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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

Marchers unite at Relay for Life

Hundreds of people turned out for the 2009 Beltrami County American Cancer Society Relay for Life Saturday. Nearly every family has been affected by cancer, and the Relay for Life is a way for people to mourn those lost to the disease, encourage those in treatment, celebrate survivors and support research and education about cancer. About 700 people attended the event and $75,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society. Angele Hartell, northern Minnesota coordinator, said she expects the total amount raised by the Aug. 24 deadline to increase.

Breaking ground

The Habitat for Humanity house scheduled for construction next month will make Bemidji history as the first Women Build project in the city. Men won't be barred from the building site at Fourth Street and Central Avenue Southeast in Nymore, but female building teams will take the lead.

Not a win-win

The popular "Cash for Clunkers" initiative provides up to $4,500 rebates to buyers, brings an upturn in business for vehicle dealerships and takes some of the least efficient vehicles off the roads. However, charities that rely on vehicle donations to raise funds, such as the Texas organization that helps at-risk teenagers, have suffered as the used cars go to be disabled rather than to fundraisers. Everything has tradeoffs, but the loss to charities was an unforeseen result of the government program.

Wilton celebrates

The first Wilton Days Saturday and Sunday gave the little town an opportunity to welcome guests and spread festivities. Starting small, Wilton Days could grow to a major event such as another very small town's Fourth of July that brings hundreds to Debs.

Night Out

Residents of the South Lake Irving Neighborhood have celebrated National Night Out for many years with a picnic and social time in Lehmann Park. The Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area has joined the fun with games and demonstrations by service organizations. Getting neighbors together is the goal of the celebration, and the idea has caught on.