John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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Police Report The Bemidji Police Department responded to the following calls: Theft 3:15 p.m. Monday, 500 block of Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest. An individual reported they were swindled. 1:39 p.m. Monday, 2000 block of Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest. A drivers’ license was reported stolen. 12:08 p.m. Monday, 800 block of Washington Avenue South. A business reported a theft by an ex employee.
BEMIDJI — The Bemidji City Council gave some direction to city staff on next year’s budget during a work session Monday night. Ron Eischens, city finance director, laid out the status of the general fund, which uses property taxes and state funds to pay for essential city services such as fire protection, police and streets.
BEMIDJI — A Cass Lake man was arrested for robbery Saturday. Aaron John Jones, 35, was arrested after he allegedly blocked the path of two victims who were walking near Mississippi River bridge at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a press release issued by the Bemidji Police Department. Jones allegedly told the victims that they needed to pay the “street tax.” When they refused, he allegedly struck one in the face and grabbed the other when they tried to flee the area for help.
BEMIDJI — The yard in front of the house Elizabeth Edwards shares with her parents looks much different today than it did last year. For one, they now have a view of Lake Avenue Southeast that was once blocked by their trees.
BEMIDJI — The three local governments involved in annexation will each have a meeting over two days next week. And in one form or another, each of them plans to address the events of the past week. On Monday, the Bemidji City Council will meet behind closed doors to discuss pending litigation with Bemidji Township. That will come one week after it rendered a contentious 5-2 vote against a mediated settlement agreement to allow the township to leave the annexation and joint powers agreements.
BEMIDJI — Administrative changes at Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D., won’t have an effect on personnel in Bemidji, according to the local region’s interim president. Forum News Service reported Thursday that Sanford is buying out a dozen of its administrators under a restructuring plan to save $10 million annually, while also planning to centralize management of system-wide functions.
BEMIDJI — The Bemidji City Council’s rejection of a mediated settlement agreement with Bemidji Township on Monday night will bring the issue back to court. The township’s lawyer, John Steffenhagen of Edina-based Hellmuth & Johnson, said a conference call is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 17 in Beltrami County District Court. Steffenhagen said he isn’t sure what will be discussed in that call.
BEMIDJI —The city’s wastewater treatment facility is running more efficiently thanks to recently completed additions to the plant. The only problem, according to its co-superintendent Mike Forbes, is how it looks. “The net effect is, yes we can treat solids better, but we ended with up with this huge flat, gray, concrete wall that looks like a throwback to Eastern Bloc Cold War,” Forbes said. “It’s really pretty unattractive.”
BEMIDJI — The Bemidji City Council voted against approving a mediated settlement agreement that would allow Bemidji Township to leave the annexation and joint powers agreements during its Monday night meeting. The agreement reached early Friday that allowed Bemidji Township to exit the annexation and joint powers agreements was contingent on approval by both the township and the city council.
BEMIDJI — On a recent rainy afternoon, a bouquet of flowers sat in the ditch separating the two directions of U.S. Highway 2, adjacent to its intersection with State Highway 89. The flowers are a reminder of an unspecified crash at this crossing —it’s unclear from driving by if the bouquet is marked. But it does mark one of the most dangerous intersections in the state. With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is planning a major overhaul of the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 89 west of Bemidji.