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Law Enforcement Torch Run to travel from Bemidji to Pequot Lakes for Special Olympics

BEMIDJI—Local law enforcement and supporters will once again participate in the final leg of the Minnesota Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run on Monday.

About a dozen people—about three-quarters of whom are members of the Bemidji chapter of the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police—will carry the "Flame of Hope" from the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statutes for about 75 miles to Pequot Lakes.

This is the second year the FOP has participated in the final leg of the torch run. Brian Birt, a Beltrami County deputy and president of the Bemidji chapter, said the Order wants to continue to encourage local athletes.

"The FOP has been supportive of the Special Olympics for a long time," Birt said. "We just want to help do our part of it."

The run will kick off at 9:30 a.m. Monday at Paul Bunyan Park. Each of the dozen participants will run or bike one mile at a time, Birt said.

The flame will travel from the statutes to U.S. Highway 2 and on to Cass Lake, where runners will then travel south on Highway 371 to Pequot Lakes.

The summer games will be held June 22-24 and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

If you go:

What: Special Olympics Torch Run

When: 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 18

Where: The Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues in downtown Bemidji

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or

(218) 333-9796