5 things to know today: Blocked border, Marketing campaign, Police powers, Trust industry, Teacher shortage – InForum

1. A protest by truckers blocks the Pembina-Emerson border on the Canadian side

Protests over vaccine requirements for truck drivers blocked international crossing between Emerson, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota on Thursday. The protests halted traffic in the northbound and southbound lanes on the Canadian side until the evening, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Canadian truckers protested against Canadian and American policies requiring truckers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 that came into effect in January.

In a tweet Thursday morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said vehicles and farm equipment were blocking Emerson’s entry point. RCMP are on site and are asking people to avoid the area.

Late Thursday evening, the Canada Border Services Agency announced that while the Emerson, Manitoba-Pembina, North Dakota port of entry remains open, travelers should expect delays due to protest in the region.

Learn more about Ingrid Harbo from Forum News Service

2. Minnesota Senate considering $1 million pro-police marketing campaign

Members of the Minnesota Senate, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, cheer after Sen. Dave Osmek, R-Mound, was elected Speaker of the Senate on the first day of the 2022 legislative session.

Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

A Minnesota committee on Thursday, Feb. 10, advanced a $1 million proposal to launch a statewide pro-police marketing campaign, prompting a vote on the plan in the Minnesota Senate.

Republican senators proposed the campaign as part of a larger package of proposals to recruit and retain law enforcement officers across the state. They said amid a wave of violent crime in Minnesota, lawmakers needed more to keep police on the job. And a public appreciation campaign could do just that, GOP lawmakers said. The bill was also amended to include a $1 million appropriation for a program to help recruit people of color into law enforcement positions.

“You talk to your police officers in your community and this is what they’re going to tell you: ‘We need more officers on the streets.’ The only way to reduce crime in Minnesota is to have more police there,” said Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater. “So this ad campaign will do that.”

Read more from Forum News Service’s Dana Ferguson

3. Minnesota House panel backs expanding police power to track stolen cars


The Minnesota State Capitol

Supporters of a proposal to expand police powers to use GPS tracking of stolen vehicles say the bill would limit dangerous car chases.

But an advocate for government transparency on Thursday, Feb. 10, warned a Minnesota House panel that it could be intruding on citizens’ privacy.

Under current Minnesota law, it is a serious offense for police to use GPS tracking on vehicles without the consent of the vehicle owner. A bill drafted by Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, heard by a House panel on Thursday would make an exception when an owner reports a vehicle has been stolen.

In the version that committee members voted to move forward, officers must cease tracking within 24 hours of attaching a device to a vehicle or obtain court approval to continue. An officer would be required to remove or deactivate the device after that time, and evidence gathered after the vehicle was returned to the owner would be considered inadmissible in court. Moller said the American Civil Liberties Union recommended the time limit.

Learn more about Alex Derosier from Forum News Service

4. South Dakota GOP leadership skeptical of Pandora Papers trust industry revelations

GOP leaders (Rep. Chris Johnson, R-Rapid City; House Majority Leader Kent Peterson, R-Salem; Sen. Gary Cammack, R-Union Center; Sen. Mike Diedrich, R-Rapid City) speak during a press conference at the South Dakota State Capitol on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service

Republican legislative leaders expressed skepticism Thursday, Feb. 10, about a bombshell report released last fall that suggested South Dakota trusts were protecting the money of wealthy international crooks.

“I don’t buy the report that was presented last fall,” said House Majority Leader Kent Peterson, R-Salem. “It’s a great industry in South Dakota. These are great jobs.”

Last year, the so-called Pandora Papers revealed that international tycoons had stored their money in South Dakota-based trust companies, thanks to the state’s generous inheritance laws. The most critical look came in an October 4 article from the Washington Post with the help of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which reviewed 11.9 million classified documents, which “come primarily from the Sioux Falls office of Trident Trust, a global provider of offshore services.”

The state’s top political brass, from U.S. Senator John Thune to

Governor Kristi Noem

, issued industry defenses or cast doubt on reports. But national and international media have remained alert to links between the secret industry and many foreigners, including family members of a Dominican Republic sugar tycoon.

Read more from Forum News Service’s Christopher Vondracek

5. Jamestown schools desperately need bus drivers and substitute teachers

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has urged the National Credit Union Administration to remove language from a draft strategic plan that could prevent credit unions from working with farmers and ranchers.

Image from WDAY file

Like other schools in North Dakota, the Jamestown Public School District is in desperate need of bus drivers and substitute teachers.

Their Facebook post on Tuesday, February 8, said they were five drivers short and critically short of replacements.

They offered to pay $24 an hour for bus drivers and $120 a day for substitute teachers.

Jamestown Superintendent Rob Lech says he’s gotten more than enough help.

Watch WDAY-TV’s Full Ben Morris Story

William L. Hart