By: News Director Larissa Donovan at 9:50 a.m.
FEATURED PHOTO: The rusty-patched bumble bee was added to the federal endangered species list earlier this year. Minnesota is one of it’s last strongholds. Courtesy of the Minnesota DNR.
BEMIDJI–Three men were arrested Thursday afternoon after reportedly being involved in an assault at local gas station west of Bemidji. The three suspects– 24-year-old Devion Ladell Beasley, 35-year-old Andy Tillotson, and 31-year-old Kevin Robertson– were quickly located due to help from witnesses, according to a release from Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp. Several law enforcement agencies responded to an alert of gunshots at approximately 2:00 p.m., including Bemidji Police, Beltrami County Sheriff’s office, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and federal Bureau of Indian Affairs officials. Witnesses reported to officers that they saw the suspects leave the scene in two vehicles. Beasley was taken into custody on suspicion of being ineligible to possess a firearm, and Tillotson and Robertson were arrested under suspicion of assault.
WASHINGTON– Detectives from the Bemidji Police Department, agents from the Minnesota BCA and the state Fire Marshal were honored this week for their work on a murder, arson, kidnapping and assault case involving a 5-year-old girl. The law enforcement officials received the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 2017 Heroes’ Award for saving the girl from (quote) “unimaginable horror” last summer. After responding to a house fire in Bemidji, investigators discovered an adult murder victim inside. It was soon discovered that a child in the victim’s care was missing from the burned-out home. The investigation pointed to an associate of the victim, registered sex offender Jacob Kinn. An extensive search led investigators to a remote property where they located the missing child in a camper where she had been held for days without food or water, her legs and torso bound in duct tape. Kinn was arrested near the property and sentenced to 52 years in prison earlier this year. The B-P-D detectives, as well as representatives of the Beltrami County Sheriff’s office and Minnesota BCA, also received the 2017 Minnesota Sex Crimes Investigators Agency of the Year award.
BEMIDJI– Formal charges were filed this week against a 26-year-old Bemidji woman accused of driving drunk downtown and fleeing police in an ATV over the weekend. According to the criminal complaint, an officer in a marked squad saw the woman drive the ATV, the woman later identified as Tara Rae Summers, south on Beltrami Avenue around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. The complaint states that Summers was driving so fast she almost hit a parked car. The officer turned on his lights and siren as Summers parked and started getting off the ATV on 3rd Street, but she sped away when she saw the pursuing officer. Summers reportedly almost rolled as she sped through City Lot 3, and after going through the alley between 3rd and 4th Streets, was hit by another marked squad car. Summers was thrown off the ATV, and the squad’s airbags deployed. Summers was attended to immediately and taken to the Sanford emergency room for an evaluation. Summers made her first court appearance Tuesday, where bail was set at $12,000 without conditions, $3,000 with. Summers remains in custody at the Beltrami County Jail.
ST. PAUL– A new Farm & Rural mental health Helpline is now available to Minnesota farmers and rural residents. The service, funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, is free, confidential, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll free number is (833) 600-2670. Farmers and rural communities face unique stresses and emotional situations, according to the MDA, including financial challenges, unpredictable weather, physically demanding work, and more. The Farm & Rural Helpline is also available to those unsure of what to do about family or friends who may be experiencing anxiety, depression, or a mental health crisis.
ST. PAUL– Earlier this year, the rusty patch bumble bee became the first bumble bee to be placed on the federal list of endangered species. In response, states within the bee’s historic range, like Minnesota, have been conducting surveys to get a more detailed picture of its status. A number of factors seem to be contributing to rusty-patched bumble bee population declines, including pesticides, pathogens and habitat loss. Climate change may be having an effect, as spring arrives earlier and bees emerge before there are sources of nectar available to them. Even roads can play a role in bumble bee mortality, as more cars mean more bees are hit and killed.