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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

Cheer: Supporters bring honor to Bemidji

Two Olympic teams from the same city make a unique situation, and Bemidji is showing pride in the local-gone-Olympic curling teams in style. The Hammer Hankies declaring Bemidji as Curling Capital USA sold out immediately, and welcoming crowds thronged the Bemidji Regional Airport last week to cheer the homecomings of Team Fenson and Team Johnson. This week the U.S. World Team Trials are bringing cheering fans to the Bemidji Curling Club to see the best of the best compete for the right to represent the U.S. in the world championships. In a special honor, Scott Baird, alternate to the men's Olympic team and the oldest Winter Olympian ever, was inducted Sunday into the U.S. Curling Association Hall of Fame for his four decades of work toward promoting the sport.

Cheer: Thoughtful idea

Young people sometimes wonder how a single person can make a difference. Blackduck High School senior Anna Stomberg found the answer to that question three years ago by bringing to her hometown the "Walk for Thought" fund-raiser to help people who have suffered brain injuries. Her efforts ignited her community members, who have raised thousands of dollars. Stomberg has been named one of Minnesota's top two youth volunteers for 2006 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Stomberg is a reminder that anyone can make a positive contribution.

Jeer: Drug crackdown

Students enroll in college for a variety of reasons, but most aim to get an education that will give them a leg up in the world of work and career enhancement. Apparently, eight Montana State University freshmen saw the university experience as an opportunity to sell illegal drugs. They were charged with running a drug ring from their dorm. Undercover agents from the Missouri River Drug Task Force heard about the alleged sales and made some buys while wearing body wires. Three of the students reportedly selling drugs from their rooms are from Minnesota. A fourth is from Fargo, N.D. That some of those charged with such blatant and injurious crimes are from this area is disappointing.

Cheer: Annette honored

Dr. Kathleen Annette, a White Earth Band of Ojibwe member who grew up on the Red Lake Nation, is the director of the Indian Health Service headquartered in Bemidji. Last Saturday, she was inducted into the Northwest Minnesota Hall of Fame for her work with 34 tribal and five American Indian programs providing health care to more than 95,000 people in a five-state region. Annette, the first woman Ojibwe physician in Minnesota, is also known for her response and organization of assistance to the IHS at Red Lake during the tragic school shootings last year.