Archives for January 2019

USDA CALLS BACK SOME FOR TEMPORARY DUTY

The USDA announced that the department will call FSA loan officers and some county office employees back to work to cash checks and do other activities related to USDA’s ability to issue IRS-1099s. This is a partial, temporary reopening only. Employees were in those county offices (today/on Thursday), and will be again on Friday, as well as next Tuesday, January 22. These FSA employees will deposit checks and undertake the “incidental duty” of co-signing two-party checks received last year, and check the mail for checks received. Employees will process loan pay outs and advances on existing loans. USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey indicated that there will be no late charges accrued, nor delinquencies acted on while USDA is shut down. Employees will also check on bankruptcy filings and update lien filings. The Beltrami County Service Center is one of the offices affected. You can call them at (218) 751-1942.

CANDLE LIGHT SNOWSHOES OFFERED

Candlelight Snowshoe will bo offered at Lake Bemidji State Park, on Saturday, January 26th, from 6 to 9 p.m. Explore the winter woods along a candle-lit trail! This year’s Candlelight Snowshoe starts and ends at the Visitor Center, where refreshments will be available. Stop along the way and warm up by the magical crackling of a toasty campfire. Snowshoes will be available for rent at $6/pair; first come, first served. A vehicle permit ($7 daily/$35 annual) required to enter the park.

JUDGE SETS BAIL AT 5-MILLION DOLLARS FOR CLOSS KIDNAPPER

A judge in Barron County, Wisconsin has set bail at five million dollars for 21-year-old Jake Patterson, who’s charged with two counts of first degree homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary for allegedly abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents….

Patterson remains in the Barron County Jail. His next court appearance is February 6th.

Gun Law Changes Hotly Debated

Governor Tim Walz spoke Monday at a forum with legislative leaders discussing criminal background checks when anyone sells a gun to someone they don’t know….

House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt however, argued there’s no “gun show loophole” because dealers at such events are required to do background checks….

Co-op Embezzler’s Trophies And Debt Details Outlined In Court Documents

Newly filed court documents are now giving a first look into some of an alleged co-op embezzler’s hunting trophies and his debt details. Jerry Hennessey is accused of misappropriating almost five and a half million dollars over a period of 15 years from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator… using a good chunk of the money to support his hunting trips around the world. Among his trophys is a tiger. Hennessey… according to prosecutors… spent at least $1.19 million on his personal credit card bills, including $219,414 in construction expenses for his personal properties, including his home in west-central Minnesota. Another $1.4 million were spent on “personal hunting and recreational expenses.”

BANG YOUR STICK!

In honor of Hockey Day Minnesota, Bemidji State University is inviting everyone to come out and take part in the “World’s Largest Hockey Stick Salute” this Friday at 4pm in the Bangsburg Fine Arts Complex parking lot on the BSU campus. During the salute, participants will raise their hockey stick in the air and tap it to the ground in support and celebration of all hockey teams playing on the ice throughout Hockey Day weekend in Bemidji. The event is free and open to the public. Bring your own hockey stick to participate.

BELTRAMI AUTHORITIES WARN OF ICE DANGERS

Beltrami County residents are reminded that the ice is never 100% safe. With Hockey Day Minnesota coming to Bemidji this week, many have expressed an interest in accessing Lake Bemidji. Sheriff’s Deputies have been monitoring the ice conditions, and find that the ice thickness and quality varies widely. Deputies also report areas with snow cover have significant water and slush on top of the ice. They remind everyone that there is no exact science to how much weight a certain lake can support, ice thickness, clarity, snow cover and other factors play a significant role. Ice is never 100% safe.

TWO SCHOOL THREATS IN ONE DAY

North St. Paul’s high school was locked down twice on Thursday. The first lockdown yesterday, was due to a report of a student with a handgun, then it was locked down again later when a student posted a threat on social media. Police found two students with a replica firearm they were using to threaten other students. Both boys were arrested and will face charges. In the second instance, police say a student posted a threat on Instagram, saying another gun was left in the school. Police found that student and determined the threat was a hoax. The student was turned over to school staff.

REPUBLICANS AND WALZ HEAD FOR SHOWDOWN

Republicans and Governor Tim Walz are headed for a showdown over the two percent medical provider tax, set to sunset at the end of the year but which Walz wants extended….

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka argues it increases health care costs…

HEALTH INSURANCE ISSUES CAUSE CONFLICT

Minnesota House Democrats introduce bills today (Thurs) to expand the MinnesotaCare health insurance program, beef up certain programs in Minnesota schools, and improve high speed Internet access in rural Minnesota. House Speaker Melissa Hortman says it’s too early to know the cost. Republican Representative Tim Miller warns, “Small businesses, farmers, young families, middle-income families, look out. They’re coming after you to pay for all of this.”