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.—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.
ST. PAUL—A Red Lake man who shot and killed a 17-year-old boy in a dispute about a Playstation was sentenced to 19 years and eight months in federal prison Tuesday, May 15. Joshua Francis Hill pleaded guilty in January to one count of second-degree murder in the teen's June 24, 2017, shooting death.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The net had only been in Lake Bemidji for a few minutes when the three Minnesota Department of Natural Resources boats began to converge. One boat made a beeline for the shore near Paul Bunyon and Babe, the Blue Ox, where the two men who placed the net were waiting, along with about 30 supporters. The group—largely composed of White Earth and Leech Lake band members—circled around conservation officer Demo Regas as he cited Joseph Rousu and Leonard Thompson for fishing a day before the state's opener.
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, Minn. -- A Bemidji man and a Red Lake man were arrested Friday, May 4, after a shooting in Eckles Township just west of Bemidji.
RED LAKE, Minn.—Michael Wayne Whitefeather did not know who he was attacking when he shot Anthony Allen Wells, according to a federal criminal complaint charging Whitefeather with second-degree murder. Whitefeather, 18, who has been in custody since Wednesday, is accused of killing Wells in the early hours of Saturday, April 28, on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. According to a criminal complaint:
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.
BEMIDJI—A Red Lake man who the FBI thinks was involved in an armed robbery and shooting in November is back in custody. Derek Jon Paddy, 22, was booked at the Beltrami County Jail at 5:07 p.m. Thursday, April 19, the roster shows. He was charged in federal court March 29 with four crimes stemming from two separate incidents: first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. He was also wanted for Beltrami County warrants for simple robbery and first-degree burglary.
BEMIDJI—A pursuit of two people by the Bemidji Police Department ended with the suspect's car in the Mississippi River on Thursday afternoon. According to a news release from the Bemidji Police Department, the high-speed chase began after officers received a report at about 1:03 p.m. of an assault happening inside a vehicle traveling north on Paul Bunyan Drive near the Mississippi River bridge. An officer in the area tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled west on Fifth Street Northwest at about 95 mph.