Local Government


Bemidji School Board will review mask policy when COVID cases decline, case rates remain high in September

The Bemidji School Board met for their regular meeting Monday night. Superintendent Tim Lutz says that as of last Friday, Beltrami County’s COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 people was 68.55, a number that is considered a high rate of transmission. Lutz said that once Beltrami County’s case rate gets to the moderate level, less than…


VenuWorks withdraws incentive-based contract, council sets preliminary levy at 8.5 percent net increase

Hours before the Bemidji City Council set the preliminary levy increase at 8.5 percent, VenuWorks withdrew its offer of an incentive-based contract. VenuWorks CEO Bill Peters said that VenuWorks obliged their end of the contract and that the new terms of the contract were unlike any the company had ever undertaken. Peters said VenuWorks would…


Bemidji City Council meets today: special work session to discuss VenuWorks, then onto setting the preliminary levy

The Bemidji City Council and VenuWorks may negotiate a new contract during a special work session this afternoon. According to documents submitted in the city’s packet, VenuWorks would provide the same number of services for operating the Sanford Center, and the new contract would be in effect from Oct. 1 through the end of 2024….


Red Lake Tribal Council unanimously passes COVID vaccine and testing mandate

The Red Lake Tribal Council recently passed a COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate for tribal employees. According to a resolution passed unanimously on Sept. 14, the mandate affects all persons who enter the Red Lake Reservation for employment and business purposes. The mandate includes exemptions for pregnant women, those with documented medical conditions for which…


Bemidji City Council to discuss budget, Sanford Center in tonight’s work session

The Bemidji City Council will discuss next year’s budget and the Sanford Center during tonight’s work session. Last week, the council voted 4-3 to move staff towards terminating their contract with VenuWorks, the management company that oversees the operation of the Sanford Center. A day later, longtime Ward 5 council member Nancy Erickson resigned. During…

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