This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up or thumbs down on the issues from the past week.
United Tribes Technical College celebrated the 50th anniversary of the International Powwow this weekend, an impressive event that draws up to 10,000 visitors to the community. The annual powwow, which attracts dancers from tribes across the U.S. and Canada, is considered one of the Top 10 powwows in the nation. The event, which has proven to be a lasting one in the community, began when Lee Fox Sr., a building trades student at the time, came up with the idea of having one last dance before cold weather hits.
Tenants of a downtown Bismarck apartment building that is home to low-income residents and people with disabilities had their power cut off for two days last week after the building owners didn’t pay the utility bill. A co-owner claims there was a miscommunication over when fees were due and another co-owner says they inherited the problem from previous owners. But Montana-Dakota Utilities says it gives owners at least 10 days' notice before cutting power. And the owners have a history of issues with delinquent property taxes, Better Business Bureau complaints and at least one construction lien. One resident in a wheelchair was unable to leave the building with the elevator shut down. Others had spoiled food in their refrigerators.
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Watford City-based Badlands Search & Rescue marked its first response last week after a woman hiking in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park injured her wrists and ankle in a fall. The group has 13 members with a target membership of 40 to 60 members. The team, which is seeking donations for more rescue gear, will be important as more people in the growing population of western North Dakota explore the rugged Badlands.
A 20-mile pipeline operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of Wyoming-based True Companies, operated as a transmission line without first obtaining a permit from the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The pipeline was initially a gathering line, which has less regulatory oversight than transmission lines. The PSC granted the permit last week, but it remains to be seen whether regulators will penalize the company for failing to meet state regulations.
The Mandan Police Department has its first K-9 officer, thanks to a donation from Mandan businessman Bob Kupper and another anonymous contribution. The German shepherd, named for Kupper, has already made a few arrests since returning from training with his handler, Officer Scott Warzecha, on Aug. 4.