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 -- With less than 20 days until the Nov. 4 election, a full plate of debates are slated in the coming weeks in Bemidji. The League of Women Voters has organized multiple debates over two days starting Tuesday at Bemidji City Hall. First up on Tuesday are debates for Beltrami County Commissioner, Beltrami County Attorney, Bemidji Mayor and Bemidji City Council Member (at-large) starting at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, also at 7 p.m.
BEMIDJI -- After a year of construction, the Country Inn and Suites by Carlson opened Friday with the hubbub of the Blue Ox Marathon happening only feet away at the...
BEMIDJI -- A push for an event recognizing American Indians around Columbus Day has stalled in Bemidji as other Minnesota cities discuss revising their approach to a federal holiday some consider problematic. City Manager John Chattin serves as treasurer for Shared Vision, a local race relations board. Earlier this year, board members put forward the idea of changing the name "Columbus Day," which is Monday, to something honoring American Indians.
BEMIDJI -- A special street assessment system may be put in place for the 2015 round of the Bemidji's annual renewal project. The plans are to repave Sherman Drive Northeast and pave two gravel side streets, White Birch Avenue Northeast and Piper Drive Northeast, near where the Mississippi River flows out of Lake Bemidji on its east shore.
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