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The four people vying for two seats on the Bemidji City Council attempted to connect with Bemidji State University students during a debate Tuesday night on campus. Ward one candidates Rachelle Houle and Kevin Waldhausen and ward three candidates Ron Johnson and Charles "Chuck" Stombaugh asked for students' votes as they stated their positions on the proposed Bemidji events center, downtown revitalization hopes and environmental concerns. The debate was held in Hagg-Sauer Hall and was attended by about 100 students.
Leo Robert Jones Jr., 21, of Cass Lake, was charged with felony second-degree arson Tuesday in Beltrami County District Court. Jones is accused of intentionally setting fire to a vacant residence on the 1300 block of Porcupine Road in Ten Lake Township. If convicted, Jones faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. According to the criminal complaint, a woman called Beltrami County Dispatch at 10:02 p.m. Saturday to report that a vacant house was on fire, and Jones was seen leaving the area of the burning house.
Richard Derek Wright, 41, of Belleville, Mich., has been indicted by a Hubbard County grand jury with six counts. Wright, the man accused of murdering Sonya Marie Hennagir of Park Rapids, faces two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of first-degree witness tampering and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The first degree murder charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.
A Bemidji woman was assaulted early Sunday morning while walking home from a downtown bar. The woman was talking to her husband on her cell phone when he heard her say, "Ouch, stop hitting me," and then the phone disconnected, according to a Bemidji police report. The woman was found assaulted at 12:48 a.m. on the 300 block of Beltrami Avenue Northwest and was treated and released for injuries at North Country Regional Hospital. The husband called police after the phone call and asked officers to check on her welfare, the report said.
A 21-year-old Cass Lake man was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of arson after emergency personnel responded to a structure fire. The structure fire was reported at 10:02 p.m. Saturday on Porcupine Road Southeast in Ten Lake Township, according to a report from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. According to Tim Reiplinger, the Cass Lake fire chief, the structure was a boarded up, unoccupied residence. No one was injured. Reiplinger said the structure was heavily damaged and is likely a complete loss.
Leo Robert Jones Jr., 21, of Cass Lake, was charged with felony second-degree arson Tuesday in Beltrami County District Court. Jones is accused of intentionally setting fire to a vacant residence on the 1300 block of Porcupine Road in Ten Lake Township. If convicted, Jones faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. According to the criminal complaint, a woman called Beltrami County Dispatch at 10:02 p.m. Saturday to report that a vacant house was on fire, and Jones was seen leaving the area of the burning house. For more on this story, see Wednesday's Pioneer.
The Bemidji Police Department has released a description of the suspects in Sunday's assault that occurred in downtown Bemidji. Police are looking for two males about high school age who were wearing blue jeans, dark hooded sweatshirts and tennis shoes. A Bemidji woman was assaulted early Sunday morning while walking home from a downtown bar. She had been talking to her husband on her cell phone when he heard two males begin to assault her and demand money. The woman was treated and released at North Country Regional Hospital following the attack.
Among notable action taken at the Bemidji City Council meeting Monday: Headwaters Science Center Laddie Elwell, the executive director of the Headwaters Science Center, requested from the city documentation proving that the Science Center would have control of at least 5 acres of property for the construction of a new building. ACTION: The council voted unanimously to authorize staff to work with Elwell and the Science Center to produce the necessary documentation; a presentation will be made to the City Council at a later date. Agreement for RR crossing The council considered an agreemen
The Clausen Avenue railroad crossing will be upgraded to include gates, bells and flashing lights. The $175,000 project is being funded primarily through state and federal funds; the city of Bemidji has authorized $17,541 in local funds to meet a 10 percent local match. The City Council on Monday unanimously approved the funding and an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway authorizing the project. "This is a MnDOT safety project," said City Engineer Craig Gray. The local funds will come from the city's 2009 state aid maintenance
The Bemidji Skate and Bike Association has received a Burton Snowmobiles grant. The $1,000 Go Overboard Challenge grant from Burton Snowboards is administered through Youth Venture, a nonprofit that supports youth-led organizations that strive to create benefits for their schools and communities. Youth Venture notified the Skate and Bike Association of the grant on Thursday. "As a result of your outstanding Venture idea and presentation, the Youth Venture selection panel selected you as a Youth Venture team," the organization wrote in a congratulatory letter.