Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.
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BEMIDJI—In response to an increasing amount of chemicals found in various water wells, the Bemidji City Council took action Monday to have a new one drilled and in operation by fall 2019. Since 2008, the state of Minnesota, and subsequently the city of Bemidji, have been aware of perfluorocarbons, or PFCs in the area of the Bemidji Regional Airport, which is located to the west of the city's water wells. The chemicals were previously used in firefighting foams, which the Fire Department used in training at the airport.
BEMIDJI—Republican candidates looking to energize voters made a stop in Bemidji on Monday with just over a week before the midterm elections. Gubernatorial candidate and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson was one of the speakers during the rally at the Bemidji Regional Airport. He was joined by his running mate and candidate for lieutenant governor Donna Bergstrom, attorney general candidate and former Minnesota House Representative Doug Wardlow, and Pam Myhra, auditor candidate and also a former Minnesota House member.
BEMIDJI—Several years ago, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp began informing state officials about the need for a local facility to provide treatment for individuals going through a mental health crisis. Today, the pieces have fallen into place for the project. In spring 2019, the Sanford Health Primewest Crisis and Detox Center is expected open at 3124 Hannah Ave. NW. The project is a public-private partnership between Beltrami County and Sanford Behavioral Health.
BEMIDJI—Across the state and right here in Beltrami County, early voting for the 2018 Election is outpacing the 2014 midterms. As of Friday, County Auditor/Treasurer JoDee Treat said more than 1,600 absentee ballots have been processed, with just less than 800 ballots requested still out. Additionally, on a regular basis, Treat said there's people consistently coming in to the office to vote directly.
BEMIDJI—Republican candidate Dave Hughes is in his second bid to unseat longtime Congressman Collin Peterson in Minnesota's Seventh District and is covering plenty of ground as part of his campaign. On Friday, Hughes, who previously ran in 2016, made two campaign stops in the Bemidji area. The first was to visit BSU and the Paul and Babe the Blue Ox statues, and the other was to join in helping local GOP supporters get out the vote before the Nov. 6 election. For Hughes, the strategy is based off of what he learned two years ago.
BEMIDJI -- The accessibility and affordability of health care remains a major issue in Minnesota politics and was a main topic up during a candidate forum Wednesday. Featuring candidates for Minnesota House Districts 2A and 5A, Wednesday’s forum was organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji. One of the candidates in the race, 53-year-old incumbent Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
BEMIDJI—Planning staff for the greater Bemidji area have created a comprehensive guide to future growth, and you can have your say about it. Staff are now seeking public comment before the Joint Planning Commission takes action on the document. The draft is available now on the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board website for review and citizens have the option of commenting online. Additionally, the JPB has scheduled a public meeting and open house for Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW.
BEMIDJI—Five women who've made the Bemidji community a better place to live were honored Thursday at the second event of its kind in the area. On Thursday morning, in partnership with Bemidji Area Business Women and BSU, the United Way of Bemidji Area held the second annual Women United Tribute Awards Breakfast. The ceremony honors women, nominated by their peers, who use their passion and resources to make an impact in the Bemidji community. The award recipients this year are:
BEMIDJI—Just how Bemidji should grow as a community was a subject producing many views and ideas during a city government candidate forum Wednesday. Organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji, the individuals running for City Council Ward 2, Ward 4, and At-Large seats, as well as for mayor, discussed the importance of proper strategy when considering how to manage a growing population. All eight candidates in the four races were present. Candidates are: Mayor
BEMIDJI—A financial crunch facing Beltrami County caused by a growing number of children in out-of-home placement was a main topic at a candidate forum Tuesday. Organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji, the forum featured the two candidates running for Beltrami County District 1 Commissioner. The candidates are 50-year-old Craig Gaasvig and 59-year-old Natalie Grosfield, both of Port Hope Township.