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Pioneer Cheers & Jeers for April 16

Support honor guard program

Hats off to Josh Butler and Doug Fuller for spearheading efforts to create an honor guard with the Bemidji Fire Department. They’re raising funds to outfit and equip eight firefighters at $600 each. Honor guard members would represent the fire department at funerals, parades and other events. The community is encouraged to support this effort and show appreciation for the work of our public safety servants.

Attacking problem

On one hand, there is still far too much unemployment in the Bemidji area. On the other, it’s encouraging to see efforts like last week’s Bemidji Regional Job Fair sponsored by Greater Bemidji, the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Workforce Network address the matter. More than 20 employers were available to accept resumes, explain their businesses and conduct interviews at the event at the Sanford Center. They represented several industries: tourism, service, healthcare, manufacturing and retail, among them. It was the second such event sponsored by the groups in the last six months, and it drew a few hundred job seekers.

Had enough?

How can you jeer Mother Nature when you have no control over her whims? Well, this is getting really old, Ma. The delay of spring ... extension of winter ... is not only testing people’s patience, it’s also affecting businesses like garden centers, lawn care companies and other retailers. Enough, already.

Fishy operation

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Monday unveiled the results of a three-year special investigation called “Operation Squarehook” that targeted the illegal selling and purchasing of game fish in north-central and northwestern Minnesota. The agency worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in the case that will result in state charges against 21 individuals in six counties. Federal indictments against 10 additional individuals were filed last week. The state worked hard to restore Red Lake’s walleye fishery in recent years, and that work should be respected by all who enjoy the outdoors. It’s good to know that state and federal officials were effective in bringing the necessary charges.