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Pioneer Viewpoints: ‘Nothing to do?’ Don’t think so

It was a busy week in Bemidji, with the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, Crazy Daze and the Beltrami County Fair all taking place, in addition to the usual bevy of tourists visiting town.

Add in the Clearwater County Fair in Bagley, performances of “She Loves Me” at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse and an entertaining Bemidji Area Community Band concert, and no one could argue that there was nothing to do.

We want to congratulate organizers of the Dragon Boat Festival, which in its eighth year continues to attract thousands of paddlers and spectators to a family friendly event. It has been able to support wonderful community projects through its main sponsors, the Bemidji Rotary Club and the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hotel is a ‘go’

It’s encouraging to learn that shovels will go into the ground soon to begin construction of the Country Inn & Suites adjacent to the Sanford Center. The land sale was completed Friday. Bay Ridge Properties International paid the city of Bemidji $756,000 for the property and plans to build a 121-room hotel. The new facility, along with the nearly completed DoubleTree by Hilton nearby, will help accommodate a growing need for rooms in a growing local tourism industry.

Gift is a big ‘save’

A generous donation announced on Monday is a big step forward for Bemidji’s “Save the Carnegie” effort, which hopes to prevent the historic Carnegie Library building from being razed. The $150,000 gift from Andreas and Marilyn Kuhn of Godfrey, Ill., will honor the memory of their grandson, Jordan Klope. Jordan died in December in motor vehicle accident. He loved the outdoors, and he loved spending time in Bemijdi, where his grandparents spend their summer months.

Hitting the road

Here’s wishing Coach Jim Stone and his Bemidji State University women’s soccer team a successful trip to Costa Rica. The team leaves today for an eight-day visit that will include exhibition games and service work with underprivileged children. It’s an opportunity for team building on and off the field.