Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/14/2014

Nov 14, 2014 Issues: Congressional Issues, Health

Dear Friends,

In the final weeks of the 113th Congress, I joined my colleagues in advocating for increased funding to the National Institutes of Health. Supporting medical innovation is critical to ensuring that Americans lead longer, healthier lives. I also welcomed the Chord-Ayres Male Chorus from Milan, whom I had previously heard sing over Memorial Day. Finally, we congratulate Southwest Minnesota State University for its designation as a Yellow Ribbon Corporation, reflecting a commitment to providing educational support to veterans and their families. Also included is information to help protect against financial fraud and severe winter weather.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


At my invitation, the Chord-Ayres Male Chorus from Milan performed in Washington this week. The choir was well-received at Arlington National Cemetery, Walter Reed Medical Center, and on Capitol Hill. Tonight, the choir will perform on the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center. Composed of Western Minnesotan farmers, businessmen, teachers, and retirees, Chord-Ayres has a 40-year tradition of celebrating and honoring through music. The chorus incorporates a variety of musical styles into their performances, including barbershop, sacred, popular, classical, and patriotic. Chord-Ayres has released four albums and frequently appears at county fairs, variety shows, and Memorial and Veterans Day commemorations. The choir also provides an academic scholarship to high school students interested in pursuing music in college.

 Legislative Update

National Institutes of Health

As the House begins drafting appropriations legislation, I joined Congressional colleagues in a letter expressing deep concern with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) current funding level. NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, has consistently distinguished itself as a scientific leader whose discoveries and advances have helped improve health and save lives for more than a century. Budget cuts and insufficient funding for NIH limit the organization’s potential for medical innovation and it is important that we invest in the nation’s health and prosperity.

SMSU Yellow Ribbon Corporation

Southwest Minnesota State University was named a Yellow Ribbon Corporation this week, recognizing the institution’s efforts to assist student service members and military families. SMSU’s military support network, including the SMSU Veterans Resource Center, has helped approximately 100 veterans and their families find educational and community support. This designation will allow SMSU to better provide and prepare for current and potential veteran students. Newsstand

IRS Impersonators

To protect taxpayer security and finances, the IRS has made an online form available to report any instances of employee impersonation. Persisting impersonation scams continue to claim victims across the country as seemingly legitimate telephone calls insist upon immediate payment. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is actively following leads and making arrests, and emphasizes that the IRS never directs taxpayers to put money on a pre-paid card.

Winter Weather Advisory Tips

FEMA has issued a series of winter weather advisory tips to help mitigate the impact of cold temperatures and heavy snow this season. Knowing the risks of severe winter weather, making a family communication plan, and preparing an emergency supply kit are all crucial steps in protecting against and recovering from potentially dangerous conditions. Instructions for “winterizing” homes and vehicles are also detailed on the site.

County Courthouse Tour

Converted Jail Courthouse (1904)/Present

After the installation of a railroad in 1881, Lake Benton became the original county seat of Lincoln County. A new rail line through Ivanhoe, however, led to a citizen petition to move the county seat. The petition was successful, and official county records were relocated to a bar in Ivanhoe in 1901. The Minnesota Supreme Court decided to return the county seat to Lake Benton in 1903, prompting Ivanhoe to appeal the next year. After a new election in 1904, Ivanhoe regained the county seat, and records were once again relocated, this time in a newly built jail. The official, three-story limestone courthouse was completed 16 years later, at a cost of $200,000. A projecting central pavilion is featured on the east front, with a yellow and pink marble interior. The current and former courthouses were both placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

This Week in American History

SS Edmund Fitzgerald, 1975

 The SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the largest ship to sail American Great Lakes at the time, sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975. A taconite ore freighter, the “Fitz” set six seasonal haul records over its 17 year career. Captain Peter Pulcer was known to pipe music day and night over the ship’s intercom system, much to the entertainment of onlookers in many Minnesotan ports. Barraged by hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet high, the 13,000 ton, 729-foot “Titanic of the Great Lakes” sank in Canadian waters along with a full cargo of ore pellets and 29 crew members. Numerous books, studies, and expeditions have studied the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which has since become a legend in the Great Lakes region.

Visitors from the 7th

Lori and Beverly Wilson, Joanne Olson (DETROIT LAKES)

Willie, William, Eleanor, Brianna, and Melaney Madsen (NEW LONDON)

Hillary Rethlake (CLARA CITY)

2014 Congressional Art Competition