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—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.
BEMIDJI -- Beltrami County residents hauling items to the Bemidji transfer station will need patience for the next few weeks as crews continue working on upgrades to the facility. Delays caused by the renovation are expected until July 27, when the final phase of construction is expected to finish. According to Brian Olson, county solid waste manager, over the next several days crews will be replacing steel to the roof and exterior of the building, as well as renovating the entire tipping floor.
BEMIDJI—Sanford Health of Bemidji is expanding its Healthy Kids Initiative by partnering with Bemidji Area Schools and the local United Way to ensure no child goes hungry. The medical provider announced Tuesday a new program called No Hungry Kids. As part of the program, Sanford is making a commitment of $405,000 over the next five years to both the school district and the United Way.
BEMIDJI—Proponents of a veterans home in Bemidji met with state officials in St. Cloud last week to facilitate the application process for federal dollars. Beltrami County representatives were joined by officials from Montevideo and Preston, the other two communities looking to build veterans homes. Last month, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bonding bill that included $32 million for the construction of three new veterans homes in the communities.
BEMIDJI—The first report in a yearlong study on area tourism was presented during a Visit Bemidji meeting Wednesday. Data for the study is being collected by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, with the work starting last December and ending Nov. 30. Visit Bemidji, the city's convention and visitors bureau, contracted with the university for the study to better understand characteristics of tourists, help inform marketing decisions and enhance local tourism offerings.
BEMIDJI -- The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners authorized a project Tuesday to remodel the Community Service Center to improve the space for staff and clients.
BEMIDJI -- The goal of raising enough money to restore the 109-year-old Carnegie Library in Bemidji’s downtown is much closer to the finish-line, thanks to a massive donation.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji is just two weeks away from the beginning of the annual Fourth of July carnival, with the celebration of American Independence as the grand finale. The 74th Water Carnival, presented by the Bemidji Jaycees, will get underway on Friday, June 29, and conclude with a fireworks display on July 4. Not only will this year's event have all of the classics but new features as well. For example, at 11 a.m. on July 4, the carnival will have the inaugural Warriors March, a 5K which will bring participants along Lake Bemidji's South Shore.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji could have another supportive housing complex come spring 2020. The Headwaters Regional Development Commission submitted an application Thursday to request funding for the project.