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Newspaper Archive of
Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
March 8, 2018     Golden Valley News
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March 8, 2018
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7 .*** *- **MIXED ADC 553 779,00-00-00 31P 7T 217 W COTA ST 3 ELTON'i Calm before the storm Frost clings to a shrub at the edge of the Badlands on March 3. The scene was short-lived as a blizzard hit the region on Monday morning, March 5. (Photo by Richard Volesky) BISMARCK - State School Su- said the Highway Patrol offers train- intendents and other educators in perintendent Kirsten Baesler said she ing on handling an active shooter sit- rural school districts who have sug- and a group of law enforcement uation, gestions about how to improve agencies, including county sheriffs, Baesler and Gerhart have previ- school security. city police chiefs and the North ously discussed having schools pro- Gerhart and Baesler, as state offi- Dakota Highway Patrol, are planning vide space for law enforcementcials, said the involvement of local to hold regional meetings in the next officers to do the administrative pa- officials, particularly sheriffs, police few months to assess school districts' perwork that is often part of their officers and school superintendents safety needs, regular duties. Baesler said a patrol in rural North Dakota, is essential to Baesler on March 2 with Col. vehicle parked, even for a short time, the success of any strategy to pro- Mike Gerhart, commander of the at a rural school could provide a vi- mote school safety. North Dakota Highway Patrol, and sual deterrent to a potential school Baesler hosted a state Capitol Donnell Preskey Hushka of the shooter, meeting last week with the directors North Dakota Association of Coun- Gerhart had suggested a possible of the North Dakota School Boards ties to discuss how school officials Highway Patrol school safety pres- Association, the North Dakota Coun- and law enforcement agencies can ence to Baesler almost a year ago, cil of Educational Leaders - which work together to strengthen school during a discussion of school bus in- represents school superintendents, security, particularly in rural areas, spections. Gerhart said on March 2 principals and other administrators- Preskey Hushka is a government af- that the initial conversation was and North Dakota United, which rep- fairs specialist for the Association of about providing a common adminis- resents schoolteachers and public Counties and director of the North trative work space in schools for any employees. Dakota Sheriffs and Deputies Asso- law enforcement agency to use.The group's top priorities are ciation. Preskey Hushka said it was im-school training to identify potential The Department of Public In- portant for local schools and law en- threats, what to do with the infor- struction, the Association of Coun- forcement to work together in mation, and ensuring there is ade- i ties and the Highway Patrol plan to strengthening partnerships and safety quate follow-up; ' Safety gather more information about plans. A key element of that, she improvements to school buildings; i~chool safety measures that are al- said, was to identify schools' needs greater availability of school re- i~ready in place, including which and the resources that law enforce- source officers, who are law en- ;~chool districts have school resource ment already provide, forcement personnel assigned to iOfficers and the training that is given Baesler said she has also beenschools; and increased availability ito school district personnel. Gerhardt hearing from parents, school super- of behavioral health specialists. for new ' The Fargo Veterans Affairs (VA) The new Dickinson VA clinic pointments beginning summer of Health Care System has awarded a will be located at 766 Elks this year. There will be no other new contract for two .contractor- Drive. The new Williston clinic will change of interruption in medical ibwned and operated VA community be located at 2119 2nd Avenue Wes services to veterans, the U.S. De- based outpatient clinics in Dickin- partment of Veterans Affairs said. ison and Williston to STG Interna- Veterans are slated to transition All veteran medical records will be itional Inc. to the new facilities for their ap- transferred to the new locations. Ii By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter :Golden Valley County and Billings County commissioners on Feb. 27 held a special, joint meet- ing to discuss Extension Service funding. The state Legislature in 2017 de- creased funding for the North Dakota State University Extension Service by more than $4 million. The decreased funding meant a pro- posed policy change in which coun- ties with smaller populations would have to pick up a greater share of local Extension office costs. The counties of Golden Valley, Logan, Oliver, Sheridan, Slope and Steele are among those that have popula- tions under 2,000 and would have increased costs. Billings County's population is also under 2,000: However, the county already has its Extension of- rice merged with Stark" County's. In January, Golden' Valley County commissioners met with Extension officials and discussed proposed changes for splitting ex- Billings County has already been sharing costs. In 2016, for example, Billings County paid $6,000 to Golden Valley County. Tescher mentioned that there are a number of events or activities that used by farmers,~irancher~ or resi- penses between the state and the dent s in both counties, such the an- county. No decision was reached, nual Medora~.Beef Day, farm but the matter of funding will likely succession planning, and a Rural have to be worked out later this year Leadership North Dakota short as the county sets its 2018 budget, course. On Feb. 27, Golden Valley Jim Arthaud, Billings County County Commission Chairman Commission chairman, said he Troy Tescher explained that thinks the increase to 22 percent, or Billings County now pays 22 