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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: IDEA winners true innovators

Congratulations to the five innovative business ideas that were awarded last week at the IDEA Competition 2010 Awards Banquet. It is encouraging to see such great business ideas coming from local entrepreneurs. The five award winners, chosen from eight finalists, received $10,000 each and additional consulting, coaching and technical assistance, which we hope will help jump-start their business success.

Cheer: Haugen honored

Cheers for Danelle Haugen, an investigator with the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. Haugen has been named the Minnesota Association of Women Police's 2010 Excellence in Performance Award winner. Her colleague, Chief Deputy Mike Bakke, nominated Haugen for the award, citing her professionalism, competence and "tough-minded, determined approach to seeing to it that her cases are resolved successfully."

Jeer: Fund DWI Court

It is difficult to understand how a program that can drastically reduce the likeliness of repeat DWI offenses is in danger of elimination. Beltrami County DWI Court, which operated under a grant through the Department of Public Safety, has run out of funding and is scheduled to be discontinued. While we certainly understand the budget difficulties facing the state, county and city, we hope a budget solution can be found. A program that is proven to decrease DWI recidivism by 50 percent should not canceled.

Cheer: Simple Steps

A new, free program is now available to help area residents stay active and keep track of their daily activities. Simple Steps Bemidji is a non-competitive, three-month program through which community members take regular walks with a partner or team and log their activities. The program offers another way to celebrate - and take part in - the great outdoors.