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Matthew J. Liedke

Matthew Liedke is a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is originally from International Falls and now resides in Bemidji. He's a 2009 graduate of Rainy River Community College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead. At the Pioneer, he covers government, politics, health and economic development. He can be reached at (218) 333-9791 or by email at

In mid-October, ground was broken on Sanford's new $6.2 million Behavioral Health Crisis Center. Once completed, the 12,000 square-foot facility will be the first center to offer adult inpatient hospital psychiatric beds within 90 miles of Bemidji.
On Jan. 1, 2022, Minnesota's minimum wage rate for large employers will rise from $10.08 to $10.33. For smaller employers, the increase will have the wage rise from $8.21 to $8.42. The wage increase will follow a year of labor shortages in locally and statewide.
On Wednesday, the Canada-based company Enbridge announced Line 3 would be in service starting Friday, Oct. 1. Pipeline proponents and opponents both made statements in response to the news.
In the years since the age for buying tobacco was raised at the local, state and federal level, research has shown its been effective in decreasing youth smoking. While the issue persists, proponents see the laws as progress.
Enbridge gave an update on the construction process of its Line 3 replacement project during a virtual project update on Wednesday. During the meeting, officials said construction is near completion, but work will continue into next year.
The Safest Way Tour to promote Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline replacement project came to a close in Bemidji as the work nears completion. The tour stop event was held at LaValley Industries.
On Tuesday, Aug. 17, the nonprofit program Dream Flights took two local World War II veterans to the skies over Bemidji. This year, the program is working to take more than 1,000 WWII veterans on flights during August and September.
Less STD cases were reported across the state of Minnesota in 2020 than years past, likely because of less testing during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the number of STD and HIV cases remain high enough to be a concern for health officials at the local and state levels.
The Red Lake Tribal Council announced on social media Tuesday morning that a police officer had lost their life in the line of duty.
According to Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel the department had overtime costs of $17,392, however it has not put them over their overtime budget for the year.