Weather Forecast


Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Treatment facility seeks to expand

Restore House of Bemidji is proposing a chemical dependency residential treatment facility in Helga Township.

The planned nine-bed facility for men would allow the Bemidji home to be converted into a women’s house.

Between the two homes, 15 people could be treated for alcohol and drug abuse through a faith-based program, according to Restore House officials.

John Szurpicki, board president for Restore House, said he’s unaware of a Christian-based program in the area to specifically help women.

Next week, Restore House will take its conditional use permit request – for a house at 51756 229th Ave. – to the Helga Township Planning and Zoning Commission. A public hearing, set for 6 p.m. March 4 at Helga Town Hall, may go a long way in determining the future for the second home and answering questions about the proposed facility.

Some nearby residents are skeptical about the plan by Restore House – specifically whether the proposed location is right for the facility.

Certainly, an open discussion will be helpful for all stakeholders, and provide details for a good decision.

Signs of success

Area high school students are performing better than many of their peers across the state and nation when it comes to Advanced Placement tests.

 The tests, typically given at the conclusion of an AP course, offer students an opportunity to gain college credit.

Bemidji and TrekNorth schools both offer AP courses. In addition to higher average scores, more than 83 percent of Bemidji High School students taking AP tests obtained at least one 3 on a college-credit exam.

“Our scores keep rising,” BHS Principal Brian Stefanich said. “We’re generally in the 70-75 percent area. When we went over 80 this last year, that was pretty amazing.”

 Students at both schools have much to be proud of, and the exams show our area schools are doing well in preparing young people for the future.

Safety on the ice

Six people have died in ice-related fatalities thus far in Minnesota this winter, one of the worst marks in recent history.

For the past few winters, there have been no ice-related deaths in Beltrami County.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds us no ice is 100 percent safe.

So as the cold temperatures slowly give way to the spring, the public is urged to be safe and use sound judgment.

Going national

Bemidji High School’s renowned show choir, Vocalmotive, is taking its high-energy production on the road for the Show Choir National Championship Series March 23 in Chicago. The group, under the direction of Chris Fettig, has wowed local and regional audiences for 18 years. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. You can help the group make that trip by attending a “Pops Concert” fundraiser March 15-16 at BHS. That event will feature Vocalmotive and La Voce Ballo.