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BEMIDJI - With the team registration deadline for the seventh annual Dragon Boat Festival approaching Sunday, organizer Brian Bissonette is hoping teams will register soon to avoid the lowest turnout in the event's history. "It's hard to say what the reason is because we had a record number of teams register before the early-bird deadline," Bissonette said.
MINNEAPOLIS - Bemidji native Ariana Lindquist, 40, a freelance photo journalist, took first place in the non-traditional photojournalism publishing category for the National Press Photographers Best of Photo Journalism Awards for her work for the book Green Card Stories. "For me it is an important validation of the work," Lindquist said. "Mainly because I work as a photojournalist and am not a portrait photographer." Green Card Stories is a book that illustrates immigration in America through the stories of 50 recent immigrants, each with permanent residence or citizenship.
BEMIDJI - Before Monday's storm, Christopher Muller, the assistant Beltrami County emergency management director, had never flown. On Tuesday, he boarded a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter for a fly-over of the area, allowing him a birds' eye view of the damage left in the wake of a storm packing winds of 80 mph or more. The flyover gave him a unique perspective of the storm's destruction. "Personally it was pretty exciting because I had never flown in anything before," Muller said.
BEMIDJI -- According to the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, heroin is starting to make an appearance in Beltrami County and the surrounding areas. Commander Gary Peterson, who supervises the task force, spoke at the Beltrami County Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, giving an update on what he and the task force are seeing. He said that pill abusers have found that some of their favorite pills, like Percocet, contain acetaminophen, which has been known to cause liver damage.
BEMIDJI - Locking doors tends to keep the contents of a building safe from intruders, but for Dan Ley, the lock was the only thing that stopped him from getting squashed under the ceiling of his business during Monday night's storms. "I remembered there was something inside that I really wanted to get so I was fumbling with my keys to get in the front door," Ley said. "As soon as I started to open the door the ceiling caved in.
BEMIDJI -- The 68th annual Jaycee's Water Carnival was in full force Saturday, with all sorts of activities for kids of all ages. Saturday's events started with the 17th annual Tutto Bene two mile and 10 kilometer run. Race organizer Dennis Bartz said there were nearly 250 runners between the two races, with Billy Freyholte (11:25) and Kayla Olson (13:41) taking first overall in the two mile race and Nathan Engel (36.01) and Bailey Drewes (42:44) taking first for their genders in the 10 kilometer race. Following the races, the kids got to show off their decorated tricycles, wagons and minia
BEMIDJI - After 18 years providing new and used sports equipment in the Bemidji area, Play it Again Sports is closing. "It is a shame because we donate a lot to the community," owner Ken Pankow said Friday.
BEMIDJI - The forestry and timber industries have a major impact on the economic success of the northwoods economy, providing nearly 600 people in the area with jobs in addition to providing wood products that are distributed around the world. "If you cut a dollar worth of stumpage off of Minnesota-owned land it generates $42 of economic impact to the state of Minnesota," Pete Aube, manager of the Potlatch Lumber Mill east of Bemidji. Aube, who has been in the forestry industry for 32 years, said the wood products produced have not changed, with lumber, paper and oriented strand board (OSB).
SOLWAY - Entering its third generation of loggers, the Lundberg family has been in the logging business since the late 1950s and they know all too well how much of a rollercoaster the industry can be. "Lumber is what I know, and nothing else is that special," said Dan Lundeberg, second generation owner of Lundberg Forestry Products.
BEMIDJI -- Lakes in the Bemidji area are safe from many invasive species and to keep it that way the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for the communities support to keep it that way. "We are all responsible for our lakes," DNR invasive species specialist Christine Herwig said at the Friends of Lake Bemidji meeting Thursday night at the Hampton Inn. "We are doing this large educational campaign because we all need to do our part to prevent the spread of these species." Herwig reviewed the invasive species laws, highlighting the requirements for boaters to follow.