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—When Michelle Crow returned to her position managing Bemidji's Senior Activity Center, she felt like she was coming home. Crow, who held the position from 2000 to 2002 but left when she had a child, returned to the center June 18 and was immediately welcomed back. The job captured her heart the first time around, she said, and she was thrilled to have another chance to coordinate bake sales, work with volunteers and develop new programs.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji woman was charged with assault last week after she allegedly dumped a glass of lighter fluid over another woman's head, then attacked her with a crowbar. According to a criminal complaint Crystal Seelye—charged with second-degree assault—was at her Bemidji apartment July 18 attempting to break a hole in her wall when the victim arrived to check on her. Seelye, who had been pounding on the wall, handed the victim a crowbar and asked her to make a hole, as Seelye had dropped something behind the wall.
LEONARD -- Four activists accused of tampering with Enbridge-owned pipeline facility near Leonard, Minn., will be allowed to argue at trial that they felt they had no choice but to commit the crime. Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court declined a request from the Clearwater County Attorney’s office to review an April ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals that paved the way for the protesters to present a “necessity defense.”
BEMIDJI—The charge against a Bemidji man accused of shooting at two people during an October 2017 altercation has been amended for the second time. Deavion Ladell Beasley, 25, is now charged with felony possession of ammunition or a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime. After the Oct. 5 assault, Beasley was initially charged with gross misdemeanor possession of a firearm after a domestic violence conviction. But an amended criminal complaint filed in November charged him with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.
PONEMAH -- On Tuesday morning, the area near the Ponemah Round House was filled with the sights and sounds of a typical summer camp. Children chased each other around the grounds, played games like “telephone” and “Marco Polo” and prepared for a nature walk. But -- while the three-day Ojibwe Language and Culture Camp aims to show kids a good time -- its goal runs deeper: expose Ojibwe children to their culture and improve their sense of who they are.
BEMIDJI—Each year, Bemidji's Art in the Park show brings together an eclectic group of craftspeople. Painters rub elbows with jewelers and photographers post up next to woodworkers as tourists and locals alike browse the offerings. Now in its 51st year, the weekend art show has become an annual draw for out-of-town visitors. Some even travel to Bemidji specifically to see the 100-plus artists, dozen food vendors and live entertainment, said Watermark Art Center Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay. Watermark and Paul Bunyan Communications host the fair.
RED LAKE -- Red Lake Tribal Chairman Darrell Seki, Sr., secured a second term Wednesday, according to preliminary election results. Seki’s 234-vote victory over opponent and former chairman Floyd “Buck” Jourdain is a reversal of the primary election results. In the May 17 primary, Jourdain defeated Seki, receiving 45.84 percent of the votes, to Seki’s 39.99 percent. Jourdain served as chairman from 2004-14 before he was ousted by Seki.
BEMIDJI -- The attorney for a Red Lake woman imprisoned for a 2011 drug crime argued Thursday that his client should receive credit for time she spent in the reservation’s jail prior to sentencing. John Donovan, an assistant state public defender, told a panel of three Minnesota Court of Appeals judges that the 25 days Misty Kay Roy, 29, spent in the Red Lake Detention Center should have been subtracted from a sentence handed down in state district court in November 2017.
BEMIDJI -- For more than a year, the Bemidji Police Department has given community members the opportunity to chat with officers and ask questions through “Coffee with a Cop” events. Wednesday’s get-together had a similar format, but a much younger target audience -- and replaced the caffeine with sugar.
WALKER -- Charges against a Cass Lake woman accused of obstructing a homicide investigation were dismissed due to timing issues raised by her speedy trial demand, according to court documents. Sara Renae LaRose, 41, is no longer charged with two counts of obstructing an investigation -- aiding another who committed second-degree unintentional murder in the death of Brandi Shank (also known as Brandi Strong).