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For those seeking more information about Bemidji's proposed regional events center, Monday will offer a day full of opportunities. Meetings are scheduled throughout the day as officials and experts will discuss project plans. The day kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at City Hall for a meeting with businesses, which also will be open to the public.
After officials thanked the National Guard for answering the call to serve in Iraq, local guardsmen expressed their appreciation of the community for its support of them - and their families. "It's really amazing," said Jamie Allen.
A 19-year-old Redby man was shot and killed Saturday morning by a Red Lake Department of Public Safety police officer, according to the FBI. The man was shot after he was observed to be pointing an AK-47 at the police officer, said Paul McCabe, an FBI spokesman. The incident remains under investigation, and an autopsy and forensic reports are still being completed, McCabe said. The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, according to the Red Lake Department of Public Safety.
Get out your lederhosen. The Bemidji City Council on Monday unanimously approved the first Oktoberfest festival, to be held Oct. 5-7 in downtown Bemidji. The Bemidji Jaycees, the event's sponsor, hope the celebration becomes an annual festival. The Jaycees, explained co-chair Char Blashill, have been planning the festival for about three years. Bemidji Jaycees even worked at the St. Paul Oktoberfest in preparation for the Bemidji festival. "It was fun," she said. "We wanted to bring it home." The City Council voted unanimously to approve the event.
The Bemidji City Council will consider on Monday a request from the Bemidji Jaycees to host the city's first Oktoberfest celebration Oct. 5-6. The agenda item originally was to be considered Aug. 6, but was postponed until the Aug. 20 meeting. The event is planned to be held in "portions of downtown," according to council documents. The Jaycees plan to sell alcoholic beverages to those 21 years old and up 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oct. 5-6 and noon to 1 a.m. Oct. 6-7. Anyone under the age of 16 will be required to vacate the premises after 10 a.m. Wrist bands will be used to identify patrons' ages.
Mike Spaulding seemed to have it all: his own business, a racing career and a devoted family. But an addiction to methamphetamine put everything in peril - and now he is working to get it all back. "I'm one of the lucky ones," he said. "My life was hell - but it could have been a lot worse." During the ASPEN of Minnesota program, a video featuring Spaulding's story is shown to participants.
"Powerful!! I will think about what I learned for (some) time." "Thanks to ASPEN I have a better understanding and will be able to make better and smarter decisions. Thank you!" Sentenced to the ASPEN of Minnesota program for usually alcohol- or drug-related offenses, participants often find they learn more than they expected, said Director of Programs Steve Andersen, a retired police officer. ASPEN stands for Alternative Sentencing Program and Education Networks.
Bemidji is about to have company. Dave Hengel with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission has been working on coordinating the events center project since the Bemidji City Council signed an agreement with the HRDC on July 16. Hengel said dates have been set for visits from the House and Senate investment committees, which next year will review the city's bonding request for funding toward a multiuse events center that would feature Bemidji State University hockey as the anchor tenant and have about 10,000 square feet of events center space.
-- July 16: City Council retains Headwaters Regional Development Commission to be the events center project coordinator. -- June 25: City of Bemidji submits a request to the Legislature for funding, detailing plans for a $50 million events center and a request to have the state contribute $25 million toward the facility. -- June 14: Council approves a multiuse events center that would house Bemidji State University hockey and have about 10,000 square feet of events center space. -- June 4: Council votes in favor of a $50 million events center; city will request $25 million from the state.
Changes are anticipated at the former MnDOT building on Paul Bunyan Drive. The former Minnesota Department of Transportation facility now houses city and Bemidji Fire Department vehicles and provides office space for the North Star Chapter of the American Red Cross. MnDOT exchanged ownership of the building with the city of Bemidji on Nov. 15, 1999, in exchange for the city providing water and sewer lines to serve the new MnDOT building on U.S. Highway 2 West.