Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or email@example.com
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BEMIDJI—Though the Bemidji Fire Department remained one of the busiest in the state in 2017—the 19th-busiest to be exact, the department once again avoided any fire-related deaths. During the BFD's annual year-end meeting, Fire Chief Dave Hoefer updated the small group gathered at the downtown station on the department's 2017 accomplishments and 2018 goals.
RED LAKE—Red Lake Chairman Darrell Seki began his State of the Band speech Friday by reminding attendees of those who couldn't be there. First, Seki offered condolences to the families of two tribal council members who died in the past year: Tribal Secretary Donald Cook, who passed away in May, and Richard Barrett, Sr., who died this month.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story first published in February 2017. BEMIDJI—A pair of Bemidji residents was charged with first-degree controlled substance crimes Tuesday after they were allegedly caught with 61 grams of methamphetamine during a Friday traffic stop. Brice Dean Wiese, 23, faces aggravated charges because he was also found to be in possession of a firearm, according to a criminal complaint. Beth Marie Rohrich, 23, is charged with first-degree possession of cocaine or methamphetamine.
BEMIDJI—A Red Lake man accused in a mid-January robbery was sentenced in early February for his role in the crime. Vincent George Cobenais, 30, initially pleaded not guilty Jan. 29 to one count of simple robbery—a felony—and demanded a speedy trial. But during a Feb. 9 hearing, Cobeanis instead pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault.
PONEMAH -- Red Lake police are asking for help finding a woman missing since Jan. 28. Amy Dow, 27, was last seen leaving her house in Ponemah more than three weeks ago, her mother said. Dow usually talks to her mother Chele Kalstabakken via text message and Facebook Messenger, but has not had contact with her family since she was last seen. Dow’s phone is also turned off and she has made no posts on social media, her mother said.
BEMIDJI -- After months of planning and testing, all Bemidji police officers now wear body cameras while on duty. Police Chief Mike Mastin said that, as of Feb. 5, every officer is equipped with a camera. The transition has been relatively smooth, Mastin said, though the department has had to get used to new technology.
BEMIDJI—Beltrami County Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said Wednesday he will run for sheriff in the 2018 election. Sheriff Phil Hodapp announced Monday he will not be seeking a fourth term. Beite has worked as chief deputy for more than five years. Beitel began his law enforcement career as a Glenwood, Minn., police officer in 1984. From 1987-1989 he worked as a Pine River, Minn,. officer and from 1989-1995 served as a Cass County sheriff's deputy.
BEMIDJI—Jodi Howard. Kateri Mishow. Alyssa McLemore. Darla Beaulieu. Kandace Dunn. Sheila St. Clair. Olivia Lone Bear. Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. Rebecca Anderson. At the time of Bemidji's second Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Walk, some of these women had been missing for decades. Others are just recently gone. Still more are not missing at all; their families know exactly where they're buried.
RED LAKE -- Twelve people were arrested and Red Lake police seized large amounts of drugs, cash and stolen property while executing search warrants on the reservation last week. According to a Facebook post made by the Red Lake Police Department, law enforcement executed the three warrants at three separate homes following a “notable” uptick in overdoses.
RED LAKE—Longtime Red Lake Tribal Council member Richard Barrett, Sr. has died. According to an announcement posted to the council's Facebook page on Monday afternoon, Barrett, 75, is survived by his wife and other family members. Barrett was first elected to the tribal council in 2002, following the death of his predecessor. He has served the community as the Little Rock representative for 16 years. Roman Stately, Jr., who grew up with Barrett and represents the Red Lake district, described Barrett as a "gentleman."