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The city of Bemidji will immediately begin advertising for a community development director following a unanimous council decision on Monday authorizing the new position. City Manager John Chattin said the city hopes the successful candidate will begin work in Bemidji by May.
Among notable action taken at the Bemidji City Council meeting Monday: New staff position The council considered authorization and funding for a new staff position, a community development director. This person would be charged with following and leading new and expanding business developments in the city. He or she would also serve as the city's connection to the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board and commission.
A second sheet of ice for BSU hockey was formally removed from the proposed events center on Monday. The Bemidji City Council unanimously voted last night to direct the design team to develop designs for a facility that only could include an events center/hockey arena and convention center. Bemidji State University and the city of Bemidji last month signed agreements committing BSU hockey to being the anchor tenant of the events center.
The events center is largely out of local hands now as the Legislature begins to debate bonding requests. But, supporters are continuing to move forward on plans for the events center and the development of the south shore of Lake Bemidji. The Bemidji City Council Monday night is expected to consider the authorization of two new committees that will steer the events center proposal, according to the Jan.
The city of Bemidji is poised to add another city staffer. The City Council is expected on Monday to consider advertising for a community development director. The council has been discussing the possible position since last year when assistant city planner Rita Albrecht resigned to take a position with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission. If approved the community development director would be charged with planning directing and managing the city's community and economic development programs, according to council documents.
The Bemidji Police Department has announced that a Level III sex offender is poised to be released from prison on Feb. 11. Hibbler Howze, 45, was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion in 2000 in Beltrami County, according to the State of Minnesota. The Bemidji Police Department issued a press release on Thursday detailing its intent to notify the public about Howze's imminent release. In the release, the police department stresses that Howze is no longer wanted by police and that he has served the sentence that has been imposed upon him.
If convicted and sentenced to the maximum penalty, Richard Derek Wright will spend the rest of his life in prison. Wright, 40, of Belleville, Mich., is accused of murdering a Park Rapids woman. He was charged on Wednesday in Hubbard County District Court with second-degree murder, second-degree criminal sexual conduct, attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and interfering with a 911 call.
A 26-year-old Solway man has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the third degree by force or coercion, a serious felony. Bradley Scott Gulstad pleaded guilty to the charge on Tuesday. An additional charge of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, also a serious felony, will be dismissed when he is sentenced on March 31. Gulstad was arrested after a woman reported that she had been sexually assaulted by Gulstad throughout a seven-year period beginning in 1996-97, according to the criminal complaint.
A passenger in a vehicle that crashed early Tuesday morning allegedly stole a nearby car and rolled it just one mile from the original crash scene. Wendell Rodney Blue, 36, of Redby, ran from the second accident scene into nearby woods and was soon apprehended after he emerged from hiding, according to Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp. Blue remains in Beltrami County Jail pending charges of theft of a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to testing and failing to render aid.