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Pioneer Cheers & Jeers: Dental mission deserves support

Hundreds of volunteers are needed for the upcoming Minnesota Mission of Mercy event in Bemidji.

Two state dental associations – the Minnesota Dental Foundation and the Minnesota Dental Association – will host the clinic June 14-15 at the Sanford Center.

The clinic provides treatment for children and adults in need of dental work, regardless of their ability to pay.

Last year’s event drew 2,000 people in Mankato last year.

The Missions of Mercy clinic needs both dental professionals and lay volunteers for this summer’s event.

Beyond the services provided to those in need, the event provides an opportunity to give back to the greater community.

Those who can help are encouraged to visit for more information and sign up as volunteers.

For the people

Throughout Minnesota, townships are hosting meetings today as part of Township Day.

More than 920,000 Minnesotans reside within one of the state’s 1,784 townships, according to the Minnesota Association of Townships.

In meetings at town halls tonight, officers will host annual meetings, set levies and budgets for next year, and, in many cases, conduct elections.

Townships, as much as any entity, represent government of the people, by the people and for the people. Officers address quality of life issues – fixing and maintaining roads and bridges for example – with little fanfare and often on a shoestring budget.

Storm stories

Last July, ferocious storms swept northern Minnesota, leaving a trail of debris and damage.

Now, the public has a chance to share their stories and photos in an effort to help quantify the storms’ impact.

In May, Chris Muller, the Beltrami County emergency management assistant director, plans to present details about the lead-up and response to the storms, most notably the severe weather July 2 and July 4.

The storms helped prompt local officials to implement the Code Red emergency notification system.

Muller’s presentation, part of the Northern Plains Convective Storms Symposium, will emphasize the timeline leading up to the event, including emergency responders’ actions before and after the storms.

“We’re also going to be talking about how we received and interpreted the information from the National Weather Service as the storm hit,” Muller said. “Because we did have a really good lead time before the storm hit.”

To tell the story, Muller is looking for photos, videos and personal accounts from Beltrami County residents. Those willing to share details can send them to