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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Elwells have given so much

We're thankful to Laddie and Jim Elwell, who for nearly 20 years provided energy and vision for Bemidji's Headwaters Science Center. In 1992, the Elwells' dream helped create the center. It now serves about 30,000 visitors each year and provides a terrific resource for children to learn more about the world they live in. Its popularity has led to the center outgrowing its current facility. As the Elwells step back from their leadership roles - Laddie as executive director and Jim as finance officer - they can rest easy knowing their work laid the foundation for the center's growth and success.

Jeer:?Giving notice

The nearly 200 owners of rental properties who have failed to register under Bemidji's newest rental rules need to get with the program. As of last week, 730 of 926 properties to receive registration notices had been processed. While 79 percent have complied, there seems to be few good excuses for the remaining property owners to disregard the new rules requiring inspections every two years.

Jeer: High speed

Last week, we learned about two high speed chases on Christmas Eve. Two drivers in separate cases led law enforcement on pursuits exceeding 100 mph. The disregard for safety and consequences is appalling. These chases put the drivers, officers and the general public in danger, and rarely do they end well. One of the recent chases left two squad cars damaged, and both resulted in felony charges.

Cheer:?Plenty of hair

The five girls from the Bemidji High School basketball team who donated hair to help cancer victims showed us their character. On Friday, Megan Downey, Alissa and Jenna Sagedahl, Kellie Morehouse and Ellie Muller cut their locks to each donate at least 8 inches of hair to Beautiful Lengths. Hair will grow back but their thoughtfulness to help others is a lifetime lesson.

Cheer: Saving home

Bemidji firefighters who responded to a garage fire Friday night saved a nearby home from destruction. Eighteen firefighters helped extinguish the fire, which caused about $51,000 in damages to the garage and contents. The siding on a nearby home also was damaged from the blaze's heat, but the home was saved.