Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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BEMIDJI, Minn. — A former middle school assistant principal faces two more felonies after he was initially accused of posing on social media as a 13-year-old boy in order to have sexual conversations with children. Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 34, is now charged with four counts of engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child. The former Bemidji Middle School administrator—who worked for the district when he was arrested March 23 but resigned in April—previously pleaded not guilty to two felonies.
BEMIDJI, Minn. - The body of an adult male was removed from Lake Bemidji on Monday afternoon according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. A news release from the office states that the Sheriff’s Office received a report of the body, which was face down in the water near the Paul Bunyan Park dock, at about 2 p.m. The male looked about age 50, the release said.
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji Middle School’s former assistant principal -- who was accused last month of posing as a 13-year-old boy on social media in order to have sexual conversations with children -- pleaded not guilty to two felonies Monday. Later in the day, the city's school board accepted the resignation of Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 34. Bjerknes appeared in court with private attorney Peter Wold and demanded a speedy trial after entering the plea.
CASS LAKE—About 3 miles from the Cass Lake Rest Area, multiple oil pipelines lie partially buried beneath reeds, cattails and water. Every so often, portions of the lines can be seen by those who know what to look for, and are willing to risk a trip into the soggy swamp. About 30 people gathered in Cass Lake Sunday afternoon, hoping to set eyes on the controversial Line 3, an oil pipeline owned by Canadian energy company Enbridge.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The family of missing Cass Lake teen Jeremy Jourdain hopes to add to a reward fund offered to anyone with information on his whereabouts during an event Saturday, April 1. Rod Northbird, director of re-integration for the Northwest Indian OIC, said he had already been planning to hold a Round Dance in honor of the organization's new building when he thought of Jourdain's family. Northbird grew up with Jourdain's uncles, he said, and was aware of the search for the teen.
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Two people are at large and four are in custody Thursday after an hours-long standoff near Cass Lake. According a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement received a call at 3:40 a.m. March 16 from a “distraught” woman reporting she needed help. Sheriff Phil Hodapp said that while it was initially believed the woman had been held in a house at gunpoint, no one had actually been held captive.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Statements given by three victims of a Sunday-morning shooting in Bemidji vary widely and police have deemed the trio "uncooperative," according to court documents.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Conflicting narratives collided Tuesday at the Sanford Center, where pro- and anti-oil pipeline groups voiced support and concerns during an open house on the expansion of Line 67. The U.S. Department of State meeting, meant to allow public comment on a proposed increase of oil flowing through a small portion of Line 67, triggered events in both support and opposition earlier in the day.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — On Friday afternoon, the house on Wood Avenue South was transformed. Tubs and trays of dough sat on the kitchen counter, while volunteers packed styrofoam boxes of frybread tacos in the dining room. A handwritten menu on the living room wall advertised ham and cheese sandwiches, chili and other snacks. Each time a customer entered the home and purchased the treats, the reward fund for missing teen Jeremy Jourdain grew.
If you go: What: U.S. State Department meeting allowing public comment on the proposed Line 67 expansion. When: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. Where: The Sanford Center, 1111 Event Center Drive NE, Bemidji BEMIDJI, Minn.—A U.S. State Department meeting in Bemidji designed to allow public comment on a proposed oil pipeline expansion may draw activists from as far as the Twin Cities and has prompted the creation of local opposition events.