Tag Archives: Bemidji

US officials to hold meeting on Alberta Clipper Pipeline

2804274_orig

Pipeline expansion spurs meeting in Bemidji

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Mar. 5, 2017 — State Department officials will come to Minnesota on Tuesday to hold the only public meeting on a draft environmental review for the final segment of Enbridge Energy’s project to boost capacity in its Alberta Clipper pipeline, which carries Canadian tar sands oil across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.

The State Department’s four-year review concluded that there would be no significant environmental impacts from completing the project, which requires a presidential permit because the last remaining segment crosses the U.S.-Canadian border in North Dakota. But environmentalists and some Native American tribes dispute that and are gearing up for the meeting in the northern Minnesota city of Bemidji.

Here’s a look at some issues involved:

The pipeline

Enbridge built the Alberta Clipper, also known as Line 67, in 2009 for $1 billion. Its capacity was 450,000 barrels per day. Enbridge later decided to nearly double that to 800,000 barrels; the Calgary, Alberta-based company did most of that by adding pumping stations along the route.

Enbridge needs a presidential permit for the 3-mile segment where the 1,000-mile pipeline crosses the border. Getting the permit is a lengthy process. The Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada’star sands oilto Nebraska, for example, was derailed when President Barack Obama rejected its permit. President Donald Trump has invited Keystone XL developer TransCanada to reapply.

Enbridge is operating the Alberta Clipper at full capacity with a temporary workaround. It built a detour to and from a parallel pipeline that crosses the border nearby and already has a permit. Opponents challenged the legality of that setup in court but lost.

Why Enbridge wants it

Enbridge spokeswoman Shannon Gustafson called the Alberta Clipper “a vital piece of energy infrastructure” that bolsters America’s energy security because it lessens the need for imports from unstable nations. Midwest refineries depend on the oil that Enbridge pipelines deliver, she said.

“Pipelines continue to be the safest, most reliable means of transporting crude oil that Minnesotans and Midwesterners rely on in their daily lives,” Gustafson said.

Other Enbridge projects in the works are a proposed replacement for its 1960s-era Line 3 that would follow part of the same corridor. In fact, the Alberta Clipper detour uses an upgraded section of Line 3 to cross the border. Line 3 is also drawing opposition from tribes and environmentalists.

The opposition

A coalition of environmental and tribal groups opposes the Alberta Clipper because it carries tar sands oil, which they consider a bigger environmental threat than regular crude. The pipeline crosses the lake country of northern Minnesota, including the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac Ojibwe reservations. Opponents say it threatens ecologically sensitive areas, as well as resources such as wild rice that are important to the Ojibwe bands.

Some of the leading opponents, including Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, were also active in the fight against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. LaDuke said protests that drew thousands to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota have spawned new “water protectors” to oppose Enbridge.

LaDuke is organizing a “Sustainability Summit” for Tuesday ahead of the State Department meeting. Her event will highlight clean energy alternatives. Participants will then march to the meeting and hold a rally that will include traditional Ojibwe drumming and dancing.

The meeting

The State Department is holding Tuesday’s meeting as part of the public comment period on the draft environmental review, which runs through March 27. The agency will consider those comments as it prepares the final version. The president must then determine whether issuing the permit is in the national interest.

By The Associated Press

[SOURCE]

Bemidji Police Investigating Shots Fired At Enbridge Building, No One Hurt

Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of the Enbridge’s Bemidji office. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidij Pioneer)

Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of the Enbridge’s Bemidji office. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidij Pioneer)

Red Power Media | Feb 23, 2017

Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of Enbridge’s Bemidji office.

According to a news release from Enbridge’s communications supervisor Shannon Gustafson, Enbridge employees arrived at the building in Bemidji’s industrial park on Wednesday morning and discovered the shots.

No one was injured and police are investigating the incident as a drive-by shooting, Gustafson said.

Two windows are covered up Friday morning at the Enbridge building in Bemidji. Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of the building. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

Two windows are covered up Friday morning at the Enbridge building in Bemidji. Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of the building. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji Chief of Police Mike Mastin said in a news release Thursday that the damage to the building appeared to have been caused by a shotgun and that the case remains under investigation.

“This incident was reckless and extremely dangerous,” Gustafson said in the release. “This criminal activity puts people at risk. Enbridge takes this activity very seriously and fully supports the prosecution of all of those involved.”

