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Melissa Gordon stands next to a mural she recently completed on Fourth Street in downtown Bismarck. Gordon said the mural measures 150 feet in length and is 15 feet high. The mural features a mythological theme and is the largest piece she has painted. The mural is located next to Glance Salon on Fourth Street.

This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up and thumbs down on the issues from the past week.

Up

When natural disasters strike, North Dakotans are more than willing to help. The recent hurricanes are an example of that caring attitude. Here are a few examples of how state residents have assisted battered areas. North Dakota’s Emergency Management Assistance Compact medical response team deployed to the Florida Keys and may go to Puerto Rico. The Bakken Paws animal rescue organization in Dickinson went to Texas to save 40 dogs. Students at Dickinson High are raising money for a school in Dickinson, Texas.

Down

Vandals are at it again in Bismarck. Windows in vehicles, a church and at businesses have been broken. These are senseless crimes that achieve nothing. Hopefully, the police with the help of the public can catch the offenders. The best way to stop the stupid crime spree and discourage others in the future is to solve the vandalism.

Up

North Dakota got some more good economic news last week. For the first time in eight quarters the state’s taxable sales and purchases increased. April, May and June saw a 6.8 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the North Dakota Tax Department. “Our new normal is emerging and it is comparable to pre-oil boom levels," said Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger. We hope he’s right.

Down

The Grand Forks County Jail has been found in noncompliance by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The order comes after an inmate died and it was found that staff didn’t send the prisoner to the hospital despite medical staff opinions. The jail needs to take a close look at its policies and make the needed corrections.

Up

Glance Spa and Salon and artist Melissa Gordon have added some beauty to Bismarck. The spa hired Gordon to paint a mural at 407 N. Fourth St. Gordon created a 150-foot-long, 15-foot-high mural depicting a variety of cultures. It’s a colorful work that Gordon and Andrea Birst, owner of Glance Salon, hope will inspire others to do similar creations in downtown Bismarck.

Up

It was thoughtful of Gov. Doug Burgum and his wife, Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, to invite former governors and their families for a final visit at the governor’s residence. The residence will be demolished in November after a new home for governors is completed. Thursday was an opportunity to share stories and take a final look at a place many called home for a number of years. It’s also the people’s house, so the families who lived there had to surrender a little privacy to visitors who wanted to see the official home of governors. Sen. John Hoeven, who served as governor from 2000 to 2010, noted when his family lived in the residence the neighbors didn’t treat them any differently than anyone else. That sums up how most North Dakotans treat their government leaders.

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