Your Tuesday News Brief: September 19

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

DULUTH– A Red Lake man accused of murder has pleaded not guilty in the federal court.

Hill, 20. Photo courtesy of the Sherburne County Jail.

According to court documents, 20-year-old Joshua Francis Hill’s case is expected to go to a jury trial starting on October 16. The criminal complaint states that Hill shot and killed a juvenile male in an abandoned trailer within the Red Lake reservation in June over a disagreement about a stolen Playstation. Hill is currently in the custody of the court.


BACKUS– Cass County officials are investigating a home invasion case that resulted in shots fired. According to the release posted on the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page, officials received a report of an intruder at a Pine River township home near Backus Saturday. Responding deputies learned that the intruder made entry into the home, and that the homeowner had fired a gun at the intruder, who then left the residence.

The suspect is still at large, and is described as a 6 foot 5 inch white male with a large body, and at the time of the invasion was wearing all black clothing. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Cass County Sheriff’s office.


BEMIDJI– The Bemidji City Council had a heated discussion on how to proceed with managing the Sanford Event Center during their meeting Monday. The council heard a report, prepared by the center’s work group consisting of Executive Director of the Center Jeff Kossow, City Manager Nate Mathews, City Finance Director Ron Eischens, and council members Dave Larson and Michael Meelhause.

The group has been trying to determine what success means for the Sanford Center, and how to go forward with the management of the center. The group recommended that VenuWorks continues to manage the event center, which was met with some criticism from Councilor Ron Johnson.

Councilman Johnson.

“To continue with VenuWorks, after everything we’ve been through with them, is absurd,” Johnson said. “At a minimum, we should be looking at [what other management companies are] out there.”

No action was taken during the meeting, but action will be taken soon, due to an upcoming contract expiration with VenuWorks, a 10-year naming rights agreement due to expire with Sanford Health, and the need to approve a new suite and club seat agreement with the center’s anchor tenant, Bemidji State University.


BEMIDJI– Bemidji State University has been recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in the use of federal work-study funds to support its students. The website ranked Bemidji State 117th out of 200 four-year public institutions. The website said 278 BSU students employed in federal work-study programs earned an average of $1,624 during the 2015-16 academic year. Student payroll at Bemidji State totals over $2.3 million annually with about $800,000 from need-based federal or state work-study programs.


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