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—Six candidates running for three seats on the Bemidji School Board answered questions from citizens Tuesday evening. At a forum organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji, candidates shared their ideas and strategies they would implement if elected to the district's governing body. The individuals seeking office who attended the forum included: • Jack Aakhus, a substitute teacher and football coach. • Incumbent Carol Johnson, a sales associate. • Jeffrey Lind, the social services director for Beltrami County.
RED LAKE -- Peggy Flanagan, the DFL candidate for lieutenant governor, as well as House District 2A candidate Michael Northbird both made a stop Tuesday at Red Lake Nation College to talk about the upcoming election. Flanagan, running mate of Tim Walz, discussed the importance of voting on Nov. 6 and both she and Northbird talked about how crucial the Native American vote can be in the local races.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji staff and elected officials are considering how best to plan for the city's future. On Monday, they began the discussion on how community organizations factor into the process. Over the past several weeks, leadership from the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, the visitors and convention bureau Visit Bemidji, the Bemidji Downtown Alliance and Greater Bemidji Economic Development, have been looking to form a "Bemidji Alliance." The concept is to have the four entities work closer together and strategize for the future.
BEMIDJI—Despite having to write off a loan of more than $300,000 to a hotel development company, officials say a city loan fund remains in good shape to support economic development in Bemidji. In late September, the Bemidji City Council approved a write off of $332,416.67 related to the hotel next to the city-owned Sanford Center. In 2014, the council approved a $400,000 loan to Wayzata Hospitality to construct a linking structure between the city-owned Sanford Center and the company's Country Inn & Suites hotel.
BEMIDJI -- For the second time in Bemidji, an international idea sharing platform will receive a local spin. On Thursday afternoon into evening at the historic Chief Theater, a TEDxBemidji event with nine speakers and one performer will be held, giving area residents an opportunity to hear different points perspectives on a variety of subjects.
BEMIDJI—U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., met with several city and county officials in downtown Bemidji on Tuesday to gauge issues facing the local area. The gathering took place at the Wild Hare Bistro with Beltrami County District 2, 3 and 4 Commissioners Reed Olson (who owns the Wild Hare Bistro), Richard Anderson and Tim Sumner, as well as County Administrator Kay Mack and Bemidji City Manager Nate Mathews. During the hour-long conversation, topics ranged from foster care to the upcoming veterans home project slated for Bemidji.
BEMIDJI -- A guarantee for local firefighter pensions was increased with full support from the Bemidji City Council on Monday. The city has an agreement with the Firefighters Relief Association where if the association is unable to fund the pension benefit, the city will be obligated to maintain the benefit level. In recent negotiations with city staff and Bemidji Fire Department representatives, a consensus was reached to increase the city guarantee by 7 percent, from $6,408 to $6,857.
CASS LAKE—The Democratic-Farmer-Labor party's gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz made a visit to northern Minnesota and to Indian Country on Monday, speaking to a crowd at Leech Lake Tribal College. Walz touched on a number of issues, ranging from the importance the 2018 election will play in redistricting to infrastructure. Additionally, Walz also spoke about American Indian issues and stated his support for working with the reservations and respecting sovereign rights and treaties.
We're about halfway through October and that means it's time to get deep into the spooky Halloween season. The obvious way to do that is with some good ole horror movies, and there's more than enough to keep a person entertained until Nov. 1. However, if you're looking for another outlet, some horror movie soundtracks are also a way to go. They can also be switched on during some Halloween parties. Here are a few of my personal favorites. "Tubular Bells," "The Exorcist," 1973.
BEMIDJI—Saturday marked the first time Stacie Noha had ever run in the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon. It was quite the debut. With a time of 3:21:52, the 32-year-old from Isle, Minn., took first place in the 26.2-mile full marathon. Despite the conditions being less than ideal with a cold breeze, Noha said she found the Bemidji race to be quite enjoyable. "It was a good run, it was really beautiful," Noha said. "My favorite part was some of the areas along the Paul Bunyan Trail."