Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 5/12/2017

Sunset at Lake of the Woods

Dear Friends,

This week I was grateful for the chance to spend some time at home here in Minnesota’s Seventh and visit several of the communities that make our district great. It was a pleasure to see our community come together to support the education of our future at the groundbreaking for Perham’s new High School, and I look forward to seeing its students succeed.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Perham High School Groundbreaking

Addressing the crowd; representatives of the first 6 graduating classes in the new facility

It was a great honor to join the Perham school district as they celebrated the groundbreaking of their new high school. The event marked 100 years since the last time the community had celebrated construction of a new high school. Investments in our kids, schools and communities are more important than ever. I commend the Perham school district and the community for their dedication to education. I look forward to the opening of the new Perham High School in 2018.

Border Crossing at the Northwest Angle

The Northwest Angle is a particularly unique region in Lake of the Woods County and is the northernmost point in the contiguous United States that is not accessible by land without driving through Canada’s Manitoba province. To visit the Angle, travelers must check into the Canadian physical port of entry north of Warroad, enter back into the U.S. at the Angle, and report to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using an Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS) phone.

There are only three OARS phones available and the technology is outdated. The United States and Canada share a water border through the middle of Lake of the Woods, so fishermen who cross into Canada via ice during the winter or touch land during the summer must report back into the nearest OARS phone at Young’s Bay which is eight miles one-way. This has become a serious safety issue for tourists who are not familiar with navigating big water or traversing bad ice.

My staff visited the Warroad CBP port of entry to follow up on a letter I wrote bringing the issue to the attention of CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and receive an update on possible new technology that could replace OARS phones. There is a significant update on new border crossing technology that will be released next week.

Minnesota Hospitals

Hospital executives and leaders from across the 7th District visited Washington this week to share their thoughts on opportunities and challenges in healthcare. Among the hospitals and networks represented were CentraCare Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, Avera Health, Essentia Health, and the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria. I will continue to work closely with these organizations and others like them to improve rural care in Minnesota.

National Nurses United

Minnesotan representatives of National Nurses United met with my staff this week to discuss Registered Nurse (RN) staffing strategies. I appreciate the perspective of Minnesota’s nurses on how best to improve patient outcomes and secure nurse retention in rural areas.

Minnesota National Guard

A contingent of the MN National Guard cyber protection team met with my military legislative aide to discuss its cyber force units. The Guard is advocating for equal treatment in critical skills, recruitment, and retention incentives that the Army receives. These units are critical for protecting critical IT infrastructure from enemy cyber attacks.

Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the ESOP Associations

Andy J. Daly, Attorney at Gray Plant Mooty, whose law firm handles many ESOP conversions; Sue Crokett, Ex. Director the MN/Dakotas ESOP chapter; Chelsey Paulson, HR Manager for North Country Business Products, Bemidji, which supplies point of sales and other security solutions to businesses; and Mike Frommelt, Principle at KeyStone search, executive recruitment firm.

This week several members of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) visited my office to discuss continued support of this critical job boosting program. ESOP's are qualified retirement plans invested primarily in the employer's stock, which forms an employee-owner structure that builds successful businesses. I am a long-time advocate of small businesses and I’m proud to support beneficial programs like ESOP.

This Week in American History

Map of Minnesota Territory c. 1849

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was the 32nd state admitted to the Union! The enabling act for statehood had been passed on February 26, 1857, and the state's constitution was written that summer and ratified in October. Delayed in Washington for several months, statehood was finally approved by Congress, and the bill was signed by President James Buchanan. Word of statehood would not reach St. Paul until May 13. Celebrate by exploring maps of the North Star State online at The Library of Congress:

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what was Spotted in the Seventh? Each week, the newsletter will feature a landmark or site somewhere in Western Minnesota. The first person to name the location wins! The location of the photo as well as the winner will be revealed in the next newsletter.

You can find this week’s loop of a landmark in one of our district’s northernmost towns, well known for their recreational manufacturing plant…

Congratulations to Geri Theis of Redwood Falls for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Fagen Fighters World War II Museum in Granite Falls!

Share your guess on our website –

Jade Anderson (FERGUS FALLS)