Minnesota poachers charged in state’s largest illegal trapping bust: ‘They are butchers’
By Joe Albert Published March 22, 2017
A two-year investigation by Minnesota DNR conservation officers has resulted in two men facing charges for illegal trapping activities, in what is likely the largest poaching case of its kind in state history.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that the men — Douglas Anthony Marana, 70, and Roderick Robert Kottom, 68, both of Chisholm, in northern Minnesota — are accused of running 638 illegally set snares.
“That is such a number that it’s unheard of,” Tom Provost, MDNR regional enforcement supervisor, told the newspaper. “This number of sets has not been surpassed in Minnesota before. Our average for fail-to-attend traps or snares would be one to 10. Ten would be a big number in any other case.”
The men were charged with gross misdemeanors for illegally taking or possessing pine marten, otter, fisher and wolverine. The pair was also charged for failing to tend snares (Minnesota law requires snares be checked daily) and for making snare loops too large. Further, the state alleges that the snares weren’t properly identified, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Conservation officers purportedly seized 17 foxes, five snowshoe hares, two fisher, and one deer that the poachers had illegally taken. Officers also suspect numerous dogs were trapped.
The case began in Dec. 2014, when a conservation officer received a tip that a wolf had been caught in a snare. According to the News Tribune, the responding officer found other snares and bait of the same type that caught the wolf nearby. In time, officers obtained a warrant to place a tracking device on Kottom’s vehicle, and, during a search of Marana’s home, they seized a GPS device that contained data on where traps were set.
“That had waypoint data,” Provost told the News Tribune. “[Marana and Kottom] did a good job of marking their trap sites for us.”
Marana has no previous game-related violations on his record. But that’s not the case for Kottom, who, in 2004, had fisher and pine marten pelts seized from his home, and who was also convicted for various counts of unlawful trapping in 2007 and 2013. What’s more, he was fined and on probation in 2008 for possessing a mounted Canada lynx, a federally protected species.
As far as Bert Highland, a trapper from northern Minnesota, is concerned, Kottom and Marana can’t be considered trappers. “They are butchers,” he told the Star Tribune. “You’ve got to give them their day in court, but they are not sportsmen, and they are not conservationists.”
The men face one year in prison and $3,000 in fines.
Sen. Al Franken to Gorsuch: Are You Part of Steve Bannon’s Plan for Deconstruction of the Administrative State?
by PENNY STARR21 Mar 2017
During Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked Gorsuch about remarks made by President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Preibus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon at the recent Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference in D.C. about plans for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
“Mr. Priebus [said] your nomination was central to President Trump’s fulfilling his policy objectives, quote, ‘Neil Gorsuch represents a type of judge that has a vision of President Trump, and it,’ — referring to your nomination — ‘fulfills the promise that he made to all of you,’ speaking to the conservative activists gathered at CPAC,” Franken said. “What do you think that Mr. Priebus was talking about?”
“Respectfully, Senator, Mr. Priebus doesn’t speak for me and I don’t speak for him,” Gorsuch said. “I don’t appreciate when people characterize me, as I’m sure you don’t appreciate when people characterize you.
“I like to speak for myself,” Gorsuch said. “I am a judge.
“I am my own man,” Gorsuch added.
Franken then pressed Gorsuch about Bannon’s remarks at CPAC.
“I want to get back to the panel at CPAC,” Franken said. “After Mr. Priebus discussed your nomination, Steve Bannon talked about the president’s agenda,” Franken said. “He described three priorities; one of them was, quote, ‘The deconstruction of the administrative state.’”
“Here’s what Mr. Bannon meant by that,” Franken said. “He said that regulation was a problem from his perspective and, quote, ‘Every business leader we’ve had in is saying not just taxes but it is also regulation.’”
“He said that if you look at the President’s appointees, quote, ‘They were selected for a reason and that is deconstruction,’” Franken said. “The way the progressive left runs is if they can’t get it passed [in legislation] they’re just going to put in some sort of regulation in an agency.’”
“Taking Steve Bannon at his word, do you think only Cabinet appointees were selected to bring about this deconstruction or do you think the White House also sees a role here for its judicial nominees?” Franken asked Gorsuch.
“Senator, respectfully, I believe that’s a question best directed to Mr. Bannon,” Gorsuch replied.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to continue Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing for two more days.
Letter: Intimidated by my gun? That’s your problem
Read the entire letter:
Al Franken: Gorsuch Represents Ideology that Has Already ‘Infected the Bench’
by PENNY STARR20 Mar 20172,085
On the first day of confirmation hearings for Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to be named as a Supreme Court Justice, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) criticized what he referred to as the “Roberts court” and said Gorsuch taking a seat on the bench would further “infect” it.