per- the $15,400, would be workable. cent of Stark County's cost. Tescher The other two Billings County asked Billings County commission- commissioners at the meeting did- ers to consider paying 22 percent of n't voice an opinion. Arthaud said Golden Valley County's $70,000 the issue would probably be dis- cost, which would amount to cussed at a future Billings County $15,400. Under a prior agreement, meeting. pondering using By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter MEDORA - Billings County School District officials and parents during the next few months may be looking into the pros and cons of using a four-day school week. Dickie Jo Kubas, a teacher at Prairie School, proposed the idea to the Billings County School Board last month. The board declined to immediately moved forward with the idea, due to time constraints to con- sider the details. The issue, however, is expected to be on the board's March meeting agenda. ~ubas told board members that a f~day week would be an enhance- ment for the district, considering that it's a rural district. The change wouldn't be permanent, and it could be evaluated during a one-year trial period, she said. She explained the idea would be to have four, seven-hour days, in- stead of the current 6 1/2-hour days. The required minimum number of annual educational hours would still be met. The first Friday could include an optional "family discovery day" that could include in-school activities, Kubas said. It would be a half-day, and so lunch would not have to be offered. horter wee "1 think we can be much more effective as teachers when we can concentrate on those four days," Dickie Jo Kubas, Prairie School teacher Kubas said that Fridays in class- Earlier in the meeting, Julie Reis, rooms are often less productive, and board member, said her research the goal is to have days that are more showed there'd be a cost savings productive from Mondays through from decreased bussing. HOwever, it Thursdays. wouldn't be a "make or break sce- "I think we can be much more ef- nario" with a huge cost savings, She fective as teachers when we can con- said. centrate on those four days," added "I think it's a super idea," said Kubas. Joey Kessel, board member. But he A required step in, the process is also said he would want to know to have a public input meeting, and what the public thinks and he then a plan for the four-day week doubted getting the plan finalized by would be sent to the North Dakota March 1 was doable. Department of Public Instruction. Board members unanimously de- However, with the annual deadline cided that the board and school ad- for reconfiguring school days being ministrators should research the idea, March 1, that was too short of a no- with the research to be completed by tice for Scfiool Board members. Dec. 31,2018, which would be in ad- "The March deadline really scares vance of the next state' deadline of me," said Lynn Arthaud, SchoolMarch 1,2019. Board president. "It's a l~uge decision Four other districts in North for a school board." Dakota use four-days weeks. They Arthaud said she had questions if are East Fairview and Horse Creek the change would affect state finan- schools in McKenzie County, and cial aide, how it would affect bus Dunseith and Turtle Mountain routes and high school students and Community schools in Rolette extracurricular activities. County. State to participate in Opportunity Zones Program BISMARCK - Gov. Doug Bur- gum on March 2 said North Dakota will participate in the newly created Opportunity Zones Program, a com- munity development incentive estab- lished by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The program gives each state's governor the authority to designate" opportunity zones," or areas of pop- ulations that are eligible to receive private investments through "oppor- tunity funds. " Opportunity funds allow U.S. in- vestors holding unrealized gains in stocks and mutual funds to pool their resources in projects located in oppor- tunity zones, which will be focused on rebuilding low-income communities. Opportunity z ones are defined as low- income census tracts where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80 percent of the area's median income. "The new federally authorized, state-des- ignated opportunity z ones create very at- tractive federal tax relief incentives, which will greatly help attract much-needed private capital investment toward the rebuilding of our low-income communities and regions within North Dakota." N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum "The new federally authorized, state-designated opportunity z ones create very attractive federal tax re- lief incentives, which will greatly help attract much-needed private capital investment toward the re- building of our low-income commu- nities and regions within North Dakota," Burgum said. The opportunity zone application form and details on the application process will be available at busi- Nominations will be made by the governor by March 21. If the application extension is granted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the governor will make nominations by April 20. When finalized, the Treasury De- partment will approve the nominated census tracts and administer the pro- gram. Affairs clinics in Dickinson, Williston Hours of operation will be Monday Dickinson to include primary care telephone; three telehealth exam s through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 services, behaviorial health services, rooms, free parking on site, and p.m. preventive health services, labora- handicapped accessibility. Both clinics will be approxi- tory with blood drawing services, There are expected to be more mately 6,300 square feet, featuring prescriptions with routine prescrip- than 9,000 patient visits annually at the same range of services as the tions processed through the mail, the new Dickinson and Williston previous VA clinics in Williston and through "My HealtheVet," or byVA clinics. 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