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Pioneer features new pages focusing on arts, technology

Over the past several months, we've been tweaking the Pioneer for readers to make it more consistent, engaging and useful.

For example, the recently launched Expressions, a page dedicated to arts and entertainment in the Bemidji area, aims to highlight the dynamic community of artists, musicians and authors who call Bemidji home.

But Expressions serves a greater purpose: to give you, the reader, information to help plan your evenings and weekends. It also aims to provide personality and insight into the events and people who make up the diverse arts and entertainment scene. And, I hope, it gives the community a greater sense of cohesiveness.

While Pioneer Profiles is takes center stage in Expressions, we'll continue to deliver Pioneer Previews - to provide details about upcoming performing, visual and literary art events and happenings - and write stories for our regular news pages.

This new approach isn't the only change happening at the Pioneer.

We're also rolling out a new page, starting in today's paper, dedicated to science and technology.

Innovation will be a page dedicated to cutting edge technology, product and gadget reviews and how ideas shape and change our lives.

The page, featured Sundays, will pull from a variety of sources. The information may come from a wire service, a blogger on the Area Voices platform, a community member or a Pioneer staff member.

The inspiration behind Innovation is the idea that science and technology shapes our lives by changing how we communicate, work and recreate. In a fast-paced world, readers of every generation are affected by innovation and the ideas driving it.

If you're a regular reader of North Country Scene, our daily calendar found on Page 2, you'll also note a slight change.

We've added a few topic headers, at the suggestion of staff member Grace Gouker, to better define the events, and in turn, help readers more easily find items of interest.

And it doesn't end there.

Two new faces join our staff to bolster our news and sports reporting ranks. Brian Matthews joined us this past week as a news reporter, and he'll pinch hit in the sports department. Jack Hittinger plans to start Tuesday, working with Pat Miller, who recently was named sports editor.

Also, we're also committed to adding more community members to Area Voices with Bemidji area residents writing blogs about their interests, activities and expertise.

Featured staff blogs found on includes "All About Food" by Sue Doeden and "Bemidji Arts News" by Patt Rall, both of which offer multimedia and additional content not found in the newspaper, and the "Paul and Babe" blog celebrating the iconic duo's 75th anniversary.

From our website, you'll find other community members blogs, including "New Plateaus" by Brandon Ferdig, "Green Living Bemidji," "Outdoors with Sam Cook" and a variety of others. If you're interested in learning more about starting a blog, contact Grace Gouker on weekday afternoons at

Steve Wagner is editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He may be contacted by 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