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A jury on Friday found Kevin McCormick, 53, of Breezy Point, Minn., guilty of second-degree manslaughter in pulling down Jerry Benedict's tree stand while Benedict was sitting in it, causing him to sustain injuries that eventually led to his death. After the guilty verdict was read, Tom Benedict, the late Jerry Benedict's son, let out a sigh of relief and said, "Thank God." Across the room, McCormick stood expressionless as the verdict was read, but then moments later let out, "Oh my God." Shane and Troy Zarns, members of Jerry Benedict's 2010 hunting party, patted Tom Benedict on his back
Newly hired teachers in the Bemidji School District made less per day in 2010-11 than those working at comparable school districts in the state, something negotiators with the Bemidji Education Association found unacceptable. After negotiators from the local teachers' union and school district spent months negotiating the terms of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 teaching contract, a tentative agreement was approved Wednesday by the district's Board of Education. As part of the deal, the district agreed to add $750 to each step of the teachers' pay schedule in 2012-13 in an attempt to keep teaching c
BAGLEY - Silence filled the room as each of the 13 jurors filed into the former courtroom in the Clearwater County Courthouse Tuesday for an up-close look at the tree stand that fell to the ground Nov. 6, 2010, while Jerry Benedict was sitting in it. Made of galvanized steel piping, the stand resembled the scaffolding window washers sometimes use on the side of city buildings. A chair with a seat cushion resting on it sat on top of a platform made of plywood. A railing formed a perimeter around the chair.
Bagley - The conduct of a north-central Minnesota man with a bad temper is what caused a tree stand to fall while a hunter was sitting in it, causing the hunter to sustain injuries that ultimately led to the hunter's death, a prosecutor said as Kevin McCormick's manslaughter trial began Monday. McCormick, 53, of Breezy Point, Minn., faces a decade or more in prison if convicted of second-degree manslaughter for the death of Jerry Benedict, then a 62-year-old hunter who died in November 2010. Clearwater County Attorney Richard Mollin, who is prosecuting the case, told jurors in his opening re
Tim Ewert, a local trapper who also does historical reenactments of fur traders from the early 1800s, said he has been waiting 50 years for the chance to trap a wolf. Since he was 12 years old, the Bemidji man said he has trapped a variety of animals, but called the chance to get a gray wolf "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." "I'm 61 years old now, so I've waited 50 years for this," he said.
For a second year in a row, the Bemidji High School Mock Trial team has been named champion of Region 2 and will again be headed to the state meet. The team, consisting of Paul Enger, Lyla Evje, Maya Grantier, Laura Lee Miller, Julia Armstrong, Anderson Carter, Tessa Johnson, Kaitlyn Hazard, Amy Peterson, Lake Brooks, Libby Herried and Chloe Lundberg, is coached by Jeff Aas and Katie Nolting. They will compete against 11 other teams at the state competition Tuesday and Wednesday in Rochester, Minn. Last year was the first year a team from Bemidji qualified to go to state in more than one de
A man who is being charged with felony criminal vehicular homicide or operation for a 2010 incident that left a woman with massive head injuries pleaded not guilty last month. James Robert Brown, 26, of Red Lake, pleaded not guilty Feb. 21. His next hearing is set for April 3. According to the criminal complaint: A Minnesota State Trooper responded to a report of a white Chevrolet Lumina striking a pedestrian on the side of Highway 89 near County Road 32 at around 11:20 p.m.
A contract that offers something for everyone is how Paul Goodwin, president of the Bemidji Education Association, described the latest offer that now has the local teachers' union's majority support. More than 80 percent of the 325 teachers who took part in an election Wednesday voted in favor of the latest 2011-12 and 2012-13 contract offer from the Bemidji School District's negotiations team. The vote came days after two leadership teams with the BEA approved the same offer.
BAGLEY - A pretrial hearing was held for Kevin McCormick's second-degree manslaughter trial Thursday afternoon. McCormick, 53, of Breezy Point, Minn., was charged with felony second-degree manslaughter and hunter harassment in connection with a Nov. 7, 2010, incident. The criminal complaint filed against McCormick states that he pulled down a deer stand that Jerry Benedict was in. Benedict died from internal injuries Nov. 24, 2010, at a Fargo hospital. McCormick's trial will begin Monday at the Clearwater County Courthouse in Bagley and is expected to last five to seven days.
A robotics team with the Civil Air Patrol Northland Composite Squadron has qualified to compete at the VEX Robotics World Championship set for April 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif. The Bemidji team, named "A-I," which stands for Artificial Intelligence, placed first ahead of 25 teams at the 360-Degree North VEX Robotics Tournament last week at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. "A-I" members David Helgager, Bryan Porter, Zachary Olson, Joseph Rogers and Coach Doug Coutlee will be advancing to the world championship. Another Bemidji team, "On Steel," placed 12th at the