Archives for March 2018


Minnesota could raise the minimum age for tobacco purchases under a proposal in the Legislature. The so-called “Tobacco 21” bill would raise the minimum age statewide. Laura Smith with ClearWay Minnesota, says it’s a simple change that would go a long way to reduce health problems and health-care costs in the state….

Tag: Opponents argue that there’s little evidence raising the purchase age will curb the use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or vaping supplies, and retailers also worry about losing sales. But the bill has bipartisan support, with 14-co-sponsors.


Former Governor Tim Pawlenty is looking more and more like a candidate for the 2018 race for governor. Republican Representative Nick Zerwas is excited about it…


Republicans and some Democrats in the Minnesota Senate are giving a thumbs-up to an additional 10 million dollars to continue fixing the state’s troubled vehicle registration system, with an oversight panel able to cut off funding if benchmarks aren’t met. But Republicans in the House insist that Governor Mark Dayton get the 10 million by trimming state agency budgets.

Bemidji Chapter Of The American Indian Movement Formed

Indigenous activists locally, have formed a new Bemidji chapter of the American Indian Movement, and the organizers say they have high hopes for bringing about change. They say they plan to take on inequities in Bemidji’s housing, business and criminal justice systems. The chapter’s founders say they want to work with local business to address discriminatory hiring practices, and with the justice system to address discrimination. They plan to hold bi-weekly meetings, the first of which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Kudos To Bemidji Jaycees

Congratulations today to the Bemidji Jaycees, who returned home with more than 50 individual, project and chapter awards that they earned at the Junior Chamber International Minnesota Annual Convention that was recently held. The Bemidji Jaycees were recognized as the chapter with the largest membership growth and the best programming for 2017. Several Bemidji Jaycee members will next travel to Denver, Colorado in September to compete in public speaking, composition and to debate on a national level. To learn more, visit

BSU Researchers To Be Featured On Prairie Sportsman

The work of two BSU researchers will be featured on “Prairie Sportsman” on March 31st. The program runs on Lakeland Public Television, and will feature Andy Hafs, assistant professor of biology, and Katti Renik, a biology graduate student from Bridgeport, Nebraska, who are conducting a two-year study in northeast Minnesota on the relationship between beavers and brook trout. “Prairie Sportsman” will air at 2:30PM on March 31 on Lakeland Public Television.

Self Driving Cars Coming Soon To A Highway Near You

Governor Mark Dayton is setting up a task force to study opportunities that self-driving vehicles could bring to Minnesota, and there’s an autonomous vehicle in front of the State Capitol today to pique people’s curiosity. Minnesota will first use autonomous vehicles in pilot projects for testing. State officials with the DOT say within five years they could be in use for shuttle buses and on some highways.

Beltrami County Commissioners Amend 9-1-1 Funding Agreement

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, adopted a new version of an ordinance funding emergency communications. The new ordinance expands options for appropriating 911 technology funds. The old ordinance it replaced, limited the county’s special assessment fund to be used on towers, repeaters and equipment within the 911 center. Now, money can be used to provide maintenance and upgrades to the entire emergency communications infrastructure.

Home Invader Turned Murderer Enters Guilty Plea

A burglar who is accused of beating a 95-year-old Anoka [uh-NO-kuh] man to death, was in court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty. 28 year old Isaiah Thomas used a flashlight and a clock to kill Albert Loehlein, a World War II veteran, during a home invasion back in November 2016. His body was discovered several days later by a relative. Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on April 9th.

Suspicious Letter Now Under Investigation

A suspicious letter sent to an area political candidate is now under investigation. Beltrami County deputies say 71 year old Donald Finn of Cass Lake got the letter on Monday, and it included some type of powder too. The letter was sent to the Minnesota Department of Health for analysis, and it is now the subject of an active investigation by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and the Minnesota Chemical Assessment Team. The message reportedly said “Dead Men Can’t Talk,” followed by an expletive. Finn is running for the position of secretary/treasurer of the Leech Lake Tribal Council, and he told investigators that he believes the threat is realted somehow to his candidacy.