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 9 months
BEMIDJI -- Demolish, acquire, build. Those are three seemingly simple steps that a new program will follow in order to provide homes to low-income families in Bemidji. The Headwaters Regional Development Commission is launching a new program in which it provides funds to demolish vacant dilapidated homes. Northwoods Habitat for Humanity will then buy the vacant lot to build a new home.
BEMIDJI -- Despite recent health issues that included a stroke three years ago, Jim Miller never stopped doing what he loved. That was evident this past Easter, when he joined friends and family in playing a few songs on his guitar. "He wasn't feeling very well but we put a guitar in his hands and we ended up playing a couple tunes," said his wife Kristi Miller. "It was really fun." On Saturday, the local singer and songwriter known for his roles in the local bands Known Only Locally and Blew Munday passed away at the age of 66.
BEMIDJI -- Despite concerns from some the community would lose a tree older than the college campus it sits on, a Bemidji State University representative said the tree must come down in order to complete improvements to its football field. Three trees sit on the west end of the Chet Anderson Stadium, where crews now are replacing the natural grass with a synthetic turf. One of the trees is more than 100-years-old, said Caitlyn Schuchhardt as she sat under the large white pine Tuesday. An online petition to save the trees had almost 100 signatures by Tuesday evening.
BEMIDJI -- Nevermind. The Bemidji City Council had planned to meet with representatives of Northern and Bemidji townships behind closed doors Wednesday night to discuss a mediation agreement that would release Bemidji Township from the three governments' annexation pact. But on Tuesday, Northern Township Board chairman Mike Kelly said they have requested they instead have an open meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 17 at Northern Town Hall.
BEMIDJI -- A busy intersection on the north side of town will be closed today for crews to install a culvert. The intersection of Anne Street Northwest and Bemidji Avenue North will be closed, according to an email from Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Beryl Wernberg. Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route and avoid the area.
BEMIDJI -- It appears representatives from the city of Bemidji and the two townships involved in an annexation agreement will meet Wednesday night. But what specifically will be discussed remains unclear, and likely will remain that way for those standing outside of the closed-door meeting. "There's no agenda that I've seen," Mayor Rita Albrecht said during a Monday night work session.
BEMIDJI — This year has been a busy one for the city’s south shore redevelopment project. Already, city councilors have agreed to sell land for townhomes and a high-end apartment building in the area near the three-year-old Sanford Center. But at the same time, they’ve sold that property for less than they once thought they could get. City officials originally anticipated receiving $350,000 per acre for the 2.67 acre lot where the apartments are slated to be built.
BEMIDJI —The building that housed a longtime Bemidji restaurant was torn down Tuesday, as the new owners make way for another restaurant. The Maid-Rite Cafe building, which was bought by Lueken’s Village Foods before the restaurant closed in May, was on the receiving end of a yellow John Deere excavator Tuesday. Lueken’s president Brent Sicard said they originally planned to renovate the building for a new restaurant.
BEMIDJI — It was only a matter of hours before the Jaycees Water Carnival was up and running again after the July 2 storm last year. One year later, they’re back — but with some new equipment. The storm, which produced straight-line winds in excess of 80 mph and knocked down thousands of trees in the area, also damaged the equipment and shelter at the Bemidji Jaycees Annual Water Carnival. The storm approached in the middle of Paul Bunyan’s 75th birthday celebration, said Michelle Gonzales, this year’s carnival chairwoman. Workers and attendees took shelter nearby.
BEMIDJI — Bemidji city councilors Monday rejected a proposal from the Zorbaz on the Lake restaurant to buy south shore land. Zorbaz founder Tom Hanson came before the Bemidji Economic Development Authority to make the land offer and discuss his business model. Councilors, who make up the BEDA, voted 6-1 to reject the offer, with at-large councilor Jim Thompson voting in favor of the proposal.