A passerby called in the alarm of a rural Leader, Minn., home on fire, but it was Bemidjian Tom Johnson touring by on his motorcycle a few minutes later who actually took the action that saved the life of Cathy Kinnaman. Johnson, an EMT and former volunteer firefighter, kicked open the door to look for anyone who might be in the burning house. He found Kinnaman asleep after a 12-hour night shift at the Staples, Minn., hospital. Johnson gave Kinnaman a few seconds to grab her purse, but then hustled her to safety. When she was safely outside, he managed to drag away some household equipment, namely an ATV and a lawn mower, and drive away the motor home where the Kinnaman family is now camping on their pasture. Right time-- right place -- courage -- resourcefulness -- training all went into saving Kinnaman's life. The Kinnaman family acknowledges Johnson as their angel.
City of Bemidji Public Works Director Andy Mack retired last week after 21 years serving the city in various capacities. He referred to himself as the "complaint department" because he responded to all the concerns about infrastructure problems for so many years. Good luck in your retirement, and keep those steam tractor engines chuffing.
As part of its bankruptcy court orders, Chrysler will close 789 of the 3,188 dealerships including 19 in Minnesota. General Motors (GM) may begin importing Chinese-made cars to the United States, "ramping up sales" to 50,000 by 2014, according to the Associated Press. Many car companies -- Packard, Studebaker, Kaiser, etc. -- have come and gone in the last century, all lamented by their fans. In a global economy the effects are far reaching. Considering the widespread turmoil in the auto industry and the number of direct and ancillary jobs on the line, we have to hope these plans stave off the worst. The good news is Bemidji Chrysler and its sister dealership in Park Rapids remain strong and logging a successful 2009.
Gary Vanyo had some land fit for gardening and decided the Bemidji Community Food Shelf would be a fitting recipient of the harvest. Through grants for equipment and other necessities, six acres will be under cultivation this year for potatoes and other subsistence crops, with the help of volunteers.Boy Scout Troop 25 planted potatoes last week, but anyone who has seeds to donate or time to offer in maintaining the garden is welcome.