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 violent crime increased slightly statewide in 2017, Bemidji saw fewer murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults than in 2016, according to a recently released report from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. And while serious "Part I" crimes increased in Bemidji by more than 20 percent between 2016 and 2017, most of those involved thefts, rather than crimes against individuals.
WALKER—After more than five months of legal back-and-forth, conflicting judges' opinions and contentious meetings, longtime Leech Lake Secretary/Treasurer Arthur "Archie" LaRose took the oath of office Friday. LaRose's inauguration came just two weeks after Leech Lake Election Contest Judge Colette Routel issued a decision and order stating that LaRose "is not legally entitled to hold office as Secretary-Treasurer," but that she does not have the power to invalidate the election. LaRose defeated opponent Donald "Mick" Finn in the band's general election June 12.
LEECH LAKE—The Bureau of Indian Affairs continued a yearlong effort to educate reservation residents on the dangers of opioids Thursday. Timothy Proctor, a special agent with the BIA's Division of Drug Enforcement spoke in Cass Lake to about a dozen attendees, going over general facts about heroin, signs of addiction and overdose and information about the overdose-reversal drug nalaxone.
RED LAKE—County officials saw evidence of possible tornadoes in Red Lake on Wednesday night after the area's third heavy storm since late June. Most of Beltrami County escaped without damages, and though Bemidji itself experienced strong wind gusts, the wind speed was not classified as severe, according to Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Chris Muller. Muller received information about the tornadoes from the Red Lake Police Department, but could not confirm any damages. Social media posts showed photos and videos of a funnel cloud.
BEMIDJI -- Though Thursday brought clear skies and warm, breezy weather, signs of the small tornado that touched down in the middle of the city Wednesday remained in the whine of chainsaws, rumble of bulldozers and tree stumps still clinging by their roots to the boulevard.
BEMIDJI -- An early morning thunderstorm swept through Beltrami County on Friday, leaving behind downed trees, an overturned aircraft and power outages. About 6,000 people were left without power as of 8 a.m. Friday, Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Christopher Muller told the Pioneer. Several power substations remained offline Friday morning.
BEMIDJI -- The new children’s TV show airing on Lakeland Public Television on Saturday has all the hallmarks of a typical kids’ program. Youngsters count to 20, practice saying animal names and recite nursery rhymes in the 26-minute pilot episode. But one thing sets the new show apart from PBS’ typical productions: much of the episode is in Ojibwe.
BEMIDJI—A Deer River man set to go to trial after allegedly arranging to meet and have sex with an undercover officer he thought was a child pleaded guilty to a felony charge Wednesday. Scott Patrick Mickle, 54, was charged in October with one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child. He pleaded not guilty to the charge June 19 but changed his plea Wednesday morning, the day his trial was set to begin.
CASS LAKE — Members of Leech Lake's Family Spirit Program wants the band's babies to know where they come from. That's why, for the first time, the band held a public welcoming ceremony for Leech Lake infants Friday.
BEMIDJI—A Ponsford man who arranged to meet and have sex with an undercover officer he thought was a child must spend 19 days in jail. Lukas Devlen Fineday, 21, appeared in court Thursday for sentencing. He was charged in September with engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child following a sting conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. According to a criminal complaint, Fineday posted an ad on Craiglist titled "young native," in which he said he was seeking "any type of woman that's down for anything."