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Pioneer Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Safe Ride project serves a need

Members of the Beltrami Area Beverage Association, with sponsorship from other businesses and individuals, have answered a community need -- transport home for people who have spent the evenings partying. Safe Ride gives lifts to anyone in the Bemidji City limits and within a five-mile radius, as well as from bars in Turtle River and Wilton. Not only does the project help prevent people who have been drinking alcohol from driving, but it also opens a new business employing more than 10 people. Congratulations, BaBa and Safe Ride.

Cheer: Heat rises

Bemidji Northern Heat baseball team showed championship style last week winning the Cal Ripken state tournament at the Mark Evenson Complex. Although parents expressed nervousness before and during the matchup against Waite Park, the 12-year-old players were confident in their training and focus. Well done, Northern Heat.

Jeer: Invader Vader

The threatening theme music and heavy aspiration were missing, but the mask and evil intent were for real when a Darth Vader impersonator committed armed robbery of a New York bank last week. Using a pistol rather than a light saber and finishing off the outfit uncharacteristically in camouflage pants, the hold-up man netted an undetermined amount of cash. A customer at the bank thought the episode might be a prank, but later realized the heist was the real thing.

Cheer: Historic portrait

Bemidjians are familiar with the image of Shay-now-ish-kung, aka Chief Bemidji, from 19th century photos. Now, the Tourist Information Center has an artist's rendering of the city's most famous founder. Bemidji artist Terry Honstead has painted Chief Bemidji's portrait and donated the painting to be an attraction for residents and a conversation starter for visitors.