Week of July 24, 2006

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World

Fish oil may lead to smart babies

SIDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Women who take fish oil during pregnancy may give birth to children with improved hand-eye coordination, language skills and behavior, an Australian study has found.

 

Research by the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth involved 98 pregnant women recruited from private obstetricians. The study initially looked at the effect of omega 3 poly-unsaturated fatty acid, or omega 3 PUFA – which is contained in fish oil supplements – on immune function, disease susceptibility, fetal growth and development.

 

To assess the effects of omega 3 PUFA, the pregnant women received either high doses of fish oil or olive oil from 20 weeks gestation until delivery.

 

At two and a half years of age, 72 children born from the study group – 33 in the fish oil group and 39 in the control group – were then assessed by a clinical psychologist for growth, development, receptive language and behavior, according to Janet Dunstan of the School of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of WA.

 

Dr Dunstan said the children in the fish oil group attained higher scores in all measures of development, behavior and 

language, and had a significantly higher score for hand-eye coordination, compared with children from the olive oil control group.

 

While further studies are required, the initial results indicate that fish oil supplements rich in omega 3 PUFA during pregnancy is safe and may have beneficial effects on the child.

 

She said supplementation of 3.7 grams of omega 3 fatty acids, equivalent to one meal of fish per day, did not result in any adverse effects on mothers or children in the research group.  “Improved hand-eye coordination can help in terms of developing fine motor skills that may enhance learning, for example being able to hold and use a pen or pencil, and increase self-esteem,” Dr Dunstan said.

 

Dr Dunstan said her research team was now planning a larger study with 400 children to further assess the benefits of fish oil on the development of allergic disease.  She said women who were interested in taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy should consult their doctor about dosage and whether it is appropriate for them.

 

”I think it's well accepted that fish is an important part of everyone's diet and we know that during pregnancy the baby needs extra amounts of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is present in omega 3 fish oil.”


New Research Center for Ballast Treatment

A new research center will work to stop the spread of these invasive species. The research center hopes to develop new treatment systems aimed at catching the critters before they get out.

 

The new research center will be built on the edge of the

Duluth-Superior port in Wisconsin. It'll include storage tanks to

represent ballast tanks on freighters. Researchers can introduce exotic species into the tanks, and test various treatments designed to kill the pests. Systems to be tested include filters, centrifuges, ultra-violet light, and chemicals.

 


National

ICAST 2006 “Best of Show” Competition Goes to Berkley FireLine Crystal

LAS VEGAS— July 20, 2006…Industry veteran Pure Fishing with its Berkley FireLine Crystal was voted by buyers and media as having the most innovative product in the ICAST 2006 New Product Showcase in both the Line category and the overall Best of Show

 

Two first-time exhibitors won in the 2006 New Product Showcase. C.A.G.I. Outdoor Products, Cheyenne, Wyoming, with their Fish Call, won Best of Category in Terminal Tackle; and Outdoor Adventure Kids, St. Thomas, Ontario, won Best of Category in Kids Tackle with their Jr. Fisherman Rod Combo.

 

Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, nearly 200 companies entered more than 600 tackle products and accessories into the Showcase. The showcase is the flagship feature of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the sportfishing industry’s premier trade event produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). The 49th annual show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, July 19-21, sold out the show floor months before the event.

 

“The New Product Showcase is a remarkable display of innovation in sportfishing gear and accessories unlike any other,” said Mike Nussman, ASA’s president and CEO. “I congratulate all of the winners and thank those who participated in the New Product Showcase, from the companies who displayed their products to the buyers and media who served as judges.”

 

Making up a special section of ICAST’s 250,000-sq-ft show floor, the New Product Showcase gives the industry’s latest innovations special visibility during the show, with nearly 7,000 representatives of the sportfishing community attending, more than 1,500 of them buyers.  Buyers and media representatives judged the products based on their levels of innovation, execution, workmanship and practicality to select “Best of

Show” honors in 16 categories, as well as the Overall Best of Show winner.

