- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014
Amy Senser’s prison time shortened by 6 months

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - State officials say Amy Senser will be released nearly six months early from the prison where she is serving time for a fatal hit-and-run.

A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Corrections says Senser applied and was approved for transfer to a jail or halfway house for work release.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1oym26jhttps://strib.mn/1oym26j ) reports Senser can leave the Shakopee prison on April 24 - less than two years after her incarceration began.

Senser’s release date from prison had been Oct. 20, 2014. She’ll be on supervised release until Dec. 8, 2015.

Senser, wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser, was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in the 2011 death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong (ah-NOO’-sahn PAN’-tah-wong). Phanthavong was struck while refilling his gas tank on a Minneapolis exit ramp.


Fond du Lac Band to spear walleyes in NE Minn.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa plans to exercise its rights under an 1854 treaty to spear walleyes on several northeastern Minnesota lakes this spring.

The tribe announced the plan on its website this week. Secretary-Treasurer Ferdinand Martineau Jr. said Friday that the tribe is working with the state to determine which lakes to fish and set harvest quotas. He said tribe members will stick to smaller lakes in the treaty area, which covers most of northeastern Minnesota. He said they won’t spearfish on popular larger lakes such as Vermilion and Saganaga.

Around 70 to 80 members have expressed interest in spearing this spring, Martineau said. One reason is the sharply lower quota this year on Lake Mille Lacs, where Fond du Lac members have speared and netted in past years under an 1837 treaty. But he said another reason is that the 1854 treaty area is closer to home for the tribe, which is based in Cloquet.

“They obviously have their rights, and we don’t have the authority to stop it,” said Don Pereira, fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He said his staff is just beginning a dialogue with the tribe on its plans and will try to resolve any concerns once they see the proposed harvest levels.

There were angry confrontations when Wisconsin Chippewa bands asserted their spearing rights in the late 1980s. But spearing and netting on Mille Lacs resumed peacefully after the U.S. Supreme Court in 1999 upheld the rights of eight bands in the 1837 treaty area, which covers parts of east-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.


Minnesota’s elk management plan up for revision

GREENBUSH, Minn. (AP) - Wildlife managers have scheduled a public meeting in northwestern Minnesota to discuss an upcoming revision to the state’s elk management plan.

Three small elk herds roam far northwestern Minnesota: the Kittson Central herd near Lancaster in Kittson County; the Grygla herd in Marshall County, and the Caribou-Vita herd in northern Kittson County and southern Manitoba.

Elk once roamed most of Minnesota but nearly vanished by the early 1900s. The Department of Natural Resources says its recent survey shows the herds contain 108 animals, a population that’s been stable in recent years.

The DNR updates its management plan periodically, trying to maintain a healthy, small population while limiting crop damage. The state allows hunters to kill a few elk annually.

The meeting is set for Thursday night at Greenbush High School.


Minnesota education panel OKs licensing measure

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers moved Friday to help former and current military members and their spouses win temporary licenses to work in classrooms, social work offices and other specialized fields.

It’s part of a broader discussion within the Legislature this year about licensing and evaluation, a debate that has stoked particularly strong feelings in education circles. Other measures about how to assess teacher quality were heard by the House Education Policy Committee, which decided to take more time to talk them through.

The military legislation would grant applicants a temporary license in a variety of professions as long as they continue to work toward fulfilling the requirements of obtaining a permanent license.

“This bill is not meant to usurp licensing boards,” said Rep. Will Morgan, DFL-Burnsville. “We’re simply trying to help military families who have been moved not by choice.”

The committee approved the bill, sending it to another panel for further review. There isn’t consensus around other legislation dealing with teacher qualifications and accountability, which consumed hours of committee debate.

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