“What this moment in our history and our nation’s history calls for is a nominee whose experience demonstrates an ability to set aside rigid views in favor of identifying common ground and crafting strong consensus opinions,” Franken said, adding that President Barack Obama’s nominee of liberal Judge Merrick Garland fit that description.
“But your record suggests that, if confirmed, you will espouse an ideology that I believe has already infected the bench — an ideology that backs big business over individual Americans and refuses to see our country as the dynamic and diverse nation that my constituents wake up in every morning.”
Franken, who referred several time to the Supreme Court as the “Roberts court,” acknowledged Gorsuch’s experience and said he has “strong opinions,” but questioned his interpretation of the Constitution. Franken said:
You’re a man of considerable qualifications and experience and having reviewed your decisions I can say that you’re a man of strong opinions. But the task before this committee is not to determine whether you are a man of convictions, rather it’s incumbent upon us to determine whether the views you espouse and whether your interpretation of the Constitution take proper measure of the challenges the American people face every day.
Franken then interpreted the nation’s “founding document” as ensuring “justice and equality” for people based on their immigration status and sexual orientation or gender identity.
“[The committee] must determine whether your understanding of the founding document is one that will make real its promise of justice and equality to all Americans, black and white, immigrants, Native Americans, gay, straight, and transgender.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump named Gorsuch as one of 21 people he was considering to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia if he were elected.
Trump drew strong praise from those who supported him for president when he selected Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee, including Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, who said:
President Trump won 81 percent of the evangelical vote in no small measure because he made an ironclad pledge that if elected he would fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court with a strict constructionist who would respect the Constitution and the rule of law, not legislate from the bench.
Michael A. Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, said, “Judge Neil Gorsuch is a nominee ‘very much in the mold’ of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. President Trump deserves credit for fulfilling his campaign pledge by nominating an individual who will, based on his record, interpret the text of the Constitution rather than create unwritten rights supposedly hidden between the lines.”
Cloquet police chief placed on leave
By Jana Peterson Today at 6:36 p.m.
Cloquet Police Chief Steve Stracek was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday night during an emergency meeting of the Cloquet City Council, pending the results of an investigation.
The vote came after Mayor Dave Hallback and councilors closed the emergency meeting, citing state statute that allows closure for discussion “relating to allegations of law enforcement personnel misconduct.”
Better late than never..now, President Trump should unceremoniously discharge every government employee refusing to hang his portrait.
UPDATE: White House Tells All VA Facilities to Hang President’s Portrait
Mar 17, 2017 // 9:16am
The White House issued a directive to all VA facilities, instructing them to hang a portrait of President Trump, Ed Henry reported this morning.
“Fox & Friends” has reported on this all week after Republican congressman and Army veteran Brian Mast hung a portrait of President Trump and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.
The pictures were then taken down by staffers, with one reportedly declaring that President Trump was not his president.
Mast and local veterans spoke out against the move, though the management argued there was a protocol for hanging the photos and they’d need to be authenticated.
Henry said there’s been a huge reaction on social media to this story, but it remains to be seen whether VA facilities around the country will follow the order and actually hang the portrait.
He said the current plan is to hang an unofficial photo until the government releases an official portrait of President Trump. Henry said it’s commonplace for the current president’s picture to be hung in government buildings.
A VA spokeswoman said that the congressman’s actions and the actions of the veterans who accompanied him were “inappropriate.” She said that portraits on display at the VA need to come from the central office.
A Marine veteran said earlier in the show that he went to his local Minnesota VA facility recently and inquired about why the new president’s picture wasn’t there, like Barack Obama’s had been.
He said he was told by a worker that the facility didn’t want to bother because “they’re planning on impeaching him.”
Rep. Mast, who lost his legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan and still receives treatment at the Florida facility, joined “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, explaining that when veterans see a problem, they take action.
“This is exactly what pisses people off about the government is they don’t have that kind of reactionary capability to just fix a problem immediately. Here we see they made an even bigger problem out of the situation,” he said.
Mast said the Veterans Administration belongs to those who have served the country, not to the VA employees.
“There is absolutely a political end to this,” said Mast, adding that VA employee unions campaigned heavily against President Trump, including in his district.
Former Northland teacher to serve five years for child pornography, firearms charges
By Krystal Frasier
Posted: Mar 16, 2017 10:13 AM CDT
Updated: Mar 16, 2017 12:09 PM CDT
DULUTH, MN –
A former Northland schoolteacher learned his sentence Thursday after admitting to possession of child pornography and firearms charges.
56-year-old Daniel Joseph Kludt of Saginaw will serve a maximum of five years for two counts of child pornography and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Kludt, a former elementary school teacher in Duluth and Superior, had previously been convicted of child sexual abuse in 1998, making him a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint, a number of electronic devices and nearly three dozen firearms were seized during a search of of Kludt’s property after officials were called there for a domestic disturbance.
