Zach Kayser covers local government and city issues for the Pioneer. He previously worked for the Wadena Pioneer Journal, and is an alumni of the University of Minnesota, Morris.
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BEMIDJI -- It was another court win Friday for the city of Bemidji in its long fight over annexation with Bemidji Township as Ninth District Judge Paul T. Benshoof said he will order the township to stop taking care of its own zoning issues. Benshoof ruled in March that the township is still a member of the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, a group comprised of the township, the city of Bemidji and Northern Township to collectively vote on area planning and zoning issues. The township has been deciding its own zoning issues, which it cannot do as a member of the JPB.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce held its 10th annual Awards of Excellence Luncheon at the Hampton Inn and Suites Thursday, honoring the cream of its member businesses. Textile manufacturer Bemidji Woolen Mills received the Business of the Year award, and the Bemidji Axemen, the new professional Indoor Football League team, took home New Business of the Year. Bemidji Woolen Mills owner Bill Batchelder was "totally humbled" at winning the award, he said. Ross Ladehoff, co-owner of the Bemidji Axemen, credited the players, coaches, front office workers and the team's supporters
BEMIDJI -- Area legislators said Thursday it's likely Bemidji will host one of eight medical cannabis distribution centers as part of Minnesota's new medical cannabis bill signed into law by Gov. Dayton the very same morning. "I would say (chances are) good, because it's the largest city in north, north-central Minnesota," Rep. Roger Erickson, DFL-Baudette, said. "If it's not, it should be." Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, agreed that it was likely.
BEMIDJI -- The process of moving Bemidji Masonic Lodge 233 from its former temple downtown to a newly bought building on the south end of Bemidji is in full swing, member Dick Labraaten said Friday. Labraaten said the Masons have met informally in the new building -- a former Tae Kwon Do school -- but they're waiting for all of their Masonic memorabilia to come over before they hold an official meeting. The Masons were forced to move out of their former temple, more than 90 years old, after leaking pipes this past winter caused water damage too expensive for the group to repair. About seven
BEMIDJI -- After raising $16,000 over five years toward building a dog park on the south end of Nymore Park, fundraisers finally have enough money to start building a space for man's best friend in Bemidji. Construction is expected to start after the city determines what kind of soil is underneath the area.
BEMIDJI -- A large crowd of politicians, business luminaries and other community members was on hand Wednesday for the groundbreaking of Lakeland Public Television's new $4 million facility near the Sanford Center on Bemidji's south shore. The "dream" of building a new facility for Lakeland, currently housed on the BSU campus, became reality through the hard work of Lakeland staff and supporters, LPTV Board President Doug Oman said in his remarks. "Dreams do come true," Oman said. The state of Minnesota put forward almost $3 million in bonding money toward construction of the new facility,
BEMIDJI -- Gov.
BEMIDJI -- Shared Vision, Bemidji's council on race relations, discussed controversial plans to honor American Indians on Columbus Day at its meeting Tuesday. Several fiery letters to the editor in opposition to changing Columbus Day have run in the Pioneer during recent weeks, letters which Shared Vision members referenced during the discussion. However, Shared Vision's ultimate goal may not necessarily be to change Columbus Day -- the second Monday in October -- in Bemidji to something else.
BEMIDJI -- Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, detailed to the Bemidji City Council on Monday what the Minnesota Legislature accomplished this year -- but he also took flak on the lack of a transportation funding bill. This year's session began Feb.
BEMIDJI -- A special group of out-of-towners is in Bemidji for the first part of summer -- but they're toting shovels rather than shopping bags. From mid May to mid-June, a nine-member team of young adult volunteers from Americorps, a national government-sponsored service organization, will do community service projects in Bemidji. They'll serve as tour guides/exhibit facilitators at Headwaters Science Center downtown, showing the center's visitors a menagerie of live reptiles and birds.