Week of January 23 , 2012


Veterans Issues
2nd Amendment Issues

Other Breaking News Items


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All-Star Walleye School Moves to Mille Lacs in 2012

Minneapolis, MN - Returning for a second year, the All-Star Walleye School is back for anglers ready to ramp-up their skills in 2012. Moving to one of the hottest walleye factories around, the event will be Thursday, August 9th through Sunday, August 12th on Lake Mille Lacs in Central Minnesota. McQuoid's Inn will host the event. All-Star instructors include Mark Courts, Kevin McQuoid, Paul Meleen, Brian Brosdahl and Bill Shimota and more depending on the size of the class. The plethora of high caliber National Guard FLW Walleye Tour anglers is what sets this school apart from others.

"The quality and variety of instructors at the All-Star Walleye School is just phenomenal," shared Chip Leer, host of the event and the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour. "And we found the skills very teachable in this format: time in the classroom along with application time on the water. It makes all the difference in the world." Class attendees from the previous year would agree.

"The pros honed my skills so that I'll be a much better fisherman from here forward," shared Jim Weaver of Elkhorn, Nebraska after last summer's school. "When you consider the classroom time, the time on the water with the pros, great food and really nice accommodations, it was a great value." Fellow All-Star Walleye school participant, Jim Kloth of Wisconsin had this to add. "I learned one new technique which afforded me the chance to land a really nice 27" walleye during our time on the water. I would recommend this school to all fishermen who would like to hone their skills. This was a first-class event, start to finish."

Chip Leer visits with each participant in the weeks before the school. That way, he can funnel information to the instructors about the content the participants really want to cover. "Some of the techniques are particular to a specific lake or river situation," added Leer. "We take those concepts, break them down in classroom time and then apply them on the water. And you can go fishing in Kevin, Paul or Mark's boats with them in the afternoon with the deluxe package. That whole time is a rich teaching-learning environment."


"These were really top-of-the-line instructors for walleye fishing, and I loved fishing in their Ranger boats and seeing all their gear," shared Dan Fix of Lincoln, Nebraska after the last school. "Getting both classroom time to discuss and then hit the lake to put it to practical use was great." Ranger Boats is a returning sponsor of the event, as are the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour and Liddle Marketing Company. "You won't find a better group of walleye fishing instructors ̶ truly the All-Stars of the sport," shared George Liddle of Ranger Boats. "Nice guys, very approachable. But also guys that you have seen, and will continue to see, at the top of their field come tournament time."

Packages start at $700 and interested parties should contact Chip Leer at 218-547-4714 or e-mail: [email protected].

See www.liddlemarketingcompany.com
for complete details. LMC is proud of the sponsor relationship for the All-Star Walleye School with the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour, Ranger Boats and McQuoid's Inn.


Veterans Issues

College Credit for Military Experience

The American Council on Education (ACE) was created in 1942 to recognize the educational value of military training and experience. Through ACE, you can take academic credit for most of the training you have received, including Basic Training. The first step to claiming the credits you have earned is to request a transcript from your military service. Each service will provide unofficial personal copies and send schools an official copy of your transcript at no charge.

In most cases, ACE recommended credits will be used to fulfill your free-elective requirements, but each college determines the number of credits they will accept, and how they will be applied toward your degree. In fact, some schools may even choose not to grant any credit for military experience. That is why it is critical to shop around for the school that meets your specific requirements. Get more information on ACE & Search for Schools with VA Approved Programs.


VA announces changes to emergency care payment policy

WASHINGTON � The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today a change in regulations regarding payments for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans in non-VA facilities.


�This provision helps ensure eligible Veterans continue to get the emergency care they need when VA facilities are not available,� said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. The new regulation extends VA�s authority to pay for emergency care provided to eligible Veterans at non-VA facilities until the Veterans can be safely transferred to a VA medical facility.

More than 100,000 Veterans are estimated to be affected by the new rules, at a cost of about $44 million annually.  VA operates 121 emergency departments across the country, which provide resuscitative therapy and stabilization in life-threatening situations.  They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  VA also has 46 urgent care units, which provide care for patients without scheduled appointments who need immediate medical or psychiatric attention.


