This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up or thumbs down on the issues from the past week.
The Williston Basin International Airport will open Tuesday, exactly three years after local and state leaders gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $273 million project. It’s an impressive accomplishment to complete such a major project on time and on budget. The new terminal is almost 10 times the size of the Sloulin Field terminal, the facility it replaces. A modern airport in northwest North Dakota will play an important role for economic development, as well as improve the quality of life for families in the region.
A revolver discharged during the Sept. 28 Dakota Territory Gun Collectors Association show at the Bismarck Event Center. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident. A round of birdshot -- multiple small pellets -- fired toward the ceiling. The dealer, 71-year-old Eugene Serumgard, of Devils Lake, was asked to leave the event and was later charged with discharging a firearm in city limits, an infraction that carries a maximum fine of $1,000.
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The North Dakota Supreme Court recently adopted a rule that will make North Dakota court system records available electronically to the public outside of the courthouse. Currently, the public has to go to the courthouse or request a document from a clerk of court. Lawyers already have electronic access to the public documents without having to request them from court. The new rule extends that same access to the general public. Municipal courts should follow the state’s lead.
North Dakota is one of nine states with an adult obesity rate greater than 35%. North Dakota, with an obesity rate of 35.1%, ranks eighth in the nation, putting our residents at greater risk for chronic diseases and increased risk for several types of cancer. The high rate is in part attributed to easy access to cheap, unhealthy foods and jobs that require sitting at a desk.
An activist is starting a Two Spirit Society in North Dakota to help promote inclusion for the Native American LGBTQ population. Cardinal Red Bird, originally of New Town, planned to introduce the newly formed organization at a summit in Mandan this past weekend. The nonprofit based in Bismarck-Mandan will allow both non-Native and non-LGBTQ people to join.