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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Hats off to Bemidji champs

Once again Bemidji's 12-year-old Cal Ripken baseball team captured the state championship and went on to regional competition. Following successes in 2006 and 2008, the Northern Heat claimed the state title to qualify for the regional tournament in Iowa, where they finished second. It is a tribute to the quality of the baseball program in Bemidji. Equally exciting was the Bemidji 14-and-under softball team's battle through the losers' bracket to win five straight games to win the state tournament title in St. Peter. With coaches expressing the philosophy that there is a place for every youngster who wants to play ball, Bemidji's stable youth baseball and softball programs offer great opportunities for children.

Cheer: National acclaim

Bemidjians weren't surprised, but perhaps were gratified, when Time magazine last week named our iconic statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox among the Top 50 American Roadside Attractions. Although Paul's image is used in many locales, the 1937 concrete statue, and his partner, Babe, are the first of their kind.

Jeer: Greedy robber

Atlanta Police say a man who robbed a fast-food restaurant with a gun was so mad about the amount of loot that he called back twice to complain. The man walked up to the drive-through window of an Atlanta Wendy's late Saturday night, wearing a ski mask and holding a gun. He demanded the cash drawer, grabbed it and ran away. But police say he later called the fast food restaurant to complain about the amount of cash. Police say in one call he said, "Next time, there better be more than $586." He called again with a similar complaint. Talk about compounding offense upon offense.

Cheer: Wadena outreach

A neighbor city, Wadena, was devastated by tornadoes June 17. The school was destroyed along with other severe damage. Calvary Lutheran Church members have responded to Wadena's needs by collecting and donating school supplies for the students who will be starting the fall semester soon. A representative from Lutheran Disaster Response delivered the backpacks and other items to a church in Wadena.