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CLOCK

North Dakota State wide receiver Darrius Shepherd and quarterback Easton Stick watch the clock wind down during the NCAA FCS championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Jan. 5.

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

Up

The North Dakota State University Bison did something remarkable: They won their seventh NCAA Division 1 FCS championship. No other football team has won that many titles in the FCS. The Bison capped a perfect season with the championship victory over Eastern Washington. NDSU won the titles under two coaches who have moved on to bigger schools. North Dakotans should take great pride in the university’s achievement.

Down

Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, is the prime sponsor of a bill that would require all North Dakota schools to offer an elective unit on the Bible. The focus of the bill is the historical aspects of the Bible, according to sponsors. The American Civil Liberties Union was quick to say it would be unconstitutional if passed. Despite what the sponsors may say, the Tribune Editorial Board believes it’s an attempt to promote one religion in the schools. This bill needs to be swiftly defeated because it takes the wrong approach.

Up

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has been re-elected chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee. These are both important assignments for North Dakotans. On Indian Affairs, Hoeven said he will continue to advance the priorities of empowering tribal economic development and improving public safety, health care and education in tribal communities. As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven wants to provide farmers and ranchers "with the tools they need to succeed and overcome the challenges facing rural America." His successes will benefit the state.

Down

The Mandan School District accidentally emailed the lunch account numbers and locker combinations of all Mandan High School students to students and parents last week. Superintendent Mike Bitz called it "an honest mistake" caused by human error. The Tribune Editorial Board is sure that was the case. It’s unfortunate and it highlights one of the downsides to the electronic age. Now when a mistake is made it’s possible a large group of people may receive information that should remain private. The incident is a reminder that we must be careful when handling someone’s personal information.

Up

Dr. Craig Lambrecht has had a positive impact on Bismarck and the area for many years. He helped guide Medcenter One’s merger with Sanford. He also served in the North Dakota National Guard, doing two tours of duty in Iraq. While in Iraq he provided medical assistance to the Iraqis. The Wishek native will join Kalispell Regional Healthcare in Kalispell, Mont., as its president and CEO. He will be missed. Michael LeBeau, a nephrologist, has been named as the new president of Sanford Bismarck. We wish him success.

Down

While Bismarck police didn’t have much choice, it was still disappointing that a mountain lion that had wandered into Bismarck had to be shot last week. The mountain lion was probably confused when it got into Bismarck and was looking for a safe place. It reminds us that wildlife are still in the area and if we spot a mountain lion or moose we need to be careful. On Oct. 4, 2016, a moose strayed into Bismarck and led police around the city. The moose slipped out of town, providing a happy ending.

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