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Redistricting hearing scheduled for Tuesday

A special panel appointed by a Minnesota's Supreme Court chief justice will hold a public hearing on redistricting this week in Bemidji.

The hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the board room of the Beltrami County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave. N.W.

The hearing is free and open for the public to view, but the deadline to sign up to speak at it has already passed.

The purpose of the hearings is to give interested people and groups a chance to be heard on the once-a-decade process of redrawing the state political map. Redrawing district lines is a federal requirement completed every 10 years to keep all districts' population the same for political divisions.

The panel will be chaired by Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright of the Appeals Court.

Chief Justice Gildea appointed Wright, Ivy S. Bernhardson of Hennepin County, James B. Florey of St. Louis County, Edward I. Lynch of Dakota County and John R. Rodenberg of Brown County to decide redistricting-related issues.

Cell phones must be turned off for the duration of the hearing. Eating, drinking or gum-chewing will also not be allowed while court is in session.

Those who have signed up to speak at the panel will have priority in choosing their seats in the courtroom or boardroom. Other seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and will depend on the capacity of the room.

Other hearings were held in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Bloomington. A hearing will be held today in Cloquet, and other hearings will be held Oct. 12 in Moorhead, Oct. 13 in St. Cloud and Oct. 14 in Mankato.

Written comments about redistricting still may be submitted to or to Bridget Gernander, 305 Minnesota Judicial Center, 25 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minn. 55155, by Oct. 21.