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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Lions feed marks its 60th year

The Bemidji Lions Club has been doing good deeds in the community for many years, and one of its biggest fundraisers is the Lions Fare chicken feed, which was held for the 60th time on Saturday. It's one of the many Americana events held each year in Bemidji. Upwards of 70 club members helped put on the feed. One of them was LeRoy Hill, who joined the club in 1951. He has taken part in the feed every year since its inception, and even helped design the club's special chicken grills.

Cheer: Night Out event

Tonight you can gain awareness of crime, violence and drug abuse in our community by attending the fifth annual National Night Out event at the Boys and Girls Club of the Bemidji Area. It is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at the club. Bemidji is one of thousands of communities around the country that will participate in National Night Out. It is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in partnership with Target and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jeer: The rural divide

Rural America's population now accounts for only 16 percent of the nation's total, the lowest ever. That creates challenges for small towns and cities, like trying to retain airline service and post offices, and keeping schools open. Those towns are trying to attract new residents and hold off funding cuts from federal and state governments. It's a sign of the times, but it's unfortunate.

Cheer: Determination

Congratulations to the nine young people from Ohio in grades 7-11 who worked hard to raise enough money to attend Arabic camp at Concordia Language Villages near Bemidji. The students from Cincinnati public schools showed great determination and maturity in earning their way to the Minnesota northwoods. It's another example of Concordia's gem on Turtle River Lake.

Cheer: Trail support

It makes sense to construct a bicycle trail from Park Rapids to Itasca State Park. The Hubbard County Board of Commissioners last week voiced support to a resolution to extend the Heartland Trail to Itasca at a cost of $4 million. The Heartland now runs from Park Rapids to Walker, where it ties in with the Paul Bunyan Trail that extends from Bemidji to Brainerd. Plans have already been made to extend the Heartland west to Moorhead, but that takes riders onto the flatlands where winds can be an issue. The Park Rapids-to-Itasca segment will only enhance what has become a biking paradise in the northwoods.