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, Minn.—More than two dozen people were cited as about 100 people gathered and blocked streets in downtown Bemidji on Wednesday, Aug. 29, in opposition of the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The dozens of activists gathered shortly before 12:30 p.m. and marched to downtown, where they stood in a square set off by four large banners in the middle of the crossing.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The attorney for a Red Lake woman imprisoned for a 2011 drug crime argued Thursday, July 19, that his client should receive credit for time she spent in the reservation's jail prior to sentencing. John Donovan, an assistant state public defender, told a panel of three Minnesota Court of Appeals judges that the 25 days Misty Kay Roy, 29, spent in the Red Lake Detention Center should have been subtracted from a sentence handed down in state district court in November 2017.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Though Thursday brought clear skies and warm, breezy weather, signs of the small tornado that touched down in the middle of Bemidji Wednesday, July 4, remained in the whine of chainsaws, rumble of bulldozers and tree stumps still clinging by their roots to the boulevard. City workers, private tree removal companies and residents could be seen in the hardest-hit areas Thursday morning, continuing cleanup efforts that began shortly after the EF-1 twister swept through a 12-square-block area at about 6:18 a.m. on Independence Day.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A former Bemidji State University employee was charged with a felony Tuesday after he allegedly used his university-issued credit card to make personal purchases. Former Physical Plant Manager Jeffrey Arne Sande, 66, was charged with financial transaction card fraud, nine months after authorities confiscated multiple big-ticket items—including lawn mowers, a trimmer and other equipment—from his Bemidji home.
ECKLES TOWNSHIP, Minn.—Two men were charged with assault Monday after allegedly shooting a man at the Elpine Village Mobile Home Park on Friday, May 4. Luiz Javier Solis Delarosa, 23, of Walker, and David James Cook, Jr., 21, of Red Lake, are both charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon causing substantial bodily harm, according to court documents. Delarosa also is charged with the intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers another.
BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Jail violated state rules regarding inmate checks in the 2017 death of a woman in custody, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Stephanie Bunker, 39, of Naytahwaush, was found hanging in her cell at the jail on July 1 and later died at a hospital on July 11.
BAGLEY, Minn.—The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by state prosecutors Monday, April 23, paving the way for four anti-pipeline activists to argue during trial that they had no choice but to disrupt a pipeline transporting tar sands oil. The appellate court said the four from out-of-state can use the threat of climate change as a defense for their actions.
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.
RED LAKE, Minn.—The Red Lake Tribal Council voted Tuesday, March 13, to remove Enbridge-owned oil pipelines from its land. The unanimous vote came two months after the council agreed to rescind a resolution accepting a land swap agreement with the Canadian energy company. That Jan. 9 vote paved the way for Tuesday's action, according to Red Lake Representative Robert Smith.
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.