For more information about emergency care in non-VA facilities, visit www.nonvacare.va.gov.



Nation's Passion for Firearms Reflected in Record-setting SHOT Show

LAS VEGAS--Energized by unprecedented gun sales nationwide, firearms industry professionals turned out in record numbers to the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show), and many made a point of saying "the best is yet to come."


"It's a wonderful time to be in our industry," said Sandy Chisholm of North American Arms, a handgun manufacturer. "We've seen tremendous enthusiasm on the part of sellers and buyers, and we see the prospect of a very good year ahead." Many agreed with that assessment of the market and of the SHOT Show.


The largest trade show of its kind in the world and the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, a city of trade shows, the SHOT Show set an overall attendance record of more than 61,000, including new highs for buyers at 36,383 and media at 2,466. Though show organizers deliberately reduced the size of the show to better accommodate attendees at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, still some 1,600 exhibitors filled booth space covering 630,000 net square feet. The show attracted industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries.


The SHOT Show is owned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Revenues from the show support NSSF's many programs that carry out its mission of promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports. "The SHOT Show allows NSSF to do many good things for industry, shooting and hunting," said NSSF President and Steve Sanetti. Added Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer, "We have worked hard to make sure SHOT is a great selling and buying experience, and it has resulted in our best show ever."


Thanks to Americans' passion for firearms, the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry has been a bright spot in the down economy. The industry supports many small businesses and helps preserve the 180,000 jobs associated with the shooting sports. In 2011, company executives saw records set for background checks, a reliable indicator of sales, including the most ever in a single month (December) and single day (Black Friday). Many in the industry believe, however, that Americans' interest in owning firearms will continue to grow in 2012, fueling their unabashed optimism about the year ahead.

Many also said they would not be surprised to see supporters of the Second Amendment react as they did before the last presidential election when their fears over candidates who were unfriendly toward firearms ignited a sales surge.


From the opening bell, buyers filled the aisles to review products, many of them new offerings that will make their way to retail stores during the year. "Traffic is like we've never seen it before," said Mark Malkowski, president of Stag Arms, maker of modern sporting rifles (AR-style rifles), a big seller over the past several years. "Retailers we've talked to are expecting a record year."


Accessories, from holsters to rifle slings to optics, are an important part of the SHOT Show. "We are selling sights like you can't believe," said Aimpoint's Roger Bell of the company's pro staff. "We signed up a lot of new dealers, and that says to me the market is expanding."

In the Mossberg booth, Tom Taylor, vice president of marketing, said, "This is about as much excitement as I've seen at a SHOT Show. People are buying optimistically, and we're going to build optimistically."


Any SHOT attendee will tell you the show is more than about selling and buying; it's a powerful display of industry unity and its resolve to meet any challenge affecting the right to make, sell and own firearms. At the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner, NSSF President Steve Sanetti said, "I have never seen us so unified and united in our purpose." As evidence, he pointed to NSSF's fast-growing membership, which now tops 7,000, an all-time high.


The show continues to benefit from the broadbased press contingent that lavishes attention on newly released products. The media, of course, are usually the first to spot celebrities, who this year included American Idol judge and rock star Steven Tyler, and NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. A big success was SHOT Show Media Day at the Range on the day prior to the show, where credentialed press reviewed and tested products. More than 1,100 press and 100 exhibitors attended Media Day--more than ever before.


In conjunction with the SHOT Show, NSSF sponsored the PGA Charities' Birdies for the Brave golf tournament that raised funds for injured

The SHOT Show will return to the Sands Expo & Convention Center next year January 15-18.


2nd Amendment Issues

Chicago:  Challenge to Ban on Guns Outside the Home Goes Forward

On January 19, a federal judge in Chicago allowed NRA-supported plaintiffs to move ahead with a challenge to that city�s laws that ban anyone from possessing or carrying a handgun except in his or her home, and that ban possession or carriage of a long gun anywhere outside his or her home or place of business.


