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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BEMIDJI – The Bemidji City Council will welcome some new and old faces during its Monday night meeting.
BEMIDJI – The Bemidji Police Department is doing a lot with a little.
BEMIDJI – The union representing Minnesota nurses is renewing its push for a minimum staffing law in hospitals.
BEMIDJI – This upcoming legislative session could be an important one for Minnesota cities.
BEMIDJI – The Bemidji State women’s hockey team held practice at the Sanford Center Tuesday, and by Thursday morning, the Western Michigan Broncos will be practicing for their weekend bout with the Beavers. In between, there will be a basketball game.
BEMIDJI – Kay Mack is sitting in her car outside a Bixby Avenue home. It’s 1986 and Mack, then a nine-year veteran of the Beltrami County treasurer’s office, is running for the county treasurer position after her boss left the seat.
BEMIDJI – The Bemidji Fire Department has been in need of a backup generator for years, but the July 2 windstorm showed how urgent that need was. During that storm, straight-line winds in excess of 80 mph knocked down thousands of trees and numerous power lines in the region. The fire station downtown was without power for five to six hours, said Fire Chief Dave Hoefer. During that time, they turned to their portable generator, which can only power essential things like communications, air compressors and basic lighting.
BEMIDJI – The Bemidji Fire Department announced that its ISO rating has improved, which could be good news for people buying insurance in the area. The department’s rating for properties beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant but within five road miles of a fire station improved from a class nine to a class seven. That new rating will be effective starting in April 2013. The Public Protection Classification Program ratings go from one to 10 with one being the best.
BEMIDJI – Construction is up significantly in Bemidji, a sign to some that the economy is on the right track. According to the city building department’s monthly construction reports, $34.8 million worth of construction has happened in the city so far this year, compared to the $16 million that happened in the first 11 months of 2011. “I actually think that’s the beginning of the sign of some real improvement in the economy,” said Greater Bemidji Executive Director Dave Hengel.
BEMIDJI – State Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, was named House Majority Whip Friday. In that role, Persell will help House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul in leading the House majority caucus. “John is deeply committed to seeing Minnesota succeed – in Greater Minnesota and in every region,” said House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, in a statement. “The perspective John brings to our leadership team will better enable us to move forward in a way that makes Minnesota prosperous throughout the state.”