Jordan Shearer covers crime and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. A Rochester native and Bemidji State grad, he previously spent several years in western Nebraska writing for the Keith County News. Follow him on Twitter @Jmanassa
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BEMIDJI—You've got mail... or do you? Over the last month, a rash of mail theft has hit the Bemidji area. Since the beginning of May, more than 20 cases were reported to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Bemidji Police Department. But, while there may have been more cases reported recently than normal, it's certainly not a new issue. "People are looking to collect whatever you have in the mailbox that they can cash real quick," Sheriff Ernie Beitel said. "It's very much a crime of opportunity."
CASS COUNTY—Officials on Thursday identified the man found dead in an area lake on Tuesday as Robert Mindock, 78, of Illinois City, Ill. Officials responded to rural Longville on Tuesday afternoon to find Mindock "in the water near a fishing boat," according to a press release from the Cass County Sheriff's Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene. It was the second lake-related death in Cass County in a two-day period.
BEMIDJI—There were plenty of hands working behind the scenes on Wednesday at Paul Bunyan Communications' annual Cooperative Celebration. The annual free event routinely draws between 6,500 to 7,500 people throughout the region for a combination of food, music, door prizes and children's activities. And in spite of the rainy spring weather this year, people still turned out in droves to both host and enjoy the event.
LONGVILLE—The Cass County Sheriff's Office responded to a death on Louise Lake on Tuesday afternoon, just 24 hours after it responded to a similar situation on Leech Lake. At 3:25 p.m. Tuesday, officials received a call of a "possible drowning" of an adult man in rural Longville, in Wabedo Township. Longville is roughly 60 miles southeast of Bemidji. Although there's also a Louise Lake in Blind Lake Township, Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch clarified that the area they found the man's body is off of Highway 54 in the area between Little Boy Lake and Wabedo Lake.
BEMIDJI—Authorities recently arrested two people in connection to a burglary at a church just past the Bemidji Regional Airport on U.S. Highway 2. The Evangelical Covenant Church was burglarized either the night of April 26 or on the morning of April 27. A shed on the property was broken into, and multiple offices were "ransacked."
BEMIDJI—Authorities arrested an escaped inmate on Sunday after he fled custody last week during a visit to the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center emergency room. Adam Johnson, 27, was arrested just after 1 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest, along with two other people. According to the Bemidji Police Department's daily activity report, officers arrested Johnson after responding to an anonymous complaint.
BEMIDJI—With the goal of reaching one of the country's largest film festivals, a handful of people have teamed up to make a video project that will feature a former household name from the Bemidji arts community. Filmmaker Mike Bredon and former Bemidji theater icon Greg Gasman met in town recently, along with a handful of colleagues, to make a short film. They intend to submit the film for the "shorts" category of the Sundance Film Festival. Once it's all said and done, Bredon said the film will be about 14 minutes long.
BEMIDJI—An inmate who escaped custody during a visit to Sanford Health in Bemidji this week remains at large. Adam Johnson, 27, was taken to the emergency room Wednesday night for a broken finger after slamming a door on his hand. After leaving the hospital facility, Johnson broke away from the corrections officer and fled on foot in the process of getting into the transport vehicle.
BEMIDJI—An inmate from the Red Lake Detention Center allegedly fled custody Wednesday during a visit to the emergency room at Sanford Health in Bemidji. The Detention Center could not be reached for information regarding who the inmate was, how they evaded custody or if they were recaptured.
BEMIDJI—Standing at attention in their blue, brown and white uniforms, more than 20 officers gathered Wednesday to honor those who have died in the line of duty. The annual Peace Officers' Memorial Service was held in the courtyard in front of the Beltrami County Courthouse, recognizing those who have died protecting their communities. The ceremony coincided with National Police Week. The officers came representing the Bemidji Police Department, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.