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A rural Waubun, Minn., man has been charged with three felonies in Becker County District Court for allegedly causing the death of three horses under his care through neglect and starvation. Michael Erwin Dahl, 42, faces three charges of mistreatment—torture of animals. According to court records, on Jan. 24 the White Earth Tribal Police Department was contacted about three dead horses on property near Strawberry Lake Store, on the White Earth Reservation in Becker County.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—In what looks to be one of the earliest ice-outs ever, most of Big Detroit Lake—one of the most popular lakes in western Minnesota --- was wavy and free again on Tuesday, April 4. A section in the southeast corner was still locked in ice, however. There was no official call on ice-out by the Pelican River Watershed District, which keeps records, on Tuesday. Ice-off dates can be a little complicated, because the melting process tends to be more gradual than the freeze-up process.
PERHAM, Minn.—After a rough start, the Perham Resource Recovery Facility, once known as the Perham incinerator, is getting onto solid financial ground. Last April, Becker County had to kick in an unexpected, unbudgeted $200,000, it's share of an incinerator bond payment that the joint powers facility was too broke to make on its own. The "dirty mixed-waste processing facility" takes in truckloads of raw garbage from Becker, Otter Tail, Clay, Todd and Wadena counties and runs it through a system of conveyor belts and centrifugal force cylinders.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—A game-changing Republican plan to quit fully funding Medicaid has caught the attention of a nursing home administrator here. The plan would cap federal spending on Medicaid and force states, nursing homes, hospitals and others to make up the difference, which would grow over time. "What a huge impact this could have, even here in Detroit Lakes," said Janet Green, regional director of Ecumen, which owns Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes and manages Sunnnyside Care Center near Lake Park for Becker County.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has restored some of the tens of thousands of animal welfare documents that it abruptly removed from its website. But they are only a small number of the documents that were scrubbed from the agency's website on Feb. 3. The USDA announced that it is "posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports" resulting from a "comprehensive review" that began with the complete removal of previously public documents that are generated by the agency as it enforces the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson met with about a dozen Internet service providers in Detroit Lakes on Friday, Feb. 24, to help solve a nagging problem—how to get high-speed Internet service out to everybody, even rural areas where there is only one home or farm every mile or two. One possible solution—put funding for it in the new Farm Bill, which would cut red tape, simplify the regulatory and funding process, and put the focus on rural areas where the need is greatest.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has removed Animal Welfare Act inspection reports from its website. That's bad news for puppies being raised in large breeding facilities, research animals, and animal performers at roadside zoos and circuses. The action was taken just two weeks into the Donald Trump administration. "It does put a pall over the administration, I'm very disappointed," said Drew Fitzpatrick, director and founder of Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation. He has also been an animal-abuse investigator for about 15 years.
VERGAS, Minn. — Opponents of the Star Lake Casino say the White Earth Nation project is still a long ways from being built. It faces environmental obstacles, internal opposition within the tribe, and a shortage of potential workers, says Ty Dayton, president of the Star Lake Concerned Citizens Group.
OGEMA, Minn.—An Ogema man under investigation for the starving death of three horses in his care has a GoFundMe site seeking $10,000 to create a "family horse rescue ranch." Michael E. Dahl, a White Earth spiritual leader and Ojibwe teacher at Detroit Lakes High School, set up the still-active Go-Fund-Me site on Sept. 25, 2015 and has so far received donations of $841 towards his $10,000 goal.
FRAZEE, Minn. — Since antibiotics came into general use in the 1930s and 1940s, they have been widely available to American farmers to use on their livestock at their discretion. Until now, antibiotics for food animals have been easily obtained at feed stores, fleet supply stores or online. Farmers with sick livestock often take care of the problem themselves. That changed Jan. 1, when the Veterinary Feed Directive kicked in, regulating the use of antibiotics in the food and drinking water of livestock.