As of Thursday morning, the Enbridge office’s front windows were covered with black plastic and damage from a shotgun blast was visible.

Enbridge, a Canadian energy company, has been involved in a number of high-profile oil pipeline projects both locally and out of state. Enbridge is currently working to replace Line 3, a pipeline that runs from Alberta, Canada, through northern Minnesota to Superior, Wis. The company’s efforts have been met with opposition by local activists including Honor the Earth, a Native-led environmentalist group.

In August, Enbridge also announced an agreement to acquire an equity interest in the Bakken Pipeline System that includes two projects, one of which is the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, the focus of a longstanding protest camp near Cannon Ball, N.D.

Pellet marks on a window frame at the Enbridge building in Bemidji. Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of the building. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

Pellet marks on a window frame at the Enbridge building in Bemidji. Police are investigating after shots were fired at the front door and windows of the building. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

Honor the Earth founder Winona LaDuke said Thursday that the group has no idea who is responsible for firing the shots at the Bemidji office.

“We’d like a full investigation as to who would have shot up the front of the Enbridge office,” LaDuke said. “We certainly have no knowledge and don’t approve.”

SOURCE: Bemidji Pioneer

COURTS: Accused Downwind Accomplice Pleads Not Guilty

Brandon Rossbach

Brandon Rossbach

Bemidji Pioneer‎, July 5, 2016

BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man accused of helping burn and bury the body of Rose Downwind pleaded not guilty to aiding an offender Tuesday.

Brandon Rossbach, 31, is charged with one count of aiding an offender in connection with Downwind’s murder, for which her former boyfriend Marchello Cimmarusti pleaded guilty in April. Cimmarusti told the court that after he “lost control and snapped,” killing Downwind, he contacted his friend Christopher John Davis, also charged with aiding an offender.

After Davis drove to Bemidji from his home in the Twin Cities and went into the basement of the home where Downwind was killed, he then left and returned with Rossbach, Cimmarusti said. According to Cimmarusti, the three men took Downwind’s body northwest of Bemidji where they burned and buried it.

Rossbach has maintained his innocence since Cimmarusti named him as an accomplice.

Supporters of both Downwind and Rossbach were present at Tuesday’s hearing, during which Judge Paul Benshoof heard arguments regarding a change of venue motion Rossbach’s attorneys filed July 1. Rossbach’s attorney Kassius Benson requested that his client’s trial be moved to Hennepin County or Ramsey County, because of the extensive media coverage of Downwind’s death and the community’s sympathy for her family.

Attorneys prosecuting Rossbach, including Beltrami County Attorney Annie Claesson-Huseby opposed the change of venue. Benshoof has not yet ruled on the motion.

Rossbach will appear in court for a pre-trial hearing Sept. 27. His jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 17. If convicted, Rossbach faces up to 20 years in prison. Davis’ next court date is Friday and Cimmarusti will be sentenced Oct. 28.

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/local/4068096-courts-accused-downwind-accomplice-pleads-not-guilty

Searching For Rose: Volunteers Look For Missing Redby Woman

Volunteer searchers check in the ditch along Island View Drive north of Bemidji during a search Saturday organized by the family of missing woman Rose Downwind of Redby. Downwind, 31, and a mother of five, was last seen Oct. 21 leaving a residence in southeast Bemidji.

Volunteer searchers check in the ditch along Island View Drive north of Bemidji during a search Saturday organized by the family of missing woman Rose Downwind of Redby. Downwind, 31, and a mother of five, was last seen Oct. 21 leaving a residence in southeast Bemidji.

By Matthew Liedke on Nov 14, 2015

About 150 volunteers, all dressed in bright orange, marched along roads and ditches north of Bemidji on Saturday with a common goal in mind: Help find Rose Downwind.

Saturday’s search for the missing 31-year-old Redby, Minn., woman yielded no results.

But Lissa Yellowbird-Chase of Fargo-based organization Sahnish Scouts North Dakota, who helped lead the search, said “some things were found that were interesting to come across. Law enforcement came and there were some things that they felt were warranted in collecting and documenting.

“Everybody went out for a while came back in, got hydrated and went back out,” Yellowbird-Chase said. “We had people from North Dakota, all over Minnesota and even some people from South Dakota come and help today.”

