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From the editor: New year brings changes

As the new year starts, it brings a good time to roll out one of the many changes in effect here at the Bemidji Pioneer.

One of the things regular readers will notice is a bit of a format change with Patt Rall's column and writing.

Her mid-week column will take readers behind the scenes of the Bemidji arts and entertainment world. More of Patt's personality and character will come out in her writings about the people who make the community's cultural scene dynamic and exciting, and give readers a glimpse of what it takes to keep Bemidji's event scene vibrant and interesting.

And that brings a change to Pioneer Previews, which typically has listed details about upcoming events.

She will continue to write Pioneer Previews for the Sunday newspaper, focusing on events which will be going on in the community in the coming week.

However, events which typically appeared several times in Pioneer Previews, perhaps in two, three or more columns, will be listed once - in the Sunday immediately prior to the event.

But we aren't going to take away a forum for those nonprofit groups who want and need to get out information regarding their events. We aim to get the information out in a timely manner.

For instance, details about a major upcoming community play will be printed in a timely manner, letting the public know about the event, when and where tickets can be purchased, and how to make reservations.

Then, when an event is nearing, we'll remind the public in Pioneer Previews about those arts and entertainment happenings so they can plan their upcoming week and weekend.

There are several reasons for the change.

The new format allows Patt more creative license in her writing, providing depth and personality to her work, while focusing on storytelling. If you have a story suggestion for Patt, email her at

As a newspaper, the Pioneer values printing information important to the community in a timely manner, so relevant events will be announced as news about them becomes available.

And by not repeating events in Pioneer Previews, we'll free up more space on a regular basis to give our readers additional content they normally wouldn't see on our pages.

On a different note, North Country Scene will undergo a minor change. It will still be a place for people to find out what is going on around town, but it will be reserved for nonprofits and not-for-profit community events. No longer will we be publishing events for businesses or those aimed at getting people in their doors to make money.

Pioneer Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at (218) 333-9774 or email at

Steve Wagner

Grand Forks Herald Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at 701.780.1104 and He joined the Herald in April 2013, and previously worked as editor at the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and in several roles -- including news director, investigative reporter and crime reporter - at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. His reporting experience includes coverage of Dru Sjodin's disappearance and the federal death penalty case for her murderer, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., along with several investigative projects. In his spare time, Wagner is an avid runner and occasionally writes about his experiences on his blog, Addicted to Running.

(701) 780-1104