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—The Disney version of the Pocahontas story is almost universally known: John Smith arrives in the Americas along with other white settlers and is captured by Natives, then rescued by Pocahontas. Everything ends well, and nobody gets hurt. But Simone Senogles knows that story isn't true. "Pocahontas was one of the first missing and murdered indigenous women," Senogles said during a Tuesday-night event meant to unpack the history of the highly popular myth. "It's still happening today."
RED LAKE -- The wreckage of St. Mary’s Mission Church was still smoldering at noon Saturday as congregants stood at the edge of a caution-tape boundary, paying their respects. The historic church, which has served the Red Lake Reservation since the 1800s, burned to the ground overnight, leaving nothing but the chimney intact. Charred debris had traveled the entire length of the large field that separated the church from the nearby fire station, and wood splinters showed where the bell tower had stood.
BEMIDJI -- Two Burger King restaurants in Bemidji temporarily closed Thursday after more than two dozen people contracted salmonella after eating there. Doug Schultz, a spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Health, said the department has confirmed 27 cases, and received reports of four more probable cases. Both Burger King sites voluntarily decided to close Thursday.
REDBY -- Police are searching for a suspect after a shooting Thursday in Redby, according to law enforcement. Scanner chatter indicated the shooting occurred at about 2:15 p.m. Thursday, and that the suspect could be headed toward International Falls or the Warroad area and could be armed and dangerous.
UPPER RED LAKE -- Law enforcement and a local resort are urging people who ice fish to use caution when venturing out following the death of two anglers Monday. Searchers recovered the bodies of Melissa Marie Seidenstricker, 30, of Princeton, Minn., and Zeth Grey Knyphausen, 29, of Stacy, Minn. at about 3 p.m. Monday. The pair had rented a sleeper fish house from Rogers’ on RED resort and had failed to return from their fishing trip Sunday night. A friend alerted police to their disappearance.
CASS LAKE -- Three people sought by police after the Nov. 12 murder of a Cass Lake woman have been found, but law enforcement would not discuss details related to the location of the trio Wednesday.
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.