 

2006 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners

Category Company Product
Overall Best of Show Pure Fishing Berkley Fireline Crystal
Saltwater Rod Shimano Tiralejo Surf Rod
Saltwater Reel Penn Fishing Tackle International Torque 300

Freshwater Rod

Airrus Pulsar GL
Freshwater Reel

Shimano

Calais 200DC – 4x8 Digital Control

Terminal Tackle C.A.G.I. Outdoor Products CAGI Fish Call
Line Pure Fishing Berkley Fireline Crystal
Hard Lure

MegaStrike, Inc.

Evolution Jig
Soft Lure AA/Optimum Bait Co. Furbit Series
Tackle Management Plano Molding Company FlipSider Hybrid Satchel

Kid’s Tackle

Outdoor Adventure Kids Jr. Fisherman Rod Combo
Boating Accessory & Giftware Minn Kota Terrova Electric Steer Trolling Motor
Fishing Accessory

Swifty Manufacturing, Inc.

Nu-Skin Reel Armor
Reel/Rod Combo

Okuma Fishing Tackle Corp.

Avenger Combo Rod/Reel
Clothing

Shimano

Evair Boots

Electronics

Humminbird

797c2 SI Combo
Eyewear Costa del Mar Costa 580 Mirrored Lens

 


Johnson Outdoors Honors Jerry Gibbs as Inaugural Fishing Journalist of the Year

RACINE, Wis. – Legendary writer Jerry Gibbs was honored as the Samuel C. Johnson Fishing Journalist of the Year at a July 20th luncheon during the 2006 ICAST trade show in Las Vegas.  The award is sponsored by Minn Kota, Humminbird and Cannon in honor of Mr. Samuel C. Johnson, a pioneer in the fishing industry and a legendary corporate environmentalist.

 

The award’s namesake is the late Samuel C. Johnson who grew a small Midwestern wax company into a family of four different market-leading, global enterprises, with combined annual revenues of nearly $10 billion, including:  SC Johnson, makers of Pledge and Ziploc; Johnson Diversey, the world’s second largest commercial cleaning products company; and Johnson Financial Group, which is among the five largest privately owned community banks in the United States.  Sam founded Johnson Outdoors 35 years ago driven by his love of the outdoors, his passion for the environment and his entrepreneurial spirit of adventure.

 

Gibbs was selected by a panel of judges based on his contributions to the fishing industry in the fields of journalism, conservation and philanthropic leadership.  He has held the position of Fishing Editor at Outdoor Life for 33 years and was also named one of Field & Stream’s 50 Legends of Fishing.  In addition, Gibbs is an inductee of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as well as having Hall Enshrinement, the organization’s highest honor.  He has authored numerous 

technical fishing books, short stories and also has been a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica.  His writings have been honored by the Outdoor Writers Association of America as well as the U.S. tackle industry.

 

As part of the Samuel C. Johnson Fishing Journalist of the Year award program, a $5,000 conservation grant is being presented in Gibbs’ name.  This year’s recipient of the grant is FishAmerica Foundation which unites the sportfishing industry with conservation groups, government natural resource agencies, corporations, and charitable foundations to invest in fish and habitat conservation and research across the country.

 

The Marine Electronics Group of Johnson Outdoors Inc. oversees the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of products under the Minn Kota, Humminbird and Cannon brands.  Minn Kota is the world’s leading manufacturer of bow- and transom-mount trolling motors, as well as a complete line of battery chargers and marine accessories.  Trolling motors include Maxxum Pro, Maxxum®, PowerDrive™ V2, Terrova™, Edge, Vantage®, Vector™, Endura™, Riptide Pro, Riptide®, Riptide Sp, Riptide ST, Engine Mount and E-Drive models.  Humminbird is a leading innovator and manufacturer of fishfinders, fishfinder/GPS combo units and digital depth gauges.  Products include 900 Series™, Matrix®, 500 Series™, PiranhaMAX™ and SmartCast®.  Cannon is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories.  Downriggers include Digi-Troll™, Magnum, Mini-Mag, Uni-Troll, Easi-Troll, Sport-Troll and Mini-Troll™.


