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, Minn.—A new 2 percent hospitality tax idea that could bring in $1.25 million annually has received support from the Bemidji lodging/business community, but questions remain for city officials on how it would be used and what it's purpose would be.
BEMIDJI, Minn. —The future expansion of a major northern Minnesota travel corridor was the focus of a Bemidji meeting on Tuesday. Personnel from communities along major travel corridors north and south of Bemidji met with District 5A Rep. Matt Bliss, R-Pennington, here to discuss the future of State Highway 371. The highway, specifically between Little Falls and Bemidji, has been a point of discussion at the local and state levels for more than two decades. The matter revolves around the idea of expanding the highway from two-lanes to four.
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Just days before the Bemidji City Council was slated to vote on formally opposing the International Eelpout Festival possible move to Lake Bemidji, organizers said Friday the event will stay on Leech Lake in Walker. The announcement, made Friday via press release, comes about a month after organizers submitted a permit application to Beltrami County to hold the festival on the southern area of Lake Bemidji.
BEMIDJI, Minn.-- Only five cities out of 30 remain in Minnesota Monthly magazine's "Best MN Town" contest. The contest, which started over the summer, is seeking to find the town that best "embodies the spirit of Minnesota," according to the magazine's website. The winner of the contest will be showcased in a multi-page editorial feature and receive a media campaigned valued at more than $50,000.
BLACKDUCK, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., walked through the workroom of Anderson Fabrics in Blackduck on Thursday, Oct. 20, and came away impressed. "It was so inspirational," Nolan said at the tour's conclusion. "The employees took over ownership in the company and now there's 300 people and they have all the business they can handle. It's a testimonial to the value of employee ownership."
BEMIDJI, Minn.—After 38 years in Walker, Minn., the International Eelpout Festival may be moving to Lake Bemidji in 2018. According to the agenda for the Beltrami County Commission meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 17, an application has been made to the county requesting approval of a permit to hold the 2018 Eelpout Festival in Bemidji. Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp and county Environmental Services Director Brent Rud are expected to address the board about the application and applicable ordinances.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Personnel from Enbridge Energy were joined Wednesday in Bemidji by agency officials at the local, state and federal level for a practice exercise in the event of an oil spill. The training, labeled a command post response exercise, included personnel from various backgrounds working together on creating an incident action plan that would be used by crews in the field in a hypothetical scenario. In Wednesday's exercise, the hypothetical scenario was a release from one of Enbridge's pipelines into Cass Lake.
CASS LAKE, Minn.—The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe celebrated a big step forward Monday in its push for sustainability. At a ceremony, fittingly under sunny skies, Leech Lake officials and representatives from the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance unveiled a new solar array at the Prescott Community Center. The walls of solar panels at the community center are one of five spread throughout the reservation, with others at the Palace Casino, Leech Lake Tribal College, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance office in Pine River and a fifth in Jackson Village.
BEMIDJI—When President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the international Paris Agreement on climate change, activists Brad and Linda Kingery and others of Bemidji went to work. On June 3, just two days after the president made the announcement, the Kingerys met with 24 other residents for an advocacy training workshop in order to help advance the efforts of the Bemijdi Citizen's Climate Lobby. The goal, according to Brad Kingery, is to get federal legislation that creates a fee and dividend, or a price on carbon.
BAGLEY, Minn.—The first in a series of 20-plus public meetings on Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project was Tuesday, June 6, at the Rice Lake Community Center near Bagley. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is conducting the meetings during the public comment, review period for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed pipeline to run across north-central Minnesota. The new pipeline will replace the existing Line 3, which will be deactivated and abandoned.