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, 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.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Six of Minnesota's Chippewa bands will conduct their own regulatory process in response to Enbridge energy company's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Four men were charged Monday for their alleged roles in an incident involving gunshots outside of a gas station Thursday, Oct. 5, just west of Bemidji. Andy Tillotson, 35, Kevin Robertson, 31, Deavion Ladell Beasley, 24, and Andre Lamar Beasley, 46, all of Bemidji, were arrested Thursday after Beltrami County deputies received a 911 call reporting gunshots at Pete's Place West. According to criminal complaints:
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A Deer River, Minn., man was charged with a felony Monday, Oct. 9, after allegedly arranging to meet and have sex with an undercover officer he thought was a 15-year-old boy. According to a criminal complaint, Scott Patrick Mickle, 53, came to the attention of law enforcement after he responded to an online "casual encounters" advertisement posted by Bemidji law enforcement and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Mickle responded to the ad on Sept. 23, the complaint said, and was told that he was talking with a 15-year-old boy.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A Moorhead, Minn., man who arranged to travel to Bemidji in order to meet and have sex with an undercover police officer he thought was a child will not spend any more time in jail. Joseph Camron Price, 28, received a stay of imposition during his sentencing Monday, Oct. 9, meaning that if he successfully completes a three-year term of supervised probation his conviction will be deemed a misdemeanor. He must complete 27 days of electronic home monitoring, rather than spend additional time in jail.
BAGLEY, Minn. — A Clearwater County man who admitted to molesting a 7-year-old girl and to possessing child pornography will spend 80 days in the county jail there. Andrew George Damann Jr., 37, was sentenced Wednesday, Oct. 4, for one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of possession of pornographic work involving minors. A judge sentenced him to three years in prison, which was stayed for 10 years. If Damann follows all conditions, he will not have to spend any time in prison.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji Middle School's former assistant principal, who posed as a teenage boy online in order to have sexual conversations with students and other children, pleaded guilty to four felonies in state district court Wednesday, Oct. 4. Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 35, entered guilty pleas for four counts of engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child less than a week after he appeared in federal court, where he also pleaded guilty to similar charges.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The Beltrami County Jail violated state rules regarding inmate checks in the 2016 death of a man in custody there, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Tony Edward May, Jr., 26, of Red Lake, died Aug. 11, 2016, at the jail. An autopsy report provided by May's family lists "possible sudden cardiac death" as the cause. May had a heart defect known as myocardial bridging.
ST. PAUL — The former Minnesota middle school assistant principal who posed as a teenage boy online to exchange sexual pictures with children pleaded guilty Thursday, Sept. 28, to two federal sex crimes. Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 35, appeared in federal court in St. Paul, where he admitted to creating decoy social media accounts as part of what prosecutors called a scheme. Bjerknes was charged in U.S. district court with one count of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual conduct and one count of production of child pornography.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Nearly a year after Cass Lake, Minn., teen Jeremy Jourdain disappeared, his family hopes that starting their search from scratch will help bring the 18-year-old home. Jourdain's aunt Alex Tanner and other members of the teen's family have asked for the community's help Saturday, Sept. 30, during a new search. Jourdain was last seen in Bemidji's Nymore neighborhood on Halloween night.