Ride rings it up again
The annual Ride for the Troops event was held Sunday, starting off at the parking lot of Marketplace Foods.
This event really brings out the best in the community and riders come from near and far to take part and pay their respect to military members and their families.
The event raises funds to help military families in need. Organizers said Monday that there were 405 bikes -- and 534 riders -- taking part, which raised more than $20,000. In this instance, too, organizers and participants had to deal with less-than-ideal weather conditions, but in looking at the numbers and the money raised, the people did not let that get in their way for a good cause.
This year's event also had the distinction of honoring Ken Donaghue, one of the original founders of the event that started nearly a decade ago. Donaghue was 67 year old last year when he was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Bring back the bacon
Despite the rainy weather this weekend, fun was had at the first-ever Bacon and Beer Fest on Saturday at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
You can't beat Mother Nature, you can only deal with it, and in that, organizers shouldn't be dismayed and plan to bring back the event. There is definitely potential and similar type events have become routine in other communities. The more events we have here in Bemidji, the greater chances one of them will stick.
Taking aim at AIS
With new funding coming from the state, Beltrami County is taking a proactive approach to battling aquatic invasive species, or AIS. The county has hired a point person in its fight to keeping Bemidji-area lakes free of AIS such as zebra mussels, which can decimate a local body of water.
Chris Richardson, a BSU graduate, and his nine inspectors have been conducting routine boat inspections since Memorial Day, reporter Zach Kayser documented on Saturday. AIS mainly spread from one body to another by hitchhiking on watercraft. Richardson and his inspectors, along with those from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, are working to make sure boats are free of AIS before departing and entering local bodies of water. And despite the new inspections and monies from the state, the job of keeping out AIS from area lakes was described as a "Herculean effort" by Bill Patnaude, Beltrami County environmental services director. That's because it can't be done by inspectors alone. As Patnaude pointed out, "we need everybody that is a recreational boater, canoeist, fisherman... committed in this."
It is a good reminder that while government officials are investing time, money and people into the fight against AIS, we all have a say on how the battle will turn out. Make sure you don't have any aquatic hitchhikers before and after you enter the water.