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 -- The race for the open Beltrami County District 1 seat sits at three candidates and after the Aug. 14 primary, that number will be narrowed to two. Competing for the opportunity to advance to the general election are Beltrami County residents Craig Gaasvig, Natalie Grosfield and Heather Broda. Whoever goes on to win the general election will succeed incumbent Keith Winger, who’s not seeking a second term in the office.
BEMIDJI -- The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival started Friday night with the Nordic Whitecaps taking home the first bit of hardware. After two heats, the Nordic Whitecaps came away with the fastest overall time of 02:24:36 and won this year’s Dondelinger GM Sprint Cup race. The 200-meter course is half the length of the regular races that take place Saturday and serves as a warm-up for the teams.
BEMIDJI -- Republican Bob Anderson visited Bemidji Friday as part of his campaign for the party’s nomination in Minnesota’s special U.S. Senate election. The visit comes about two weeks ahead of the Aug. 14 primary that will determine who will face off against the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party candidate in the November general election.
BEMIDJI -- Beltrami County officials will test its voting equipment Friday ahead of Minnesota’s Aug. 14 primary election to ensure every ballot cast is tabulated correctly. According to County Assistant Auditor-Treasurer Jeff Volk, public accuracy tests for all electronic tabulators are required every election cycle. The tests usually take place within two weeks of the election.
BEMIDJI -- A lunch fundraiser Thursday for the future Bemidji Veterans Home project was successful not just in collecting donations, but in making connections to the community. “I was told once that fundraising is more about friend-raising, in that you try to raise awareness,” said Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce President Deb Pfaff. “Whatever amount comes in today will certainly be helpful, but this is also about raising that awareness for what’s coming next in our city.”
BEMIDJI -- The shores of Lake Bemidji will be full of entertainment and activities this week as the 13th annual Dragon Boat Festival takes place, culminating with beating drums and paddles cutting through water during Saturday’s races.
BEMIDJI—A trio of public gardens have grown increasingly popular the past few years, with enthusiasts planting a variety of vegetables and flowers on an annual basis. "I think they're all full now," Bemidji Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson said. "It does vary per year on how quickly they fill up, but they've been really well received by the community."
BEMIDJI -- The 109-year-old Carnegie Library will stay standing. The Bemidji City Council voted Monday to approve the project to restore the historic building and cover a projected shortfall of more than $200,000, with the expectation that the group raising funds for the structure’s preservation pays those dollars back.
BEMIDJI—A trio of DFL candidates hoping to be Minnesota's next attorney general visited Bemidji in the past week. Minneapolis lawyer and activist Matt Pelikan and former state Commissioner of Commerce Mike Rothman stopped by the annual Bemidji Jaycees Water Carnival in the past few days, while U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison came to Bemidji on a tour of northern Minnesota communities Thursday. The three candidates, along with others from both major parties, are hoping to succeed three-term Attorney General Lori Swanson, who's running for governor this year.
BEMIDJI -- State officials visited Bemidji Friday to get a first-hand look at the site of a future veterans home intended to serve northwest Minnesota. The tour of the site, located directly east of the Sanford Health Neilson Place nursing home, included Beltrami County leaders and individuals from various state agencies. The visit comes after the Legislature passed a bonding bill that included $32 million for three new veteran homes in the state.