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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PONEMAH—Red Lake police are asking for help finding a woman missing since Jan. 28. Amy Dow, 27, was last seen leaving her house in Ponemah more than three weeks ago, her mother said. Dow usually talks to her mother, Chele Kalstabakken, via text message and Facebook Messenger, but has not had contact with her family since she was last seen. Dow's phone is also turned off and she has made no posts on social media, her mother said.
BEMIDJI—An emotional and largely symbolic sentencing hearing brought legal proceedings against Brandon Bjerknes to a close Thursday, Feb. 8. 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 of seven years and six months in prison.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A Bemidji man who sexually assaulted a vulnerable adult while he was employed at an area REM home was sentenced to 180 days in jail Monday, Jan. 29. Anthony Leonard Granger, 53, also received a stayed sentence of four years in prison. He will not have to spend any time in prison as long as he complies with the conditions of his probation for the next 15 years.
WALKER, Minn.—A Cass Lake, Minn., woman police say was present for the shooting death of Brandi Shank—also known as Brandi Strong—was charged Friday, Jan. 26, with two counts of aiding another who they say committed second-degree unintentional murder. A criminal complaint filed Friday accused Sara Renae LaRose, 41, of giving investigators "false or misleading" information about the November shooting. Brandon Joseph Roy, 24, of Cass Lake, was charged in November with second-degree unintentional murder in Shank's death.
RED LAKE, Minn.—The Red Lake Tribal Council voted Tuesday, Jan. 9, to rescind a resolution accepting a land swap agreement with Enbridge Energy. The tribal council voted 5 to 3 to rescind the resolution that, in December 2015, accepted $18.5 million in exchange for a parcel of land about 16 miles south of the reservation. The land, located near West Four Legged Lake and Leonard, Minn., is home to Enbridge-owned oil pipelines that were installed by Lakehead Pipeline Co. Inc. before the reservation realized it owned the land.
RED LAKE, Minn.—The Red Lake Tribal Council voted Wednesday, Jan. 3, to allow fishing on both Upper and Lower Red Lake, nearly two months after two fishermen disappeared there. The vote followed an hour-and-a-half meeting, during which tribal members, law enforcement personnel, Red Lake fisheries staff and others were invited to weigh in on whether fishing at the site of the anglers' disappearance should be permitted while the pair remain missing.
REDBY, Minn.—Recently released search warrants revealed additional details of a shooting on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northwest Minnesota that has triggered a multi-county manhunt. In a Dec. 1 post to Twitter, the FBI issued a release asking for help apprehending Derek Jon Paddy, 21, of Red Lake. The tweet said that Paddy was involved in a Thanksgiving Day armed robbery and a Nov. 30 shooting on the reservation in Redby, and is considered armed and dangerous. The FBI would not provide any more information.
RED LAKE, Minn. -- The bodies of two people missing on Upper Red Lake since Sunday were found Monday afternoon. According to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office the bodies of the two missing people were recovered at about 3 p.m. Authorities have not officially identified the bodies, but law enforcement and emergency personnel have been searching for Melissa Seidenstricker, 29, of Princeton, Minn., and Zeth Knyphausen, 28, of Stacy, Minn.
RED LAKE, Minn. — Volunteers and public safety officials gathered Tuesday, Nov. 7, to continue the search for two fisherman who went missing on Lower Red Lake on Monday afternoon. The two missing people — identified by the Red Lake Police Department as Deland Beaulieu, 29, and a 17-year-old boy — disappeared after a Red Lake Fisheries boat capsized on the east side of the lake near an area known as the "cut off."
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Conflicting priorities clashed during two meetings Tuesday, Oct. 17, to gather public input for Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. More than 400 people attended as community members testified in front of administrative law judge Ann O'Reilly, who will compile the comments and make a recommendation to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission about the project moving forward.