Public listening session may need to be held online

The Bemidji City Council may not be able to hold the Listening Session August 10 at the Sanford Event Center due to the increasing numbers of COVID in this area.

According to a memo in the packet for tonight’s meeting, Sanford Center meetings and events for August have tentatively been canceled. The listening session was announced in the wake of demonstrations against police brutality.

Chief of Police Mike Mastin has said he is supportive of a citizen advisory board for the police department, and the listening session would be to gather public input on what that board should look like.

The council, during their meeting tonight, will also discuss a mask mandate.

The mandate, should it be approved, would be an amendment to the city’s local emergency proclamation, which is underway until the council decides to end it.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Beltrami County, as of Sunday, at 100 cases of COVID-19.

Read more about items on the council’s agenda, and instructions to access the online meeting, here.

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, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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