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 -- Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht will deliver the 2015 State of The City Address at the Bemidji City Council meeting Tuesday. Albrecht was elected to her second term as mayor in November. In addition to the State of the City Address, the City Council will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday, moved because of the Monday federal Martin Luther King holiday. At the meeting, the City Council is expected to vote on a resolution to support a $3.5 million state funding aid request from the Northern Access Dental Center to build a new clinic to treat low-income patients.
BEMIDJI -- More than 50 people turned out Thursday to a standing-room only meeting at City Hall to weigh in on how the Bemidji area should grow. Local government officials, nonprofit workers and other community activists gathered at a Comprehensive Plan meeting organized by the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, which is composed of the city of Bemidji, Bemidji Township and Northern Township. JPB Planning Administrator Mayana Rice used a metaphor of the community as a moving car to describe the necessity of having a comprehensive plan. "When people can't see where they're going, the
BEMIDJI -- The Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, which governs zoning in the Bemidji area, plans to consider adding language allowing for "tiny houses," the miniature homes designed to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible that are gaining national popularity. The change is intended to encourage environmentally sustainable practices, affordable housing, and housing for seniors, JPB Planning Administrator Mayana Rice said. As the code stands now, houses less than 800 square feet would need a specific variance to be approved by the JPB.
BEMIDJI -- The Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board wants to start thinking big again about development in the area -- even if that thinking includes its opponents in a lawsuit. The JPB has a Comprehensive Planning meeting scheduled at 3:30 p.m.
BEMIDJI -- Katie Carter will become the new executive director at Headwaters School of Music and Arts as of Feb. 2. "I'm excited to get back into the arts scene," she said Tuesday. Carter, who has a background in English language arts and education, replaces retiring director Janet Brademan.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council will consider moving the mandatory bar closing time from 2 a.m.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji Deb Junior and Plus retail clothing store inside the Paul Bunyan Mall will close as nearly 300 Deb Stores locations across the country are liquidated. The company filed for bankruptcy in December. Bloomberg news reported Deb Stores had about $90.5 million in assets and $120.1 million in debt as of Dec. 31. Beth Slapnicher, manager of the Bemidji location, said on Friday the store's nine employees would be laid off as part of the closing. "None of us are going to have a job after it liquidates," she said.
BEMIDJI — Both the Republicans and DFLers rolled out their agendas this week for the 2015 session of the Minnesota Legislature that started Tuesday -- but the Bemidji-area delegation has...
BEMIDJI -- Roughly 500 people attended a hearing in Bemidji that may help decide the fate of the Sandpiper crude oil pipeline planned to cross northern Minnesota. Supporters and opponents of the $2.6 billion project put forward by Houston-based Enbridge Energy gathered on Wednesday at the Beaux Arts Ballroom inside Hobson Memorial Union at Bemidji State University for the third of five hearings this week organized by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the regulatory body that has the power to approve or deny the project.
BEMIDJI -- Gardens won out over guns and road construction in the 2015 race for county development grant funding. In a work session Tuesday, the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners chose which community groups should be awarded grant funding through the annual Development Grant. More than $102,000 was awarded among eight groups: Greater Bemidji, the Headwaters Science Center, the Boys & Girls Club, the Blackduck History and Art Center, the Beltrami County Historical Society, the Bemidji Community Food Shelf and the Beltrami County Ag Association. The board used the criteria of whether th