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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Event brings vets together

We appreciate the efforts of those who put on the third annual StandDown event last week at the National Guard Armory in Bemidji. The event is set up by the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to provide veterans with a free meal, along with access to information about veteran benefits, legal assistance, federal and state tax assistance, housing options and employment assistance. It's a way to show gratitude for what the veterans have done to ensure our way of life. Despite the fact that the clothing and sleeping bags that normally are given away did not arrive, some critical items such as first aid and hygiene kits were handed out, the Red Cross provided free flu shots and Great Clips gave free haircuts.

Cheer: Big celebration

It was a big homecoming week at Bemidji High School, as the Lumberjack athletic teams continued their success. The capper was a decisive 35-6 football victory over Alexandria on a lovely Friday night on the shores of Lake Bemidji. Congratulations to the homecoming queen and king, Allie Verchota and Zach Declusin, and senior royalty Kenzie Timms, Adam Holter, Katie Ditmanson, James Bofferding, Zachary Hewitt and Tessa Richards.

Jeer: It's natural

It's tempting to chastise the hunter who killed Hope, the young bear who became an Internet sensation after her birth at the North American Bear Center near Ely two years ago. But the real jeer goes to research biologist Lynn Rogers, who should know that giving the bear a cute name does not change the fact that it is a wild animal, subject to the dangers of living in the north woods. That includes legal hunting.

Cheer:?Legacy program

Cheers to the man who is keeping alive the memory of Columbine shooting victim Rachel Scott. Doug Brandl brought Rachel's legacy to St. Philip's School in Bemidji last week, making presentations for students and the public. Brandl is part of the Rachel's Challenge team, a national school outreach program, based on Rachel's life and her writing, that was started by her father, Darrell Scott. Rachel was eating lunch outside the school with a friend when she was fatally shot by two boys who went on to kill 11 more students and a teacher before committing suicide. A prayer group of St. Philip's students, along with six teachers, received training to be local ambassadors for Rachel's Challenge.