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Monke: No, you can’t shoot off fireworks in city

It’s always fun to watch arguments on social media. Sometimes it’s entertaining to get involved in them, though often you regret doing it.

Instead of getting sucked into a recent online debates — or slapfights, as I like to call them — I decided to write about one particular tiff that clearly left got a lot of you riled up last week.

So, let’s talk about fireworks for a minute. First of all, let’s clear some things up: NO, you cannot shoot off fireworks within city limits. YES, you can get fined and issued a citation for doing so. YES, you are allowed to buy fireworks within city limits. YES, if you’re upset about someone violating the fireworks ordinances, you should inform the Dickinson Police Department.

Now that we have that covered, let’s talk about why these rules are in place.

Don’t get me wrong. I love fireworks as much as next person, but I don’t necessarily live and die by the Fourth of July. You’ll never catch me dropping hundreds of dollars on a 15-minute show like a couple of my pyromaniac friends, but I’m sure glad they do that and let me watch the show.

That said (and be warned, I’m about to go Old Man Monke on you), can we keep the fireworks to the Fourth? The reason for the fireworks ordinances in Dickinson — as well as other surrounding communities — is because no one but you cares to listen to you lighting off bottle rockets at 1 a.m., especially my dog.

We couldn’t get to sleep on Sunday night because our dog, Noodle, would perk up and howl at every firecracker and bottle rocket he heard. Apparently, he has amazing hearing because he was hearing fireworks that I determined to be about three blocks (or more) away from our house.

Aside from me feeling bad for Noodle and his much-more-sensitive-than-ours ears, I could hear the fireworks too and contemplated calling the police after the show continued well past midnight. I’m sure there were others in my neighborhood thinking the same way.

Eventually, the fireworks stopped (perhaps influenced by the police), my dog quit howling and we were all able to get some sleep.

This past weekend, Dickinson Police responded to 11 calls related to fireworks. Eleven! That’s a waste of their valuable time and resources. Last year, in a 13-day span when fireworks could be sold in Dickinson, the police responded to 144 calls, totaling 35.6 hours of service. The police even tried to get ahead of the game by posting a reminder on their Facebook page telling people about the fireworks ordinances.

One man felt it smart to respond ask if the cops that if they got called to his place enough times, would they get sick of him and be compelled to leave him and his fireworks alone. Honest question, I guess, but probably not the most intelligent to ask on social media — especially if he eventually gets caught lighting off fireworks.

So, to overview, if you absolutely feel that you just can’t wait until the Fourth of July to blow some stuff up, take your show on the road and outside of city limits to a place — where you have permission to be from the property’s owner — and make sure you don’t start a prairie fire in the process.

Everyone who is trying to sleep will thank you.

Monke is the managing editor of The Dickinson Press. Email him at,

tweet him at monkebusiness, and read his past

features and columns at

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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