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Fatal Car Accident

A 25 year old Marble woman was killed in a three vehicle accident on Saturday.  According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a vehicle driven by 25 year old Kassandra Keske was traveling south on Highway 169 when she lost control on icy roads.  Her vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by 25 year old Nathan Hoffman of Baldwin Missourri and a vehicle driven by a 16 year old from Bovey.  Keske was pronounced dead at the scene.  The teen was not injured.  Hoffman was injured, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

By |December 22nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Fatal Car Accident|

Juvenile Pleads guilty

A juvenile, charged with both attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree, pleaded guilty to the assault charge Thursday in Itasca County District Court.  The charges stem from an assault by four residents of a group home in Grand Rapids on December 13th.  An 18 year old Bemidji man and three juveniles attacked a staff member, who had to be treated at a hospital.  The court set a sentencing hearing for January 26th at 2pm.  The juvenile will be held at the Itaskin Juvenile center or Mesabi Academy pending court order.


By |December 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Juvenile Pleads guilty|

Group Home Assault

An 18 year old Bemidji man has been charged with three counts of assault in Itasca county district court.  Dacota Geoffrey Smith of Bemidji made his first appearance in Itasca county district court on Monday.  Smith and three juveniles assaulted a staff member with multiple weapons at a group home on December 13th.  Smith was charged with one count assault in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, and one count of assault in the third degree.  The staff member was taken by ambulance to the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital for treatment.

Bail was set at $100,000 without conditions and $50,000 with conditions.  His next court appearance is December 22nd at 9am.

Also Monday, three juveniles appeared in Itasca County District court.  They were charged with four felony offences.  They were ordered held without bail at the Itaskin Juvenile center.  Their next appearance is set for December 17th.

By |December 17th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Group Home Assault|

School Board Sets Levy

Last night, Independent School District 318 approved a $10 million dollar levy for fiscal year 2015.  According to Superintendent Doctor Bruce Thomas, the levy is consistent with this past year’s numbers.

The school board also thanked Maryann Olson for her 20 years of service.  Olson did not run for a school board seat in November and last night was her last meeting.

By |December 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on School Board Sets Levy|

Grand Rapids Police Civil Service Commission Resigns

The entire Grand Rapids Police Civil Service Commission has submitted letters of resignation. Members of the commission, Wanda Bunes, Michael Marsh, and Jim Martinetto has submitted letters of resignation to the city council. The issue is on the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting.
According to Martinetto’s letter, his resignation follows the December 8th vote by the council to reinstate Brent Bradley to a Patrol Sergeant, effective the effective November 8th.
Among reasons Bradley was demoted, according to the council agreement published last month, not adequately investigate cases involving alleged domestic assaults and failed to meet the performance and conduct standards expected of City law enforcement officers as described in the above-discipline.
Last month, the city council agreed to remove a written Reprimand, 15-day Suspension without Pay, 5-day Suspension without Pay, Demotion from his personnel file.

By |December 12th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids Police Civil Service Commission Resigns|

Invest Early Renewed for Another 10 years by the Blandin Foundation

Invest early has been awarded funding for another 10 years from the Blandin Foundation.  Invest early is currently in its 10th and final year of a previous funding agreement from the Blandin Foundation.  At last night’s Independent School District 318 Board Meeting, Invest Early Director Jan Reindl presented the Initiative.

Also at last night’s ISD 318 School Board meeting, Transportation Director Tony Lewis reported that ridership with students is up 15% this year, and last year the district’s busses traveled 813,394 total miles.  Brooke Sherman was also hired as the Girls Soccer Head Coach, and Joyce Sjostrand’s retirement was approved after 23 ½ years with the district.  The next ISD 318 School Board Meeting is December 15th at 7 o’clock

By |December 2nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Invest Early Renewed for Another 10 years by the Blandin Foundation|

Polymet Hopes to be Mining in 2016

Polymet is still in the permitting phase, but company officials do expect to be mining copper, nickel, and cobalt by 2016.  Brad Moore, Executive Vice President of Environmental and Governmental Affairs, said the draft Environmental Impact Statement being processed now.  The permits will allow for 20 years of mining, but Moore said there’s more there.  Polymet is planning on reusing the former L-T-V concentrator, settling ponds, transportation infrastructure, and skilled local labor.  Polymet expects to mine 72 million pounds of copper, 15 million pounds of nickel, and 72 million pounds of cobalt annually.


By |December 2nd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Polymet Hopes to be Mining in 2016|

Essar Moving Forward

The Essar Project is moving forward.  On Tuesday, the Itasca County board of commissioners approved a number of contracts and agreements relating to Essar.  The first agreement allowed for the county to advance an additional $450 million dollars to the project- for a total of $1.163 billion dollars.  County Board Chair Leo Trunt said the board is excited to see the project moving forward.

The second approved a technical service contract with SEH Engineering regarding updating the county’s land use plan to reflect changes caused by recent new mining activities.  The update will include the concept of extending the Itasca county Regional Railroad to the Grand Rapids area.

By |November 28th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Essar Moving Forward|

Teens Feeling Safer

Over two thousand students from eleven area schools completed a survey about access to technology, feelings of confidence, and the presence of adults who are interested in their lives.  The survey, conducted by the Search Institute for the Itasca Area Initiative for Student Success, revealed some concerns and some victories.  Two percent of teens did not feel safe at home.  Sixty-four percent said they have families who give them love and support.

Fifty-five percent of students were members of a club, groups, or sporting activity.  Sixty-one percent said they had an adult in their life- who is not a parent- who cared about them.  Fifty percent of students surveyed thought they lived in a safe neighborhood.

The survey and detailed results can be found online at



By |November 25th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Teens Feeling Safer|

Gun Brought to Grand Rapids High School

Grand Rapids Police and the school liaison officer are investigating a report that a 15 year old girl brought a handgun to school three weeks ago.  The girl, who is not in custody at this time, admitted to bringing a gun to school.  She told investigators that the gun was her father’s and she took it without his knowledge.  No threats were made.

Authorities found out about the incident on Tuesday.

Throughout the course of the investigation, the Grand Rapids Police Department collaborated with school authorities and the Itasca County Attorney’s Office.  The girl is not in custody at this time.  The matter has been referred to the Itasca County Attorney’s Office for review.

By |November 19th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Gun Brought to Grand Rapids High School|