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.
- Member for
- 5 years 4 weeks
PLUMMER, Minn.--Minnesota Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, announced Wednesday he won't seek re-election this fall after more than 35 years in the Legislature. Stumpf, the longest-serving active Minnesota senator, said "the...
DETROIT LAKES — Longtime U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Minn., defeated Torrey Westrom, a Republican state senator, in the race for the U.S. House in Tuesday’s election. With 75.1 percent of precincts reporting just before midnight, Peterson was leading with 54.1 percent of votes. Westrom had 45.8 percent of votes. Complete results were not available at press time, but the Associated Press had called the race in Peterson’s favor and Westrom later conceded. Peterson has represented Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District since 1991.
BEMIDJI -- Although Bemidji City Hall and the Beltrami County Administration building are only three blocks away, the paths of those who occupy those buildings seemingly don't cross that often. On Tuesday night, the governing bodies of the two entities met to discuss various issues that affect both of them. Among those issues was preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species in local lakes and rivers. But both sides seemed to agree another government body -- the state -- should take larger role than it has been.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council on Monday approved initiating an energy audit of city facilities. That audit will be performed by Honeywell, which will find ways how the city can save money on energy. The firm originally estimated that the city could save between $230,000 and $270,000 per year if they follow through on some recommendations. The council approved initiating the audit unanimously.
BEMIDJI -- A Hawley, Minn., man suffered several broken bones after he crashed an ATV in Paul Bunyan State Forest on Friday night. Logan Langerud, 26, was driving a 2009 Polaris Ranger on a trail when he hit a curve too fast and overturned, according to a press release from the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, which responded to the incident. Langerud was pinned under the ATV until his passenger, 25-year-old Justin Giere also of Hawley, lifted it off of him and drove for help.
BEMIDJI -- Minnesota's newly created health exchanged unveiled its ad campaign Sunday, with a couple of recognizable figures as its stars. The MNsure ads feature Bemidji's Paul Bunyan statue getting into various dilemmas that would require the legendary giant to visit the hospital, such as a water skiing accident and woodpeckers attacking his head while Babe the Blue Ox looks on.
BEMIDJI -- The City Councilon Monday will consider entering into a contract with Honeywell to recommend energy saving options for the city. The city will spend $56,000 to complete an audit of city-owned buildings and "to determine current energy consumption as well as projected saving assuming energy reducing projects are completed," city finance director Ron Eischens wrote in a memo to the council. "Once the audit is completed, Honeywell will work with city staff to prepare energy saving projects for council approval," he added.
BEMIDJI — Like most dilemmas facing city governments, money is the main obstacle standing in the way of redevelopment. But the south shore project in Bemidji has a couple of twists. City councilors say that a promise, whether implicit or explicit, was made to residents that a new beach would be created on the south shore of Lake Bemidji. That, and the fact that the swimming beach may not stay clean once it's cleared of debris and wood chips complicates the project. "To me it's just a really sticky situation," Councilor Reed Olson said.
BEMIDJI — The Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board approved several variances requested by Lakeland Public Television ahead of construction of its new facility on the south shore. Bill Sanford, Lakeland general manager, confirmed the approval Thursday and said they are in the process of working out some technicalities with the state of Minnesota. He declined to say when construction might begin, citing the complex nature of the project. "This is not a simple bonding project," Sanford said.
BEMIDJI — Walter Hartell had been in a state of semi-retirement. The Tenstrike resident has danced for almost all of his 62 years, but hadn't been teaching or coaching for about 10 years. He sold the chain of dance studios he franchised in order to care for his daughter after a traffic accident left her with a traumatic brain injury. He returned to the ballroom dancing competition floor last year. And he only did it, he said, because he found somebody who has the same passion for dance he does.