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Pioneer Cheers & Jeers

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opinion Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Red Lakers show support at Newtown

In a touching show of support, 10 Red Lake High School alumni left last week for Newtown, Conn., where a gunman slaughtered 20 children and six women at an elementary school.

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Organized by 2008 Red Lake graduate Justin Jordain, the trip reminds us about the good in people and the power of the human spirit.

Following the 2005 school shooting in Red Lake, students who attended Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., visited northern Minnesota to offer support. Now, Red Lake alumni – in a three-vehicle caravan – want to do the same for those in Connecticut.

During a time of sorrow and debate, it’s encouraging to see their efforts – more than mere words – bring comfort to the lives of those hurting from unquestionable and senseless violence.

Say no to rumors

Those spreading rumors through social media are doing a disservice to their communities.

Last week, vague threats prompted area schools to cancel classes or add security.

With our nation’s history of school violence, administrators and parents are forced to take any and all threats or rumors seriously.

More significant consequences are needed for those who start and spread these rumors. Decency and responsibility also need to be part of the equation. And a zero tolerance policy should be embraced to rid our public spaces and institutions as targets of violent acts.

Touching gesture

In a touching ceremony Saturday, Arlin Melgaard was the recipient of an effort by friends and family to replace the service medals stolen from his home at Christmas time two years ago.

The 40-year veteran of the Army and reserves touched others’ lives as a recruiter and retention non-commissioned officer. He also gave the gift of music, playing in a military band at ceremonies and a country-rock band for the masses.

Strategic move

Congratulations to Evergreen Youth and Family Services, which moved into its youth drop-in center and business offices last week to 610 Patriot Drive NW, north of the intersection for Anne Street and Irvine Avenue.

Other Evergreen programs – including Independent Living Skills, Kinship North, and youth and family counseling services – also are part of the move. The youth crisis shelter remains at 622 Mississippi Ave. NW.

Thanks to generosity from community members, the nonprofit’s important services will continue to help area residents.

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