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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.
City Councilor Roger Hellquist was appointed as the city's representative on the board of the directors of the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area. Councilor Onen Markeson had been serving as the city representative, but he resigned citing time constraints. "I am not able to devote as much time working with and being on their board of directors as they would like of me," Markeson wrote in his letter of resignation.
An Indiana man drowned Monday in Lost Lake northwest of Cass Lake in Ten Lake Township, according to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. Larry Wayne Clem, 57, of Columbia City, Ind., reportedly fell out of a fishing boat on Lost Lake and did not resurface, the press release said. The incident was reported at 10:30 a.m.
The city of Bemidji will have a new representative for Ward 1 in 2009. City Councilor Onen Markeson announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election to his Ward 1 seat this fall. "I'm not running because a little over a year from this fall's election I will be retiring and I will be spending a great deal of my time outside of the Bemidji area," Markeson said.