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Minnesota secretary of State Steve Simon received his federal security clearance last week, and is now able to receive reports of potential cyber threats to Minnesota's election system. "Now I can get more information (from intelligence agencies)," he said in an interview in Detroit Lakes Tuesday. "I took what they told me very seriously—this isn't going away." Minnesota was one of 21 states whose election systems were "targeted by agents acting on the behest of the Russian government" prior to the 2016 elections, Simon said, quoting from a public intelligence report.
More drama from White Earth: The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's Executive Committee on Thursday voted to censure White Earth Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason, while exonerating White Earth Tribal Chairman Terry Tibbetts. With no love lost between them, Tibbetts and Mason had filed dueling complaints, each seeking to have the other censured. The 12-member TEC met in what was essentially a hearing at the Shooting Star Event Center in Mahnomen, before several hundred tribal members.
There are some salvageable items among the construction debris that is dumped into the demolition landfill at the Becker County Transfer Station, and if funding comes together, the public will get a crack at those useable items. "We'd like to develop some capacity at our facility to separate co-mingled materials," Becker County Environmental Services Director Steve Skoog told the County Board Tuesday. "Over time we could get more of a reuse program going," he added.
A new program that helps bring healthy and affordable foods to rural Minnesotans is far more popular with food retailers than supporters of the program imagined, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The so-called "food deserts" in Minnesota where fresh, healthy affordable food is hard to come by include White Earth and some surrounding areas.
Navy veteran Tony Baker of Lake Park joined the Army National Guard right after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and went through a lot during the Red Bull's 15-month tour of duty during the ugliest part of the Iraq war in 2006-2007. He saw how bad things can be, so perhaps it's karma that he just got to enjoy a fantastic hunting trip in South Africa, expenses paid by the Disabled American Veterans organization.
The White Earth secretary-treasurer and tribal chairman have filed charges against each other, seeking to have each other censured and removed from office. White Earth Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason has accused Tribal Chairman Terry Tibbetts of wrongfully obtaining more than $63,000 from the tribe's general fund when he and two other council members left office in 2014. The three former council members (Tibbetts, Robert Durant and Irene Auginaush) voted themselves about $300,000 before they left office after being defeated in the general election, Mason charged.
Detroit Lakes has made the list for a $2.5 million state grant to help pay for new sewer and water mains and repavement on West Avenue and part of Willow Street next year. A new $155,000 lift station is also on the list. The grant funds are included in the 2018 water infrastructure bonding bill proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton. If the legislature doesn't pass the bonding bill this year, the grants will become low-interest loans, since the projects have already been approved by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority, said Detroit Lakes City Administrator Kelcey Klemm.
After eight years, the Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show in Frazee is changing course — money raised will now go to a family with a child that needs help. "We would like to sponsor a family each year with a child under 18 who has medical issues," said Tyler's mom, Daneele Shipman. It doesn't have to be cancer, it can be any serious medical problem, she added. Even if a family has health insurance, it doesn't pay for everything, she said. There are driving and lodging expenses, and often parents need extensive time off from work that can mean lost wages.
Some highlights from the Becker County Board meeting Tuesday: - The Rice Lake project is moving forward, with more than 1,000 notification letters sent out to property owners, according to Commissioner John Okeson. Rice Lake is located just north of Detroit Lakes, between Richwood Road and County Road 25. The Rice Lake Nutrient Reduction Project will reduce total phosphorus loading to downstream recreational water bodies including Detroit, Sallie and Melissa Lakes by about 2,600 to 3,500 pounds per year.
Minnesota has put a lot of work and cash into stabilizing health insurance rates—and that has paid off with record MNsure enrollment numbers this year. More than 116,000 Minnesotans bought private health insurance through the MNsure website. "We had the best open enrollment period we've ever had," said MNsure CEO Allison O'Toole.