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—Republican candidate Dave Hughes is in his second bid to unseat longtime Congressman Collin Peterson in Minnesota's Seventh District and is covering plenty of ground as part of his campaign. On Friday, Hughes, who previously ran in 2016, made two campaign stops in the Bemidji area. The first was to visit BSU and the Paul and Babe the Blue Ox statues, and the other was to join in helping local GOP supporters get out the vote before the Nov. 6 election. For Hughes, the strategy is based off of what he learned two years ago.
BEMIDJI -- The accessibility and affordability of health care remains a major issue in Minnesota politics and was a main topic up during a candidate forum Wednesday. Featuring candidates for Minnesota House Districts 2A and 5A, Wednesday’s forum was organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji. One of the candidates in the race, 53-year-old incumbent Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
BEMIDJI—Planning staff for the greater Bemidji area have created a comprehensive guide to future growth, and you can have your say about it. Staff are now seeking public comment before the Joint Planning Commission takes action on the document. The draft is available now on the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board website for review and citizens have the option of commenting online. Additionally, the JPB has scheduled a public meeting and open house for Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW.
BEMIDJI—Five women who've made the Bemidji community a better place to live were honored Thursday at the second event of its kind in the area. On Thursday morning, in partnership with Bemidji Area Business Women and BSU, the United Way of Bemidji Area held the second annual Women United Tribute Awards Breakfast. The ceremony honors women, nominated by their peers, who use their passion and resources to make an impact in the Bemidji community. The award recipients this year are:
BEMIDJI—Just how Bemidji should grow as a community was a subject producing many views and ideas during a city government candidate forum Wednesday. Organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji, the individuals running for City Council Ward 2, Ward 4, and At-Large seats, as well as for mayor, discussed the importance of proper strategy when considering how to manage a growing population. All eight candidates in the four races were present. Candidates are: Mayor
BEMIDJI—A financial crunch facing Beltrami County caused by a growing number of children in out-of-home placement was a main topic at a candidate forum Tuesday. Organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji, the forum featured the two candidates running for Beltrami County District 1 Commissioner. The candidates are 50-year-old Craig Gaasvig and 59-year-old Natalie Grosfield, both of Port Hope Township.
BEMIDJI—Six candidates running for three seats on the Bemidji School Board answered questions from citizens Tuesday evening. At a forum organized by the League of Women Voters Bemidji, candidates shared their ideas and strategies they would implement if elected to the district's governing body. The individuals seeking office who attended the forum included: • Jack Aakhus, a substitute teacher and football coach. • Incumbent Carol Johnson, a sales associate. • Jeffrey Lind, the social services director for Beltrami County.
RED LAKE -- Peggy Flanagan, the DFL candidate for lieutenant governor, as well as House District 2A candidate Michael Northbird both made a stop Tuesday at Red Lake Nation College to talk about the upcoming election. Flanagan, running mate of Tim Walz, discussed the importance of voting on Nov. 6 and both she and Northbird talked about how crucial the Native American vote can be in the local races.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji staff and elected officials are considering how best to plan for the city's future. On Monday, they began the discussion on how community organizations factor into the process. Over the past several weeks, leadership from the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, the visitors and convention bureau Visit Bemidji, the Bemidji Downtown Alliance and Greater Bemidji Economic Development, have been looking to form a "Bemidji Alliance." The concept is to have the four entities work closer together and strategize for the future.
BEMIDJI—Despite having to write off a loan of more than $300,000 to a hotel development company, officials say a city loan fund remains in good shape to support economic development in Bemidji. In late September, the Bemidji City Council approved a write off of $332,416.67 related to the hotel next to the city-owned Sanford Center. In 2014, the council approved a $400,000 loan to Wayzata Hospitality to construct a linking structure between the city-owned Sanford Center and the company's Country Inn & Suites hotel.