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Our View: Successful week for area prep athletes

Occasionally, The Press Editorial Board looks at the good, bad and ugly news that recently made headlines throughout our region and state.

The Good

Midgets, Fossum win again: Congratulations to coach Kent Van Ells and the Dickinson gymnastics team for capturing their fifth North Dakota high school state championship in 10 years on Friday, and also to senior Acacia Fossum for becoming the first athlete in state history to win five all-around state championships on Saturday. Dickinson has finished at least second in each of the past 10 seasons, becoming only the second team in state history to do that after Fargo South’s 13 straight runner-up finishes (1971-83).

Boys hockey reach state tournament: The Dickinson boys hockey team didn’t come away with a win at the North Dakota state tournament last week, but just getting there was a breath of fresh air into a program that hasn’t reached the tournament since 2000. Congratulations to coach Dallas Kuntz and the Midgets for a great season. Keep it up and get back there next year!

Trinity girls basketball heads back to state: In keeping with a successful sports week, we also send our congratulations to the Dickinson Trinity girls basketball team for making its second straight trip to the Class B state tournament this week. The Titans breezed through the Region 7 Tournament and now face rival Watford City at noon Thursday in the tournament’s opening round. The game will air live on KBMY in the Dickinson area. Despite losing one of their top players for the season due to injury, Trinity has the depth and experience to make a title run. Best of luck to coach Carter Fong and the Titans.

Community supports Hammond family: It was great to see the southwest North Dakota community support the family of Levi Hammond, the Dickinson volunteer firefighter and ag equipment salesman originally from Golva, who died at age 36 in an avalanche while snowmobiling in Wyoming on Feb. 19. In a Feb. 24 story by Press Managing Editor Dustin Monke, Hammond was remembered by his own wife, Becky, as a man whose “concern truly was for others around him.” And his life’s impact showed as around 600 people and firefighters from around southwest North Dakota came to his funeral on Friday. Hammond was a valuable memeber of our community who leaves behind three young children. He’ll be greatly missed. Our prayers are with his wife, children, and the all of his family and friends.

The Bad

Well of oil grant money stops pumping: Plans for a new Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center in Dickinson took a major hit Thursday when the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands voted unanimously to put a hold on granting $7.4 million for unstarted projects. The shelter was hoping for $750,000 in awards it could put toward the building of a new 30-bed facility. The city of Dickinson was also waiting on a $4 million grant for a construction debt payment. This is one of the clearest signs yet that the free-money days of the oil boom are over, and that government entities and municipalities planning projects need to start deciding what they truly need and how they’re going to pay for it.

Whiting stopping fracking operations, well completions: Whiting Petroleum Co., which has a large office and several employees in Dickinson, announced Wednesday that it’s halting its hydraulic fracturing operations and completing oil wells as it waits for crude oil prices to increase. Whiting is operating three drillings rigs in the state, and Department of Mineral Resources spokeswoman Alison Ritter said the company is the first major operator in North Dakota to make such a move.

The Ugly

Henrikson convicted in Bakken murder-for-hire case: A man who ran a Bakken trucking company was convicted Thursday of organizing the killings of Kristopher “KC” Clarke and Douglas Carlile in federal court in Richland, Wash. James Henrikson was found guilty on all 10 counts of murder-for-hire, conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder-for-hire, and conspiring to distribute heroin. Good riddance to bad rubbish. We hope the court throws the book at Henrikson, and that Clarke and Carilie’s families can find peace.

The Dickinson Press Editorial Board consists of Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Dustin Monke.