Your Wednesday News Brief: September 20

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

FEATURED PHOTO: Bemidji Fire Department battles blaze in Rockwood Township. Photo courtesy of Fire Chief David Hoefer.

BEMIDJI— The tax levy for 2018 is expected to rise 6.47%, or $1.3 million, for Beltrami County. The commissioners voted Tuesday to establish the levy. The vote passed 3-2, with Commissioners Lucachick and Sumner voting against the adoption. County Administrator Kay Mack said that while the levy is at a great increase, the budget committee attempted to lower it as much as possible.

The total property tax levy will be approximately $22.3 million dollars. Some significant drivers of the levy increase include establishing an additional court room with the necessary staff at $369,000, and additional staffing for Health and Human services and the Beltrami County Jail and Sheriff’s departments.

DSC05202bBEMIDJI— The Bemidji Fire Department reports that a house fire early this morning in Rockwood Township caused over $109,000 in damages. According to the release, seventeen firefighters responded to the house fire to see that the roof and attic were fully engulfed in flames. The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

The department used one fire engine and four water tenders to combat the blaze, and were on the scene for about 4 hours, from 1 am to 5. The Bemidji Fire department was assisted by the Cass Lake Fire Department, Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, the Beltrami Electric Cooperative and the Bemidji Ambulance service.


CASS LAKE— Cass Lake-Bena High School was placed under lockdown Tuesday, according to an announcement from the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department. The possible security threat was investigated and determined to be unfounded, and students returned to school later in the afternoon.

CASS LAKE— A predatory offender will be released in the Cass Lake area on Monday, September 25, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s department. The offender, 52-year-old Michael Lee Littlewolf, has a history of sexual misconduct and contact with both an adult woman and a young girl under the age of 17, which included holding them against their will. Littlewolf is described as a 5-foot-8-inch American Indian man, with a medium complexion and medium build. Littlewolf is not wanted by police at this time, and has served the sentence imposed on him by the court.


CASS LAKE— The Chippewa National Forest has announced temporary road closures at five locations in September and October. The deck replacements are part of the forest’s routine maintenance and closures will take place beginning Sept. 25 through Oct. 11. The first bridge, on Decker Lake, will be replaced next week on September 25 and 26, and the second bridge on Mitt Lake will be replaced September 27-28. Each bridge closure is expected to last approximately two days, and alternative routes to destinations will be made available.


ST. PAUL— As farmers prepare to harvest their crops this fall, they should consider leaving a few rows of standing corn to help control blowing and drifting snow, as well as improve visibility, on Minnesota roads this winter, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

MN-DOT pays farmers to leave standing corn rows, hay bales or silage bags to protect selected state roads. Farmers are compensated per acre for leaving standing corn rows and per lineal foot for strategically stacked bales or silage bags. A typical standing corn row treatment is about a ¼ mile long and one acre in size, with 12 rows of corn left standing. Average compensation to the landowner is about $1,000 per acre.


GolfCommittee_WithCheckBEMIDJI— The United Way of the Bemidji Area has had considerable success in their campaigning ventures. The Beltrami Electric Golf Open raised over $9,800 for the United Way, which was held August 19 at the Castle Highlands Golf Course.

The United Way’s Trap Shooting Tournament, held September 14 at the Bemidji Trap and Skeet Club, raised over $11,000 for the nonprofit group.



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