Your Tuesday News Brief: October 10

BEMIDJI– A 28-year-old Moorhead man was convicted of a felony and given a stay of imposition sentence Monday in Beltrami County Court. Joseph Camron Price was convicted of engaging in electronic communications that were sexually explicit in nature with what he believed to be a child. The crimes, according to the criminal complaint, took place in May, when Bemidji Police Department detectives responded to an online ad under the name of “John”–later determined to be Price. Detectives used an undercover persona of a 15-year-old girl, and while Price initially said that the persona was too young, continued to chat with her and asked for lewd photographs until they arranged to meet. Price was met by detectives where he admitted he was having a conversation with what he believed to be a 15-year-old and that it was sexually explicit. Price was sentenced to 3 days in jail, with credit for 3 days served, 27 days of home monitoring, and 3 years of supervised probation.

BEMIDJI– A 28-year-old Warroad man was sentenced for his drug crime Monday in Beltrami County Court. Phillip Clarence Michael Athman was given a stay of imposition for a 2nd degree drug sale crime. Athman, according to the criminal complaint, was stopped by tribal officers on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in February. A search of a vehicle uncovered over 40 grams of methamphetamine in two separate bags. Athman was originally charged with 1st degree drug sale, but the complaint was amended when Athman changed his not guilty plea to guilty. Athman has 45 days of local confinement to serve, with credit for 5 days served and will be on supervised probation for 25 years.

COHASSET–Two were injured in a head-on, alcohol-related crash in Itasca County Monday. According to the report from the Minnesota State Patrol, a westbound 2010 Chevy Silverado, driven by 70-year-old Theodore Michael Nielson of Ely, crossed the centerline of Highway 2 near Cohassett and struck an eastbound 2012 Chevy Silverado, driven by  59-year-old William Lee Svoboda of Hill City. The state patrol suspects that Nielson was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Both men were taken to the Grand Itasca Hospital for treatment of their non-life-threatening injuries, and both were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. The Grand Rapids Police Department, Itasca County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota DNR also assisted at the scene.

ST. PAUL– After a cold, wet summer and a September that is described as being all over the place, Minnesota farmers have plenty to bring to market in October. This is good news, especially for low-income Minnesotans, who are doubling their federal food-assistance money with a state program called “Market Bucks.” Patti Whitney-Wise with Hunger Solutions says nearly half a million Minnesotans– or one in twelve, receive SNAP, the program formerly known as food stamps. In 2015, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to fund SNAP incentives for the farmers market. Support was bipartisan.

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