Your Wednesday News Brief: February 14

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel just announced his candidacy for Beltrami County Sheriff. Beitel has 33 years of law enforcement experience, has served as Chief Deputy for the last five and a half years, and has been with the county for 23 years. Beitel is the first to throw his hat in the ring for Sheriff upon Phil Hodapp’s retirement announcement.


RED LAKE– The Red Lake Police Department recently served three drug related search warrants and arrested 12 people. According to a social media update from the police department, over a period of three days the searches resulted in the seizure of heroin, methamphetamine, stolen property in addition to locating children at two of the three searched residences. All twelve of those arrested were transported to the Red Lake Detention Facility and face tribal charges, and some will be extradited for outstanding state felony warrants.


BEMIDJI– A level three sex offender will be released to the Liberty Township area next week. According to a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Chester L Grauberger will move to the Pony Lake Road and Highway 89 area on Tuesday, February 20. The Sheriff’s Office will host a community notification meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feburary 19 at the Eckles Community Center. Representatives from the County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.


GRAND RAPIDS– The Itasca County Sheriff’s Office is seeking public assistance in locating a missing 17-year-old girl. Bali Mariah Frazer is 5’3″, 120 pounds with blue eyes and blonde hair. Ms. Frazer was last seen around noon Monday where she left a meeting in Grand Rapids and has not been seen or heard from since. Anyone with information about Ms. Frazer should forward it to Investigator Mark Greiner at 218-326-3477.

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BEMIDJI– A large group of Bemidji State University administrators gave Commissioner Larry Pogemiller a tour of the campus Tuesday. The group toured some of the recently renovated areas on campus, including the new Integrated Media Department as well as Memorial Hall, before touring the building the university would like to see demolished: Hagg-Sauer.

Hagg-Sauer, constructed in 1971, is one of the most heavily used buildings on campus, where many freshman and sophomore liberal arts classes are held. It also houses upwards of 60 faculty offices, but since it is so close to the lakeshore, the basement is in poor condition.

The new Hagg-Sauer Academic Learning Center, with a price tag of $22.5 million, would reduce square footage from 82,000 to 27,700, eliminate the basement and create more interactive student spaces instead of lecture halls. Commissioner Pogemiller, who advocates for higher education in the Governor’s Office, says that this project is high on the governor’s priority list.

The Governor’s proposed bonding bill allocates $1.5 billion for projects across the state. The state legislature, according to area representative Matt Bliss, may push for a slightly smaller bonding bill when they return to session next week.


ST. PAUL– The Trump budget proposal would cut almost 20-billion dollars, or 22-percent, next year from SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, once commonly known as food stamps. More than 600-thousand Minnesotans benefit from SNAP and could be affected, according to Colleen Moriarty with Hunger Solutions. According to NBC News, a portion of the program would be replaced with shipped food from the Department of Agriculture, and would save almost $130-billion over 10 years.  President Donald Trump says it will make government more efficient and promote self-sufficiency and hard work.

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