The case, Benson v. City of Chicago, challenges several of the anti-Second Amendment restrictions that were enacted days after the city�s handgun ban was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Other issues contested in the case include the city�s ban on nearly all firearm transfers and on the operation of gun stores, as well as its law that allows each Chicago license holder to keep only one �assembled

and operable� firearm within the home.


On the carry issue, the city had argued that this count of the complaint should be dismissed, claiming that there was no way the courts could provide relief because the same conduct was prohibited statewide by Illinois law anyway.  In the ruling, Judge Edmond E. Chang of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois pointed out that Chicago�s ordinance actually was more strict than state law:  Illinois does allow people to possess and carry guns in their places of business, or in another person�s home.

Briefs on the remaining issues in the case will be filed between now and April.


NRA will appeal Texas concealed handgun case
NRA will appeal Thursday�s (January 19) decision by a federal court in Texas, which held that the Second Amendment doesn�t protect any right to keep or bear arms outside the home.

The decision, handed down by U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas, came in the case of Jennings v. McCraw, in which a group of law-abiding 18- to 20-year old adults challenged the state law prohibiting issuance of concealed handgun licenses to persons under 21, who are treated as adults for virtually every other purpose under the law.  (NRA is also a party on behalf of its members in this age group.)  Judge Cummings ruled that it was unnecessary to address the state�s discrimination against young adults because �the right to carry a handgun outside of the home � seems to be beyond the scope of the core Second Amendment concern articulated in Heller [v. District of Columbia].�

Unfortunately, this is only the most recent of several court decisions that have misread Heller in that way.  Heller, of course, only directly addressed gun possession in the home, for a very simple reason: The plaintiffs in that case only challenged Washington, D.C.�s limits on possession in the home, rather than its restrictions on carrying firearms outside the home.

More importantly, the Supreme Court in Heller never said the Second Amendment doesn�t apply outside the home.  Rather, it said that the home is the place �where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute��implying that there are other places where the need may be less acute, but still exists.  Likewise, the Court suggested that it would uphold bans on carrying guns in �sensitive places��which implies that carrying in places that are not �sensitive� would be protected under the Second Amendment.

The NRA will appeal the Jennings decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and to the Supreme Court if necessary.  Although the Supreme Court recently declined to hear two cases addressing the right to bear arms outside the home, several others are working their way through the courts.  These include the NRA-supported cases of Peruta v. County of San Diego, which challenges discriminatory permit issuance under California law and Shepard v. Madigan, challenging Illinois� complete denial of any lawful way to carry firearms for self-defense outside one�s home or place of business.  Peruta is pending in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and Shepard is awaiting action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.


Something to hide? Official to plead Fifth on 'Furious'
The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun

running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico. Patrick J. Cunningham informed the House Oversight Committee late Thursday (January 19) through his attorney that he will use the Fifth Amendment protection.



White River's rebound continues

The White River has received its cleanest bill of health since a major fish kill in 1999.

During a fall 2011 fish survey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists collected 7,128 fish from 57 species at sample stations between Anderson and Indianapolis. This was the greatest number of species collected since the fish kill, and further proof that the river has recovered.


In December 1999, an estimated 4.3 million fish died as a result of a fish kill that started at the outfall of the Anderson Waste Water Treatment Plant and stretched 55 miles into downtown Indianapolis. The kill was traced to an industrial discharge from the Guide Corporation in Anderson.


A $6 million settlement overseen by the DNR, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was used to restore the river. A 10-person citizen�s advisory committee assisted the agencies.  �The fish community is healthy, and an increase in darters and minnows is an indication of improving habitat and water quality� said Sandra Clark-

Kolaks, a DNR fisheries research biologist. Game species have also recovered since 1999, providing ample angling opportunities. Black bass, rock bass, saugers, crappies, and channel catfish were collected in plentiful numbers.  In addition to fish, the White River is home to an abundance of other wildlife. During the fish survey, biologists noted bald eagles, great blue herons, foxes, and white-tailed deer.


