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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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 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.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—For years, Sierra Charwood looked forward to the year she would finally be old enough to participate in Native STAND. Charwood's mother had worked for the program, which aims to educated Native American youth in Bemidji, Red Lake and Cass Lake about sexual health. Students have to be at least 14 to take part in the classes and, this year, Charwood was eligible.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Recent documents in the federal case against a former Bemidji Middle School assistant principal who used social media to prey on his students paint dramatically different pictures of Brandon Mark Bjerknes, and argue for dramatically different prison sentences. Bjerknes' attorney, Peter Wold, and the U.S. Attorney's Office both submitted arguments for their preferred sentences Jan. 2, a month before the former administrator is set to appear in federal court.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A Bemidji man accused of intentionally setting fire to a house was charged with first-degree arson Thursday, Jan. 4. Damian Patrick Joseph Smith, 20, has been held in the Beltrami County Jail since his arrest early Tuesday, Jan. 2. He was taken into custody after Beltrami County deputies found him acting suspicious at the scene of the fire.
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.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — When Ryan Neadeau Sr. started his journey toward sobriety, he found motivation and comfort in his cultural roots. "What pushed me to get clean was believing in our culture, believing that there is a solution to this epidemic, and to saving our people by the culture," said Neadeau, a 26-year-old member of Red Lake Nation. "The cure is the culture."
CASS LAKE, Minn.—The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors, alleging that the companies are responsible for high levels of addiction and overdose deaths on the reservation. A complaint filed Tuesday, Dec. 19, names 23 defendants including manufacturers Purdue Pharma Inc., Cephalon Inc., and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as well as distributors The McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.
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. — Days after the historic St. Mary's Mission Church in Red Lake burned to the ground, people whose lives have been touched by the church are attempting to raise money to help rebuild. One GoFundMe page, started by Troy Bauer, a youth minister at St. Katharine Drexel in Ramsey, Minn., has already raised $990 in just four days. Bauer first visited St. Mary's school in 2012 while running a mission trip and wanted to help the church get back on its feet when he heard about the fire.