Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.
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BEMIDJI—The best of the business community was celebrated Thursday at the annual Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence. Lueken's Village Foods earned the title Business of the Year, its second time winning the honor. Lueken's was one of five businesses receiving awards as part of the Chamber's 15th annual ceremony. A grocery store company in Bemidji for decades, Lueken's last shared the Business of the Year title in 2013 with Bar 209.
BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners assisted Evergreen Youth and Family Services with its grant application process Tuesday. At its meeting Tuesday, the board approved a waiver for the nonprofit youth services organization. According to county documents, Evergreen is seeking a 2020 grant through the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs, ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 per year.
BEMIDJI—While wages are on the rise, challenges remain for Minnesota's manufacturers when it comes to hiring a qualified workforce. In its annual State of Manufacturing survey, Enterprise Minnesota found 71 percent of respondents say the inability to hire qualified candidates has made company growth difficult. Regionally, that number was even higher, with 75 percent of manufacturing executives finding growth difficult because of a worker shortage.
BEMIDJI -- Ideas and frustrations about the future of Visit Bemidji were laid out at a special Bemidji City Council work session Monday, with one member calling the situation a sign of government dysfunction.
BEMIDJI—A pair of Bemidji infrastructure projects moved forward Monday with approval by the City Council. The council approved dollar figures for a project to pave a section of the city's alleys and another to relocate several city light poles.
BEMIDJI—The signs are on the building and the shelves are ready to be stocked at the city's new liquor store in Bemidji. The 16,300 square-feet First City Liquor is roughly 90 percent complete and is expected to open June 1, according to City Public Works Director Craig Gray. The structure at 500 Paul Bunyan Drive NW will replace the 50-year-old Discount Liquor, located adjacent to the new store.
BEMIDJI—With a U.S. census in 2020 that carries potential ramifications for the state of Minnesota, local governments are taking action to boost participation. Regionally, Beltrami County Administrative Specialist Diane Moe and Bemidji City Clerk Michelle Miller have partnered to create a Complete Count Committee. The committee, Moe said, is an informational group to push participation and promote the census effort over the next several months.
BEMIDJI—It was a night of finding common ground Monday for members of the Bemidji City Council and Beltrami County Board of Commissioners, as they held a joint meeting to discuss challenges and solutions. Dominating a large portion of the two-hour session was the county's financial trouble, caused by a growing number of out-of-home placement cases. During the discussion, county officials described just how dire the situation is to the City Council.
Ted Bundy's crimes in the 1970s were accurately described in the courtroom as "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile." Those actions he became notorious for aren't shown much in the new film featuring those courtroom words, but the viewer can still get insight into the person. Available on Netflix, "Extremely Wicked" stars Zac Efron as Bundy, and mainly follows the infamous criminal through the investigation and legal processes.
BEMIDJI—With demand coming from thousands across western Minnesota and neighboring North Dakota, the Northern Dental Access Center in Bemidji is marking its 10th anniversary with an expansion. Operating as a nonprofit community clinic, NDAC primarily provides care to those with low incomes and/or are on medical assistance. To accommodate the volume of patients who come to Bemidji from afar, NDAC is in the process of opening a new clinic in Halstad, Minn.