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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BEMIDJI -- A pursuit of at least two people by the Bemidji Police Department ended with the suspect’s car in the Mississippi River on Thursday afternoon. According to scanner chatter, two suspects were taken into custody at about 1:38 p.m. after the car went into the river.
ST. PAUL—As the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission prepares to vote this June on Enbridge Energy Co.'s controversial Line 3 replacement project, Northland lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would crack down on those who train or recruit protesters who damage "critical infrastructure" such as oil pipelines. However, those against the law fear that it would intimidate would-be activists and squash peaceful protests.
BEMIDJI -- A group of local organizations will support sexual assault survivors Thursday with the annual “Take Back the Night” march. The event will be held in conjunction with other organizations nationwide. Various groups have held Take Back the Night events since the 1960s as a way to stand against sexual assault.
BEMIDJI—A St. Paul Park man who arranged to travel to Bemidji to meet and have sex with someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl won't spend any more time in jail. Alan Patrick James Haugen, 20, pleaded guilty in February to one count of soliciting a child or someone believed to be a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct. He was sentenced Monday to four days in the Beltrami County Jail, and received credit for the four days he spent incarcerated following his arrest.
RED LAKE -- Red Lake Homeless Shelter’s Executive Director Jordan May announced his bid for Red Lake District Representative to the Tribal Council to the Pioneer this week.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man convicted of aiding an offender in connection with the death of Rose Downwind is entitled to a new sentencing, according to a recently released Minnesota Court of Appeals opinion. A jury found in October 2016 that Brandon Rossbach, 33, helped Downwind's killer—her former boyfriend Marchello Cimmarusti—burn and bury her body in a shallow ditch northwest of Bemidji. Cimmarusti pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in April 2016 and was later sentenced to 35 years in prison.
BEMIDJI -- It took just 2.5 months for local planners and builders to transform the empty space on the third floor of the Beltrami County Courthouse into a brand new courtroom, complete with state-of-the art technology and additional security features.
WALKER -- A Cass Lake woman charged with obstructing the investigation into the shooting death of Brandi Shank (also known as Brandi Strong) appeared in Cass County Court on Monday. Sara Renae LaRose, 41, was charged in January with two counts of obstructing investigation -- aiding another who committed second-degree unintentional murder. A criminal complaint accused her of giving investigators “false or misleading” information about the November shooting that killed Shank, 25.
BEMIDJI—For the second year in a row, a recently released report showed that Beltrami County residents are some of the least healthy people in the state, and die sooner than other Minnesotans. According to the 2018 County Health Rankings Report, compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Beltrami County ranked 86th out of 87 Minnesota counties for overall health outcomes. The county also ranked 86th for length of life, coming out ahead of Mahnomen County in both categories.
RED LAKE -- Current Red Lake Tribal Secretary Darwin Sumner announced Friday that he plans to run for the position, to which he was appointed in July after the death of Donald Cook, Sr. In a news release Sumner wrote that he has grown to like the job. He decided to run after talking with his family. If elected, Sumner would resign as hereditary chief and pass the position to his son.