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 – One of the most powerful elected state officials shuffled around Hobson Memorial Union at Bemidji State University Tuesday morning, asking students if they were prepared for the upcoming elections.
BEMIDJI – It’s a line that DFLers have used in debates, and outside groups have used in TV ads.
BEMIDJI – After some debate Monday, the city council decided to continue discussion next week on a proposed utility installation project on Lake Avenue Southeast. Beltrami County will be doing a street repaving and full depth mill project on Lake Avenue, starting at First Street Southeast and running north past the Mississippi River bridge, in 2013.
BEMIDJI – Discussion over how to grow the local economy took center stage in a debate between candidates for the state House 2B seat. Brita Sailer, a DFLer who represented the district in the House from 2005 to 2010, will face Steve Green, R-Fosston, in November’s election. Sailer lost to Rep. David Hancock, R-Bemidji, who came in as part of a Republican sweep of the state House and Senate in 2010. Hancock is now running for the newly-branded House District 2A.
BEMIDJI – While a lot has changed in the last few years at the Legislature, the matchup for the Senate District 2 seat has not. Like 2010, Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, will face Dennis Moser, R-Clearbrook for Senate District 2. Skoe won the 2010 race by 6 percentage points. The two debated on Lakeland Public Television as part of a series of debates on local legislative seats. The district they will fight over has changed, however, with the new district no longer touching North Dakota and reaching the Canadian border.
BEMIDJI – As with many debates across the state, the debate for the House 2A seat on Lakeland Public Television Tuesday night focused on issues facing the state’s economy and budget. The debate featured incumbent Dave Hancock, R-Bemidji, who will face DFLer Roger Erickson. Hancock previously represented House District 2B, but redistricting rebranded it as 2A. The new district extends toward the Canadian border and Baudette, where Erickson resides. Hancock was first elected in 2010 as part of a wave that saw Republicans take control of both the state House and Senate.
BEMIDJI – A sculpture that was reported stolen Monday was actually in the owner’s possession, police said Tuesday. The sculpture, called Cosmic Spheres, is part of downtown’s sculpture walk and was located at the corner of Beltrami Avenue Northwest and Sixth Street Northwest. It was reported damaged early Saturday morning, said Police Capt. Jim Marcotte. Police tried to contact the owner, and left a voice message that it was damaged.
BEMIDJI – In the first of a series of live debates about local legislative races Monday night, Republican Sen. John Carlson said he and his opponent Tom Saxhaug would be good representatives for the forest product service industry, a suggestion that Saxhaug, a DFLer from Grand Rapids, nodded in agreement. But after that moment of agreement, the two debated on how they would be the better leader for the region.
BEMIDJI – The redistricting process that took place in February produced several races across the state featuring incumbents facing off and testing their record against each other. That scenario played out twice in the first two debates Monday night on Lakeland Public Television. Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, will face Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, in a race for House seat 5A.
BEMIDJI – Dry conditions and unfavorable weather are creating a perfect storm for potential dangerous wildfires in the Bemidji area, fire officials said Monday. On Saturday, those conditions led to a grass fire at Pine Valley Trailer Court just west of Bemidji. The fire damaged one of the trailer homes, making it the first wildfire that has turned into a structure fire this year, Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said. There were no injuries reported. Firefighters responded quickly to the scene, saving nearby homes from damage.