NEWS 03/07/2017

Swearing In 1

Featured Photo: Mayor of Bemidji Rita Albrecht declares Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 as a Day of Action to End Domestic Violence. Pictured is the Mayor and the staff of the Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter.

Above Photo: Kay Murphy, City Clerk, swears in 6 police reserve officers. Evan Jandl, Livia DeSylvester, Jaclyn Braiedy, Samantha DeAdder, Quinn Mischke, and Jason Sanderson are the newest additions to the Bemidji Police Department. Both photos by Larissa Donovan, News Director.

The Bemidji City Council met last night. Mayor of Bemidji Rita Albrecht declared today, Tuesday March 7th, as “A Day of Action to End Domestic Violence.” Kay Murphy, the City Clerk, also swore in 6 new police reserve officers. Calendar parking will go into effect for Delton Avenue Northwest from 12th street to 15th street. According to City Engineer Craig Gray, calendar parking was requested for that street by the Bemidji Police Department, citing that the road is too narrow for parking on both sides of the street.

In new business, the council approved the resolutions to award bids for both the 2017 street renewal and the Delton Avenue reconstruction project. The council tabled the 3rd street gateway project because the bids came in higher than expected, as the council had previously voted to match the Bemidji Downtown Alliance for the project to the tune of $40,000. The council will further discuss the project and how the city will further fund it during a work session on March 13th.

Today, Beltrami County, the Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter and the Minnesota 9th Judicial District Domestic Violence Courts will participate in a Statewide Action Day event.  Courthouses across the State have been asked to host a gathering for the community to join together to say No More to domestic violence.  In  the Beltrami County Judicial Center main courtroom at noon, there will be  a proclamation and a reading of names of domestic violence homicide victims from the 9th Judicial District.  Names are taken from the 1989 to 2015 Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women femicide reports.

Matt Bliss, Republican representative from Pennington, will host a “Round Table Discussion” with some of his constituents from Walker in May, according to the Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce. During Bemidji Day at the State Capitol, Bemidji lobbyists pushed for a 4 lane extension of Highway 371. Bliss says he has amended a bill he wrote for the project to make economic and environmental impacts the featured components of the study, which he says will determine the feasibility of improving the Paul Bunyan Expressway from Jenkins to Cass Lake.

Bald eagles are migrating back to Minnesota and may be seen in large numbers across parts of the state over the next few weeks, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The spring eagle migration usually coincides with ice-out.  The DNR also advises skiiers and snowmobilers to check online for trail conditions before heading out on the trails. Warm weather has halted grooming of the deteriorating trails. As the snow recedes, rocks and other obstructions may become hazardous to riders and skiiers.

The third and final defendant in a 2016 Hibbing murder case has pleaded guilty. Nineteen-year-old Sean Joseph Powers of Hibbing pleaded guilty to aiding an offender in a second degree intentional murder. Television station W-D-I-O reports that Powers helped another defendant, Dylan Gilbertson, after the murder took place inside their shared apartment in Hibbing. Gilbertson was the main defendant in the case, and was the one who physically assaulted and choked the victim. Prosecutors said Powers helped clean the blood up afterwards.

Itasca County Attorney John J. Muhar (Moo-har) reports in a release dated yesterday that Rinda Lynn Etter, age 41 of Deer River, appeared in Itasca County court for a hearing. Etter has pleaded guilty to 6 felony counts of theft and 2 gross misdemeanor counts of theft. Etter’s crimes span over a three year period and amounted to over $53,000 in stolen funds from multiple people and businesses. Etter was released from Itasca County to Koochiching County, where she has been charged with “Theft by Swindle.”

About 500 pounds of Methamphetamines and almost 60,000 prescription pills were seized in the state during 2016, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The release stated that meth continues to flow into Minnesota primarily from Mexico. The Department of Human Services in a joint statement said that in 2016, Minnesota had almost 12,000 treatment admissions for methamphetamine use, more than any other drug including opioids.

Governor Mark Dayton’s budget proposes to streamline the continuum of care and will add care coordination, peer support services, and withdrawal management to the list of benefits covered by Medical Assistance. Dayton’s budget also proposes an increase in funding for the BCA and the Violent Crime Enforcement Teams to expand their numbers of narcotic special agents, forensic scientists, and criminal intelligence analysts.

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