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 group of Minnesota pipeline workers visited Bemidji on Wednesday as part of traveling expo to show how the industry operates in the state. The group, which includes a coalition of four labor unions involved in pipeline construction and installation, visited the Beltrami County Fairgrounds to speak with local residents about technology, safety and economic impacts pipelines bring to the local area. "There are three types of people we are trying to reach with this," said Dan Gunderson, spokesperson for the Pipeline and Building Trades Technology Expo.
BEMIDJI—As usual, Minnesota drivers are seeing orange cones and signage in both Bemidji and Beltrami County this summer, and that's not likely to change as additional projects will continue the construction season into August and September. Within city limits, the Bemidji Public Works Department has scheduled the start of a reconstruction project for Thursday on Fifth Street Northwest between Irvine Avenue and Park Avenue. The project area will remain passable to residents throughout the reconstruction, however, the road will be closed to thru traffic.
BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Historical Society's Executive Director Dan Karalus made a request for funding Tuesday to the County Board of Commissioners, highlighting new programs and growth at the museum in recent months. The number of visitors at the historical society in the past year was about 4,000, which Karalus said was the highest that have come through the doors since 2011.
BEMIDJI -- A critical piece of Bemidji's economy is receiving a lift from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Bemidji Regional Airport has been awarded a $546,535 grant for infrastructure improvements from the DOT, according to a release from U.S. Sens Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Reps Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji residents at Monday's City Council meeting appeared divided on an ordinance to reopen Hillside Avenue Southwest. In May, the City Council passed an ordinance vacating Hillside Avenue Southwest, which connects to both Park Avenue and Woodland Avenue near Lake Irving, basically closing the street. The ordinance approved in May was in response to a petition brought forward by neighboring property owners. Hearing public opposition to that ordinance, though, the city made the decision to bring a repeal forward for consideration.
BEMIDJI—The Bemidji City Council will start Monday evening off with a joint session with the Bemidji School Board at 5:30 p.m. before its regular meeting at 6 p.m. During the joint meeting, the two governing bodies will seek an agreement on a street improvements as part of the project to build a new elementary school near Bemidji Middle School.
BEMIDJI -- Engines will be roaring in St. Cloud this weekend, but the noise won't be coming from race cars. Instead, the sounds of motors and cheers will be coming from the 28th Annual Minnesota Statewide Bus Roadeo, a completion for public transit professionals and three local workers will contend with others from across the state.
BEMIDJI—Garrison Keillor is returning to Bemidji. The Sanford Center will host Keillor's variety show "A Prairie Home Companion" on Nov. 7. Doors will open at 4 p.m. and the show starting at 4:45 p.m. Keillor has been host and writer of "A Prairie Home Companion" since the program started in 1974. Along with Keillor, the show will bring the Royal Academy of Radio Actors to perform sketches and the event will also feature live music. Tickets for Keillor's show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, with reserved floor seats at $44 and regular reserved seats at $34.
BEMIDJI—The recent death of a Minnesota teen infected after swimming in a lake is under investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health, however, officials say the statewide risk for more cases is low. Hunter Boutain, 14, died from a brain infection Thursday at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he had been receiving treatment for a rare infection he contracted while swimming in Lake Minnewaska south of Alexandria. According to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Health, the infection was linked to an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri common
BEMIDJI—The entrepreneur community is finding ways for their ideas to blast off thanks to LaunchPad. Created as a concept by Greater Bemidji, LaunchPad is a space in the Mayflower building downtown offering meeting rooms, a lounge area and Wi-Fi to provide space for entrepreneurs as well as resources for a weekly meetup. "It's meant to be a one-stop shop for those looking to start a business or are looking to expand a business and want to move forward," LaunchPad Coordinator Tiffany Fettig said.