Stop trashing our town and pick up your $#!+

No one has ever considered me a hippie environmentalist. But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people who treat the land like it’s one big trash can.

Growing up on the farm, it was pointed out to me from a young age that my grandpa wanted the farm to look clean. The grass was always to be kept cut and neat, machinery was parked in rows or in a shed, garbage was meant for the can and junk shouldn’t be left sitting around.

I often wish some people I encounter around Dickinson would have grown up in a similar atmosphere, where lessons about cleanliness and respect for the community and land sometimes go out the window — quite literally in one case.

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Cash Wise celebrates Dickinson store’s opening

As shoppers took the first items off shelves of the new Cash Wise Foods on Wednesday morning, dozens of community members gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and official grand opening outside of Dickinson’s newest supermarket.

The store is opening in the Prairie Hills Mall in the space that for 37 years before it housed Kmart. It took nine months to turn KMart into Cash Wise.

Check out the video above to hear store director Matt Sellers’ take on the store’s opening and what Cash Wise has to offer.

 

Former legislator James Kerzman of Mott dies in farm accident

Jim Kerzman, a former state legislator from Mott, holds a lamb on his farm in this undated photo. The state representative of 20 years who also farmed near Mott for a half-century died Saturday in a tractor accident on his farm. (Submitted Photo)

Jim Kerzman, a former state legislator from Mott, holds a lamb on his farm in this undated photo. The state representative of 20 years who also farmed near Mott for a half-century died Saturday in a tractor accident on his farm. (Submitted Photo)

MOTT — Jill Kerzman said her husband wasn’t perfect — but he was close.

Now, as she prepares to say goodbye, she said she’ll forever remember how he tried to treat others with care and help those who were less fortunate.

James Kerzman, a state legislator of two decades who farmed near Mott for a half-century while raising 10 children, died Saturday in a farm accident involving one of his tractors. Details of the accident have not been released by the Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department.

“He was one of the kindest men I will ever know in my life,” Jill Kerzman said in a phone interview. “He was a humble, hard-working man who really got into his life and got dirty.”

Kerzman, 68, was a Democrat who represented District 31 from 1990 to 2010. After his political career ended, he stayed busy as a member of the Slope Elective Cooperative and the North Dakota Farmers Union boards, and was an active member of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Mott while also being heavily involved in the Knights of Columbus.

“His heart was as big as the prairies of North Dakota, but it was also as gentle as the little lambs he raised on his farm,” said Aaron Krauter, a former Democrat state senator from Regent.

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Wendy Ross named superintendent of TNRP

Wendy Ross has officially been named the superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Submitted Photo)

Wendy Ross has officially been named the superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Submitted Photo)

The National Park Service’s choice for the next superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park was already in the position.

The NPS on Wednesday officially announced Wendy Ross the new head of the park.

She had assumed the role of acting superintendent on Nov. 1 following former Superintendent Valerie Naylor’s Oct. 31 retirement. Her full-time assignment is scheduled to begin July 12, according a news release.

Ross, a 21-year veteran of the NPS, had served as the superintendent of Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in Stanton since April 2011.

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Hundreds participate in Kids Fishing Day at Dickinson Dike

Around 300 children participated in the 21st annual Kids Fishing Day at the Dickinson Dike on Saturday morning.

Families set up all around the dike throughout the morning, casting their lines — many for the first time.

To learn more, check out the video above and photo gallery from the event.

Study shows Bakken natural gas flare satellite images aren’t accurate

Satellite images that circulated the Internet more than two years ago purported to show natural gas flares lighting up the Bakken Oil Patch as bright as a major metropolitan city were “highly processed,” “manipulated” and “inaccurate,” researchers at the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center said Wednesday.

Chris Zygarlicke, the EERC’s deputy associate director for research, said he took an interest in the images because the science involved aligns closely with his background. He said having driven through western North Dakota and the Oil Patch, he believed the images were inaccurately portraying the area.

“There’s no way that we’re lighting up the land like you see people talking about everywhere,” he said.

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One year down, forever to go

A year ago today, I got married.

The first year, it is said, can either be the easiest or the hardest. Like anyone else, Sarah and I have our ups and downs. We have our good and bad days. But, we’re better together because of all of it.

