Your Monday News Brief: March 5

WALKER– The Cass County Sheriff’s Office released the name of the Bemidji man found dead in a fish house. According to a release, 21-year-old Samuel Schooley was found unresponsive Sunday, February 25 at the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake. Responding emergency personnel transported Schooley to a hospital in Park Rapids, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. An autopsy is still pending with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the death is under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.


WALKER– A Coon Rapids man recently pleaded guilty to murder and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. According to a release from Cass County Attorney Benjamin Lindstrom, Zachary Todd Anderson pleaded guilty Friday to abducting, raping and killing a five-year-old girl from Meeker County, and disposing of her body near his family’s property in Cass County in August 2016.

The mandatory penalty for this crime is life in prison without the possibility of parole, and Anderson was given that sentence immediately after his guilty plea.

Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted with the investigation and prosecution of this case, including the Cass, Todd, Crow Wing and Meeker County Sheriff’s Offices, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Baxter and Pequot Lakes Police Departments, the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

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Anderson, 27. Retrieved photo.

PARK RAPIDS– Two were recently charged in Hubbard County for drug trafficking. According to the criminal complaints, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on the 19,000 block of Ermine Trail in Park Rapids on February 16, where deputies located over 50 grams of methamphetamine, as well as other paraphernalia connected with the sale of drugs. Fifty-nine-year-old Lance Schoeberl and 42-year-old Jacqueline Schoeberl were each charged with two first degree drug felonies.


PARK RAPIDS– A Chaska woman was recently charged with possessing more than fifty grams of methamphetamine in Hubbard County. According to the criminal complaint, 25-year-old Ashley Anne Walls was stopped by a Hubbard County Deputy in early February, after a reporting party stated a vehicle was crossing the center and fog lines multiple times. During a search of the vehicle, the deputy located marijuana paraphernalia, as well as 80 grams of methamphetamine. Walls was charged with first degree drug possession and a DWI for operating a vehicle under the influence of a schedule 1 drug.


FARDEN TOWNSHIP– A new candidate is seeking the DFL endorsement for a state legislature seat. Michael Northbird is seeking the endorsement for District 2A, which makes up most of Hubbard and Clearwater Counties, all of Lake of the Woods County, and western and northern Beltrami County, which includes the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Northbird has been an environmental program manager with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe for nine years, and was a civil engineer prior to that for decades. Northbird was born and raised in Cass Lake, and is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.


ST. PAUL– Representative Matt Bliss of District 5A recently unveiled a new bill he co-authored to help exploited indigenous women and children. According to a weekly update from the legislator, the bill would create a task force to look into the situation and arrive at some solutions.


BEMIDJI– The Bemidji High School Speech Team had ten finalists at the Chuck Beckman Memorial Tournament in Walker last Saturday. Veronica Brown was the Champion in Prose Interpretation, and the team was 8th out of 37 schools. The speech team will travel to the Eveleth-Gilbert School this Saturday.

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