Your Friday News Brief: November 10

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

RED LAKE– The Red Lake Police Department has not yet had success in finding the two missing fishermen from a boat that capsized on Lower Red Lake Monday. On Thursday, Red Lake and Leech Lake Law Enforcement, Red Lake Fire Department, community and family members continued to work wooded areas and shorelines by foot and ATVs. The two missing are 29-year-old Deland Beaulieu and a 17-year-old boy. Law Enforcement will be using cadaver dogs today and request that volunteers stay off the frozen shorelines near designated search areas while the dogs are in use. Search areas will be marked.

HINES– A Hines man was killed in a house fire Thursday morning. According to a release from Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp, neighbors heard a loud explosion and reported a residence engulfed in flames on the 18,200 block of Lookout Tower Road in Hines Township around 3:40 a.m. Responding deputies and Blackduck Fire personnel arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames. The sole occupant of the home was owner Oscar Clark Eckstrom, age 76. The next of kin has reportedly been notified, and the fire is under investigation by the Sheriff’s office, Blackduck Fire and the state fire marshal’s office.

BEMIDJI– Formal child pornography charges have been filed against a man also suspected to be involved in the disappearance of a Bemidji teen from earlier this week. Twenty-one-year-old Chris Morales of Oswego, Illinois, was charged in Beltrami County Thursday for five counts of possessing pornographic work involving children. Morales, according to a release from Beltrami County Chief Deputy Ernie Bietel, was arrested after law enforcement discovered him with a 13-year-old Bemidji girl in the Twin Cities Monday. Morales and the girl reportedly met on social media sites, and a neighbor of the girl was able to describe the vehicle they left in to authorities. Morales will make his next court appearance Monday; as of this morning, no formal charges have been filed against him in connection with girl’s disappearance.

Chris Morales, 21
Morales, 21. From the Beltrami County Jail.

BEMIDJI– A new president for the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce was announced Thursday. According to a release, Deb Pfaff of St. Charles, Illinois has been selected to replace current president Lori Paris, who is said to be retiring at the end of the year. Pfaff’s first day with the Chamber will be November 27. Before joining the Chamber, Pfaff was the Marketing Supervisor for the Addison Park District, in the western suburbs of Chicago. Pfaff has spent many summers vacationing in northern Minnesota, and has extended family in the Park Rapids area.

BEMIDJI– Three have been named to a second round of interviews for the available Beltrami County Attorney position. In order of committee ranking, they are: Clifford B. Wardshaw, Assistant U.S. Attorney; Katie S. Nolting, Assistant Beltrami County Attorney; and David Hanson, Clearwater County Attorney. The County Attorney position is currently being filled by Chief Prosecutor David Frank as an interim. The interviews are public and will be held on Tuesday, November 21 during the County Board of Commissioner’s regular and work meetings.

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