Governor notes correlation between armed, law-abiding citizens and Florida’s lower crime rate

When queried last week about his state's declining crime rate, Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) told reporters from the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, "Law abiding citizens that have guns for protection actually probably are part of the reason we have a lower crime rate."

 

Florida is one of 40 states with Right-to-Carry statutes that

allow their law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.  In addition, the state last year passed NRA-backed "Castle Doctrine" legislation that allows citizens to "stand their ground" and defend themselves against an attacker in a place where they have a legal right to be.

 

Florida's crime rate dropped for the 14th straight year and the crime rate is currently at its lowest level since 1971.


Study shows duck population grows

The preliminary 2006 Waterfowl Breeding Ground Population and Habitat Survey conducted by the USFWS estimates a total duck population of more than 36 million; or a 14 % increase from last year’s estimate and 9 percent above the 1955-2005 average.

 

The survey indicated an increase in the quality of waterfowl breeding habitat in the US and Canada from 2005. Improvements in Canadian and U.S. prairie habitats were primarily due to average to above-average precipitation, warm spring temperatures and the good summer conditions of 2005. The higher number of ponds counted in Prairie Canada this year relative to last are a strong indicator of the improved habitat conditions.

 

The Waterfowl Breeding Ground Population and Habitat

Survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind in the world, samples 1.3 million square miles across the north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska. The survey estimates the number of ducks in the continent's most important nesting grounds.

 

Annual survey results help guide the Service in managing waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state representatives from the four flyways - the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific - that waterfowl and other birds use during their migrations to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates and bag limits.

 

For more info:  http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/ and will be updated when the data are compiled.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for July 21, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

Water levels on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 4 and 2 inches, respectively, below the levels of a year ago.  Lake St. Clair is at last year’s water level, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are both 3 inches above 2005 levels.  The water level in Lake Superior is expected to increase an inch in the next month while Lake Michigan-Huron is near its seasonal peak and is predicted to fall 1 inch.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 2 to 5 inches over the next month.  Over the next few months, all of the Great Lakes are predicted to remain at or approach water levels similar to 2005. 

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be near average in July.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are expected to be below average during July.  Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be near and below average, respectively, in July.

Alerts:

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for July 21

601.4

577.9

574.2

571.8

246.1

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

+4

+5

+23

+32

+34

Diff last month

0

0

+1

+2

+5

Diff from last yr

-4

-2

0

+3

+3


General

First Annual Kids All-American Fishing Challenge Event

TULSA, Okla.- Six young anglers, boys and girls, coming from as far away as Washington, New Jersey and Florida, will be the guests of honor at the first-ever Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Challenge and Family Fishing Festival presented by Zebco scheduled for August 19 - 20, in the Tulsa area. Also involved will be six of the country’s top professional bass anglers.

 

The public is invited to participate in the weekend events, beginning with fishing-themed activities, interactive event sponsor attractions and pro angler autographs on Saturday, August 19, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., at the

Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 81st Street and Lewis Avenue. On Sunday, the events move to the Zebco Pond at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, with fishing opportunities occurring between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (Times T.B.D.)

 

Hooked On Fishing International (HOFI), a Tulsa-based organization responsible for the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco (KAAF) program, is the event host and organizer.

           

Each youngster will team up with a pro angler for the weekend of friendly competition in fishing-related challenges ranging from casting accuracy to actual fishing. Among the

participating pros are Castrol’s Carl Svebek, Fujifilm’s Randy Blaukat, Kellogg’s Harmon Davis and Mark Goins, Wal-Mart’s George Cochran, and Zebco’s Todd Huckabee. Although an event champion team will be declared, the KAAF Challenge is more about providing a memorable reward experience for the young leaders by giving them the thrill of spending time with celebrity pro anglers who are tops in the sport they love.

 

Participation is free at the Kids All-American Fishing Challenge and Family Fishing Festival, thanks to the event’s national and local partners, including marquee sponsors Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Zebco, along with the Oklahoma Aquarium, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Castrol, Fujifilm, Keebler, and Kellogg’s. Additional promotional support is provided by Banana Boat, Eagle Claw, Laker Fishing, Repel, and Wet Ones.

