Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.
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I unfortunately missed "First Reformed" during its initial theatrical run, but I finally got around to seeing it on the small screen and I'm glad I did, because it's one of the most powerful films of 2018. The picture, directed by Paul Schrader, who also wrote "Taxi Driver," follows the story of the Rev. Ernst Toller, a pastor at a historic First Reformed Church in upstate New York. On the outside, Toller (played by Ethan Hawke) appears to be handling his position at the church well, regularly giving tours and making sure everything is running smoothly.
BEMIDJI—Tuesday evening's Beltrami County Board of Commissioner's meeting also is an opportunity for citizens to speak out on proposed revisions to the shoreland management ordinance. "We've been working on revising this ordinance for about two years," Beltrami County Environmental Services Director Brent Rud said. "We went to the county board about a year ago and gave them a summary of where we were headed. Over the past several months, we did all the final work to revise it, get DNR approval and work through the planning commission process."
BEMIDJI -- Feedback on the University Heights apartment complex has been positive since opening in summer 2016 along Bemidji Avenue near the BSU campus. However, the developer said he’s holding off on plans for expansion until there’s a bigger residential need at BSU. Development on University Heights began in 2013 and construction started in July 2015. The project started when the BSU Foundation sold an 11-acre parcel of land to Peterson Developers.
BEMIDJI—There are signs of ice forming on Lake Bemidji and other bodies of water across Minnesota. However, there is a way to go before the lakes are safe to venture out on. Lisa Dugan, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Recreation Safety Outreach Coordinator, said the agency has reported just four lakes that have a declared ice-in. Ice-ins occur when the entire lake is frozen over for the first time and the ice cover remains through winter.
BEMIDJI — Greater Bemidji Area Planning staff have drafted a budget for 2019 with a net loss of $9,010, based on an increase in wages and less permitting activity. The budget was the lone agenda topic taken under consideration Tuesday by the Bemidji City Council. During the meeting, Planning Director Casey Mai described what led to the budgeting of $317,237 in expenses and $308,227 in income for 2019.
BEMIDJI—Every branch of the United States military was represented Friday at the Bemidji Senior Activity Center, two days ahead of Veterans Day. "A lot of our members at our veterans events have served in each of the branches, so we feel it's important to honor all of them, as well as their spouses and families," Senior Center Manager Michelle Crow said. "This is something we do annually to honor our veterans. It's an important day for our community."
BEMIDJI—Profits for the Bemidji municipal liquor stores were down slightly in 2017, according to a report from the Minnesota State Auditor's report. But the revenue generated from the two stores still plays an important role in the city's finances, officials said. The net profit of Bemidji's two stores—Discount Liquor and Lakeview Liquor—was $645,024 in 2017, down from $713,240 in 2016.
BEMIDJI—Across the state Tuesday—at the city, county and state levels --- Minnesotans came out in high numbers to vote, more so than in previous elections. An estimated 2.5 million Minnesota citizens voted Tuesday, representing a 63.82 percent participation rate, according to the Secretary of State's office. While that total lags behind the 2.9 million in the 2016 election, that was a presidential election year, but 2018 totals well surpassed the 1.9 million voters in the 2014 midterms.
BEMIDJI—Incumbents running for reelection had success across the ballot in Blackduck on Tuesday. In the mayoral race, Rudy Patch earned a second term, defeating Jason Kolb in a 161-64 vote. The race also included nine write-in votes. For Blackduck City Council, both William Sellon and Paige Moore were reelected, respectively earning 122 and 165 votes. A total of 14 write-in votes were also cast for those two seats.
BEMIDJI -- Three seats on the Bemidji City Council were up for grabs this election cycle and each race was contested. Former Councilman Jim Thompson, 85, defeated Don Heinonen, 55, for the at-large seat by a slim 35-vote margin. Thompson received 2217 votes to Heinonen’s 2182. Michael Beard, 61, defeated Jamie Thibodeaux, 37, by a 52-47 percent margin for the Ward 2 seat.