Pioneer Cheers & Jeers
Welcome showers greet Relay For Life
Friday evening brought long-awaited rain to the parched North Country as volunteers rallied at the Bemidji High School for the 6 p.m. Friday-6 a.m. Saturday Relay For Life, the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Congratulations to survivors, especially Julie Geerdes, who is this year's honorary chairperson, and volunteers who sponsored the luminaries, kept the vigil, provided the entertainment and made the good times roll again. More than 45 teams participated in the event.
Too much gun
A Cass Lake man was convicted last week in federal court of possession of a machine gun. According to the U.S. Attorney's report, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on routine patrol in September 2005 near the Leech Lake Indian Reservation heard gunshots, saw some guys road hunting from a car and confronted the occupants of the vehicle. When the CO searched the car, he found a Sten Mark 9 mm machine gun hidden under some stuff in the back seat. The occupants of the car admitted to shooting a deer from inside the vehicle. We wonder what the condition of the venison might have been after the deer was shot with a machine gun. Not good, probably.
Northern votes key
The Jaycees Water Carnival Parade July 2 was a harbinger of the focus of politicians will have on northern Minnesota for the upcoming November election. Candidates from both major parties made their presence felt, with floats, marchers and volunteers plastering everyone willing with stickers. Both the Republican and the Democratic Farmer Labor parties are paying more attention than usual to traditional strongholds for either party. The focus is good for northern Minnesotans in that we will see more of the candidates and be able to quiz them in person about where they stand on issues of importance outside the metro areas.
Many people in northwest Upper Midwest hark back to Icelandic heritages. So, it was interesting last week when a contingent of Icelandic teachers of English arrived a couple of weeks ago for a 10-day visit to compare teaching strategies and collect ideas to take back to Akureyri, a northern Iceland town about the size of Bemidji. The Icelandic teachers were participating in a Cultural Diversity and Education in the United States with Bemidji High School teachers.