Bemidji's effort to seek a veterans nursing home got a boost Thursday from new Minnesota Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito. While needing to remain non-committal about the project as other Minnesota cities are competing for a veterans nursing home, Shellito told about 75 supporters Bemidji had the credentials to compete and can make a good case for it. "Plant the seeds, see if it sticks and let it nurture," he told the group of mostly veterans organization officials and veterans service officers from throughout a 20-county area. "The community has a strong case," Shellito said in
Bemidji Airport Authority Commissioner Jim Lucachick will have to wait another month to have his construction budget questions answered. A critic of the ongoing airport terminal construction project, Lucachick repeated requests Wednesday for a detailed budget for the project. "At the risk of having egg on my face again, what is the total project budget and design fees?" Lucachick asked as Airport Authority Executive Director Harold Van Leeuwen was updating commissioners on the $9 million terminal project. "We'll get that for you at the next meeting," Van Leeuwen said.
Warm weather and melting snow means spring is near -- and also spring flooding. Beltrami County has been making preparations for any local spring flooding since last month, when more than two dozen law enforcement and emergency agencies met to share notes. "We had a productive two-hour talk, and each was asked what they bring to the table," Sgt.
A settlement approved Tuesday restores a terminated Beltrami County deputy to his post albeit only to allow him to resign. Former Deputy Sgt. Steven Page was terminated by Sheriff Phil Hodapp on June 17 by letter.
With a warm-up working to melt snow, Beltrami County commissioners today will begin flood planning. Commissioners, as part of their work session this afternoon, will discuss flooding concerns with County Highway Engineer Bruce Hasbargen and Emergency Management Director Beryl Wernberg. Their meeting with commissioners is about 3:45 p.m., with the work session starting at 3:30 p.m.
Minnesota House Democrats, who spent the weekend in northern Minnesota, found out that cities with state aid cuts were stretching services or raising property taxes. "The big debate this year is talking about revenue," Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, said in an interview Sunday. "We know in fact the state has said no new taxes over the last eight years that property taxes have gone up over $3 billion." As a result, property taxes are now the No.
Public unions should be abolished and Social Security privatized, attendees decided Monday night at a Bemidji Tea Party Town Hall. The group of about 70 people became the most impassioned over the issue of public unions, wanting to rally support for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his effort to do away with collective bargaining. "Every one of those teachers who haven't gone to work and taught our kids, should be fired," said Kath Molitor of teacher protesters at the Wisconsin State Capitol.
YouthBuild, a proposed Red Lake Band of Chippewa youth occupational training program, will receive $1 million in federal grant funds, says U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who announced the award. The money is being granted by the U.S. Department of Labor to implement a YouthBuild project on the Red Lake Reservation, Franken, DFL-Minn., said in a statement. The project will assist out-of-school youth in obtaining their diploma or GED while providing occupational training in the construction industry.
A federal grant was recently awarded to the Bemidji Regional Airport to complete renovation of its fire rescue station. The $157,923 grant is part of the effort to expand and renovate the airport's aircraft rescue and firefighting building adjacent to the terminal building, which is also undergoing an expansion and renovation project. The grant will be distributed by the Federal Aviation Administration through the Department of Transportation, said U.S. Sen.
Beltrami County commissioners took the first step Tuesday in a $280,000 county jail upgrade by hiring an architectural firm for the project. "The jail control systems are 24 years old," County Facilities Manager Steve Shadrick told commissioners during their work session. "We can no longer find component parts for repairs as they are obsolete.