Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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BEMIDJI -- No one was hurt when a grass fire broke out near a residential area west of Bemidji Wednesday afternoon. Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said the department received a call about the fire at about 1:50 p.m. Twelve firefighters responded to the scene near a group of mobile homes and had the blaze contained in about 10 minutes, Hoefer said.
UPPER RED LAKE -- The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office is searching for two people who fell through the ice on Upper Red Lake over the weekend. Sheriff Phil Hodapp said the office received a report that Melissa Siedenstricker, 30, and Zeth Knyphausen, 29, were missing Sunday night and immediately began searching.
WALKER — A Cass Lake man accused of shooting and killing a woman appeared briefly in court Wednesday. Brandon Joseph Roy, 24, is charged with second-degree unintentional murder. He was arrested on Nov. 13 in Bemidji and arraigned on Nov. 15. During Wednesday’s three-minute Rule 8 hearing, Roy’s attorney waived the reading of the criminal complaint and received discovery disclosures. Judge Jana Austad then scheduled an omnibus hearing for December.
DULUTH—A federal judge dismissed one count of second-degree murder in the case of a Red Lake man charged with the June slaying of a teenager. Joshua Francis Hill, 20, remains charged with murder in the first degree and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. Hill allegedly shot Alexander Andrew Cadwell, 17, at an abandoned residence in Red Lake following a dispute over a PlayStation.
BEMIDJI—Current Clearwater County Attorney David Hanson was chosen Tuesday by the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners to serve as the next Beltrami County Attorney. The commissioners spent the evening questioning the three candidates, Katie Nolting, Clifford Wardlaw and Hanson, and voted 3-2 to select Hanson to fill the vacancy left by now-judge Annie Claesson-Huseby. Commissioners Jim Lucachick, Reed Olson and Tim Sumner voted for Hanson, while commissioners Richard Anderson and Keith Winger voted against the appointment.
BEMIDJI—A St. Paul Park man who police say arranged to meet and have sex with someone he thought was a child in Bemidji pleaded not guilty to a felony Tuesday. Alan Patrick James Haugen, 20, was arrested Sept. 8, after a Bemidji police officer received a briefing from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension about an undercover operation. According to a criminal complaint, the officer was told that Haugen had been texting with someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl, and that he agreed to have intercourse with her.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man accused of sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult while employed at an area REM home pleaded guilty Nov. 14 to third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Anthony Leonard Granger, 53, was charged with the assault in July. According to a criminal complaint Granger, whose title at the time of the assault was "direct support provider," took the victim into her room at the adult foster home on June 11 and performed sexual acts on her. He then told her to perform a sexual act on him, the complaint said.
BEMIDJI—The Tennessee man who police say caused a May school bus crash the injured multiple children was sentenced to 10 days in jail Friday. Thomas Lee Nielsen, 30, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was charged with careless driving May 5, two days after he ran a stop sign at the intersection of Irvine Avenue Northwest and South Movil Lake Road and hit the bus. The collision caused the bus driver to lose control and swerve onto the soft shoulder of Irvine Avenue, where the bus rolled on its side in the ditch.
BEMIDJI—A Red Lake man accused of burglary and robbery pleaded guilty to two felony charges Monday. Derek Jon Paddy, 21, was charged with one count of simple robbery in October 2016. According to a criminal complaint, Paddy and another man attacked a woman and her boyfriend outside of their apartment in Wilton on Oct. 23, 2016. The victim said she tried to call 911 on her phone, but that Paddy pointed a handgun at her, then took the cell phone. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of simple robbery in December.
BEMIDJI—A former Roseau County sheriff's deputy accused of harassing and defaming two Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents pleaded guilty to stalking Thursday. Joshua McGurran Olson, 36, was arrested April 5 in Clearwater County and charged with the felony in Beltrami County on April 19. According to a criminal complaint, Olson began stalking the two agents, referred to in documents as D.N. and N.A., after the pair began investigating him in 2016. Olson had been accused of "shooting up" a cabin in Roseau during a dispute over access to a road.