike a second vehicle head on. The Kingbird Pickup Truck was travelling westbound when it crossed the centerline glancing off Lindstrom's car and plowing head on into a Saturn Sedan being driven by 27 year old Karen Mix of Bemidji. Three passengers in Mix's car were injured. In total, seven people from the crash were transported to Sanford Emergency Department by Bemidji and Cass Lake Ambulance. One person was still in critical condition at last report. In addition to being treated for his injuries at the ER, Kingbird was processed at the hospital for suspicion of drunk driving. Once lab results have been received by investigators and the investigation has been concluded the results of this investigation will be forwarded to the Beltrami County Attorney's Office for consideration of criminal charges. Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by Bemidji Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol and Bemidji Fire Department.
15th December 2014
In an effort to provide more time for Minnesotans who qualify for financial help available only through MNsure, the organization today announced it would extend the enrollment deadline for January 1 coverage. Minnesotans must now enroll in coverage through MNsure by 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 20, to have their plan effective on January 1, 2015. The change comes at a time of historic interest in MNsure and as many health insurance companies recently extended their own enrollment deadlines for January 1 coverage. "The best interest of the consumer is always first and foremost in our minds," said CEO Scott Leitz. "We want to give Minnesotans that qualify for financial help as much time as possible to enroll in January 1 coverage." The enrollment deadline extension for January 1 coverage is not in response to any system issues or technical problems. "The MNsure system continues to be stable and the vast majority of people coming through the system are doing so without issue," said Leitz. "This change is simply to allow folks that qualify for financial help more time." Calls to the MNsure Contact Center on December 15 are averaging 1,600 per hour, a historically high number. Average wait time for callers is 20 minutes.
15th December 2014
The Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office and the Canadian Pacific Railroad are investigating a Sunday morning crash just south of Mahnomen. 45 year old Timothy Goodman was driving his car on 140th Street when he crossed the railroad tracks and his vehicle was struck by a train. The train tried to stop but was unable to before hitting the car. Goodman was pronounced dead at the scene. He was taken to Grand Forks for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The crash remains under investigation.
3rd December 2014
A federal fugitive, on the run since 2009, was taken into custody last week in Redby with the help of a tipster and a smart phone app created by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 51 year old Adney Allen made his initial appearance in federal court Monday after his arrest last week on charges of sexually exploiting children. Allen was arrested November 26th by Red Lake tribal police on a federal warrant after a tipster notified local authorities of Allen’s fugitive status. The tipster indicated Allen was living in a trailer in a remote wooded area near Redby. The tipster apparently learned of Allen's fugitive status via the online media surrounding the October launch of ICE's Operation Predator app for Android smartphones. In July 2009, Allen was indicted by a federal grand jury in Fargo, for possessing, distributing and receiving child pornography. Allen has been considered a fugitive since leaving the area before the grand jury returned an indictment against him. He was one of the fugitives featured on ICE's Operation Predator application for smartphones. ICE created its smartphone app — the first of its kind in U.S. federal law enforcement — to seek the public's help with fugitive and unknown suspect child predators. ICE's smartphone app has been downloaded nearly 130,000 times since its initial launch in September 2013. It has aided in the arrest of at least four other suspected child predators.
1st December 2014
Snowmobilers can legally ride any of the more than 22,000 miles of Minnesota’s state and grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, from Dec. 1 through the end of March, according to the Department of Natural Resources. “Although many trails do not yet have adequate snow cover for grooming, this is a good time to register your snowmobile, inspect your equipment, download maps and do your trip planning,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “Minnesota offers a variety of scenery and terrain to explore in state parks, in state forests, on state trails and on private land that citizens kindly allow snowmobilers to use throughout the winter months.” The economic impact of snowmobiling in Minnesota is estimated to be approximately $1 billion each year, according to Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MnUSA). Minnesota snowmobile registrations totaled 216,144 last season. As riders head out on the trails, the DNR urges them to ride safely and responsibly. “Know the rules and use common sense,” said DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block. “Obey signs, drive sober and be especially careful around wetlands, streams and lakes, because the ice may not be thick enough to ride on, especially this early in the season.” Snow depth and trail conditions are updated every Thursday after 2 p.m. throughout the winter months at www.mndnr.gov/snow. Printed maps are available at local DNR offices and also can be ordered by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on snowmobile and winter travel opportunities in Minnesota can be found at www.exploreminnesota.com.
1st December 2014
A new academic plan for Northwest Technical College will transform how the college fulfills its mission of highly valuable career education and strengthen its partnership with Bemidji State University, NTC-BSU President Richard Hanson said Monday. The Master Academic Plan, now being implemented, will offer students flexible programs that prepare them for good-paying jobs in high-demand fields, Hanson said. Changes in curriculum will begin next fall, and six strategic goals will be achieved over the next three years. The academic plan stresses greater collaboration with Bemidji-area business and industry, school districts, government agencies, nonprofits and other colleges to boost student success and promote a thriving regional economy. All those stakeholders were consulted during the plan’s development. While maintaining core academic areas of health care, business, building trades, automotive and young child education, a more streamlined approach will let students acquire sequential or “stackable” credentials as they progress from foundational learning to more in-depth study. “This Master Academic Plan is tremendously challenging,” Hanson said. “But I’ve been in higher education a long time, and this is one of the best plans I’ve ever seen. We’re determined to make the college strongly relevant to the needs and opportunities of the world we’re in right now.” Development of the academic plan by a group of administrators, faculty and staff – and its approval last month by employee bargaining units – completes another chapter in a so-called “reinvention” of NTC that Hanson launched last December. Faced with enrollment challenges and a gloomy financial outlook, he organized an NTC task force to undertake an exhaustive assessment of how the college serves students and Bemidji-area communities. Their report, issued in May, inspired a change in college leadership and laid the groundwork for the new academic plan.
29th November 2014
A huge crowd turned out last night for the Annual Night We Light Parade in downtown Bemidji.
26th November 2014
Minnesota hunters registered 111,000 deer through the third and last weekend of firearms deer season. So far this year during special hunts and the archery, early antlerless and firearms seasons, hunters have harvested 127,000 deer, down from the 2013 to-date harvest total of 144,000. This year’s lower harvest is by design because regulations were implemented to place more deer – particularly does – off limits to increase Minnesota’s deer population. The DNR’s ongoing deer management work also includes upcoming revisions to the deer population goals for large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota. This is part of a multi-year goal-setting process for the entire state. People interested in helping set these deer population goals can get more information on the process and opportunities for involvement atwww.mndnr.gov/deer. Additional deer will be harvested during the late southeastern season, which runs through Sunday, Nov. 30, and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 29, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 14. The archery season also runs through Wednesday, Dec. 31.