Together, we’re still learning what makes a healthy marriage.

Because we lived together for about two years before we were married, we were already well aware of each other’s habits, ticks and boiling points. We each know when the other needs time alone — even if I still don’t always take the hint — and we know when one of us needs a lift either physically or emotionally.

Despite our busy lives — she’ll say I’m the only real busy one — we still make it a point to eat supper together every night, spend time together on Saturday mornings and go to church as often as we can on Sundays. We try and do this regardless of whether or not some days don’t go as planned.

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Sen. Kelly Armstrong of Dickinson elected chair of ND Republican Party

Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson

Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson

BISMARCK — The newest chairman of North Dakota’s Republican Party is from Dickinson.

Sen. Kelly Armstrong was unanimously elected by the party Saturday afternoon during a statewide GOP committee meeting at the Doublewood Inn.

Armstrong will serve a two-year term as he chairs the GOP’s executive committee. The position primarily takes the lead for Republican messaging and candidate recruitment in the state.

“I think I can bring some things to the table that help the Republican Party experience success in the future,” Armstrong said.

Former GOP Chairman Robert Harms announced to party officials Friday morning that he would not seek re-election to a second term.

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Artistic concentration: Fargo artist begins painting downtown mural

Fargo artist Paul Ide began painting a mural that will grace the west wall of the old Dickinson Press building on Saturday afternoon in downtown Dickinson.

Building owner Eric Smallwood said he found Ide after searching for the best mural artist in North Dakota.

He wanted to add color to downtown Dickinson and to get rid of the drab gray brick wall that he said needed to be repainted anyway.

For more photos, visit The Press website.

A generation stuck in transition

I was born in 1984. It was the year in which George Orwell set his classic dystopian novel of the same name. In reality, Big Brother didn’t come around until a few years later. (That’s another column for another time.)

Instead, the world got the “Ghostbusters,” George Michael and four more years of Ronald Reagan. Oh, and let’s not forget me and millions of other newborns.

Today, a little more than three decades later, the children of the early ’80s are an interesting bunch. Some of us are well into raising the next generation of Americans — the so-called “Boomlets” — while others are still raising hell.

In North Dakota, our age group — at least on the surface — is doing well. We are fortunate to be in an area where jobs are plentiful and pay well. Many of our peers throughout the country can’t say the same.

However, there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on: we are a generation without a classification.

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Dickinson couple loses ‘everything they had’ in late night fire

A couple embraces while looking at the remains of their rented trailer home early Saturday morning in south Dickinson. The couple lost two pets and most of their possessions in the fire, which happened directly behind the Paragon on Villard Street. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

A couple embraces while looking at the remains of their rented trailer home early Saturday morning in south Dickinson. The couple lost two pets and most of their possessions in the fire, which happened directly behind the Paragon on Villard Street. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

A young Dickinson couple is homeless after a late Friday night fire consumed the trailer home they were renting, as well as their two pets and most of their possessions.

“Absolutely everything they had, they lost right here,” Dickinson Fire Chief Bob Sivak said at the scene around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

The couple, whose names were not provided, lost their Chihuahua dog and a cat in the fire. They were only able to salvage a handful of items left unaffected by the fire.

The trailer was only about 25 feet behind the Paragon bowling alley and sports club off Villard Street. The building was evacuated for a short time until the Dickinson Fire Department contained the blaze.

Sivak said the fire likely started in the front of the trailer, but that it’s difficult to determine the cause.

“There’s nothing to investigate. That’s how bad it is,” he said. “Wires are burned right down to the copper. The walls are down and everything. We could make a guess, but I don’t want to do that because I can’t prove that one way or another.”

Sivak said the couple did not have renter’s insurance, but that the American Red Cross was at the scene and was looking into ways to help them.

Remains of ‘construction worker’ found in north Dickinson

Investigators stand in an excavation site Friday on 40th Street in north Dickinson, where investigators are exhuming skeletal remains found late Thursday night. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

Investigators stand in an excavation site Friday on 40th Street in north Dickinson, where investigators are exhuming skeletal remains found late Thursday night. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

Law enforcement agencies spent much of Friday exhuming the decomposed human remains of an unidentified “apparent construction worker,” discovered late Thursday at a worksite in north Dickinson.

