Statewide: March 30, 2012 Archive
The White Earth Nation is considering an interesting move to spur economic development on the northern Minnesota Reservation.
In her recent state of the nation report, Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor mentioned the idea of setting up a Foreign Trade Zone on the reservation.
White Earth Economic Development Director Jerome Lhotka said he's only done preliminary research on the idea, but it appears promising. He said a foreign trade zone at White Earth could lead to "bricks and mortar" economic development and job creation.
The idea is to induce businesses involved in international trade to locate on the reservation.
A foreign trade zone allows companies to delay, reduce or, in some cases, eliminate U.S. Customs duties on products which are imported or exported through the zone.
Companies can also avoid paying some state and local taxes.
Lhotka said the tribe will complete a detailed analysis and request legal advice before applying to the federal government for the zone.
Minnesota now has three foreign trade zones; in Minneapolis -St. Paul, Duluth and International Falls.
Typically zones are tied to a customs port of entry.
Other Indian tribes have Foreign Trade Zone status, including the Lummi in Washington State, and the Oneida in Wisconsin.
A Foreign Trade Zone is just one idea among many White Earth is pursuing in an effort to diversify the economy in an impoverished part of the state.
White Earth Chairwoman Erma Vizenor is pushing hard for a tribal casino in the Twin Cities, but she also said long-term economic security for the tribe requires diversifying the economy beyond gaming.
Posted at 8:00 AM on March 30, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Gophers crushed by Stanford in NIT Championship
ESPN: "Stanford forced two turnovers to open the second half to take a 10-point lead and stayed up by double figures the rest of the way. The Golden Gophers turned it over 22 times."
Anglers worry warm weather could kill Minnesota fish
Echo Press: "Minnesotans expect temperatures in the 70s, maybe reaching the 80s in places, when April debuts Sunday, but the continued warm weather worries anglers."
Number of suspected illnesses increases in Duluth water park outbreak
Duluth News Tribune: "The number of suspected cases of a waterborne disease linked with Duluth's Edgewater Resort and Water Park has risen to 41, a state official said on Thursday."
Mergansers make their home on Lake Marquette
Bemidji Pioneer: "A pair of common mergansers finds Lake Marquette the place to call home this season. Many of the waterfowl spring migrants have returned to the Bemidji area and all are displaying their courtship splendor."
Best Buy: 5 Twin Cities stores among 50 to be closed
Pioneer Press: "To survive the future, Best Buy is returning to its past. The struggling electronics giant will close 50 U.S. big-box stores and lay off an additional 400 corporate employees as it refocuses its business on smaller stores."
Senator by day, telemarketer by night
Planet Money: "Most of our lawmakers are moonlighting as telemarketers."
Beltrami County Administrator Tony Murphy has resigned. Murphy, who served in the key post for more than a decade, submitted his resignation letter Thursday afternoon to commissioners.
"Over a period of time, the County Board and I have reached a mutual decision to separate," Murphy wrote in an email sent to department heads.
The resignation took some county commissioners by surprise, according to the Bemidji Pioneer. Beltrami County Board Chairman Quentin Fairbanks declined to comment on Murphy's tenure with the county, when asked by the newspaper.
In the letter, Murphy said he's received a job offer within Minnesota and is also considering other job options.
He said he's proud of what the county accomplished during his administrative tenure. That includes construction of a new law enforcement center, as well as new judicial and administrative buildings and expansion of the county jail.
Murphy's last day with the county will be May 1.