Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or email@example.com
- Member for
- 2 years 4 days
BEMIDJI -- After months of planning and testing, all Bemidji police officers now wear body cameras while on duty. Police Chief Mike Mastin said that, as of Feb. 5, every officer is equipped with a camera. The transition has been relatively smooth, Mastin said, though the department has had to get used to new technology.
BEMIDJI—Beltrami County Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said Wednesday he will run for sheriff in the 2018 election. Sheriff Phil Hodapp announced Monday he will not be seeking a fourth term. Beite has worked as chief deputy for more than five years. Beitel began his law enforcement career as a Glenwood, Minn., police officer in 1984. From 1987-1989 he worked as a Pine River, Minn,. officer and from 1989-1995 served as a Cass County sheriff's deputy.
BEMIDJI—Jodi Howard. Kateri Mishow. Alyssa McLemore. Darla Beaulieu. Kandace Dunn. Sheila St. Clair. Olivia Lone Bear. Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. Rebecca Anderson. At the time of Bemidji's second Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Walk, some of these women had been missing for decades. Others are just recently gone. Still more are not missing at all; their families know exactly where they're buried.
RED LAKE -- Twelve people were arrested and Red Lake police seized large amounts of drugs, cash and stolen property while executing search warrants on the reservation last week. According to a Facebook post made by the Red Lake Police Department, law enforcement executed the three warrants at three separate homes following a “notable” uptick in overdoses.
RED LAKE—Longtime Red Lake Tribal Council member Richard Barrett, Sr. has died. According to an announcement posted to the council's Facebook page on Monday afternoon, Barrett, 75, is survived by his wife and other family members. Barrett was first elected to the tribal council in 2002, following the death of his predecessor. He has served the community as the Little Rock representative for 16 years. Roman Stately, Jr., who grew up with Barrett and represents the Red Lake district, described Barrett as a "gentleman."
BEMIDJI—A Redby man who pleaded guilty in December to the use of minors in a sexual performance video must spend 12 days in the Beltrami County Jail. During a hearing Monday, Richard Dead Derby, 29, received a stayed sentence of two years in prison. This means that, as long as he complies with the conditions of his probation, Derby will not have to spend any time in prison. But Ninth District Judge Paul Benshoof also sentenced Derby to 36 days in jail. He received credit for the 24 days he spent in jail after his initial arrest.
CASS LAKE—Leech Lake's secretary/treasurer Arthur "Archie" LaRose will be allowed to run for reelection despite his criminal record, according to the decision of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's Tribal Election Court of Appeals. A panel of judges issued a decision and order Feb. 7, denying an appeal made by LaRose's opponent Donald Finn after LaRose was certified to run.
BEMIDJI—An emotional and largely symbolic sentencing hearing brought legal proceedings against Brandon Bjerknes to a close Thursday. Even Ninth District Judge Paul Benshoof described his sentence as "moot" during the hearing, shortly before sentencing Bjerknes—the former Bemidji Middle School assistant principal who posed as a teenager online in order to have sexual conversations with children—to a total seven years and six months in prison.
BEMIDJI—A Fosston man who deputies say burglarized multiple fish houses on Lake Bemidji was charged Feb. 1 with two felonies. According to a criminal complaint: Beltrami County Deputy Josh Arhart discovered Christopher Robin Braun, 40, briefly stopping at multiple fish houses on Lake Bemidji in the early morning hours of Jan. 30. Arhart had been surveilling two fish house villages on the lake after a recent rash of burglaries and saw Braun's minivan stop at about six different fish houses for periods of 30 seconds to two minutes.
ST. PAUL — Nearly a year after the Bemidji community discovered that Brandon Bjerknes had engaged in sexual conversations with his students, his victims and their families continue to suffer. One girl is currently in a state mental hospital due to multiple suicide attempts. At least two more have had to make trips to the emergency room after cutting themselves. Some have been bullied by other students. Some can't trust boys or men.