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Bismarck Larks mascot Clark was surrounded by students at Highland Acres Elementary during a surprise visit Tuesday morning to the school in north Bismarck. Clark and representatives from the Larks baseball team were at the school to recognize second-grade teacher Tana Banker as the Larks/Lignite Energy Bismarck teacher of the year.

"It's much more than just going to a baseball game. It is kind of an event and a little bit more of a social gathering, too, which I've really enjoyed."

-- Steve Chuppe discussing the Bismarck Larks baseball team. He’s the team's chiropractor.

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“You have the biggest, most powerful organization in the state and they cannot keep their minutes up to date. It's bad management. I find it extraordinarily frustrating."

-- Sarah Vogel, former agriculture commissioner, complaining about the Industrial Commission being eight months behind in publishing meeting minutes.

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"We've got to think more strategically. We have to harvest dollars from what we're doing now and move it into new things."

-- Gov. Doug Burgum, talking about the budget process with the Tribune Editorial Board.

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"When we got here, we didn't have anybody. We didn't have friends, family, nothing. But (the community) welcomed us. Right now, we have families here — they're friends, but they're like family to us. The community helped us, so we just want to give back to them (and say) thank you."

-- Muhammad Amiri, 22, on how his family from Afghanistan was warmly received in Bismarck. His family plans to cook a community meal to thank residents for their help.

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"Speaking on behalf of the senior team at Energy Transfer (Partners), I appreciate the people of the state and how you stood with us and how you stood behind us when we were trying to complete the pipeline. That will never be forgotten. For us, getting to meet the people of North Dakota, getting to spend some time here, has been a huge blessing. We would never have known about the University of Mary if we didn't have to come out here and visit."

-- Chris Curia, executive vice president of human resources for Energy Transfer Partners, during a presentation of a $5 million check to the University of Mary to help fund the new engineering school and create a new workforce development program.

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"I don't think people realize the amount of diversity in our community and how much that can bring to our community — how much more vibrant and diverse, and how we can learn from each other."

-- Wendy Sanderson, coordinator of the Bismarck School District’s English learner program, on the district’s first multicultural market.

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"Linking arms is a common expression of solidarity: ‘I'm with you, friend. This is what we're doing.' To see that it's anything but a simple expression of solidarity with someone, to turn it into some sort of nefarious deed, I think doesn't rise to the level for what is necessary for a criminal conviction."

-- Attorney Sam Saylor, of the Freshet legal collective, on charges against a client involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

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"It is about more than just being employed. Having a job goes back to one's identity. Everyone wants to have a purpose in life."

-- Darcy Severson, vice president of North Dakota's Association of People for Supportive Employment, on the importance of jobs.

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"When it comes to behavioral health issues, what rises to the top are people who are truly suffering in the moment. And those are people who are in need of very intensive services and supports because, frankly, the system has failed them up until that point."

-- Bevin Croft, a research associate for the Human Services Research Institute, a research and consulting firm based in Massachusetts, testifying before a legislative interim committee.

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"It's totally energy efficient."

-- John Boyle, the facility management director, on new elevators being installed at the Capitol.

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