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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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It's been more than two weeks since the July 2 storm swept across the region, leaving a trail of debris and damage.

First responders answered the call immediately by springing into action and providing vital resources and help to the community.

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And overall, Bemidji and Beltrami County officials responded well by assessing needs of residents and devoting resources and staff in the storms aftermath.

Long hours logged by city and county employees - those working the front lines - show dedication and commitment to their community.

As the cleanup winds down, there will be time for reflection. It would be wise for leaders to assess what went well while also looking at areas needing improve for future emergencies.

Emergency operations and response is only as good as the people who carry it out. Our community - Bemidji and the surrounding area - has talented, intelligent people.

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Out of control

After the July 2 and July 4 storms, numerous tree removal contractors descended on the area.

Anecdotal reports suggest some of them offered services at exorbitant rates - reaching into the thousands of dollars to clear trees and lots.

Some out-of-area contractors were good intentioned.

However, some appeared ready to take advantage of Mother Nature's mess. The reports of price-gouging are unconscionable as some aimed to prey on people's pocketbooks in a time of need.

Most people were sensible to send these out of control contractors packing.

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A good fit

Susan Joy takes over as the new executive director for the Headwaters Science Center in downtown Bemidji.

While Bemidji is new to her, Joy graduated with a geology degree from Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, Minn. She appears genuinely excited to be here and lead a center with a rich tradition built by founder Laddie Elwell.

She brings passion to the job and an understanding of the center's vibrant role of education and discovery.

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The right move

Late last week, the Bemidji Community Arts Center announced it plans to move across the street from the Carnegie Library to the Lakeside Business Center.

The move, expected to be finalized later this year, offers needed space, accessibility and flexibility for the BCAC, which had outgrown its space in the historic Carnegie.

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