 

HOFI, Inc., is the country’s largest organizer of youth fishing events. More than eight million youngsters and their families have participated in the program over its 19-year history at events held throughout all 50 states and at U.S. military bases as far away as England, Germany, South Korea, and Japan.

 

For more information about Kids All-American Fishing including, the KAAF Team and ambassador program, visit www.kids-fishing.com


Rain barrels: A way to collect and use rainwater

Have you ever watched a river of rainwater run down your driveway into the lake or storm sewer?  Or even worse, seep into your basement?  Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels is a good solution to these problems.  Rain barrels also help to alleviate stressed water systems and conserve limited resources. 

 

Although they have been around for thousands of years, people are now encouraged more than ever to use rain barrels as a way to protect lakes and rivers while saving money on water bills. 

 

Rain barrels help prevent roof runoff from quickly washing into natural waterways and sewer systems.  Runoff can carry nutrients and other contaminants into lakes and rivers.  Some storm sewers lead right into surface waters without treatment to remove pollutants. 

You can help reduce the problem by keeping storm water on your property.  A rain barrel is a rainwater harvesting system that is connected to a downspout from any building.  Downspouts that empty directly on paved surfaces or onto vegetative areas with limited ability to soak up runoff are priority locations for rain barrels.  The water is collected and stored for later use.

There are many possible rainwater collecting systems.  Costs vary considerably.  You can spend anywhere from about $70 to $300.  Your best bet is to review and compare the options commercially available to find out what's in your price range and is really needed for your home. 

 

The Internet is a good source for information available on how to construct and install rain barrels.  One website is: http://www.ci.superior.wi.us/publicwks/wastewater/

RainBarrelInstructions.htm .

Making your own rain barrel will reduce costs.  Sixty gallon plastic barrels are sometimes available at no or little cost from firms that deal with bulk food items.

 

So what do you do with the water in the rain barrel? The most common use is watering gardens.  Rainwater can improve the health of your gardens, lawn and trees?  This is because rainwater is naturally soft and devoid of minerals, chlorine and other chemicals found in city water.  By placing rain barrels around your house, you will keep runoff from entering your lake or storm sewer; and you will be teaching and encouraging others on your lake or in your neighborhood to do the same.  And your garden will benefit from the added rainwater.


 

Illinois

Governor signs Illinois’ Apprentice Hunter License Program

New law encourages those who don’t hunt to join family and friends who do

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich July 14 signed a new law creating the Illinois Apprentice Hunter License Program. The law creates a new special hunting license to give those who do not hunt a chance to try it before buying a regular Illinois hunting license.

 

“Hunting is a way of life in many parts of Illinois.  This new program will gives parents and grandparents a way to introduce their children to the sport, and will give adults who didn’t grow up hunting a chance to try it with a licensed hunter,” said Gov. Blagojevich. 

 

The Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus initiated House Bill 5407. The Apprentice Hunter License Program will allow youngsters ages 10 to 17 to buy an apprentice license and go hunting with a parent, grandparent or guardian who has a valid Illinois resident hunting license.  Those 18 and older will be able to buy an apprentice license and go hunting with any family member or friend who is a validly licensed Illinois resident hunter. 

 

Hunter participation surveys have indicated most new hunters, especially young hunters, begin hunting with encouragement from a parent, other family member or a friend.  

 

The Apprentice Hunter License will be a one-time, non-renewable license.  It will be available only to residents of Illinois beginning this fall from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for $7 each.  The apprentice license will be valid from the date issued to the following

March 31.  Apprentice Hunter License holders will also have to buy any additional required permits or stamps, such as a deer hunting permit or habitat stamp.

 

Safe hunting remains a priority in Illinois as the IDNR offers free hunter safety education courses throughout the state.

