Your Monday News Brief: November 20

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– A man was found dead outside a home on the 2600 block of Birchmont Drive NE early Sunday morning. Bemidji Police officers and Beltrami county Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the report around 3 a-m, and lifesaving efforts conducted by law enforcement and also by Bemidji Fire and Bemidji Ambulance personnel were unsuccessful. Foul play is not suspected, but the Bemidji Police Department says they will continue to investigate the incident with help from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. The victim’s name was not immediately released.

BAGLEY– The Bagley Police Department is on the lookout for a 32-year-old Bemidji man believed to be the aggressor in an assault against two women. Joel David Burdick had a Clearwater County warrant issued for his arrest Friday for two counts of felony first-degree assault, after he allegedly injured a mother and daughter in their home in the Red Lake Avenue area of Bagley last Tuesday. The two women were ultimately transported to the Fargo Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Responding officers described the women’s injuries in the report, citing serious lacerations, eyes swollen shut, and one of the women’s fingertips was held on with just a strip of skin. Victim statements to law enforcement indicated that Burdick wanted the victims’ Oxycodone, a synthetic opioid, prescription. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Burdick should contact the Bagley Police Department or call 9-1-1.

RED LAKE– Searchers in Red Lake say they will not stop until they find two missing fishermen.  Twenty-nine-year-old Deland Beaulieu and an unidentified 17-year-old have been missing for two weeks, after their boat capsized in Lower Red Lake.  A third man on the boat survived after swimming to shore.  Search efforts improved late last week after visibility issues had hampered divers and air boat operators.  Some search teams from the Dakotas, citing safety concerns, say they will return to the scene once the ice has thickened.

WALKER– A Minnesota group of loggers and truckers is asking a Cass County judge to order a study of the environmental impacts of closing a biomass power plant.  The lawsuit was filed Thursday.  It alleges the shutdown would hurt the environment and eliminate needed jobs.  The Minnesota Legislature has authorized Xcel Energy to cancel its power purchase agreements with the biomass plants in Benson, Virginia and Hibbing.  The suit focuses on the Benson plant.  Xcel is waiting for final approval from the Public Utilities Commission.

DETROIT LAKES– One man was arrested on suspicion of arson after his alleged involvement with a mobile home fire. According to a release from Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander, his deputies and Frazee firefighters responded to the report of a mobile home fully engulfed in flames on the 30,000 block of US Highway 10 Saturday. All occupants of the home made it out safely. The suspect, 26-year-old Michael Jack Strehlow, is awaiting formal first-degree arson charges in the Becker County Jail. The Detroit Lakes Fire Department, St. Mary’s EMS and the Detroit Lakes Police Department assisted at the scene.

Michael Jack Strehlow, 26.jpg
Strehlow, 26. Photo courtesy of the Becker County Jail.

ST. PAUL– State officials say Minnesota’s groundbreaking “Safe Harbor” program is helping treat victims of sex trafficking as victims and not criminals — but more needs to be done. A report from Wilder Research says there are inconsistencies in how low enforcement handles sex trafficking situations, and researcher Lauren Schauben says some officials have different perspectives on what keeps youngsters safe. Schauben says the big issue appears to be officers who believe that if victims are treated as delinquents and locked up, nobody can get to them. Officials say more training is needed, because the treatment of youngsters often depends on which officers show up at crime scenes. According to the report, 60-percent of Safe Harbor participants are from Greater Minnesota, and throughout the state, the average age of participants was 16.

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