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 -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday announced it had temporarily ordered a halt to a massive conversion of thousands of acres of Minnesota pine forest into farmland out of concern for the state's water supply and forest ecosystem. North Dakota-based potato grower R.D. Offutt Co. already has bought or could buy some 27,000 acres of Potlach Corp.
BEMIDJI -- The student government at Bemidji State University on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. The BSU Student Senate voted to become the first college in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system to ban the sale of bottled water on campus. Two non- MnSCU campuses in Minnesota -- Macalester and the College of Saint Benedict -- have already done so. Sens.
BEMIDJI -- The team from WCCO-TV news plans to become acquainted with the home of Paul Bunyan this week, shooting video and broadcasting live from Bemidji, including shows out on the ice. The visit is WCCO's third "Goin' To The (Frozen) Lake" program, a winter-themed version of their recurring summer segment, "Goin' To The Lake." WCCO anchor Frank Vascellaro said he's never been to Bemidji before, but he was excited to explore the quintessentially Minnesotan city. "How can you live in Minnesota and not go to Bemidji, right?," he said.
BEMIDJI -- A review of a new county Social Services employee position morphed into a broader talk on the issue of court-ordered child placement at Red Lake on Tuesday during a Beltrami County Board of Commissioners work session. Social Services Division Director Jeff Lind and Finance Director Janelle Vance were supposed to give a report on the new Case Aid position filled by Debbie Poxleitner in Red Lake in July.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council on Monday directed city staff to halt work on switching the mandatory bar closing time from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. The Council told City Attorney Al Felix to set aside the task of working on a draft ordinance switching the times. Felix said he had received a large amount of negative feedback on the proposed ordinance change. "I too can tell you from a staff perspective, at least in my experience...
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council on Monday will consider replacing the severe weather warning siren system. Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer will present study findings from an inspection Allendale, Mich.-based West Shore Services conducted this past fall of the city's siren system. Bemidji's existing sirens are so outdated the manufacturer stopped making them in the 1980s, the report said. Based on the study, Hoefer recommended replacing the six sirens already in use (projected to cost from $120,000 to $147,000), adding two additional sirens ($20,000 to $24,500 each) and upgrading the act
BEMIDJI -- The issues of school levies and college students voting in local elections took heat from attendees at a listening session on local taxes Saturday. About 50 people attended the session hosted by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa and Rep. Dave Hancock, R-Bemidji.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji American Legion Ralph Gracie Post 14 is struggling to survive. Like other Legion posts around the country, Post 14's members who served in World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars are gradually passing on, without veterans from the 9/11 generation of conflicts stepping in to bolster the ranks. The dwindling membership trend came sharply into focus about New Year's, when the post closed its bar/restaurant, and again Monday, when they sold their building outright. But Post 14's members, graying though they may be, remain determined to preserve an organization th
BEMIDJI -- The top young spellers in the Bemidji schools matched wits Thursday to see who is the top wordsmith at the 30th annual Spelltacular Spelling Bee at Bemidji Middle School. Eighth-grader Kasey Stokes took first place, correctly spelling "phonics" to win the bee. An avid reader, her favorite books include the Harry Potter series, she said after her victory. "You ask any of my friends, I am either reading or I am dancing," she said.
BEMIDJI -- Students from a Bemidji High School environmental science class had a bird's eye view Wednesday -- in nearly the most literal sense possible. Groups of students from teacher Kristina Hammitt's class of about 30 took turns going up in a crane to place sticks on a nesting platform some 40 feet in the air to help install a replacement habitat for a pair of ospreys on Irvine Avenue north of town near Movil Lake. Crews from Minnkota Power Cooperative removed the original nest in December, which the ospreys built on a power line pole.