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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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opinion Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Bemidji rally encourages talk, education

A safe and friendly environment should be a goal for all members of our community - and those who gathered publicly Thursday reinforced that we all play a part.

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A rally, sponsored by Shared Vision, aimed to address racism and the importance to accept diversity in our community.

The "Moving Forward: Rally Against Racism" provided several leaders an opportunity to speak about hate crimes while encouraging further discussion and education for the community.

Bemidji Mayor Dave Larson, who signed a proclamation denouncing a burning cross left in one family's yard last month, provided one of the poignant comments.

"Friendliness and acceptance cannot be attained with the implementation of a program or by signing of a proclamation," Larson said. "It must begin with you and me. Each of us as individuals of diversity must begin to be what we want the other person to become."

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Historic race

Carri Jones made history last week with her narrow victory over incumbent Arthur "Archie" LaRose for head of the Leech Lake Tribal Council.

At 32, Jones is the youngest person - and first woman - to be selected as the Leech Lake Band chair.

She brings energy, enthusiasm and a different direction for Leech Lake.

Jones said a major priority is addressing the tribe's finances. With degrees from Bemidji State University in accounting and finance, and 12 years of experience working in tribal government, Jones can make an immediate impact.

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Top workplace

Lueken's Village Foods of Bemidji won a major honor with being named among the top workplaces in the state by the Star Tribune.

The only grocery store in the state to make the list was recognized for its work environment based on employees' opinions about company leadership, communication, career opportunities, work environment, managerial skills, pay and benefits.

In compiling the list of small, mid-sized and large companies across Minnesota, the analysis included responses from more than 71,000 employees at public, private and nonprofit organizations from across the state.

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Celebrating books

A lineup of stellar authors made this year's Bemidji Library Book Festival another terrific event.

The week-long schedule of workshops, author presentations and storytelling provided a bit of something for everyone - especially for aspiring writers looking to learn more about their craft and making it in the business.

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