More: Visit The Press site for more photos of the exhumation site.

The body was “relatively intact” and found in the crouched upright position near an underground utility pipeline, according to a statement sent at 8:35 p.m. Friday, according to statements from Dickinson Police Capt. Joe Cianni.

“A positive identification of the body was not possible at the scene due to the extent of the decomposition of the body and the deterioration of the related clothing,” Cianni’s statement read. “Nothing unusual or suspicious was unearthed during the exhumation.”

Phoebe Stubblefield, the forensic science program director at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, supervised the exhumation. The body will be transported to UND for Stubblefield’s forensic medical examination.

Law enforcement agencies began investigating the construction site at the corner of 40th Street East and Fourth Avenue East before 7 a.m. Friday morning, according to reports, as police taped off the area and officers stood watch around the perimeter. The exhumation didn’t wrap up until 7:26 p.m., according to Cianni’s statement.

The remains were discovered near an industrial park and directly east of the Integrated Production Services and Halliburton campuses on 40th Street. The area is north of Lincoln Meadows Apartments.

Multiple calls and messages left for Cianni were not returned.

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Trinity teardown begins: Construction crews demolishing unusable east wing

A Veit Construction worker uses an excavator while tearing into Trinity High School’s east wing on Tuesday afternoon as part of demolition to remove the part of the building rendered unusable by the March 2014 fire. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

A Veit Construction worker uses an excavator while tearing into Trinity High School’s east wing on Tuesday afternoon as part of demolition to remove the part of the building rendered unusable by the March 2014 fire. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

Steel was ripped, bricks crumbled, dust flew and even chalkboards weren’t spared from the wrath of a construction excavator performing the final demolition project at Trinity High School on Tuesday afternoon.

“When I first came out here, I started crying,” said Dickinson Catholic Schools President Steve Glasser as he drove by to watch the demolition late in the afternoon. “It puts some closure to everything we’ve been through in the past 14 months. Now it’s real.”

Demolition of the structure began shortly after lunchtime, said Eugene Smith, project superintendent for JE Dunn Construction.

He said Veit Construction, which is a subcontractor on the job, began chipping away at the building and segregating iron, aluminum, sheet metal and concrete.

“They pull the concrete and recycle everything,” Smith said.

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Press named best small daily in North Dakota

The North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards were given to The Dickinson Press on Friday night.

The North Dakota Newspaper Association’s General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards were given to The Dickinson Press on Friday night.

BISMARCK — The Dickinson Press was named the state’s best small daily newspaper during a ceremony Friday night at the Heritage Center.

The Press claimed the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards for daily newspapers with a circulation of 12,000 or less — the highest honors given in the category. The newspaper also won the most individual first-place and total awards in both the editorial and advertising contents.

Press Publisher Harvey Brock said winning these honors “just reaffirms what I already know — that I’m privileged to work with a team of professionals who go about the business of putting out the best paper possible every day. We’re blessed to work for a company that gives us the training, resources and a culture to succeed. Congratulations to everyone.”

Managing Editor Dustin Monke won five first-place awards and reporter Andrew Brown won two in the editorial contest. Reporters Nadya Faulx, Bryan Horwath and Meaghan MacDonald, and Sports Editor Royal McGregor each claimed one first-place award.

“Our staff deserves all the credit for the awards they received,” Monke said. “They put in long hours — working nights and weekends — and tackled a variety of challenging stories in 2014. I’m proud of their efforts and am glad to see their hard work has been recognized.”

Advertising consultant David Hanson won two first-place honors in the advertising contest, while consultants Nikki Baer, Jenn Binstock, Sam Cunningham and Sonya Sacks each won one award in the advertising contest.

“Great advertising always sells advertising, and getting awards is always nice for the team. It validates that what they do is very, very important,” Press Advertising Director Bob Carruth said.

The General Excellence award factors in a newspaper’s reporting, editing, headlines, photography, design, advertising and production from three selected days. The judges commented on The Press’ “excellent news reporting, writing, editing.”

The Sweepstakes honor is given to the newspaper with the most awards in its circulation category, and is determined by a weighted point system. The Press won 20 first-place awards, 18 second places, 17 third places and eight honorable mentions across all categories.

Click below for a full list of award-winners.
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