 

Illinois law requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 must successfully complete a free hunter safety course before a regular Illinois hunting license is issued.  The courses, coordinated by the IDNR and taught by volunteer safety experts, include instruction on hunting regulations, archery, firearms, ammunition, first aid, wildlife identification and conservation, and hunter ethics and responsibility.  A minimum of 10 hours of instruction is involved.

 

Those completing the course and exam receive a certificate of competency.  More than 18,000 hunters completed the course last year.  For the license year ending March 31, 2005, Illinois issued more than 336,000 hunting licenses.

 

“The Apprentice Hunter program will give those who don’t hunt a chance to give it a try as they accompany a family member or friend in the field,” said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood.  “Hunters of all ages and all levels of experience need to make safety a priority.  We hope the apprentice program, followed by participation in the hunter safety education course, will get more new hunters involved in safely enjoying hunting opportunities in Illinois.”

 

Details on how to obtain an Illinois Apprentice Hunter License will be announced this fall by the IDNR.  For more information on hunting in Illinois, check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us . HB 5407 is effective immediately.


Indiana

Spring’s wild turkey harvest sets state record

Hoosier hunters took a record number of wild turkeys during the state’s 37th annual hunt, April 26-May 14.

According to a preliminary report done by DNR wildlife research biologist Steven E. Backs, hunters harvested a record 13,193 wild turkeys in the 88 Indiana counties open to hunting the birds. The record number represents an 18 % increase over the total of 11,159 wild turkeys harvested during the spring 2005 season.

 

Juvenile gobblers (1-year-old birds, commonly called "jakes") made up 14 % of the harvest, considerably lower than the 25 % average of the previous 10 years. Adults (2 years or older)

made up 86 % of this year’s harvest, with the proportion of 2-year-old gobblers (67 %), the highest in 37 years of Indiana spring wild turkey hunting. 

 

The abnormally low juvenile and high adult proportions in the age structure of the harvest reflect the contrasting record high and low brood production during the respective 2004 and ‘05 summers.  The average weight of juvenile gobblers taken was 14.5 lbs. Adult birds averaged 21 lbs.  Counties with the most turkeys taken overall included Switzerland (589), Dearborn (489), Perry (470), Jefferson (461), Parke (444), Orange (440) and Harrison (431).


Learn to cook in the great outdoors - July 27

Offered at Ouabache State Park

An outdoor cooking demonstration with not-so-typical camp foods will be held at Ouabache State Park July 27 from 5 to 7 p.m.

 

People of all experience levels interested in camping and outdoor cooking are invited. The demonstration will be at the

trails end shelter. The event is free. Donations of garlic mustard and fresh fruits for the program will be accepted. Call the interpretive naturalist at (260) 824-0926 for a complete list of items needed. Participants should  bring a drink.

 

A fee of $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 per out-of-state vehicle will be charged for admission to the park..


Michigan

Reward Offered in Eagle Investigation

A $1,000 reward is being offered by the Department of Natural Resources for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for unlawful possession of a mature bald eagle, which  recently was found in the southern Upper Peninsula.

 

On June 30, the mature bird was spotted on the ground about three-and-one-half miles from US-2 near Garden Corners in Delta County. The bird was unable to fly because all the flight feathers and tail had been cut off. In addition, the head of the bird had been painted and it was emaciated from lack of proper nutrition.

 

The eagle was captured and transported to a rehabilitation center where it is undergoing treatment. A full recovery from its loss of feathers may take up to a year. Eagles molt, or grow new feathers, once per year, so the bird will remain in rehabilitation until the new feathers emerge, and then can be

taught to fly and hunt again.

 

It is believed the eagle had been held in captivity for some time, due to the bird’s physical condition. In addition, it is unlikely the bird was able to get to the location where it was captured on its own, so authorities believe the eagle was released, presumably by the person or persons who had held it in captivity.

 

Possession of a bald eagle without a permit is a violation of both state and federal laws. Under the state Endangered Species Act punishment up to a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days imprisonment, plus reimbursement of $1,500, are possible.

 

Local residents involved with the rescue of the eagle have posted an additional $200 reward for information.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at (800) 292-7800. Information can be provided anonymously.


