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While driving along Becida Road, you're in Schmitt territory. John and Christine Schmitt came to the area in the late 1800s. They purchased 137 acres of land and homesteaded in 1898. Their grandson, Charles Schmitt Jr., said it was quite possibly the first farm on the Mississippi. Not only is the house still standing, but it still is being lived in - now by John and Christine's great-great-great--grandson Ryan Martin, whose two children represent the sixth generation to use the home. John and Christine were German, but they met in Wahpeton, N.D., after coming over separately from Europe.
Every emergency preparedness drill offers the opportunity to learn something new, according to officials who attended Thursday's training exercise. "One of the biggest problems that always exists during any real disaster or real crisis event is communication," said Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp. During Thursday's mock disaster, officials realized they had a communication problem during the initial briefing, he said.
About 15 people attended a meeting on Thursday to discuss their hopes for the future of the Bemidji Public Library. Ideas ranged from increasing the selection of books on tape and CD to starting a mentoring program to help children improve their reading skills. And, being open on Sundays. Library consultant Mark Ranum was tapped by the Kitchigami Regional Library System board to facilitate public meetings and compile surveys gauging the public's desires for the future of its libraries.
A Bemidji woman has been charged with felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle, misdemeanor obstructing the legal process and misdemeanor reckless driving. Shannon Karleen Nelson, 35, of Bemidji, was charged this week in Otter Tail County District Court, according to the county attorney's office. Nelson led several law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase that began shortly after 8:30 p.m. in Menahga in Wadena County, according the Wadena County Attorney Kyra L. Ladd.
Bemidji is welcoming fall with a few new businesses, expansion of an existing business and the relocation of another. City Planner Curt Oakes on Tuesday provided updates on several construction projects in the city. -- Thinking Arby's? You'll have to wait a few more months, but the fast-food chain is set to soon open an Arby's Restaurant in Bemidji. Oakes said a permit was issued to Arby's last week and the company broke ground for the restaurant on Monday. Arby's will be located on Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest across from the Bemidji Chrysler Center.
While the Legislature will convene today for a special legislative session, the Bemidji City Council is disappointed that it won't address the previously vetoed budget bill. The vetoed bill included an additional $428,000 in Local Government Aid for Bemidji. The City Council has bemoaned the loss of those funds since, saying that it will drive up the local tax levy for residents. Had the city secured that funding, councilors likely would have supported no levy increase for 2008.
For people with vision problems, Aladdin may be able to grant them their wish - reading the newspaper. An Aladdin machine, produced by Telesensory, assists those with low vision by magnifying the print in a newspaper, magazine or book as it displays the words in much-larger type on a screen similar to a computer monitor. An Aladdin machine was recently installed at the Kitchigami Regional Library in Bemidji. "The enlarging device is just a wondering tool," said Branch Manager Paul Ericsson. The Aladdin is now set up near the back of the library near its display of periodicals such as magaz
Andrew Krumrey, 18, of Bemidji, was charged on Thursday with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim under 13 years of age, a serious felony. He is accused of sexually assaulting two boys at a day-care center in Bemidji. According to the criminal complaint, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office received a report on Sept. 4 from a man who said Krumrey sexually assaulted his boys at a Bemidji day care. During an interview with an investigator on Wednesday, one of the boys said Krumrey would occasionally be at the day-care center, the complaint said.
Prior to their deaths, Paul and Doris Warren both were suffering from medical problems, their family said on Thursday. The Warrens, both 86, were found dead in their rural Mahnomen County home on Monday. The Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office in a press release stated that their deaths were a murder-suicide. According to a statement released by their family on Thursday, Paul's actions were that of euthanasia. Doris had fallen and gotten a concussion which led to her needing brain surgery in 2005 and she then suffered from subsequent memory problems, the statement said.
The Bemidji Regional Airport remains closed as crews continue reconstruction of the main runway. The nine-day closure began on Wednesday. The airport will reopen for normal operation at 5 a.m. Sept. 14. The Bemidji Regional Airport has two runways. The primary runway, also referred to as 13/31, runs northwest to southeast. The secondary runway, known as the crosswind or 7/25, runs southwest to the northeast. The two runways intersect north of the airport terminal. The crosswind runway was reconstructed last year.