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Bemidji Avenue will be reconstructed between Third Street and 23rd Street next year. Two signal lights will be replaced, sewer and water utilities will be replaced and updated, and traffic will be detoured. City Engineer Craig Gray presented the plans for the project to the Bemidji City Council on Monday.
As local officials and volunteers continue to work on securing funding to complete the Paul Bunyan Trail, they will gather on Thursday to celebrate what they already have accomplished. The third annual Paul Bunyan Trail Ride begins at 1:30 p.m. Thursday with a press conference outside the Bemidji Pioneer before the ride commences. A reception and presentation will follow at Hampton Inn & Suites. U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-Eighth District, and state Rep.
Kristian James Donnell, 30, of Red Lake, was sentenced on Monday for felony neglect or endangerment of a child. Donnell, who was convicted in April 1998 for causing the death of his 7-week-old son, was accused of injuring his 6-week-old son last year. He was sentenced to 55 months in prison and given a stay of execution. He was ordered to serve six months in jail and have supervised probation for five years.
Get out your dancing shoes. The Bemidji City Council on Monday unanimously approved Nymore Days Street Dance. The event will be held on Sept. 7 in anticipation of Bemidji State University football's 10th annual Shrine Game on Sept. 8. Funds raised will benefit the Shriners Children's Hospital. A pig roast and a street dance will be held on Central Avenue between The Garden Grill & Pub and the Corner Bar in a fenced-in and barricaded area. Alcoholic beverages will be sold to those 21 and older from noon to 12:30 a.m. Sept. 7-8.
Joyce Oberg is proof that a cancer diagnosis does not equal a death sentence. Oberg has been cancer-free for 33 years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy in 1974. Oberg is this year's honorary chairwoman of the Beltrami County Relay for Life, an annual event that brings together cancer survivors, family members, friends and community members to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. The 11th annual Beltrami County Relay for Life will run 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday at Bemidji High School.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. After driving three-plus hours and dealing with slower-than-usual customs, Winnipeg-based Dragon Power again finished second at the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival. But this time it wasn't the team in green that got away, but the squad clad in orange. Peak Freaks, of Peak Performance, paddled away with the championship trophy and gold medals on Saturday. The team won the grande finale with a time of 2:29:03. Team captain Jon Laakso was modestly celebrating the victory after the race.
Some had chickens on their heads, others sported bandanas.
How excited are last year's champions about the prospect of defending their dragon boat title today? "Ecstatic," said Mitch Rautio, the captain of the defending champion Wooly Irishmen, which is returning about 90 percent of last year's team. So far this week the Wooly Irishmen have practiced twice, he said. "Everyone seemed to re-member what they're doing," he said. "We seemed to get in synch again.
As this year's Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival arrives, the waterfront already has been full of entertainment and spectators. Not to mention the members of the 63 teams competing in the dragon boat races. Each team has between 17 and 21 participants. Also in each boat is a steerer, who stands in the back of the boat and helps keep it on track. Dave Gustafson is one of the returning steerers for this year's festival.
Former Bemidji city manager David Minke has been named one of six finalists for the city manager position in Moorhead. Minke, who worked for the city of Bemidji since 2002, resigned on March 29, 2006, and accepted a position as assistant town manager in Castle Rock, Colo. "At this point in my career, having the experience of working in a dynamic and growing organization is exciting," Minke told the Pioneer last March. Castle Rock has a population of almost 40,000. According to Minke, the city expected to grow by 5,000 residents by 2010.