Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 4/18/2014

Dear Friends,

This week I traveled across the 7th to meet with folks in Thief River Falls, Bemidji, and Alexandria. There is a new president at Southwest Minnesota State University, technological advancements at Northland Community and Technical College, and celebrations honoring military youth. I had a great visit at the VA Clinic in Bemidji and congratulated Garfield Elementary School in Alexandria on being awarded the Blue Ribbon Award.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

2014 Congressional Art Competition

The deadline to submit artwork for consideration in the 2014 Congressional Art Competition is approaching fast. Deadline for submission is no later than Tuesday, April 29th.

The winner and guest will receive complimentary round-trip airfare from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport to Washington, D.C. The travel dates are flexible so there will be time to tour the nation’s capital prior to the June 26th exhibit opening. In addition, the winner’s artwork will be displayed inside the Cannon Tunnel which leads to the U.S. Capitol.

This is a tremendous opportunity for young people to be recognized for their artistic achievements, so I highly encourage students to apply.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

Northland Tech-UAS

On Tuesday, I sponsored a meeting in partnership with Northland Community and Technical College to provide guests the opportunity to learn more about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) activities and the potential prospects for development in the region. I was pleased that Senator Al Franken was also able to join us as well as over 90 guests from education, government, economic development and business in both Minnesota and North Dakota. Our discussions centered on ways in which collaboration could occur to promote the region as a center for the unmanned aircraft industry. 

National Ass’n of FSA County Office Employees

Kelly Turgeon (HALLOCK) and Deb Crusoe (WATKINS)

I met with Kelly Turgeon, Kittson County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, and Deb Crusoe, the Minnesota FSA Executive Director, prior to speaking at the NASCOE Midwest Area Rally. More than 100 people turned out for the NASCOE event, which was held at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria.  The main topic of discussion was Farm Bill implementation.

Thief River Falls Airport Commission

Back row: Don Jensen, Airport Manager Joe Hedrick, Nancy Tofte, Darrell Tveitbakk
Front row: TRF Mayor Jim Dagg and Glen Kajewski

I sat down on Tuesday to meet with members of the Thief River Falls Airport Commission about air service availability in their community. I look forward to the Congressional hearing scheduled in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure regarding Air Service to Small and Rural Communities later this month and getting back to the Board on the outcome of that hearing.

Central Boiler

Owners of Central Boiler Dennis and Terri Brazier (GREENBUSH) and Gov’t Relations Director Chris Tureson (GREENBUSH)

Central Boiler and their Government Relations Director met with me regarding their concerns over new rules the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) is considering placing on wood-burning stove manufacturers. Central Boiler, established in 1984, is a manufacturer of outdoor furnaces in North America and the plant in Greenbush is one of the largest manufacturers in northwestern Minnesota.

New President at SMSU

President of SMSU Connie Gores

Last week I attended the Inauguration of President Connie J. Gores of Southwestern Minnesota State University. President Gores’ extensive education and experience will undoubtedly prove to be a boon for the University, and I am pleased to have her leadership and expertise in the 7th. She has proven to be a community leader and I look forward to an ongoing partnership in educating our students.

Blue Ribbon School

I was pleased to be able to participate in Garfield Elementary’s Blue Ribbon Awards Ceremony today. The school was designated a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School, an award which honors schools that maintain exemplary academics or have made remarkable improvement over the year. Principal Lisa Pikop and two teachers, Karen Andrews and Nicole Anderson, travelled to Washington last November to take part in the National awards ceremony and were able to visit my office. I commend the teachers and administrators of Garfield elementary for all the hard work and commitment they put into educating Minnesota’s youth, and I commend the students on their achievements and successes. The National Blue Ribbon Award is a testimony that their work has not gone unnoticed.

Highway 23

Alan Anderson, Jeff Modica, David Sturrock, Cal Brink, Alan Poff, and Chad Claude (MARSHALL)

Last Friday I met with several members of the Marshall Transportation Committee to discuss desired improvements for Highway 23. Marshall is currently working on these improvements to Highway 23 including passing lanes and safer intersections.

Veterans Clinic

Upper left: Dennis Henkemeyer, Don Haugan, Bruce Malterud, Kelly Booge, and Lowell Philp
Upper right: Lowell Philp
Bottom left: Dr. Breton M. Weintraub and Director Lavonne Liversage
Bottom right: Angela Frey, Yvonne Jacquez-Burr, and Cheryl Fredenburg

Wednesday I visited the VA Community-Based outpatient Clinic in Bemidji. I met with the Director of the Fargo VA Medical Center Lavonne Liversage and Fargo VA Medical Center Chief of Staff Dr. Breton M. Weintraub. The clinic has 2,600 veterans enrolled to receive their care at the clinic with seventeen people working there. The clinic provides primary and behavioral care. They gave me a tour of the clinic and I had a good visit with the Vets and staff.

To listen to the Lakeland News report on my visit to the VA Clinic click here.

MN Airport Conference

Thursday afternoon I stopped by the MN Airport Conference which was held in Bemidji this week. Each day was full of activities including tech training, discussions with Commercial Air Services and updates on the Great Lakes Region from the Federal Aviation Administration. Included on the Board of the Minnesota Council of Airports are Mark Hagen (DETROIT LAKES), Joe Hedrick (THIEF RIVER FALLS), and Karen Weller (BEMIDJI). As a pilot I am pleased to say that I have flown in and out of all the small airports in my district.

Purple Up! Day

“Purple Up!” Day was April 15th, a day to recognize the amazing sacrifices that military youth make every time their mother, father, or close family member is called into duty at home or abroad. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military because it is a combination of Army green, Marine red, Coast Guard Navy and Air Force blue. The Northland Community and Technical College Conference attendees each wore a purple ribbon to honor these children.

This Week in American History
Balcony in Ford’s Theatre

On April 14th, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln during a play at Ford’s Theatre in downtown Washington, D.C. Booth and six fellow conspirators had originally planned on kidnapping Lincoln and bringing him to Richmond, VA, the Confederate capital. However, Lincoln never showed where they planned to execute the kidnapping. With the Confederate states losing in April, Booth used a desperate plan to try and save the Confederacy by assassinating Lincoln. After fatally shooting the president, he lept down onto the stage and shouted “Sic simper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]-the South is avenged!” Booth fled but was eventually found in Bowling Green, VA. He was discovered dead with a self-inflicted gunshot. Lincoln was buried in Springfield, IL on May 4th, 1865.

You can visit the balcony where Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre. For more information on the National Historic Site, click here.

Constituents from the 7th

Brad and Jeanne Limoges (REDWOOD FALLS), Tony, Hilary, Jake, Bo, and Lane Evans (REDWOOD FALLS), Angie, Scott, Skyler, and Landen Kurtz (Bakersfield, CA), Loretta and John Fuglesten (DETROIT LAKES), Tabitha Carnigan (BEMIDJI), and Barb Fitzgerald (BEMIDJI)

“Misty Moon”
2013 Congressional Art Competition