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As light snow fell early Wednesday afternoon, sandbaggers worked to keep water from reaching a house north of Bemidji. The house, where Jeremy and Michelle Leffelman and their three children live, was threatened by flood waters. "It's just, I don't know, unreal," Michelle Leffelman said in her driveway as she held a bag open and another person filled it with sand. "Luckily the house is still dry on the inside." The Leffelmans moved to the housing development off Whiting Road Northwest a couple of years ago. "I've never seen it like this," Michelle Leffelman said.
Samuel Imbo will pose a question at a lecture tonight in Bemidji that struck him on a return trip to Kenya years ago. Imbo, a professor of philosophy and director of the African-American studies program at Hamline University in St. Paul, will present the sixth-annual Don and Gladys McDonald Philosophy Lecture tonight at Bemidji State University. The lecture, titled "What is Wrong With Polygamy?" will be offered free to the public at 7 p.m.
A Bemidji curler will take her first step onto the ice as an Olympian in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Debbie McCormick rink, with Bemidji's Natalie Nicholson as lead, won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Feb. 28 in Broomfield, Colo., a Denver suburb. It was Nicholson's fourth Olympic Team Trials and first win there. "It really can't get much better," said Nicholson, 33.
The Bemidji School Board voted unanimously Monday night to adopt a calendar for the 2009-10 school year. Students' first day will be Sept. 8 and their last day will be June 4. Winter break will be from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3. A spring break is planned for April 2-5.
The Bemidji School Board has some decisions to make. The Bemidji School District faces a deficit of about $2 million from overspending last year and projected overspending this year. The district overspent by nearly $1.56 million last year in the general fund and was on target to overspend by nearly $944,000 more this year. At its meeting Monday night, the board discussed making $2 million in budget adjustments. The board already made mid-year adjustments at a special meeting in January.
The Bemidji School Board plans to select a calendar for the 2008-09 school year Monday. The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Bemidji High School Media Center. The meeting agenda also includes a Minnesota Biomes grant request, budget discussion and federal stimulus package update. Also, the board's monthly listening session will be held from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday in the BHS Commons. Board members Bill Faver and Steven Johnson will be available to visit with the public.
Bemidji High School's two show choirs ended their seasons with grand champion wins Saturday. Judges named Vocalmotive and La Voce Ballo as the grand champions of the Totino-Grace High School Show Choir Spectacular competition in Fridley, Minn. Vocalmotive was named grand champion in the Class AA division and La Voce Ballo was named grand champion in the Class A division. Also at the competition, Vocalmotive won awards for best choreography and best vocals.
Traveling to northwest Minnesota from Mexico, 11 Mexican firefighters made Bemidji their destination for sharpening their wildland firefighting skills. The firefighters arrived Sunday in Bemidji for a week of training in wildland fire suppression through classes taught by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The classes are being held at Bemidji State University. The group includes 10 firefighters from the city of Cuernavaca, located 45 minutes southwest of Mexico City in the state of Morelos, and one state firefighter.
The economic future of nonprofits will be the focus of a summit next month in Bemidji. The United Way of Bemidji Area, in cooperation with Community Resource Connections and the Beltrami Area Service Collaborative, will hold a Nonprofit Survival Summit for area nonprofit leaders March 20 at First Lutheran Church. "We want to see nonprofits survive," said Ashli Bowen, executive director of the United Way. "We want to contribute to the economic development of this community." With the current economic situation, more and more people need human services, Bowen said.
A Jane Freeman painting of a beach scene in Manzanita, Ore., will soon grace windsocks and other home and yard décor in stores around the United States. The Bemidji watercolor artist painted the scene at least eight years ago from a photograph she took of a beach house lined with flower pots on the outside. As she painted, she added birds to the scene from the photograph. Freeman recently learned that her image was licensed by Evergreen Enterprises Inc., a company that produces home, garden and other products.