Your Wednesday News Brief: August 15

By: Shawn Campbell

BEMIDJI MN – Minnesota elections officials estimate voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary was the biggest in more than two decades.  Congressman Tim Walz will face Jeff Johnson for Minnesota governor in the fall.  Johnson upset former Governor Tim Pawlenty on the Republican side.  Two women will meet for Minnesota’s U-S Senate seat.  Senator Tina Smith will face State Senator Karin Housley in the special election to replace Senator Al Franken.  Incumbent U-S Senator Amy Klobuchar will face Jim Newberger in the other Senate race.  Despite allegations of domestic violence, Congressman Keith Ellison won the D-F-L primary for attorney general.  He will face Republican Doug Wardlow in November. At the local level Don Heinonen and Jim Thompson will face off for an at-large seat on the council, now held by Dave Larson, who is not running for re-election. Incumbent Mayor Rita Albrecht is running for reelection against Joe Vene, for Ward 2 it’s Michael Beard running against Jaime Thibodeaux, and incumbent Richard Lehmann will face Emelie Rivera for Ward 4. At the County level candidates Craig Gaasvig and Natalie Grosfield were the winners of Tuesday’s primary. The general election is Tuesday November 6th.

BEMIDJI MN – Wild rice harvesting season, occurs annually, is set to between now until around Sept. 30 and wildlife managers from the Minnesota DNR say it’s shaping up to be a challenging harvest season. More than 1,200 lakes and rivers in 54 counties contain wild rice, with concentrations of rice being the highest in Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca and St. Louis counties. But harvestable stands of rice can be found all over Minnesota. The rice in the Bemidji area is variable. Much of the river rice is poor because several large rainstorms uprooted the rice. Lake rice is similar, although there are bright spots because the winter and spring were dry. Upper Rice Lake, southwest of Bagley, will be the best spot in the area for rice, with a fair-to-good crop, and a poor to fair crop elsewhere. Wild rice looks good in the Park Rapids area. The recent rains caused some plants to uproot, but the beds look pretty good on most lakes and rivers.

ST. PAUL MN – The Governor’s Advisory Council for Connected and Automated Vehicles is looking for stakeholder and public feedback on how to prepare the state for CAV technology. A series of statewide meetings in August through October will allow people to comment on various topic addressed in the Governor’s Executive Order on Connected and Automated Vehicles. The first meeting will be held on the topic area of cyber security and data privacy on Friday, Aug. 17 at the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Central Office at in St. Paul from 8 to 10 a.m.  A second meeting will be Aug. 31 at the same time and location. People unable to attend the meetings may provide feedback through an online CAV survey at the MNDOT website, which is posted on our blog.

BEMIDJI MN – Dairy Queen of Bemidji recently made a donation to the Sanford Health Foundation in support of its cardiology program through Miracle Treat Day on Aug. 2. The local Dairy Queen sold over 1,000 Blizzards in support of the Home Is Where the Heart Is campaign to expand cardiology services in Bemidji. Dairy Queen of Bemidji has supported Miracle Treat Day for over 10 years. It also gives back $1 of every Blizzard sold to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Miracle Treat Day.

STAPLES MN – The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the publics help in finding a suspect involved in a hit-and-run ATV accident that took place yesterday evening in the Staples area where an ATV struck a female victim. The incident happened in section 27 of Thomastown Township. The female’s boyfriend had stopped the driver of the ATV to speak with him about speeding on the gravel road. When the woman approached near the front of the ATV, the driver gunned the throttle, hitting the woman in the shin area on her right leg, knocking her to the ground. The driver of the ATV then fled from the scene northbound on 261st Ave. The ATV driver is believed to have entered the city of Staples on 12th St. NE. The ATV, described by witnesses, as a racing style four-wheeler, with loud exhaust, and white with red fenders in color. The male driver is described as white, between the ages of 20 and 25 with brown hair and a goatee. If you have any information on the suspect driver, contact the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office at (218) 631-7600. The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Staples Police Department and Staples ambulance.



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