 Marquette State Fish Hatchery Open for Public Tours

The Marquette State Fish Hatchery and Research Station is offering daily tours for area residents and visitors looking to learn more about Michigan’s fisheries.

 

The hatchery, operated by the DNR and located at 488 Cherry Creek Road, just south of the US-41/M-28 intersection, offers an interpretive area, production and incubation area, rearing tanks, broodstock viewing and a walking tour of the outside raceways. The hatchery is devoted to the rearing of coldwater species such as salmon, trout and splake, and was the cornerstone facility for the restoration of lake trout in the Great Lakes, most notably Lake Superior, which today is known as a world-class lake trout fishery.

 

The Marquette State Fish Hatchery dates back to 1922 when it raised brook trout. Grayling were hatched there in 1926 and the lake trout program became dominant in the 1950s. Today, the facility annually produces around one million brook trout, lake trout and splake eggs from its captive brood fish. Several new strains of broodstock have been added to maintain and

maximize a diverse gene pool.

 

In the mid-1990s the hatchery underwent a $5.8 million renovation that allowed for increased fish production and an improved rearing environment to raise higher-quality yearling trout.  The hatchery also is home to the Marquette Fisheries Research Station, where many major water quality and fisheries-related studies are conducted each year.

 

Larger groups should call ahead to set a time for a guided tour, which are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but we also welcome casual visitors, and especially children, who can learn what it takes to help support quality fishing in Michigan.

 

To arrange for a guided tour, contact the hatchery at (906) 249-1611. The hatchery site also features benches set in quiet locations next to Cherry Creek, interpretive signage and picnic tables. The hatchery also is open daily for self-guided tours from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


NRA-Backed Castle Doctrine Bills Become Law in Michigan

Fairfax, VA-Governor Jennifer Granholm last week signed into law a package of six self-defense bills backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), bringing “Castle Doctrine” protections to law-abiding Michigan citizens.

 

“I want to thank the Michigan Legislature and Governor Jennifer Granholm for working together in making this victims’ rights bill into law,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “When you’re confronted by a criminal, you don’t have the luxury of time. This Castle Doctrine package states that if victims choose to stand their ground and fight, their decision will not be second-guessed by the State of Michigan.   The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse from harm is important, whether you're in your home or outside.”

 

The six-bill Castle Doctrine Package passed with bi-partisan, supermajority support in both houses of the Michigan legislature:

 

►    SB 1046, sponsored by Sen. Alan Cropsey, outlines rebuttal presumptions for justified use of self-defense.  The bill makes it clear that there is no “duty to retreat” if a person is in a place where they have a legal right to be.

 

►    SB 1185, sponsored by Sen. Ron Jelinek, allows for the award of court and attorney fees in civil cases where it was

determined a person acted in accordance with the Self Defense Act and where civil immunities apply.

 

►    HB 5548, sponsored by Rep. Tim Moore, gives civil immunities to persons acting in accordance with the Self Defense Act, preventing criminals and their families from suing law-abiding citizens.

 

►    HB 5153, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Mortimer, puts the burden of proof on the prosecutor to show that a person acted unlawfully in the application of force, rather than the person using the force having to prove they acted lawfully.

 

►    HB 5142, sponsored by Rep. Tom Casperson, expands the definition of “dwelling” to include a person’s garage, barn, backyard, etc.

 

►    HB 5153, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jones, creates the Self Defense Act and specifies that it is not a crime to use force or deadly force to defend oneself if that person is not breaking any laws when defensive force was used.  The person must be facing imminent threat of death or great bodily harm. 

 

“On behalf of all NRA members in Michigan, I want to thank each of the bills’ chief sponsors for their leadership in seeing these measures become law,” concluded Cox. “The Castle Doctrine is about putting the law back on the side of the victim, the way it’s supposed to be.”


New York

State seizes land for Seneca Indian Nation

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) New York State has seized a privately owned water park and parking lot for Seneca Indian Nation as part of an agreement that allowed the tribe to build a casino resort in Niagara Falls.