Another half-day public search is scheduled at noon Sunday, again starting at Newby’s Market north of Bemidji, she said.

Saturday’s search began with volunteers meeting at 10 a.m. at Newby’s, located north of Bemidji on Irvine Avenue and Island View Drive. There, Yellowbird-Chase informed the crowd about what indicators to look for, such as clothing, shoes or a possible mobile phone. The search was confined along the roadway, and not to the deep forest, for the safety of searchers, she said.

Lissa Yellowbird-Chase speaks to volunteer searchers shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday at Newby's Market. Yellowbird-Chase is the founder of Sahnish Scouts North Dakota, a Fargo-based organization that assists families of those who have gone missing.

Lissa Yellowbird-Chase speaks to volunteer searchers shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday at Newby’s Market. Yellowbird-Chase is the founder of Sahnish Scouts North Dakota, a Fargo-based organization that assists families of those who have gone missing.

It’s been more than three weeks since anyone last saw Rose Downwind. Police say she was last seen Oct. 21 leaving a residence on Stoner Avenue in southeast Bemidji. Downwind is described as being an American Indian woman, 5-feet-4-inches tall and 115 pounds with long straight dark hair.

The Bemidji Police Department and the BCA believe foul play was involved in Downwind’s disappearance and the investigation has since focused to an area north of Bemidji, which includes Lake Bemidji State Park and Buena Vista State Forest.

Before searchers began walking the areas just west of the varied “locations of interest” listed by law enforcement, Yellowbird-Chase thanked all those who came out to search and help in other ways.

“It’s really awesome. This is one of the biggest searches that I’ve seen in a really long time,” she said. “It’s nice to see a whole community have concern for their missing. It’s hard to witness when things like this get swept under the rug and cases go cold.

“The young people here today, I’m really proud of you, too. This is part of our heritage,” Yellowbird-Chase said. “When our people would go missing, the whole tribe would go look for that person, even the elders. We’re carrying on a tradition. This is important culturally.”

Communities coming together

Phillip Nelson, a volunteer searcher and Bemidji resident, said he came out to help because, “it’s the proper thing to do.”

“Somebody’s lost, so we have to find her. If it was our family, we would expect the same,” Nelson said. “I think it’s been an excellent turnout today, too. Everyone is volunteering their time on a nice Saturday to do this.”

A van parked at Newby's Market displays messages for missing Redby woman Rose Downwind. About 100 volunteers attended a publich search Saturday hosted by the family.

A van parked at Newby’s Market displays messages for missing Redby woman Rose Downwind. About 100 volunteers attended a publich search Saturday hosted by the family.

Georgia Downwind, Rose Downwind’s nonbiological mother, said she was very pleased with Saturday’s turnout, as well.

“A lot of people from Red Lake are here. Even people who don’t know Rose are here to help. This is the way the world needs to be. People helping other people,” Georgia Downwind said. “This is about Rose. There’s no color difference here. Everybody has just come together to help.”

Georgia Downwind described Rose as an “awesome mom” who’s very dedicated to her children.

“That is her life. She’s a kind-hearted, gentle soul,” Georgia Downwind said. “I’m not turning her into a hero just because she’s missing, that’s who she is.”

Since Rose went missing, Georgia Downwind said the whole family has come closer together.

“Everybody has been pitching in and helping,” she said. “This is such a traumatic event. It’s hard to process. We’re just maintaining and still being hopeful. We’re also taking care of the children and they’re very lonesome for their mommy.”

The Bemidji Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding Rose Downwind’s disappearance to call in at (218) 333-9111. Police have also identified two persons of interest, Marchello Anthony Cimmarusti, 40, and Christopher John Davis, 27, along with a pewter colored 2002 GMC Yukon with a Minnesota license plate that reads 325-MGP. Those who saw the two persons of interest or the vehicle between Oct. 19-29 are also asked to call law enforcement.

A Facebook page, Help Find Rose Downwind, is providing updates from the family. A page on the fundraising website GoFundMe has also been established for the family at https://www.gofundme.com/gz7zz3pg.

Rose Downwind, 31, of Redby, Minn., was last seen in Bemidji on Oct. 21.

Rose Downwind, 31, of Redby, Minn., was last seen in Bemidji on Oct. 21.

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/3883132-searching-rose-volunteers-look-missing-redby-woman-second-public-search-rose-downwind