Your Thursday News Brief: January 11

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– A Redby man accused of killing his infant son appeared in court Wednesday. Federal court documents state that the five-minute detention hearing was held in the Beltrami County Courthouse.

According to the complaint, Gary Wayne Jackson, Jr., was arrested by Red Lake police on January 3, after emergency responders arrived at Jackson’s home January 2 and found the child, a 1-year-old boy identified in court documents as D. J., unresponsive.

The autopsy, performed at the Ramsey Medical Examiner’s Office, ruled the cause of death as a homicide by blunt force trauma to the head and thorax. During interviews with investigators, Jackson stated that he was responsible for the child’s death, but denied killing the child.

Interviews with the boy’s family, including Jackson’s mother, indicated that Jackson had a history of abusing his children, with one incident resulting in D. J.’s hospitalization for a fractured skull and a broken arm. Jackson will make his next court appearance in Minneapolis January 12.

BEMIDJI– Bill Blackwell, Jr., executive director of Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center, will receive the State of Minnesota’s MLK Commitment to Service Award Jan. 15 at the 32nd Annual State of Minnesota Governor’s Council Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration.

Awards have been given by the Governor’s MLK Celebration during the entirety of its existence. While names of the awards have changed over the years, they have showcased Minnesotans who are committed to serving their communities and to making Minnesota an inclusive state that works for all, and who lead with integrity and serve as inspirational role models.

Recipients are selected by the Office of the Chief of Inclusion. Blackwell is one of 15 Minnesotans who will receive Commitment to Service Awards, along with two Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

BEMIDJI– Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center held their Day of Welcome ceremony to kick off the Spring 2018 semester Wednesday. Bill Blackwell, Jr., executive director of the center, said the ceremony is performed at the start of the semester to engage their American Indian students.

President Faith C. Hensrud also greeted students during the Day of Welcome, and considers the American Indian Resource Center as a prime asset to the University, and the ceremony, while geared towards American Indian students, is welcoming to all.

The American Indian Resource Center, in existence for over 15 years, is located near Diamond Point Park on Birchmont Drive.

BEMIDJI– A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in BSU’s Bensen Hall to commemorate the opening of a new student nursing lounge. BSU’s Nursing Department, in conjunction with the American Indian Resource Center, recently received a grant that helped fund three student scholarships, two staff positions, as well as the furnishing of a lounge on the first floor of Bensen. Dr. Misty Wilkie, director of BSU’s nursing department, hopes the new lounge connects nursing seniors to sophomores and freshman. The lounge, titled “Niganawenimaanaanig” has its own logo of a bear, designed by an Integrated Media student, which Bill Blackwell, Jr., says represents the healers.


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