Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.
- Member for
- 3 years 3 months
BEMIDJI -- Longtime advocate and perennial candidate for local and state office Laverne “Pedie” Pederson died Friday, Aug. 3, at the age of 58. Those who knew him say his legacy is his activism and his compassion. “He had probably the largest heart of anyone I knew,” Bemidji Woolen Mills owner Bill Batchelder said. “I knew Laverne, we called him Pedie, my whole adult life. He worked diligently to tell his life story and about the struggles he had.”
BEMIDJI -- The future of annexation and utilities were main points of focus during a candidate forum Tuesday for three candidates seeking an at-large seat on the Bemidji City Council. The three candidates, who’re competing in the Aug. 14 primary, which will narrow the field to two, include BSU student Lawrence Hanenberger, automotive technician Don Heinonen and retired eye doctor Jim Thompson.
BEMIDJI—Jeff Johnson, the Minnesota Republican Party's endorsed candidate for governor, wants to change the culture in St. Paul, specifically with state agencies. While visiting Bemidji on Monday, Johnson told the Pioneer that part of his platform is addressing what he says is an arrogance in many state departments. "I think there's an issue where they think it's their job to control and correct thing and tell people how to farm, how to run their businesses and how to live their lives, instead of being there to serve people," Johnson said.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji residents will have a full ballot during Minnesota’s primary election on Aug. 14, with a race to decide at the city level along with the state and federal columns.
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.