Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/5

Oct 5, 2012 Issues: Education

Extreme weather hits Northern and Western Minnesota this week

Dear Friends,

I started my week by attending an event in Detroit Lakes to recognize some of our own Minnesota Vets and the volunteers of Patriot Assistance Dogs.  I was honored to attend and speak with folks at this important ceremony at the Vets Memorial Park.  I traveled up to Karlstad from Oslo on Wednesday to see the fire damage and talk to community members.  I also met this week with the Chancellor of the University of Minnesota-Crookston and toured the New Flyer facilities in Crookston with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.  Severe weather struck the 7th District this week, from blazing fires to wintry temps and bucket loads of snow. 


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Military Matters: Serving Those Who Served

Ceremony and Celebration
DL Veterans Memorial Park

Pictured above are Andy Lia, Mary Jimmerson and KD Colt, Joe Buzay and Frankie, Lyle Molskness and Zander, Craig Lia and Mason, Linda Wiedewitsch and Belle, Brad Livingston and Roxie, Collin Peterson and Matt Brenk (Mayor of DL)

It was an honor to join in this memorable celebration and recognition of five Minnesota Vets.  As part of the ceremony, we celebrated the Patriot Assistance Dog in the lives of these veterans as a service dog and companion.  Patriot Assistance Dogs is a Detroit Lakes organization that seeks to improve the lives of veterans by helping to place a service dog in their lives at no cost to the vets.  These dogs are trained to assist vets suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, or other psychiatric challenges.  The dogs help ease anxiety, create a barrier or personal space, interrupt night terrors, and attend to other needs specific to vets while also providing 24 hour companionship.  At the event, we enjoyed patriotic music performed by Clint Felker and food was donated and served by the DAV. (9/30)

To learn more about Patriot Assistance Dogs, visit

Extreme Weather Strikes Northern and Western Minnesota

Photos courtesy of Dan Nordine, Editor, North Star News

This week a number of Minnesota residents fled their homes as nearby fires blazed across the countryside.  Dry, windy conditions are believed to have fueled as many as eight wildfires in Northern and Western Minnesota, leading the Minnesota National Guard to send in Black Hawk helicopters to battle the fires.  One of the cities hit hardest by this recent environmental tragedy was Karlstad.  I visited the community of Karlstad on Wednesday at the Fire Hall to talk about the impact the fires have had on their town.  The recent snow and cold wintry weather helped put an end to lingering fires that impacted nearly 15 square miles in northwest Minnesota.  Many communities are facing power outages now as a result of the winter storms.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we take this time to remember those in our lives who have been impacted by this too-common illness.  As we recognize those who have battled and continue to fight this disease, it is also an important reminder of the importance of early detection for women and men.  When breast cancer is detected early at a localized stage, the survival rate is 98%. 

Peterson Pics

I joined Senator Amy Klobuchar in meeting with Scott Kosmatka, the Mayor of Oslo, along with city residents to discuss the levee proposal for the City of Oslo.  The upgrades to the community's permanent flood protection were required after the Federal Emergency Management Agency ruled in 2009 that the existing levees were outdated.  Without the necessary improvements, the whole town would be considered to be in the floodplain which would increase flood insurance premiums and affect future developments.  I believe flood control projects and other infrastructure improvements are very important, and I'm glad to see progress is being made in Oslo.  I was happy to help move this project along. (10/3)

This week Senator Amy Klobuchar and I toured the New Flyer of America final assembly plant and the New Flyer Express facility both located in the City of Crookston.  New Flyer is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty buses in the U.S. and Canada.  I am always impressed to see thriving manufacturers in rural Minnesota.  On average New Flyer produces 18 buses each week, which roll off to major cities across the United States, including New York City, California, and Washington, D.C. New Flyer buses have a very large presence in Washington.  In January 2004 I visited the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority bus station with New Flyer executives for the roll out of some of the New Flyer buses for the Washington area.  In fact there is a bus stop outside my Washington apartment so I see these buses in action all the time.  The old buses were loud but these New Flyer buses are much quieter and cleaner for the city.  They say they're the best buses the city has ever had and I am proud that they are produced not just in Minnesota but also in the Seventh District.  It's great to see evidence of the hard work of Minnesota manufacturing every day.  Keep up the great work New Flyer and Crookston! (10/3)

Photo courtesy John C. Zak, University of Minnesota, Crookston

I met with the new chancellor of the University of MN Crookston to discuss the future of the school and higher education in America.  Chancellor Fred Wood recently joined UMN Crookston after spending much of his career at UC-Davis, but his appointment is a bit of a homecoming, with family ties to the Red River Valley and Crookston. We are excited to have his expertise and experience back in the 7th District. (10/2)