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—Beltrami County Attorney Annie Claesson-Huseby grew up unwittingly preparing for her future career. Claesson-Huseby, who will soon be sworn in as a Ninth District judge, remembers her mother calling her a challenging leader with a tendency to speak up for what's right. "Really," Claesson-Huseby said, "I think most parents might have said, 'She was stubborn, and at times an argumentative child.'"
RED LAKE -- For the second year in a row, Red Lakers will learn to gather and grow indigenous foods, thanks to an upcoming summit. 4-Directions Development, Inc., formerly known as the Red Lake Nation Entrepreneur Program, organized the first-ever Indigenous Food Summit in 2016. 4-Directions Executive Director Sharon James said that summit was met with a positive community response, prompting the program to host another.
BEMIDJI -- A hearing for the former Bemidji Middle School assistant principal accused of having sexual conversations with children was postponed for a third time Friday. Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 34, was scheduled to appear in state district court Monday, Sept. 11. His omnibus hearing now is set for Wednesday, Oct. 4.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man who was charged with a felony sex crime in January now faces a less severe charge. Austin Cleo Christopherson, 18, was previously accused of penetrating a woman who had consumed several shots of hard alcohol and was going in and out of consciousness. He was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct; that charge was dismissed Wednesday.
BLACKDUCK -- A Blackduck man was charged with a felony Tuesday after allegedly abducting his ex-girlfriend and holding her against her will.
BEMIDJI -- Staff in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District will soon handle jury selection for the entire state, thanks to a new judicial branch initiative.
BEMIDJI -- A Naytahwaush woman died after trying to hang herself in her cell in July in the Beltrami County Jail. The woman, 39, had been on suicide watch when she attempted suicide with a bedsheet on July 1, according to Beltrami County Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel.
BEMIDJI -- Two northern Minnesota animal shelters are pitching in to help animal victims of Hurricane Harvey get back on their paws.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — A Grand Rapids man who was accused of helping his girlfriend stab, beat and behead 20-year-old David Haiman last year was found guilty Friday, Aug. 25, and immediately sentenced to life in prison. After a weeklong trial, Joseph Thoresen, 36, was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder as well as first-degree murder while committing kidnapping. First-degree premeditated murder carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji woman who pleaded guilty to a stabbing Tuesday will not spend any more time in jail. Christina Lindbom-Pond, 26, entered an Alford plea to fifth-degree assault during her Tuesday hearing. An Alford plea allows a person to assert their innocence while still entering a guilty plea.