Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.
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BEMIDJI, Minn.—Area counties are concerned a recent decision by a Minnesota Tax Court regarding Enbridge Energy's oil pipeline system could leave them paying out potentially large refunds to the company. On Tuesday, May 15, tax court Judge Joanne Turner ruled the Minnesota Department of Revenue had overvalued Enbridge's pipeline system that runs through 13 Minnesota counties by $3.2 billion from 2012-2014.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee held a meeting in Bemidji Wednesday, Jan. 17, before an audience of veterans to discuss a project on the minds of locals for more than a decade. During the meeting, legislators, including District 5 and District 2 Sens. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, and Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, were presented with reasons why Bemidji should be the location for a new veterans home in Minnesota.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Candidates seeking the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's endorsement in the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial election met in Bemidji, Minn., Monday, Jan. 15, to promote their campaigns and share their ideas for the state's future. The event, which included a question-and-answer forum, was co-organized by the Bemidji College Democrats and the Beltrami County DFL. Candidates attending the session were • St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman; • District 64A Rep. Erin Murphy, St. Paul, Minn.; • State Auditor Rebecca Otto, May Township, Minn.;
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A new 2 percent hospitality tax idea that could bring in $1.25 million annually has received support from the Bemidji lodging/business community, but questions remain for city officials on how it would be used and what it's purpose would be.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The Ames, Iowa-based management company VenuWorks has paid the city of Bloomington, Ill., $40,535 in restitution and is planning to pay back more than $100,000 to Bemidji. The action is in response to alleged misappropriation of money by Curtis Webb, a VenuWorks employee who was the Sanford Center's executive director from late 2012 until April 2016 before taking a similar position in Bloomington. There, Webb was director of the Grossinger Motors Arena, formerly the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, until he was fired from the position on Oct. 14, 2016.
CASS LAKE, Minn.—The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe celebrated a big step forward Monday in its push for sustainability. At a ceremony, fittingly under sunny skies, Leech Lake officials and representatives from the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance unveiled a new solar array at the Prescott Community Center. The walls of solar panels at the community center are one of five spread throughout the reservation, with others at the Palace Casino, Leech Lake Tribal College, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance office in Pine River and a fifth in Jackson Village.