The electronic devices included thousands of images and video of child erotica, as well as suspected child pornography, according to charges filed
The criminal complaint says to date, an investigator was able to identify children in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in six of the obtained images.
Kludt’s sentence is part of a plea deal that dismissed a domestic abuse charge.
At least two-thirds of his sentence will be spent in prison, however he could spend the last one-third of his sentence could be spend on a supervised release due to good behavior.
He will receive credit for the 137 days spent behind bars.
At a time when Law Enforcement resources are stretched thin as a hair. Send him wherever he wants to go…after he serves his sentence.
Muslim Man Calls 911 47 Times to Complain About Trump, Declare Support for ISIS
By Andrew Eicher | March 13, 2017 | 3:52 PM EDT
Mohamed Aweis Mohamed, a Grand Forks, North Dakota man, called 911 47 times in less than one week to voice his displeasure with President Donald Trump and to declare his support for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Grand Forks Herald reported on March 10.
Court documents describe the conversations between Mohamed and the emergency dispatchers. Mohamed reportedly claimed that he had no freedom in the United States, that he wanted to go “home” or to Canada, declared his support for ISIS, said he “dislikes” women, and repeatedly ranted about Trump.
Police officers were dispatched to Mohamed’s home on February 3, where they heard him speaking from inside. “The suspect would not open the door for officers and continued to call 911,” the complaint stated, “for no legitimate purpose other than to vent his frustrations.”
Mohammed said he called 911 so many times because “he knew his rights and because he loved America,” according to the complaint.
The 30-year-old entered the Grand Forks County Correctional Center on March 9, and will appear in court on March 29 on a harassment charge that carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Mohamed faces two other harassment charges for similar incidents in February.
In one case, he called 911 more than 10 times and yelled at dispatchers, and in another he called 911 to ask for an ambulance but later admitted to only wanting a taxi.
Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel believes that Mohamed does not represent a threat to public safety.
These fools have been saying “elections have consequences” since 2008 but obviously don’t heed their own advice. H/T Bluelivesmatter.
Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez Placed In Handcuffs After Refusal to Leave ICE Office
BY COWGIRL ON MARCH 14, 2017
Rep. Luis Gutierrez was arrested after throwing a temper-tantrum.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez Handcuffed While Advocating For Drug Trafficker
Chicago, IL – Illinois Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after holding a sit-in and refusing to leave an ICE Office on Monday.
According to NBC Chicago, the incident began around 10:00 AM in the U.S. Immigration and Customs’ office. A meeting had been held to discuss specific immigration cases including those of Miguel Perez, Jr., and Francisca Lino.
His attorney said that Rep. Luis Gutierrez had first met with ICE about Francisca Lino’s case in 2008. He said that she had been doing as instructed by ICE and suddenly everything changed, that she now had a deportation date. Rep. Gutierrez is demanding that her deportation be cancelled.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez said that he wanted answers and that ICE officials told him to “call Washington.” His attorney said that one ICE agent had told him to call the White House, and that he told the agent “perhaps you should call the White House.”
In a statement, ICE Public Affairs Officer Gail Montenegro said that the Chicago division of ICE, Enforcement and Removal, had agreed to an informational meeting with Rep. Gutierrez and various community groups.
She said that officials had responded to the Congressman’s questions during the meeting but that he made demands that the officials couldn’t agree to. She said that Rep. Gutierrez and others with him refused to leave the meeting and staged a sit-in, stating that they were not leaving until their demands were met.
Federal Protective Officers were called in because of the Congressman’s refusal to leave the office. The officers provided three warnings for Rep. Gutierrez and his group to leave the office. After each warning, they were given several minutes to comply. When the group continued to refuse to leave, they were placed in plastic handcuffs (flexicuffs.)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the group remained in the plastic handcuffs for two minutes until ICE officials withdrew their direction for them to leave their office and the building. They were not cited.
Perez is scheduled for deportation due to a felony drug charge that he received when he delivered cocaine to an undercover officer, according to The Chicago Tribune. He is seeking asylum based on his military service and claims that he will be tortured by cartel members if he returns to Mexico. Perez is not a citizen and has a green card.
Lino admitted in 2005 that she used fake documents to obtain entry to the United States, according to CNN. She has been in this country as undocumented for 18 years.
I can’t believe the arrogance from an individual who represents this country. Individual ICE Agents or offices cannot make decisions about deportations without following protocol, policy and procedures, that are put in place by approval of the President and his administration. It is typical behavior today to protest or riot when someone’s demands are not made. It is not respectful and not the behavior that a Congressman should exhibit.