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—In less than a full week, the winners of the Golden Globe awards were announced and Academy Award nominations were released, with "The Revenant" as the big winner in both. Last Sunday, "The Revenant" took home Best Picture-Drama, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio's third Globe) and Alejandro Inarritu received Best Director. And on Thursday, "The Revenant" continued its awards-season conquest with 12 total nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director among others.
BEMIDJI -- After a Sanford Center spike in 2009 and a dip due to the Great Recession in 2010 and 2011, a new report shows the business of building in Bemidji is stabilizing. The past three years have seen a total value of construction at more than $31 million.
BLACKDUCK -- A housing development plan nearly a year in the making took another step forward Wednesday as the Blackduck Development Corp. reviewed layouts of what future projects may look like. The BDC, a not-for-profit organization involved in economic and real estate development as well as community organizing, has been working to buy a piece of land in Blackduck just south of Carlson Avenue and west of Oscar Avenue and Brandel Drive since January 2015.
BEMIDJI -- Dozens of people are expected to brave the cold and run through the frozen tundra that is Bemidji in winter Saturday for the 15th annual 5K Polar Challenge. The event is set to start with registration from 9 to 10 a.m. at First Lutheran Church on the corner of Ninth Street NE and Bemidji Avenue, with the start of the race at 10:30 a.m. Once the race begins, the route will lead runners up Lake Boulevard to Dewey Avenue and then to Birchmont Drive NE.
BEMIDJI—A public hearing will be held Tuesday, Jan. 19, in regard to the possible closure of the western half of the Westwood Acres Mobile Home Park in north Bemidji . The public meeting is set for 6 p.m. at Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW. According to a city documents, the hearing will be open for the public to discuss any impact the closing may have on displaced residents. The western portion of the park borders Hannah Avenue Northwest and is between Balsam Street and 23rd Street.
BEMIDJI -- Former Beltrami County Commissioner Robert Treuer died last Friday in Duluth at age 89, leaving behind a legacy of activism and the written word. Treuer's life began far away from the northland he eventually called home. He was born on Jan. 31, 1926, in Vienna, Austria. He and his family were forced to leave just over a decade later in 1938 because of their Jewish heritage and the Nazi takeover in Austria, according to his son, BSU professor Anton Treuer.
BEMIDJI—The Director of Beltrami County Environmental Services deals with multiple subjects on a day-to-day basis—from public health issues to zoning to land use. While these matters require specific knowledge sets, William Patnaude can tell you the common factor is people skills. That's why Patnaude, who announced his retirement last week, said the next person in the director's chair will need to connect with the public. The relationship with the people was an immediate lesson he learned when he started working for the county, some 44 years and change ago.
BEMIDJI -- After making multiple strides in its fundraising efforts, the group pushing for the restoration of the Carnegie Library hit a snag this week that could delay the project's construction.
BEMIDJI—The Bemidji City Council will vote on a recommendation Monday to allow the Bemidji Fire Department to solicit bids for a new southeast fire station. It's a decision Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said will maintain services in 2016 and beyond. "What we like to do is strategically place our equipment throughout our community to minimize response times," Hoefer said. "The other part of it is to make sure we have equipment available when potential natural disasters impact one part of the town or the other."