Archives for March 2020


The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help during the COVID-19 Pandemic that is taxing the entire country on resources… and is often plagued with misinformation. Local emergency responders and Public Health personnel are critically lacking in Personal Protective Equipment, after much of the country went into a mode of “panic buying” which quickly cleared such items from availability. They are now asking the public and area businesses to do an inventory and consider donating excess or unneeded Personal Protective Equipment to Beltrami County for our law enforcement, emergency medical services and public health needs. N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, “booties” or other gear. If you have excess supplies, please consider donating. Your donations could help save lives. All you have to do is call the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, and they will come pick them up. Just call 218-333-4187.


Governor Walz on Friday, ordered Minnesotans to stay home except for essential needs through April 10th at 5:00 p.m. All Minnesotans need to follow the governor’s stay at home order to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and help our health care system prepare for projected increased demands. As of Friday, the total lab-confirmed positive tests here in Minnesota stood at 398, with 4 deaths. The number of lab-confirmed positive tests among Minnesota residents will be updated daily now, with test results from the previous day.It is important for everyone to follow advice on community mitigation and social distancing to help us flatten the case curve.


In light of the new cases of COVID-19 in the state, Beltrami County Public Health and Beltrami County Emergency Management hosted a meeting with a broad set of community partner organizations, aimed at getting the community on the same page with a consistent response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. All who took part, agree that it was very informative to hear what organizations are already doing to prepare, especially about the level of planning Sanford Health has completed for any potential need for testing, and a possible surge of patients. Sanford Health is providing testing based on clinical judgement. If you are ill and suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your provider before traveling to medical facilities. Locally, additional information is available on the Sanford Health website for updates.


Incidents of fraud are on the rise and scammers’ tactics are becoming more complex. On Thursday, at 12:30PM at the Bemidji Senior Activity Center, the Beltrami-Bemidji TRIAD will have a session titled “Outsmart the Scammers” presented by Katherine Monkman, a Financial Advisor from Edward Jones. Attendees will learn how to spot certain red flags that may indicate a fraudulent encounter, and learn of resources individuals can turn to in the event they or a loved one are targeted, and steps they can take now to help protect themselves and loved ones. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Beltrami County is working toward addressing the needs for an updated County Jail. The county goal is to have a right sized jail that is designed to keep staff and inmates safe and secure. The County is seeking citizens interested in serving on the Jail Steering Committee. Citizens may send letters of interest to the County Administrator by March 31st. Letters may be sent via e-mail to or by regular mail to 701 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601.


On Friday, House Speaker Hortman, Majority Leader Winkler and Education Committee Chairs Jim Davnie and Cheryl Youakim (u-ah-keem) held an all-day Education Symposium: ‘Bridging the Gap’… a high-level overview of Minnesota’s education system. Rep. Jim Davnie had these comments about it on Friday…


17th Annual Bemidji Area Friends of Concordia Language Villages’ Essay Contest

The 17th Annual Bemidji Area Friends of Concordia Language Villages’ Essay Contest was a huge success…. getting 125 essays from area 4th and 5th graders. 10 one-week scholarships have been awarded. They will be honored in an awards ceremony on Sunday, March 15th, attended by the winners, their families, their friends, their teachers, donors, volunteers to the program, and staff of Concordia Language Villages. For more information, visit



Bills related to smoking prevention have seen a flurry of activity recently at the Minnesota capitol. Laura Smith of Clear-Way Minnesota says states need their own laws to provide enforcement clarity….

While that bill hasn’t encountered strong opposition this session, some lawmakers in past sessions have questioned whether the move would create an underground market.