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—They're not skating with sticks. They're not shooting the puck. They're not defending the net. But they're still making Hockey Day Minnesota 2019 happen. The "they" are the many volunteers working day and night to help Bemidji's big celebration of hockey run smoothly on the South Shore of Lake Bemidji. There are more than 485 volunteer shifts over the multi-day event and they're all covered by people from a variety of backgrounds, said Kris Christopher, Bemidji's Hockey Day volunteer coordinator.
BEMIDJI—More fines have been levied in relation to the Bemidji First group formed ahead of the November city elections. In a case brought before the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings by Bemidji resident Andrew Wiggins, 2018 Bemidji mayoral candidate Joe Vene was found to have violated two sections of Minnesota campaign finance law. According to documents from the office, a three-judge panel fined Vene a total of $750 on Friday, Jan. 11.
BEMIDJI—The Hockey Day Minnesota rink has been set up for several days now, but organizing committee member Brian Bissonette still feels goosebumps when he walks along the South Shore facility. "It's a pretty special place," Bissonette said. "From my perspective, it is a little surreal. We've seen drawings and plans for more than a year now, so to see it take shape is overwhelming." Hockey Day Minnesota is an annual event celebrating the sport in a different community every year. This is the 13th Hockey Day Minnesota event.
BEMIDJI—The Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings on Tuesday levied two fines totaling $1,000 against a Bemidji resident for violating state campaign finance laws. According to a final order document, Bemidji resident Dean Thompson acted with three other individuals, Mary Ann Thompson, Steve Hill and Jill Hill, to influence the election of three city candidates in the Nov. 6 General Election.
BEMIDJI—The city of Bemidji will form a committee this year to help develop a hospitality tax proposal. In order for a city to implement a special tax, it must receive approval through the state Legislature. In Bemidji's case, both city staff and elected officials are interested in creating a hospitality tax, either on food and beverage, lodging, or both, to reduce the amount of property taxes used to help fund the Sanford Center.
Some movies can feel really good to watch. They don't always need to feature the best cinematography and the scripts aren't required to push boundaries for an audience to feel a genuine satisfaction for two hours. These films, many of which maintain a status quo in the industry, are akin to a comfort food. However, comfort food isn't usually the type of cuisine earning Michelin Stars.
BEMIDJI—A proposed hospitality tax and the possible return of a community development director position are on the City Council agenda for Monday. The hospitality tax was last proposed as a way to offset property taxes in 2016-2017, but the idea of the tax has been discussed for years.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji community is expecting Hockey Day Minnesota to be an economic power play. Based on impacts in other host cities for Hockey Day, it’s an accurate assumption.
BEMIDJI—Olympians and Stanley Cup winners have skated on Brandon Radeke's ice. Next week in Bemidji, hockey players of all ages are joining the club. For the 13th annual Hockey Day Minnesota, Radeke, director of ice operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins, is overseeing the creation of the rink near the south shore of Lake Bemidji.
BEMIDJI -- People are planning to cut another hole in the ice covering Lake Bemidji this month. However, this one won’t be for ice fishing. Instead, for the 16th year, bold volunteers will be jumping in the cold waters for the annual Brrrmidji Plunge. The event, organized by the Bemidji Jaycees, has attracted both locals as well as people from across the country and world to plunge in Lake Bemidji, with all of the proceeds going to help the community.