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Couple donates $150,000 for Carnegie

BEMIDJI -- An Illinois couple has donated $150,000 to help restore the Carnegie Library building.

Andreas and Marilyn Kuhn of Godfrey, Ill., donated the gift in memory of their grandson, Jordan Klope, who died at the age of 15.

According to a press release from the City of Bemidji, Klope talked about moving to Bemidji, where his grandparents spend their summer months, and becoming a fishing guide. He loved the outdoors, including hunting and fishing. He was also an expert trap shooter.

The Save the Carnegie committee plans to dedicate one of the conference rooms proposed in the renovated building in Klope's memory, according to the press release.

"This lasting memorial on the lake in a place that he loved will help keep Jordan's memory alive," the press release states.

Klope died in December when the pickup he was driving overturned on the way home from a hunting trip with family, according to The Telegraph newspaper in Alton, Ill.

Local volunteers hope to raise $1.6 million for the renovation of the Carnegie building, which is more than 100 years old, and move it back from State Highway 197 toward Lake Bemidji.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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