�Thanks to fish stockings, monitoring, habitat protection, public access improvements and public awareness, the White River is an excellent recreational opportunity for Indianapolis residents,� said Bill James, DNR chief of fisheries.  James says groups like Friends of the White River and the White River Watchers have also had a major impact on the White River by organizing annual trash cleanups and improving public access.


A list of DNR-managed fishing access sites can be found at the DNR �Where to Fish� finder at www.Fishing.IN.gov/3591.htm

A copy of the 2011 White River fish survey report soon will be posted to www.Fishing.IN.gov/3352.htm.



DNR acquires 280 Acres in the Manistee River Watershed

The Michigan DNR purchased 280 acres of land within the Manistee River watershed.  The parcel is completely surrounded by state-owned land located within the Cadillac Forest Management Unit in northeastern Wexford County, 16 miles north of Cadillac.    


The natural features of this site include approximately 1,000 feet of Manistee River frontage, 1,000 feet of frontage on a tributary to Fife Lake Creek, a 90-acre bog complex, deer wintering yard and range, and wooded uplands that provide a diversity of wildlife habitat. 


�This is one of those land acquisitions that just make sense,� says Mark Tonello, a fisheries management biologist with the DNR.  �The Manistee River in this area is stunningly beautiful, not to mention the fishing is fantastic.  There are trophy-sized brown trout just waiting to be caught.�

Hunting, fishing, trapping, swimming, boating, camping, berry picking, mushroom hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing and bird watching are among the many recreational opportunities offered by this property.  A broad range of both fish and game species can be found on the property and within the Manistee River corridor that flows through this area. The Fisheries Division of the DNR and the Walton Junction Sportsman�s Club stock this section of the river with brown trout.  Additionally, anglers catch rainbow trout, walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass.   


The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund recognized that this acquisition will contribute to the Department�s goals of consolidating State ownership, limiting land fragmentation, securing fishery and wildlife habitat, and enhancing forest management and public recreation opportunities.


Other Breaking News Items

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Australian company to harvest carp from Minn. waters
An Australian company that harvests and processes carp for Asian and European food markets will open its first U.S. facility in Wabasha, Minn., Friday


Ontario farm group calls for halt to wind power development
Ontario�s largest farm organization has called for a moratorium on wind power development in the province, saying there are too many unanswered questions about its value, and that the debate over turbines is polarizing rural communities.


EDITORIAL: Misplaced complacency on invasive carp
Another study, another affirmation. The U.S. Geological Survey says -- as if we didn't know -- that we dare not allow the bighead and silver carp a fin-hold in shallow, plankton-rich western Lake Erie.


Study raises concern about safeguarding Lake Erie
A federal study released last week indicates western Lake Erie as a new point of concern for Asian carp.

Feds want comments on Great Lakes stewardship
The National Ocean Council is seeking public input on a recently released plan for addressing oceanic, coastal, and Great Lakes issues across the U.S.


Great Lakes salmon polluting Michigan�s stream fish
Fish that share Michigan streams with spawning Great Lakes salmon tend to carry high concentrations of toxic chemicals�in some cases, high enough to potentially warrant state warnings against eating the fish.

Invasion of the Great Lakes: Quagga mussels least known, most dangerous invader
The little known quagga mussel is presenting a much more immediate danger to lake ecology than its more famous cousin - the zebra mussel - ever did


Tribes warn Wisconsin Assembly committee: You�ll have to deal with us
Four of northern Wisconsin's bands of Lake Superior Chippewa met with the Assembly Jobs Committee to pledge solidarity with the Bad River tribe's opposition to proposed mining legislation.


Michigan counties could lose millions of dollars from wind farm tax change

Wind turbines are considered industrial personal property and taxed on their market value, said Rep. Kurt Damrow, R-Port Austin. Formerly each turbine�s tax liability was based on 100 percent of its value for the first year and depreciated over 15 years until bottoming out at 30 percent.



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