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BEMIDJI -- A group of Northern Elementary third-graders huddled around their lunch trays, comparing the fresh foods they'd chosen to accompany their spaghetti. Avery Anderson and Mason Graves agreed the strawberries were their favorite. "I like my salad," said Andre Maruska. "Yeah, they always have salad and they always have carrots," said Diane Olson. But in addition to the mainstay salad and carrots, a variety of other fresh fruits and vegetables also are offered each day. On Tuesday, other choices included strawberries, melon, bell peppers and tomatoes.
BEMIDJI -- Amy Grant wasn't sure she'd ever make another studio album. But then she signed with a new record company. It was a "catalog deal," so she was expected to release collections of her established hits, mixing in a new song or two. "Creativity is a funny thing, you can't really force it," Grant told the Pioneer by phone last week. "You have to have a certain amount of wind in your sails." As she went through her old material, Grant reconnected with her past. "I just got my creative juices flowing," she said.
BEMIDJI -- Several regional businesses will take part in the Statewide Tour of Manufacturing next week as businesses open their doors to showcase modern manufacturing and products made in Minnesota, including snowmobiles, airplane parts, military technology, baseball bats, wooden toys and medical devices. Manufacturing is the backbone of Minnesota's economy.
BEMIDJI -- After 15 years, the BSU Homecoming parade is returning to downtown Bemidji. "We wanted to bring the community, campus and alumni closer together," said Rob Bollinger, executive director of university advancement with the BSU Foundation. After Homecoming last fall, the university convened a committee to generate ideas to increase community involvement -- to go beyond alumni excitement -- for Homecoming, events. The idea of bringing back the parade came pretty quickly, Bollinger said. There now are more than 60 entrants registered for the parade, which will begin at 10 a.m.
BEMIDJI -- If you visit a local clinic, chances are good at least one of your health care providers was at one time a local nursing student. "It's important for all of us to take care of our students because they take care of us," said Jeanine Gangeness, dean of the Bemidji School of Nursing. "When I go in for any procedure, my nurses are my students. They're my alums.
BEMIDJI -- The two candidates seeking to represent District 5A in the Minnesota House fielded a dozen questions from the media Monday evening during their first debate of the election season. Democratic incumbent John Persell and GOP challenger Phillip Nelson made their pitches to the electorate in an hourlong debate that was aired live on Lakeland Public Television. Persell is seeking his fourth term in the House.
BEMIDJI -- Dr. Richard Stennes, a local emergency room doctor, recently sat beside his friend and colleague, an ER doctor himself, the first to be elected president of the American Medical Association. "This was unthinkable back in '71," Stennes said. In those days, he explained, there was no emergency medicine specialty. ER doctors could have been dermatologists, pediatricians, whoever was available to fill the shift.
BEMIDJI -- Two community meetings have been scheduled to discuss the school referendum voters will decide on Election Day. The meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Bemidji High School and Oct. 28 in the boardroom at the Downtown Education Center, 502 Minnesota Ave. NW.
BEMIDJI -- A Facebook friendship has led to a marathon meetup. Three women who got to know one another through an online Facebook game are reconnecting in Bemidji this weekend for Blue Ox Marathon events. Wendi Woods, who lives in Ottawa, Canada, flew into Minneapolis on Thursday in advance of Saturday's half-marathon. Stacey Lundberg, of Bemidji, drove down to meet Woods at the airport and, after spending some time shopping in the Twin Cities, the pair planned to drive north to Bemidji today.
BEMIDJI -- Standing over his work, Bemidji High School student Brett Schussman demonstrated how he learned to assemble an air hose with a barbed fitting. "You hook this in here, put the hose in there, and slide it in there as far as you can get it," he said, pointing to several different parts at play.