Steve Wagner is editor of the Bemidji Pioneer.
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The advisory board for the city-owned Sanford Center agreed to revise its policy for the upcoming Bemidji Jaycees' Home, Sports and Travel Show, leaving it up to a local vendor to determine whether to participate. The board unanimously approved a revision to allow food vendors into the three-day show, which opens March 30, if they pay 20 percent commission on gross sales during the three-day show.
In its first full year of operation, Bemidji's Sanford Center bottom line did better than most people expected. The event center lost $378,315.20 in 2011 before accounting for the city's $417,138 subsidy. Changes in the final three months of 2011 helped offset losses, prompting Sanford Center officials to announce Wednesday that the facility ended the year $38,822 below its approved operating budget. "I think the facility did as well as could be anticipated in its first year," City Manager John Chattin said.
In a move to protect its family friendly values and standards, Lakeland Public Television may drop Newsweek magazine as a gift to donors supporting the Bemidji station. Bill Sanford, chief executive for Lakeland, said Tuesday a major contributor to the nonprofit station raised issue with vulgar language used "gratuitously" by Newsweek. Sanford, who receives the magazine at home, agreed the magazine recently began using more brash language, including words unsuitable for children's eyes and ears. "We want to be a family friendly organization," he said. A few weeks ago, Sanford first raised
A Bemidji man, the suspected leader of the Native Mob gang with ties to reservations in four states, is accused of directing a widespread criminal enterprise, including violence against witnesses and rival gangs. Wakinyan Wakan McArthur, 33, of Bemidji, was arrested Wednesday night and appeared in federal court Thursday on charges which, if convicted, could land him in prison for life. An indictment unsealed this week details crimes on the state's American Indian reservations - including Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth and Mille Lacs - and near Duluth and the Twin Cities area. Law officer
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will bring his "Made in Bemidji" threads and Main Street America message to town this weekend. Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, plans an afternoon of public events, including a community photo at the iconic Paul and Babe statues in downtown Bemidji before a speech at the George W. Nielson Convention Center. "We are very excited to have a presidential candidate coming," particularly in advance of Tuesday's statewide caucuses, said Ken Cobb, chairman of the Beltrami County Republicans.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will bring his "Made in America" message Sunday to Bemidji and plans a community photo at the Paul and Babe statues. Details for public events, including a rally at the Sanford Center, are underway. The Sunday afternoon visit will include stops at Bemidji Woolen Mills, which is producing sweater vests for Santorum's campaign, and Cool Threads, which is embroidering Santorum's campaign logo on the vests. All events will be open to the public, although space at the businesses will be limited, said Bill Batchelder, owner of Bemidji Woolen Mills.
This past week, staff members from the Bemidji Pioneer attended the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association convention. The convention, which includes an awards banquet to feature great journalism, also includes seminars about trends and issues facing the newspapers and the communities they serve. One of the most interesting seminars, "Minnesota and the New Normal," was hosted by Tom Gillaspy, the state demographer, who focused on employment, economic and budget trends. Many of the long-term numbers don't look good for the state, which has been a national leader in education, health care, th
Carol Schmidt's father died two years ago this month and life hasn't been the same. The 63-year-old rural Bemidji woman says she's lost 50 pounds and control of the last living connection between them: the father and daughter's stable of dogs, most of which are a cross of Chihuahua-Dachshund breeds. "My dad said he didn't like animals but he had them spoiled," says Schmidt, who answered a reporter's call Tuesday.
A crime mapping website now gives details on law enforcement activity in Bemidji and Beltrami County. Area law enforcement said it's a great tool for the public - whether you're looking for crime statistics in a potential new neighborhood or just want to know what's going on next door. Last fall, the city and county upgraded its record management software, and as part of the program, website CrimeReports.com allows residents to track real-time policing data where they live. The website has been active in Beltrami County for at least a couple of months, but now is fully functional in Bemidji
Bemidji tops several regional communities, including Fargo and Grand Forks, for call center