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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.
The Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a network of 70 nonprofits, held a digital meeting Thursday to discuss recent issues with Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project.
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.
On Saturday, members of the progressive Congressional "Squad," including Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar, MN-5, Cori Bush, MO-1, Ayanna Pressley, MA-7 and Rashida Tlaib, MI-13, visited Bemidji to stand in unity with opponents of the Enbridge Line 3 replacement project.
After 14 years of advocacy by local officials, legislative sessions and federal funding announcements, work is about to begin on the Bemidji Veterans Home. To commemorate the moment, a groundbreaking ceremony was held with dozens of elected officials, veterans and other supporters who backed the project.
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.