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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NORTHERN TOWNSHIP -- Northern Township residents were able to escape a house fire that broke out Monday night, according to a news release from the Bemidji Fire Department. The fire department received a report of the blaze at about 10:20 p.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived at the scene they found that the living room of the house was on fire.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — When Ryan Neadeau Sr. started his journey toward sobriety, he found motivation and comfort in his cultural roots. "What pushed me to get clean was believing in our culture, believing that there is a solution to this epidemic, and to saving our people by the culture," said Neadeau, a 26-year-old member of Red Lake Nation. "The cure is the culture."
WALKER—A Cass Lake man accused to receiving nude images of a child while working as a Leech Lake police officer received a continuation of dismissal Dec. 18. A charge of possession of child pornography filed against Shannon Larry Northbird in December 2016 will be dismissed after 90 days as long as he complies with the conditions of his probation. A continuation of dismissal does not require the defendant to enter a plea.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man who broke into a mobile home and assaulted the man who lived there was sentenced Dec. 21 to nine years and six months in prison. Joseph Devon Wood, 25, was found guilty in October of one count of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree robbery and one count of false imprisonment.
BEMIDJI -- No one was hurt Wednesday morning when a mobile home caught fire about two miles north of Bemidji. The trailer, located at the Secluded Acres mobile home park, ignited at about 9:30 a.m. after a friend of the homeowner tried to thaw some frozen pipes using a portable heater. The trailer’s owners were not home when the fire broke out.
BEMIDJI—The day of her sister's funeral, Ashley Benson decided she needed to make a change. "The day I went into treatment here in Bemidji is the day I buried my sister," said Benson, a 30-year-old mother of four. "There was no other option, basically. It was either make my funeral arrangements or get myself together."
CASS LAKE—The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors, alleging that the companies are responsible for high levels of addiction and overdose deaths on the reservation. A complaint filed Tuesday, Dec. 19, names 23 defendants including manufacturers Purdue Pharma Inc., Cephalon Inc., and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as well as distributors The McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man involved in an early October altercation west of the city was sentenced to 12 days in jail Tuesday. Kevin Robertson, 31, pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to one count of making terroristic threats. He was initially charged with aiding and abetting second-degree assault after the Oct. 5 incident but agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge as part of a plea deal.
BEMIDJI—A Cass Lake man charged with a felony after police say he arranged to meet and have sex with a person he thought was a child pleaded not guilty Friday. Devyn John Bockwitz, 36, was charged with one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child in September after an online sting. According to a criminal complaint, Bockwitz responded to an advertisement posted by "local" law enforcement on social media. The complaint did not say which agency posted the ad, but the poster posed as a 15-year-old girl.
BEMIDJI—Prosecutors dropped two charges Tuesday against a Bemidji man accused of running another man over with his car. Keanu Joseph Major, 22, who also triggered a multi-county manhunt after escaping from custody in July, had been charged with one count of second-degree assault and one count of failing to stop after a traffic collision that caused injury or death. A criminal complaint against Major said he had been stabbed by Tyler Cournoyer, 22. Major then allegedly ran over Cournoyer, who is charged with one count of second-degree assault.