Blair Emerson / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — North Dakota schools are leveraging an influx of federal dollars to improve school safety and address behavioral health concerns. This year, North Dakota school districts received about $3.7 million in federal funding — a 75 percent increase — that some districts are using for additional security measures, including installing security cameras and hiring school resource officers, according to data from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Highway Patrol seized 30 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Wednesday, Nov. 14, near Bismarck. Highway Patrol said in a news release it stopped a pickup traveling east on Interstate 94 for speeding and illegally tinted windows. A state trooper reportedly smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. The trooper then searched the vehicle and found 30 pounds of packaged marijuana, a small amount of hashish and $1,100 in cash.
BISMARCK - The North Dakota foster care system is set to undergo some major changes. The Family First Prevention Services Act, included in the Bipartisan Budget Act that President Donald Trump signed into law in February, aims to keep children with parents or relatives rather than in the foster care system and provides additional funding for prevention services. On Thursday, Nov. 15, the North Dakota Department of Human Services held an informational meeting on the law for counties, which administer child welfare services in the state.
MANDAN, N.D. -- The owner of two dogs that attacked a woman and her 7-year-old daughter in July will have to pay $10,000 in restitution. Antoinette Fleck pleaded guilty on Oct. 31 in Mandan Municipal Court to one count of violating the city's vicious dog ordinance. Judge DeNae Kautzmann ordered Antoinette Fleck to pay $10,000 in restitution and $500 in court fines and fees.
BISMARCK -- E-cigarette use among youth is rising nationally, including in Bismarck Public Schools. From Aug. 23, the first day of classes, to Oct. 11, Bismarck school resource officers handed out 66 tobacco citations to students — 45 of which were for e-cigarette use. In comparison, last year, officers gave 35 citations to students for using e-cigarettes.
BISMARCK — A few years ago, Bismarck High School administrators and staff recognized a "critical" need for students: mental health services. A survey of a sample group of BHS students last year found 17.2 percent of students seriously considered attempting suicide. About 30 percent of students surveyed expressed prolonged feelings of sadness or hopelessness, which a local clinical counselor said would meet the criteria for a depressive disorder.
BISMARCK — The lone medical marijuana manufacturing facility currently up and running in the state aims to have marijuana products available in December or January. North Dakota Department of Health's division of medical marijuana selected two companies to operate growing centers, including Pure Dakota in Bismarck. Pure Dakota received approval from the state last month, while the facility in Fargo has not.
BISMARCK -- The president of Bismarck State College said the school will continue its partnership with Saudi Arabia to provide energy sector training to Saudi youth. BSC president Larry Skogen said Tuesday, Oct. 23, that the college is "continuing as things have been in the past," despite news of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
BISMARCK—The number of drug overdose deaths in North Dakota last year increased slightly, according to data from the state Department of Health. The Division of Vital Statistics data shows there were 76 drug-related deaths in North Dakota in 2017, an increase from 68 deaths the year prior. The deaths include suicides and accidental overdoses.
BISMARCK—The high school graduation rate for Native American students in North Dakota continues to rise in 2017, and yet a significant gap persists when compared to the overall student population. According to the latest data from the state Department of Public Instruction, the graduation rate for Native American students in 2017 was 67.3 percent, up from 65.2 percent in 2016. Dropout rates continue to decrease for Native American students, as well.