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 -- Jim "Doc" Thompson, Bemidji City Council member from 2010 to 2014, says he will leave the post with both pride and regret. Thompson chose not to run again earlier this year, and will be replaced in the at-large seat on the council by former mayor Dave Larson when Larson is sworn in Monday. During a recent interview with the Pioneer, Thompson, 81, said he was disappointed many of the objectives he set out to accomplish on the City Council were never achieved. "When I started this whole process, I wanted to get a cleaner Lake Bemidji, and all the annexation we could possibly get,"
BEMIDJI -- As a new year arrives, friends are rallying to provide a chance at renewal for a Bemidji teacher and her family dealing with more than enough adversity. Debby...
BEMIDJI -- A group of about 15 intrepid hikers started 2015 off on the right foot Thursday with a walk in Lake Bemidji State Park. The event was one of...
BEMIDJI -- The American Legion building downtown will be sold to become the new Bar 209, officials said Monday. American Legion commander Bob Aitken said Ralph Gracie Post No. 14 plans to sell the building at 217 Minnesota Ave. NW in downtown Bemidji that's been its home for 25 years. Although the post itself will remain active, the bar/restaurant the Legion operates will close as of Thursday, when the liquor and food licenses expire, he said. "Times have changed," he said.
BEMIDJI -- After being presented the Legion of Honor on Tuesday, James Walker of Bemidji struggled to put into words how grateful he felt to have survived one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, and for the support of his loved ones. Instead, Walker looked out at the Beltrami County boardroom, packed with generations of friends and relatives, and said simply, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." The French government conferred the rank of Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion Of Honor upon Walker, thereby awarding him the highest honor France can bestow on a non-citizen. Walker joined the
BEMIDJI -- Retiring after eight years as City Manager, John Chattin has words of praise and words of warning for politicians and staffers inside Bemidji's government. Originally from California, Chattin went into his first government administration job in the 1970s following a seven-year stint in the Air Force.
BEMIDJI -- With the recent warmer temperatures, anglers on Lake Bemidji and other area lakes should tread with care as 'toilet bowling' may make the areas around their ice fishing holes unsafe. Ron Bostic, who owns Taber's Bait in Bemidji, said recent rainfall can widen ice holes unexpectedly as the rainwater flows from on top of the ice through the hole into the unfrozen depths below.
BEMIDJI -- The city of Bemidji's two off-sale liquor stores lead most of the state in net profits and racked up more than $5.3 million in gross sales revenue during 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Auditor's office. However, with expenses factored in, the $5.3 million figure translated to about $1.54 million in gross profit and $831,434 in net profit. The statistics were part of an annual report compiled by the state of financial data from all of Minnesota's 237 liquor stores that were operational in 2013.
BEMIDJI -- Sanford Health Bemidji Medical Center faces a financial penalty from Medicare over the rate of preventable complications patients experience at the hospital, according to data released last week by the federal program. Medicare penalized the lowest-scoring 25 percent of participating hospitals nationwide, regardless of how high or low their scores were within that percentile. Joy Johnson, chief operating officer of the Sanford Bemidji region, said Monday the numbers were already known by the hospital and Sanford Bemidji wouldn't be changing its anti-complications initiatives speci
BEMIDJI -- On Monday, the Bemidji City Council approved a 2015 budget and levy that help satisfy old debts while planning for possible new expenses in the future. A new piece of the levy in 2015 comes in the form of $84,000 to the Sanford Center Capital Replacement Fund, designed to save money for possible future repairs or renovations to the building constructed in 2010. City Finance Director Ron Eischens said the money would likely be levied "indefinitely" as the city builds up a reserve over years. "It's one of those things where you never know when you're going to need the money and how