Otter Tail County

Board mulling further look at casino project

A proposed casino on Star Lake in rural Otter Tail County may get a longer look as county commissioners consider whether to request a full environmental impact statement on the project.

The White Earth Band of Chippewa is planning to build a Shooting Star Casino and Resort on about 270 acres near Dent. The project includes a gambling facility, hotel, restaurants, conference center and RV park.

The band already owns casinos in Mahnomen and Bagley. Federal law gives the band the right to build a casino on trust land set aside during treaty settlements long ago.

The project has met with intense opposition from local residents who object to its potential impact on wetlands and on the area's rural character. More than 200 people turned out for a hearing last month and dozens more submitted comments to the County Board, which must decide by late July whether to request the environmental impact statement.

Joh Reinan


Veteran grants awarded from license plate fund

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs last week announced recipients of its Support Our Troops license plate fund grant program.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota received $45,000 to provide in-home counseling, consultation and coaching for immediate family members caring for veterans and veterans caring for family members.

Minneapolis-based Fishing for Life received $20,000 to provide opportunities for veterans and family members to participate in outdoor recreation activities.

Both grants are for one year.

Last year, the state VA expanded the license plate grant program that focuses on supporting veterans and their families. The grants range from $1,000 to $100,000.

Support our Troops license plates, which cost an additional $30 a year, are designed to help military, veterans and families with such things as emergency medical assistance, family counseling, and homelessness.

Motorists have purchased more than 36,000 such plates since they became available in 2005, contributing more than $4 million to programs.

Mark Brunswick


Public invited to comment on harbor cleanup

A plan to clean up decades' worth of industrial pollution from the Duluth harbor will be the topic of a public open house July 20 from 6-8 p.m. at the Duluth office of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), 525 Lake Av. S., Suite 400 (Paulucci Building).

Officials will discuss a plan to remove more than 162,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the harbor. The public can comment at the meeting or in writing to Heidi Bauman, MPCA contaminated sediment coordinator, 525 Lake Av. S., Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802. Comments also may be e-mailed to Comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. Aug. 4.

John Reinan