 

The transfer of the 17-acre parcel next to the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel makes the land sovereign territory and free from county, city and school taxes.  A Seneca Gaming Corp. spokesman said the water park will not reopen, but plans for the land have not been determined.

 

"We're aggressively looking at development and expansion options," spokesman Philip Pantano said.  Eminent The land was part of a 50-acre section of downtown Niagara Falls promised to the Senecas under a compact signed by Gov. George Pataki in 2002. The Senecas opened a casino on 

New Year's Eve 2002 and a 26-story hotel late last year with the requirement that the tribe give the state and city a share of slot machine revenue.

 

Pantano estimated Seneca Gaming Corp., the tribe's gambling arm, now owns all but about 10 acres of the 50-acre footprint. The Empire State Development Corp., the state's economic development agency, is expected to

acquire that land for Seneca Gaming through additional eminent domain proceedings.

 

Fallsite LLC, owner of the former Fallsville Splash Park, received an advance payment from the Seneca Gaming Corp. before the state filed its eminent domain order in Niagara County Court Wednesday, Fallsite partner John Bartolomei said. He would not disclose the price but  said  it was based on "the highest appraisal given."


Ohio

Huron riverfront acquisition to increase public boating/fishing access

Former ConAgra Foods site to be redeveloped by the City of Huron

HURON (July 18, 2006) - Governor Bob Taft joined Ohio DNR Director Sam Speck, Huron Mayor Terry Graham and local officials to celebrate the state’s acquisition of a 19.8-acre peninsula where the Huron River enters Lake Erie.  The site, a former ConAgra Foods facility, is a key piece of Huron’s waterfront that the City of Huron will redevelop to provide boating and fishing access with launch ramps, docks and parking facilities. 

 

Located at the mouth of the Huron River, the site was purchased by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for $3.25 million from the division’s Boater-Angler Fund, which comes from motor fuel taxes paid by boaters. A portion of the purchase is subject to reimbursement by the federal government through

its Aid in Sportfish Restoration Program.

 

In June, the City of Huron applied for a $3.14 million grant from the ODNR Division of Watercraft’s Cooperative Boating Access Fund to build launch ramps and docks at the area. A stipulation of the grant will require the facility to be available to the public at no cost.  Currently, no significant public boating access to Lake Erie exists between the cities of Sandusky and Vermilion. The new ramps will provide easier access to popular Lake Erie fishing grounds, including Ruggles Reef.

 

Once completed, the new ramp area will provide a safe, calm place for boaters to launch and take out their vessels as the location is naturally sheltered from the lake’s wind and wave action. The city also envisions a future riverfront development to include restaurants, retail stores, condominiums and green-space.


Judge won't dismiss Ottawa Tribe's claim in Ohio

A federal judge denied the state of Ohio's motion to dismiss the Ottawa Tribe's hunting and fishing right lawsuit. The state said the tribe, based in Oklahoma, waited too long to make its claim. He also said the claim lacked merit. The tribe is citing hunting and fishing rights on Lake Erie under the 1805 Treaty of Fort Industry. The tribe also says it owns part of Bass Island on Lake Erie.

 

The Toledo Blade Judge Jack Zouhary dismissed a motion filed by Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro to throw out the lawsuit the tribe filed in June, 2005, laying claim to state-owned land on North Bass Island in Lake Erie. The Ottawa Tribe claims that a treaty it made with the federal government 200 years ago entitles it to unrestricted fishing rights in the lake for a commercial fishing operation it hopes to base on North Bass.

"This was a very important step that could allow them to begin the fishing operation that is crucial for the tribe's survival. They are anxious to get started. They are confident they will ultimately win the lawsuit,'' said William Caughey, one of the attorneys representing the tribe.

 

The state's motion asked for the dismissal on numerous grounds, including the tribe waited too long to stake its claim and the lawsuit was improperly hinged on treaties ratified with the federal government in 1805.

Kim Norris, a spokesman for the attorney general, said a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling supports the state's position that the tribe can't lay claim to fishing and hunting rights in the state.

 

 


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