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It's been more than two weeks since the July 2 storm swept across the region, leaving a trail of debris and damage. First responders answered the call immediately by springing into action and providing vital resources and help to the community. And overall, Bemidji and Beltrami County officials responded well by assessing needs of residents and devoting resources and staff in the storms aftermath. Long hours logged by city and county employees - those working the front lines - show dedication and commitment to their community.
After the storm, be thankful Mother Nature's fury altered the northwoods landscape last week with two storms. The July 2 storm, packing winds of 80 mph or more, and the Independence Day storm won't be soon forgotten. Both left a trail of damage and debris throughout Beltrami County and beyond. Miraculously, no deaths or significant injuries occurred in either storm. Property owners and residents are left picking up the pieces, waiting for insurance adjusters and rebuilding. It's time like these in which we find out a lot about a community and the fabric of the people who live here. In t
Duluthians show their community spirit Federal and state officials are descending on northeastern Minnesota after a powerful storm dumped up to 10 inches of rain along the North Shore, leaving a powerful swath of destruction throughout the region. In its wake, the storm left a trail of harrowing survival stories, damaged homes and businesses, and destroyed roads and bridges. Preliminary damage estimates range from $95 million to $115 million for public structures and roads in Duluth, St.
Kids Count data disturbing The annual Kids Count data, which provides state-by-state statistics for children's health and well-being, showed some disturbing trends for Minnesota, and particularly our region, when it was released last Wednesday. The Minnesota Kids Count divided the state into 13 economic development clusters of counties. Region 2, comprised of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties, posted the worst performance in the state in several factors, including the highest rate of children living in poverty (26 percent) and the most students qualifyin
A burning cross, inscribed with racist comments, set in one family's yard late last week shows the greater Bemidji area still has work to do in improving race relations. The disgusting act, by a single person or group in the cloak of night, is reminiscent of decades-old intolerance and bigotry. There is no place for cruel, terroristic acts in our community. Early Friday, a Northern Township woman, the mother of two adult children whose father is black, discovered the 8-foot burning cross propped against a tree outside her home.
Postal ruling good news for Bemidj For the time being, Bemidji's mail processing center has survived the first phase of cuts by the United States Postal Service. A list of soon-to-be-closed sorting facilities was released, and noticeably absent was the Bemidji operation. It's good news for the Bemidji area, since overnight delivery of local mail almost certainly would go away without the center. The first round of cuts, impacting 140 sorting centers across the nation, is expected to be complete next February.
A bicycle friendly downtown Bemidji In a decision last week, the Downtown Development Authority, known as the DDA, is proposing several new locations for bike racks in downtown Bemidji. The proposal, on the heels of nixing a controversial rack in front of the Cabin Coffeehouse and Café, shows both leadership and vision by the DDA. Members are proposing 18-bike corrals on Third Street Northwest near Patterson's Menswear, on Minnesota Avenue Northwest north of the Third Street intersection and on Fourth Street east of the Beltrami Avenue intersection. Previously, the controversial on-street
Accessibility is at the core of the issue For months, there's been a swirling controversy about the on-street bike rack in downtown Bemidji. Will it stay or will it go? During the past two summers, the rack, which doubles as a piece of art, has been placed in front of The Cabin Coffeehouse and Café. A single parking spot has touched off a flurry of comments in letters to the Pioneer, coffee conversations and Facebook posts. It's pitted some downtown tenants against each other. The rack controversy isn't simply about one parking spot on a publicly owned street.
Tough decisions on special ed The Bemidji School District said it will revamp its special education programs after a study showed three main improvement areas. The Futures Education study suggests the district spends too much money on special education.
Let's commit to cleaning up More than 40 Bemidji State University students spent Friday afternoon picking up trash in an effort to make the city look nice - and help the environment. We can all learn from their actions. As Earth Week unfolds, we all play a part in taking care of our environment and developing good habits for a sustainable earth. Look around - the amount of trash strewn along roadside ditches, dumped on public property or left behind for someone else to pick up is a disgrace. It shows a lack of regard and respect for our pristine waters and forests. Now is the time to mak