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BEMIDJI -- A mentally ill man who was allegedly beaten by fellow inmates in Beltrami County jail and then furloughed so the county wouldn't have to pay medical expenses filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday. Theran Stai, 46, filed claims at the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis against both Beltrami County as a whole and individual county staff, including jail administrators and Sheriff Phil Hodapp.
BEMIDJI -- The recent death of two homeless people in Bemidji sparked two discussions at Monday's Bemidji City Council meeting: expressions of sympathy and plans on how to prevent more people from slipping away. During the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, Mike Bredon spoke as chair of the Nameless Coalition for the Homeless about the deaths and the need for emergency housing as winter approaches.
BEMIDJI -- There are scores more runners expected in this year's Blue Ox races than the inaugural races held in 2013 -- with revamped courses to boot. Last year there were 912 total reservations, but as of Oct. 2, there were more than 1,000 runners registered for all 2014 races, race director Phil Knutson said.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council will cover annexation, sirens and replacing its city manager at a jam-packed meeting on Monday. First up is a 5:30 p.m work session to discuss the job description to be sent out for the soon-to-be-open city manager position. City Manager John Chattin is retiring at the end of 2014, following 12 years at City Hall. Chattin was hired as city manager in 2006, having previously served as the county administrator for Swift and Yellow Medicine counties in Minnesota.
BEMIDJI -- Economic development experts revealed more about encouraging Bemidji manufacturing through the fledgling Minnesota Innovation Institute at a trade meeting Thursday. Greater Bemidji director Dave Hengel and Mary Eaton, president of The Idea Circle, spoke about MI2 to a gathering of the Highway 2 West Manufacturer's Association inside the local offices of Minneapolis-based electronics-maker Nortech. Hengel called Bemidji's economic situation "the definition" of a skills gap, where companies can't find qualified candidates in the available labor pool.
BEMIDJI -- Amid a national push to value America's bees as crucial to the environment, a Bemidji proposal seeks to propagate the pollinating insects within city limits. A group of beekeepers and sustainable practices advocates are working with the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board to draft rules for beekeeping, which appears to be unregulated in city zoning code. The preliminary draft of the rule is in the early stages but beekeeping proponents hope to develop a framework that both encourages domesticated hives and addresses possible safety concerns from neighbors. "The ultimate goa
BEMIDJI -- Water rates are set to increase next year for the top 10 percent of water users in Bemidji, following a unanimous City Council vote Monday. The city's 2014 water rules say every user pays the same fee rate: $3.35 per 1,000 gallons of water that goes through the meter. The average Bemidji household uses less than 10,000 gallons per month. That's a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to some of the city's largest water users.
BEMIDJI -- After he filed to run for mayor in Bemidji, Jorge Prince took a look at the rest of the ballot below his name and was disappointed. Several of the city council seats in Bemidji were uncontested, which Prince saw as a sign of public disengagement with local politics. Prince looked for a way to both introduce himself to voters and inspire them to enter the political world themselves. "It kind of spurred me to think about, 'Well, if I'm going to run for mayor, are there things that I can do to inspire other people to get involved?," he said.
BEMIDJI -- With Election Day fast approaching, DFL legislators voiced their support for a possible two-year extension to Minnesota's public college tuition freeze Wednesday. Minnesota Speaker of the House Paul Thissen, along with Reps. Roger Erickson, DFL-Baudette, and John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, held a press conference outside Hobson Memorial Union at BSU to outline a plan they said would help reduce student debt if it is approved during the 2015 legislative session.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji's property taxes went down 17 percent for the average homeowner from 2013 to 2014, according to a new report from a progressive Minnesota think tank. Minnesota 2020 stopped in Bemidji on Wednesday on a statewide tour presenting sweeping research findings on how taxes changed for 851 Minnesota cities from 2013 to 2014. Report author Jeff Van Wychen attributed the decline in taxes to state refund programs such as the Homestead Tax Credit Refund. "These refund programs have long been applauded by policy wonks because they're highly efficient at targeting tax relief to those