Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 4/1/2016

Apr 1, 2016 Issues: Education, Health, Veterans

Voyageurs National Park

Dear Friends,

The House of Representatives was in recess this week, which gave me the opportunity to visit several different communities across the Seventh. I visited the Fergus Falls Veterans Home to sit down with our retired servicemen and women before stopping by Fergus Falls High School to meet with a government class. In Callaway, I joined Governor Dayton to tour the site of the recent train accident and thank the emergency responders who kept the city and residents safe. I wrapped up the week in Moorhead, where I spoke about the ongoing heroin crisis with Senator Klobuchar.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Governor Dayton, Callaway Law Enforcement, photos by Ted Fiskevold

Last weekend, I joined Gov. Dayton, local legislators, law enforcement and other local elected officials to tour the site where a train derailed after colliding with a propane tanker in Callaway. It was truly a miracle that nobody was seriously injured or killed, and a strong testament to the emergency responders who quickly responded to the scene, safely evacuated residents and stayed on site while trying to keep the tanker cooled.

Fergus Falls Veterans Home

On Thursday I had the privilege of having coffee with a group of veterans at the Fergus Falls Veterans Home. These men and women had a lot of great questions and advice about what's happening in Congress, the presidential campaigns and gray wolves, among many other issues. When I served in the Minnesota State Senate, I worked on legislation to build these homes for our aging veteran population, and Fergus Falls and Luverne were the sites for the first two built in our state. The veterans I spoke with are very well-versed in current events and politics and I look forward to visiting with them again soon.


UPS has a number of service and distribution centers in the district. On Thursday, I visited the Fergus Falls site to meet with the manager and drivers. The staff had a lot of questions about what's going on in Washington, D.C., the presidential campaign and issues related to the Central States Pension Fund.

Fergus Falls High School

While in Fergus Falls this week, I was invited to stop by Mr. Randy Hansen’s Government class at Kennedy High School. The students had great questions about how Congress operates and whether we can balance our budget. We also talked about the presidential campaign. I was pleased to hear from these students’ concerns and hopes for the future.

Sprout Marketplace

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer

On Friday, my staff assistant Toni Merdan attended the grand opening of the Sprout Growers Marketplace in Little Falls. Sprout is a community partnership food hub serving restaurants, schools and customers. It includes an education center and a marketplace for growers, bakers and artists.


Heroin Roundtable in Moorhead

On Thursday, I joined Sen. Klobuchar in Moorhead to discuss potential action addressing the rising heroin crisis. Over the past several weeks, eight people, including a 20-year old Moorhead man, have died of heroin overdoses in northern Minnesota alone. As a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which recently passed the U.S. Senate, I encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies to fight against addiction.

Discovering the 7th

Near Fergus Falls, the Laurentian (or Northern Continental) Divide is formed from a large drainage basin which parts the direction of water flow in multiple directions. The Divide separates the waters in eastern and southern Canada from that of the northern Midwestern United States and runs across the entire northern border of the U.S. Called the "Top of the World," with an elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level, waters only a few feet apart separate and flow thousands of miles apart; their final destination is dependent upon which watershed the water is in. Depending on the lie of the continental divides, Minnesota waters flow either to Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

This Week in American History

Governor Ramsey -- 1849

On March 31, 1849 Alexander Ramsey was appointed the first governor of Minnesota Territory, a post he served until 1853. In 1855, he became the mayor of St. Paul. Ramsey was elected the second Governor of Minnesota after statehood and served from 1860 to 1863. He is credited with being the first Union governor to commit troops during the American Civil War. When he heard about the firing on Ft. Sumter he went straight to the White House and offered Minnesota's services to Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, he resigned the governorship to become a U.S. Senator and held the office until 1875. Ramsey’s career in public service culminated in his service as Secretary of War from 1879 to 1881, under President Rutherford B. Hayes.

A dusting of snow in Callaway