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5 things to know today: Border blocked, Marketing campaign, Police powers, Trust industry, Teacher shortage

A select rundown of stories found on InForum.

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Trucker protest blocks Pembina-Emerson border on Canadian side.
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1. Trucker protest blocks Pembina-Emerson border on Canadian side

Protests regarding vaccine requirements for truck drivers blocked the international crossing between Emerson, Manitoba, and Pembina, North Dakota, on Thursday. The protests stopped traffic in northbound and southbound lanes on the Canadian side into the evening, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Canadian truckers have been protesting Canadian and American policies requiring truck drivers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 that went into effect in January.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said vehicles and farm equipment are blocking the Emerson Port of Entry. RCMP are on the scene and are asking people to avoid the area.

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Late Thursday evening, the Canada Border Services Agency announced that while the Emerson, Manitoba-Pembina, North Dakota port of entry remains open, travelers should expect delays due to protest activities in the area.

Read more from Forum News Service's Ingrid Harbo

2. Minnesota Senate to consider $1 million pro-police marketing campaign

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Members of the Minnesota Senate on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, applauded after Sen. Dave Osmek, R-Mound, was elected as Senate president on the first day of the 2022 legislative session.
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

A Minnesota committee on Thursday, Feb. 10, advanced a $1 million proposal to launch a pro-police marketing campaign around the state, teeing up a vote on the plan in the Minnesota Senate.

Republican senators proposed the campaign as part of a larger package of proposals aimed at recruiting and retaining law enforcement officers around the state. They said amid a surge of violent crime in Minnesota, lawmakers needed to more to keep police on the job. And a public appreciation campaign could do that, GOP lawmakers said. The bill was also amended to include a $1 million appropriation to a program to help recruit people of color into law enforcement positions.

“You talk to your police officers in your community and this is what they’re going to tell you, 'We need more officers on the street.' The only way we’re going to reduce crime in Minnesota is to get more police officers out there,” Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, said. “So this ad campaign will do that.”

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Read more from Forum News Service's Dana Ferguson

3. Minnesota House panel backs expanding police power to track stolen cars

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The Minnesota State Capitol

Backers of a proposal to expand police power to use GPS tracking on stolen vehicles say the bill would curb dangerous car chases.

But a government transparency advocate on Thursday, Feb. 10, warned a Minnesota House panel it could encroach on citizens’ privacy.

Under current Minnesota law, it is a gross misdemeanor for police to use GPS tracking on vehicles without the vehicle owner's consent. A bill authored by Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview , heard by a House panel Thursday would make an exception when an owner reports a vehicle as stolen.

In the version committee members voted to advance, officers must cease tracking within 24 hours of attaching a device to a vehicle or obtain court approval to continue. An officer would be required to either remove or disable the device after that period, and evidence collected after the vehicle is returned to the owner would be considered inadmissible in court. Moller said the American Civil Liberties Union recommended the time limit.

Read more from Forum News Service's Alex Derosier

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4. South Dakota's GOP leadership skeptical of trust industry revelations in Pandora Papers

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GOP Leaders (Rep. Chris Johnson, R-Rapid City; House Majority Leader Kent Peterson, R-Salem; Sen. Gary Cammack, R-Union Center; Sen. Mike Diedrich, R-Rapid City) speak at a press conference at the South Dakota State Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.
Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service

Republican legislative leaders expressed heavy skepticism on Thursday, Feb. 10, about an explosive report published last fall that suggested trusts in South Dakota were shielding the money of wealthy, international con men.

"I don't buy the report that was presented last fall," said House Majority Leader Kent Peterson, R-Salem. "It's a great industry in South Dakota. It's fantastic jobs."

The so-called Pandora Papers last year revealed that international moguls have stored their money in South Dakota-based trust companies, enabled by the state's generous pass-through laws. The most critical look came in an Oct. 4 article by The Washington Post with the assistance of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who reviewed 11.9 million confidential documents, which, "come mostly from the Sioux Falls office of Trident Trust, a global provider of offshore services."

The state's top political brass, from U.S. Sen. John Thune to Gov. Kristi Noem , issued defenses of the industry or cast doubt on the reporting. But scrutiny has remained from national and international media about ties between the secretive industry and tony foreigners, including family members of an Dominican Republic sugar magnate .

Read more from Forum News Service's Christopher Vondracek

5. Jamestown Schools in desperate need of bus drivers, substitute teachers

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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has urged the National Credit Union Administration to remove language from a draft strategic plan that could limit credit unions from working with farmers and ranchers.
WDAY File Image

Like other schools across North Dakota, the Jamestown Public School District is in desperate need of bus drivers and substitute teachers.

Their post to Facebook Tuesday, Feb. 8, said they are five drivers short, and that they are severely short of substitutes.

They've offered to pay $24 per hour for bus drivers and $120 per day for substitute teachers.

Jamestown Superintendent Rob Lech says that it's gotten beyond help wanted.

Watch the full story from WDAY-TV's Ben Morris

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A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
$401 million race was nation’s most expensive
The budget, which features a topline dollar figure of $7.2 billion, makes investments in state employees, providers and the state's correctional infrastructure. Noem will look to push her proposals