Interest expressed by developers has prompted the Beltrami County Board to advertise for sale 40 acres of county-owned land on Middle School Road Northwest. The land includes about 16 acres in the old Beltrami County Fairgrounds south of the Target complex, as well as acreage on the west side of the road leased by Bemidji Youth League Baseball and Bemidji Youth Soccer. BYLB also subleases playing space to the Bemidji School District's Summer Baseball Association. State statute requires the county for three weeks to advertise for bids from prospective developers.
The Minnesota Majority has adopted a novel approach to oppose Gov. Mark Dayton's budget plans. The gimmick is a "Soup Truck" driven by Rick Brock around various Minnesota cities offering free chicken-flavored Instant Lunch soup, along with pocket copies of the U.S. Constitution and opportunities to donate to local food shelves. Also available is a brochure describing the dire consequences and tongue-in-cheek survival tips if the governor's budget passes.
Six out of 75 loggers with contracts for timber harvest on Beltrami County land have been granted extensions because of difficult forest conditions this year. The extensions carry a penalty of 10 percent, a stipulation the loggers agree to in their typical two-year cutting contracts.
The news of the killing of Osama bin Laden Sunday by Navy SEALS stirred memories for Bemidji's Pearl Harbor veteran. Bruce Atwater recalled seeing the footage of New York's Twin Towers collapsing after they were hit by planes flown by the al-Qaida suicide pilots. He also remembers watching the Japanese Zeros flying into Pearl Harbor the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The attack brought the United States into World War II. "You get a flashback, you betcha," Atwater said Monday. "The last time I saw that happen was when the torpedoes were hitting the (USS) Oklahoma.
The Beltrami County Board will discuss whether to adopt a management plan for forests in parks and recreation areas. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, in the Beltrami County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave. N.W. The Beltrami County Parks and Trails Advisory Council subcommittee of Richard Moore, Jim Gubbels, Jeff Shadwell and Charles Parsons developed the forest management plan for informational purposes for the County Board. The plan was approved by PTAC April 14.
The Beltrami Soil & Water Conservation District provides services to prevent erosion and to protect lakes and streams. But the organization is widely known for its forestation projects. When the tree sales began 20 years ago, 12,000 trees were distributed. Now, the count is 100,000 trees per year, said Jerry Stensing, SWCD stewardship forester. This year's sale days will be held from noon-6 p.m. Friday, May 6, and 7 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 7.
The 2011 Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival Aug. 4-6 will feature new entertainment, games and teams. The early bird registration for $650 per team, a savings of $100, will run until Sunday, May 1. The regular registration deadline will be early July. Chairman Gary Johnson said nearly 80 teams competed in 2010 Dragon Boat races and nearly 40 have signed up already for this summer's event. "To have 40 already this early is really exciting," Johnson said. He said the number of entries is basically unlimited.
Last June, a group of Bemidji High School alumni salvaged some of the glazed terracotta decorations that made the old school's entry distinctive. Their hope is to raise funds to construct a memorial to the now-demolished building and set it up in a park or at the new high school. "This would tie the memories of the old high school with the new school," said Linda Lemmer, a member of the Old Bemidji High School Remembered Committee.
Four Republican Minnesota Senate and House members stopped in their 12-hour, eight-city tour of the state Monday to promote their budget positions. Senate majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo; Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove; Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina; and Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, boosted their "live within our means" plan to solve the state's $5 billion two-year budget shortfall. "Only spend the hard-earned tax dollars that come in," said Zellers.
For Cass Lake native Zane Williams, accepting the directorship of the Center for Indian Ministries at Oak Hills Christian College was a homecoming. He also has come full circle as director of the Mokahum Ministry Center. In February, Williams was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast where the speakers included President Barack Obama and astronaut Mark Kelly.