Blair Emerson / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — The nearest law enforcement office for the small town of Edmore is about 40 miles away in Devils Lake. For Edmore Superintendent Frank Schill, this is a concern. The district has about 50 students and, like many small, rural schools in the state, no school resource officer. With school shootings making headlines — including the May 7 shooting at a Colorado high school that left one student dead — Schill said his district is evaluating options to enhance school safety, including the state's yet-to-be-established armed first responder program.
MANDAN — A federal judge has granted a motion for a temporary restraining order to protect a mural outside a bar in Mandan. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland granted the temporary restraining order two days after the owners of Lonesome Dove filed a lawsuit against the city of Mandan over a mural city officials ordered removed. In October, Lonesome Dove owners Brian Berube and August "Augie" Kersten were cited for having an unpermitted, Western-themed mural on the outside of the bar.
MANDAN, N.D. — The owners of Lonesome Dove have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Mandan over a mural city officials ordered removed. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District of North Dakota on Monday, May 20. The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to allow Lonesome Dove to keep artwork on the bar's front wind block. The business at 3929 Memorial Highway received a citation in October from Mandan's code enforcement office for placing the unpermitted mural depicting a Western scene and the name of the bar.
BISMARCK - The North Dakota Senate on Monday, March 25, passed a bill that aims to open the door to hemp production in the state. The 2018 Farm Bill took hemp off the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's list of controlled substances, separating it from marijuana and placing it under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture. As a result, North Dakota lawmakers introduced House Bill 1349 that would align the state and federal definitions of hemp and establish a program to regulate production.
BISMARCK - Shortly after Durant "Phil" Shook died, his four children got a letter in the mail notifying them a nursing home was suing them for more than $43,000 in unpaid bills related to their father's stay at the facility. His children, Becky Pedersen, Margaret Rennecke and Joseph Shook, had no idea of the existence of an antiquated law in North Dakota that allows nursing homes to sue children for their parents' unpaid nursing home bills. As a result of the litigation, his children reached out to their local legislators to try to get the law changed.
MANDAN, N.D. - The children of a couple who were killed in a Morton County home explosion in December 2016 have filed a lawsuit against a local energy cooperative and propane supplier. The home explosion, which was blamed on a propane leak, rocked an entire neighborhood north of Mandan on Dec. 14, 2016. The explosion killed Clyde and Elizabeth Howe, and left Elizabeth Howe's daughter, Elianna Vazquez, severely injured.
BISMARCK — After a record number of 77 drug overdose deaths in North Dakota in 2016, that number has declined slightly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released drug overdose deaths per state for 2017. In North Dakota, overdose deaths decreased for the first time from 77 deaths in 2016 to 68 deaths in 2017. Pam Sagness, director of the Division of Behavioral Health for the state Department of Human Services, said the decrease is one indicator of the success of drug overdose prevention efforts started in 2017.
BISMARCK - Brianna Tortalita saw the passage of a bill to allow Native American students to wear an eagle feather or plume at their high school graduations "as a win for everybody." In 2015, Tortalita and a group of Native American students successfully petitioned Bismarck Public Schools to allow Native students to wear eagle feathers and plumes at their graduation ceremonies.
BISMARCK — Bullying led her to consider killing herself, the 18-year-old Pekin native told the House Education Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The name-calling starting in kindergarten, with other students calling her "fat, loser (and) ugly," she said. It progressively got worse over the years — at school and online, where it was inescapable. On May 5, 2017, Gjovik attempted suicide for the seventh time. Right before second period, she went into a school bathroom and took a "dangerous amount of Tylenol."
BISMARCK -- North Dakota is looking to make computer science and cybersecurity courses accessible to all students across the state. A group of educators this month completed a final draft of K-12 computer science and cybersecurity standards, which, pending State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler's approval, will go into effect this fall.