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Bjerknes to plead guilty to state and federal charges

Endings and new beginnings

While many think of this week in terms of fishing, it is also the unofficial start of "graduation" season.

Bemidji State University graduation, as well as those for Northwest Technical College and Oak Hills Christian College, are set for this weekend. (Along with the annual Minnesota event/rite of passage known as the Fishing Opener.)

Soon thereafter, the local and area high school graduations will take place.

It is always celebratory time for Bemidji, as we say "job well done" to all our graduates. But it is also a time for some mixed emotions, when we possibly say goodbye to those close to us as they begin new chapters in their lives.

Another sense, though, is one of gratefulness.

Bemidji is fortunate to have such elite educational institutions, both in K-12 and higher education.

BSU consistently is ranked as one of the best values in higher education in the United States. Oak Hills has a solid foundation, and Northwest Tech is undergoing a reinvention process where it is looking to best position itself to serve students and key regional institutions.

Bemidji High School just recently was named the 22nd best school in the state, according to U.S. News and World Report. Bemidji is also home to several well-established charter schools, including TrekNorth and Voyageurs and Schoolcraft, all of which are ranked high in the state in various categories.

Education is a key to providing a quality of life to a community. In that department, Bemidji is scoring high on all the tests.

And did we mention -- the fishing is pretty good, too.