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Firearms deer season to open Nov. 5

Although Minnesota’s deer population has grown, a one-deer limit remains in place for much of the state during the firearms deer season, which opens on Saturday. The Associated Press says the state DNR projects a harvest of 165,000 to 185,000 deer, up from a little more than 159,000 last year. The DNR says hunters should apply for their license early to avoid a last-minute rush — more than 145,000 hunters waited until the Thursday and Friday before the opener last year to apply. The DNR also offers these tidbits:

  • Minnesota has nearly 500,000 firearms deer hunters;
  • About 70 percent of the deer harvest takes place within the first three or four days of the season;
  • Minnesota hunters spend an average of five days in the field;
  • Hunters and wildlife watchers bring more than $1.3 billion to the state’s economy each year.

Speaking of tidbits, in a story about diversity in schools, Helmut Schmidt at the Fargo Forum notes that while about 25 percent of students in Moorhead, Fargo and West Fargo are nonwhite, 98 percent of the teachers are white. Among the 160 administrators, two are nonwhite. He also notes that North Dakota has 8,807 public school teachers and Minnesota has 56,150 full-time teachers.

The Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District sent out nearly 1,700 letters to landowners with land affected by the state’s new watershed buffer law. Julie Buntjer of the Worthington Daily Globe writes that the district sent out one letter for each parcel affected by the plan to clean the state’s waterways. Landowners will be required to maintain a 50-foot-wide buffer of perennial grass along public waters and a 16.5-foot minimum width buffer on public ditches. The buffers will soak up excess phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment.

Supporters of the protest against the Dakota Access pipeline will stage a rally in Bemidji today. Grace Pastoor of the Bemidji Pioneer writes that the 5 p.m. rally at the Shaynowishkung — Chief Bemidji — statue is sponsored by several groups. “Our community is needing to learn more about what's happening from direct, reliable sources,” said Simone Senogles with the Indigenous Environmental Network, one of the rally sponsors.

Fire deaths in the state are down dramatically from 2015. The Associated Press reports that there have been 24 deaths from fires this year, compared with 49 at this time last year. “We are on record pace for having the lowest number of fire deaths ever in Minnesota,” said State Fire Marshal Bruce West, adding that he thinks one cause of the decline is vaping. “The number one cause of fire related deaths continues to be careless smoking. … so people either quitting smoking or moving to vaping, that could be one of the underlying reductions in this,” he said.

Abdullahi Dahir, 27, is the first man charged in Blue Earth County under the new “revenge porn” law. Kristine Goodrich of the Mankato Free Press reports that a woman says Dahir allegedly took photographs of her naked without her consent, and then allegedly sent one of the photographs to her brother. Dahir told police the photo was in retaliation for racist comments the brother made toward Dahir, according to the complaint.

There’s no reward for good intentions. Kay Fate of the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports that designated driver Zachery Sikkink, 20, was arrested early Saturday for driving drunk at 102 mph, according to the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department. A preliminary breath test indicated a blood alcohol reading of 0.10, which is above the state limit of 0.08. Sikkink could face charges of third-degree DWI, speeding, careless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff’s office.

You think you have a bad job? Here’s a note out of Crosby from the Brainerd Dispatch: “Report Oct. 17 of a suspicious person who had been in the bathroom at a business on East Main Street for a considerable amount of time. Officer made contact and gathered details.”

Up in Bemidji, the first stadium style eSports event in the region will be Nov. 12. League of Legends teams will compete for $4,500 in cash and prizes, while the public can compete in “Street Fighter 5,” “Mario Kart 8,” “Donkey Kong” and “Magic the Gathering.” The event is sponsored by Paul Bunyan Communications.

This guy gets points for a clever name. Tom Cherveny of the West Central Tribune writes about Bjorn Quenemoen of upstate New York. He takes corn grown on his parent’s farm in Lac qui Parle County, pops it in a solar cooker in New York, seasons it with nutritional yeast and sells it as BjornQorn. Sales are good in New York City as well as in Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, California, Michigan, Wisconsin and at Surdyk's in Minneapolis.

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