Coronavirus-related announcements for Tuesday, March 17

To view previously announced cancellations, view articles here.

Northern Dental Access Center will remain operational in Bemidji on a limited basis. Those with appointments are asked to call ahead at (218)444-9646. For more information, visit their website.

The Bemidji Jaycees are working with the Sanford Event Center to find alternative dates for 43rd Annual Home, Sport and Travel Show, previously scheduled for the first weekend of April. The event is postponed for now, with a new date yet to be determined. Vendors are asked to check their emails for specific updates.

The Bemidji Community Food Shelf is introducing a modified distribution model to reduce risks for volunteers. They will be closed this Friday, March 20, and be closed on Fridays for the foreseeable future. Starting Monday, March 23, customers are asked to pull into the north parking lot where they will receive a prepackaged box of food. Nutrition Assistance Program for Senior boxes, for those registered, will receive their boxes in the parking lot as well. Customers who ride the bus may want to arrange for a proxy to pick up their food. Those unable to get to the food shelf should call (218)444-6580 for possible assistance.

Minnesota State Parks and Trails will remain open, but scheduled activities and events are, for the most part, cancelled, and visitor centers are closed. Visitors are asked to self-pay through kiosks or online. State park bathrooms and vault toilets will remain open.

BSU’s Gillett Wellness Center is closed, and the BSU library is closed to the public, but will remain open for students and employees. Residence halls and some dining facilities are open to students. Fall registration has been delayed until March 30. For March and April, all BSU events and activities for the public are cancelled.

All city of Bemidji public buildings except City Hall are closed until April 1. This includes the Sanford Event Center, Neilson Reise Arena, Bemidji Public Library, Carnegie Library, Public Works Facility, City Parks buildings, Tourist Information Center and the History Museum. Citizens are asked to limit in-person visits to City Hall, and are encouraged to instead pay utility bills online, by phone or drop them off via drop box located at the city hall main door. All Parks and Recreation programs have been cancelled or postponed.

Bemidji Community Theater’s production of “Treasure Island” has been postponed until further notice.

Minnesota state courts, in an attempt to limit in-person visits to the courthouse, are temporarily suspending in person payments:

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is discouraging the public from making any non-essential visits to court facilities during the outbreak of COVID-19. In an effort to reduce foot-traffic in courthouses, the State Court Administrator has taken the following temporary administrative actions, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for the next 30 days.

  • The Judicial Branch will stop sending out late penalty notices and assessing the late penalties for all citations.
  • For offenses eligible for drivers’ license suspension, the Judicial Branch will halt the automated process by which a person’s license is suspended for failure to appear.
  • The Judicial Branch will stop referring past-due payment cases to the Department of Revenue for collections.

“We are committed to reducing the need for Minnesotans to visit their local courthouses, and are making these changes to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba.

These temporary changes made to the automated financial collection processes will not adversely affect a defendant’s case. Related financially-connected processing, such as drivers’ license reinstatement and web-based and phone-based payments made through the Court Payment Center, will continue to be processed while these procedures are in effect.

The Minnesota DFL announced that all local conventions have been cancelled. All convention activities will be done online.

 


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa is also an active member with the Bemidji Jaycees, a leadership development through community service organization for adults 18 to 40. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her growing family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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