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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: McTaggart credits his Bemidji start

Jon McTaggart says his time in Bemidji helped prepare him for a successful career in radio. McTaggart is president and chief executive officer of American Public Radio, the parent company of Minnesota Public Radio. He was in Bemidji last week as part of the "MPR Connects" program. He gave credit to the Bemidji State University teachers and community mentors who showed him the way. He also spoke passionately about his life's work in public broadcasting and the importance of supporting and nurturing it. We applaud McTaggart for acknowledging the community's role in his success.

Cheer: Hunter's big day

Thanks to everyone who made Saturday a special day for 5-year-old Hunter Page of Blackduck. Hunter was all smiles as he took part in his very own parade. The event was put on by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hunter was born with a rare syndrome known as ATRX. Make-A-Wish volunteer Mary May planned the event, which also included members of the Beltrami County Sheriff's Mounted Posse, the Blackduck Police Department, Kelliher and Blackduck fire departments and Bogard's Service. All of you made a young boy very happy.

Jeer: Twitter battle

It's a sign of the times. Last week, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian and State Rep. John Kriesel of Cottage Grove got into a battle of words via Twitter. After the Vikings lost their fourth straight game to start the season, Kriesel poked fun at Berrian for tweeting that he was open and should get the ball more. Berrian replied to Kriesel with a tweet, telling the lawmaker to "sit down and shut up."?The irony of all this is that Kriesel, a miliary veteran, lost both of his legs in an explosion in Iraq. And he supports legislation to build the Vikings a new stadium.

Cheer: Local author

Congratulations to Ben Westlie, a graduate of Bemidji High School and Bemidji State University, for having his book, "Sometimes Out of Turn,"?published by Finishing Line Press. It is a collection of poems. The book's cover also has a local connection. It was designed by BSU graduate Carly Swenson. Westlie got his start in poetry as a seventh-grader at Bemidji Middle School.