Your Thursday News Brief: July 13

By: News Director Larissa Donovan, with a contribution from News Intern Madison Liapis.

Featured Photo: Members of the 1st National Bank Bemidji Foundation pose with Watermark Art Center’s Board and Steering Committee members to commemorate 1st National Foundation’s donation to the art center. The Foundation gave a $30,000 gift paid in $10,000 installments over three years. The money will go to Watermark’s “Make Your Mark Campaign” fund for their current renovation project.

FARGO, N.D.– A Bemidji couple and two others will be prosecuted in North Dakota, following a large drug bust in Beltrami County last week. According to the state’s criminal complaint, law enforcement discovered over 3 pounds of meth amphetamine in the home of Christopher and Rebecca Trisco. The Triscos allegedly bought the drugs from Herman and Rolando Valasquez. The Beltrami County Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges, but the four will be prosecuted in federal court of North Dakota. The federal court charges the four suspects with trafficking meth across North Dakota from Fall of 2016 until their arrest last week. The Triscos and the Valesquezes are scheduled to appear in federal court Friday.

BEMIDJI– A Bemidji man pleaded guilty to statutory rape Monday. According to court documents, 19-year-old Ryan William Anderson has a previous statutory rape conviction, and violated the terms of his probation by involving himself with another underage girl. According to the victim’s statement in the criminal complaint, she and Anderson had a “significant sexual relationship” during late May and early June. Anderson was arrested in early June, and will be sentenced in September.

BEMIDJI—The Beltrami Board of Commissioners discussed legislative updates with Senator Paul Utke during their Tuesday Work meeting.  Among those updates was the funding received for the education system and the response to the current teacher shortage.  Schools now have the flexibility to hire qualified personnel without a four-year degree.  School Transportation also received an 18 percent increase in finding.

News Intern Madison Liapis contributed this story.

BEMIDJI– Phase 2 of the Division Street project is scheduled to begin Monday, according to a release from Karvakko Engineering. The second phase is scheduled to be completed by August 11, weather permitting. This phase will involve the removal of the pavement, so that the water and sewer lines may be installed. After the utilities are in place, the pavement will be replaced. The Division Street and Adams Avenue intersection will remain a temporary 4-way stop. Traffic will remain two-way along Adams Avenue. The intersection of Division and Adams will be closed when the water main needs to be placed across the intersection, but advance notice will be given.

ST. PAUL– The statewide homeless survey, conducted by Wilder research every three years, has dispelled the myth that those experiencing homelessness are not in the workforce, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. DEED’s Pathways to Prosperity Program serves a high number of people experiencing homelessness. Of the 18,000 participants included in the Uniform Outcome Report Card, 4.6 percent, or 829 people, reported being homeless at the time they enrolled in the program. This statistic is an increase from the previous year. However, DEED says that this number could be a result of a need to collect better information, or due to other factors.

ST. PAUL– Only approved firewood is allowed on Department of Natural Resources-managed lands, which include state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. Firewood restrictions, according to the DNR, help prevent the introduction or spread of damaging forest pests, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt. DNR officials say that there has been a surge of unapproved firewood arriving at the state parks in recent weeks. Approved firewood can be sold by the DNR or by a DNR-approved vendor. Those who camp on state forest land outside of a designated campground site may gather dead wood and use it for their campfires on site.


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