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

Up

While many fans are feeling down about Carson Wentz’s season-ending injury, he continues to put Bismarck and North Dakota in the national spotlight. The NFL Network sent a film crew to North Dakota Dec. 9 and 10 to do a story on Wentz and his state roots. They filmed in both Fargo and Bismarck. While they were filming in Bismarck Wentz went down with his injury against the Los Angeles Rams. That’s a downer, but the national reaction shows Wentz has become a favorite across the country. And he’s been a great ambassador for North Dakota.

Down

The Legislative Revenue Advisory Committee hasn’t been happy with revenue projections from Moody’s Analytics, so they have hired IHS Markit to provide economic data. The Office of Management and Budget recently signed a new two-year deal with Moody’s for $140,000. The committee agreed to a $49,292 contract with Markit. It makes sense to want accurate data, but it doesn’t make fiscal sense to hire two firms to do the same work. The Tribune thinks the committee acted too quickly when hiring Markit. Moody’s has a good reputation. Plus, the state isn’t exactly flush with money at the moment.

Up

U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers of North Dakota has been selected for the National Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year for the 2018 High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Awards Program. Myers has put a focus on the rising drug problem in the state and across the country. He’s taken part in community meetings to call attention to the issue. He’s especially concerned about young people getting involved with drugs. The award is well deserved.

Down

A story on Dec. 11 cited the role that radon played in the death of Casselton woman. The woman’s son had her home tested for radon and the result was a high level. Other homes in Casselton were tested and the results were high. In fact, 63 percent of the homes in the state test over the action level. Homeowners need to be aware of radon and test their homes.

Up

The U.S. Geological Survey has agreed to conduct a new resource estimate for the Williston Basin. That’s good news for the state. A previous survey created interest in the oil patch. A new survey could result in renewed activity in western North Dakota and benefit the entire state. If the survey shows potential for oil companies it can only help drive development in the state.

Down

It’s hard to comprehend that slavery remains an issue in the world today. A prayer vigil was held Saturday in Bismarck to call attention to the issue. A report by CNN tells of refugees apparently being sold into slavery in Libya. People trying to reach a new life in Europe are being taken into slavery in Libya. Organizers are commended for holding the vigil. Action needs to be taken to stop slavery in the 21st century.

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