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The bulk of national retail stores have chosen to open along the west side of town. According to former Bemidji city planner Curt Oakes, the segregation of national stores from the traditional downtown was less a planned zoning initiative than just the natural evolution of development. "It was about the only option for (national chains) because that's where the open space was," he said.
Harry Takhar was driving through Bemidji in 2002 thinking about the project he wanted to build but couldn't because of an inability to find an appropriate site. He had been considering areas such as Grand Forks, Fargo, southern Minnesota and Iowa, but hadn't thought about Bemidji - until he saw a "for sale" sign off of U.S. Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 71. "I'd been trying to find a large area where something like this could happen, and one day I was driving by and saw the for sale sign that had probably been there for three and a half or four years," Takhar said.
A friend in 1966 introduced Dick Lueben to what would become one of his favorite wintertime hobbies. "He brought over one of those new fangled things called a snowmobile," Lueben said.
The Bemidji area boasts numerous trails for hiking, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. But outdoor enthusiasts are especially applauding a move by the state Legislature to finally complete the area's most popular trail, the Paul Bunyan Trail. The Paul Bunyan Trail runs from Bemidji to Brainerd. Or it is supposed to.
A suspect was arrested by a Beltrami County investigator Thursday morning after a pursuit through residents' lawns. The incident began at about 6:45 a.m. after the investigator observed a vehicle traveling north on Irvine Avenue on the southbound shoulder, according to Sheriff Phil Hodapp. The investigator attempted to stop the vehicle, but the male suspect immediately fled, prompting a pursuit along Town Hall Road Northwest into area neighborhoods and through residents' yards, Hodapp said. The pursuit ultimately ended about 7 a.m.
North Lake Irving residents are fighting a housing plan even though such a plan does not yet formally exist. About 25 residents attended a Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Commission public hearing Thursday on a proposal to rezone a parcel of land in their neighborhood to allow for moderate-density residential housing. The 4-acre parcel is located along Park Avenue Northwest and is part of a larger, 16-acre parcel that mostly contains wetland. The land is tax-forfeit and is in the process of being conveyed to the city of Bemidji from the Department of Natural Resources.
Sixty-seven people were injured in June and July last year in Minnesota due to fireworks. According to the Minnesota State Fire Marshal, 45 of those injured (78 percent) were 29 years old or younger. With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, along come the yearly warnings promoting fireworks safety. The state Fire Marshall and Consumer Product Safety Commission each year releases guidelines for the use of fireworks, but people continue to get hurt. Between 1998 and 2007, more than 600 people were injured in Minnesota due to fireworks, according to the state Fire Marshal.
Anyone looking for Tom Lundberg Thursday likely found him at Tom'Stop, carrying gas tanks full of diesel fuel to the rear of the building to refill his generator. Tom'Stop, a Northern Township gas station on Irvine Avenue, did not have power all day Thursday. An ongoing dispute between Lundberg and Beltrami Electric Cooperative Inc. culminated Thursday morning as the electric company disconnected the business' power. "I've always paid my bill and I've never been late," Lundberg said in an interview Thursday.
The Bemidji City Council gave its support Monday to begin searching for a construction management firm to assist in the planning and construction of the Bemidji events center. Councilors voted 5-1 authorizing City Manager John Chattin to develop and send out a request for qualifications to find interested firms. "The best opportunity to affect savings on this project is to get a CM on board as soon as possible," Chattin said.
A construction project on the lawn outside of the Beltrami County Courthouse has resulted in a comfortable, green setting. The reconstruction of the courthouse lawn was the final piece to the Beltrami County campus construction, said County Administrator Tony Murphy. "I think it looks really nice," he said. The county in 2007 awarded a bid of $166,737.77 for the yard work and $10,162.50 for an open gazebo to Xtreme Yards of Bemidji.