Our View: Trinity turns a corner, while another school sits idle

Each week, The Press Editorial Board looks at the good, bad and ugly news that made headlines throughout our region and state.The Good - Trinity turns a corner, crowns a champion: As Trinity High School marked the one-year anniversary of the Marc...

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

- Trinity turns a corner, crowns a champion: As Trinity High School marked the one-year anniversary of the March 3, 2014, fire that shut its doors for months, the school is moving forward toward uniting the Dickinson Catholic Schools into one campus and rebuilding the areas the fire destroyed. Despite the investigation into the blaze remaining unsolved, school officials and students aren’t dwelling on the past. Instead, they’ve chosen to look to the future and relish in current accomplishments - like the girls basketball team’s march to the Class B state tournament and its first-ever opening-round victory. That means, regardless of where this team finishes, it’ll be the best in school history.
- Rent goes down: If there’s one shining light of the Bakken oil slowdown that just about everyone can agree on, it’s the drop in apartment rent prices throughout western North Dakota. Though the rents remain extremely high compared to oil cities and micropolitan areas, Reuters revealed this week that the prices are beginning to go down despite more structures going up and occupancy rates staying around the same. This is good news, because as good as our economy has been, it isn’t sustainable without people being able to afford the place where they live.
-‘Baby bank’ shot down: The proposed North Dakota Senate Bill 2165, which would have given each newborn $5,000 to be put in a Bank of North Dakota account until they turned 18, was shot down Friday by the House Finance and Taxation Committee and then failed 5-80 in the House. And for good reason. Giving free money to people - even babies - always comes with a catch.
The Bad

- Marathon rigs out of Dunn County: Amid numerous reports of different oil and oilfield service companies cutting jobs, Marathon Oil told the Dunn County Commission on Wednesday that it pulled all of its rigs out of the county. This is as sure a sign as any that the oil drilling slowdown is for real.
- Back the drawing board: We knew this was coming, but the Dickinson Education Association has to once again begin negotiations with the Dickinson Public Schools Board on 2015-16 teacher contracts just three months after agreeing to contracts for 2014-15. Let’s hope that the two parties come to an agreement much faster than they did last time.
- No sensors: Forum News Service learned earlier this week that Meadowlark Midstream, a subsidiary of Summit Midstream, could have taken better steps to protect land and water in western North Dakota following a 3 million-gallon saltwater spill into Blacktail Creek near Williston. The company relied solely on manually checking pipeline meters rather than turning on its remotely monitored sensor system. The Department of Mineral Resources estimates the pipeline leaked for 12 days before it was discovered on Jan. 6. Imagine how quickly the spill would have been discovered had those remote sensors been turned on.
- Student kicked out: A University of North Dakota student was kicked out of a men’s hockey game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena last weekend for hanging a “Fire Kelley” banner. The sophomore, Austin Emineth, was referencing UND President Robert Kelley, who has come under fire from some students for his actions. The university called it a “political stunt” by the student, who is the president of the UND College Republicans. While Emineth probably didn’t do the right thing, he sure got our attentions and proved, yet again, that colleges and universities are a bastion of free speech - but only if it’s the school’s accepted brand of free speech.
The Ugly

- Billings County faces lawsuit on Fryburg crew camp decision: After three-plus years of trying to decide what should happen with the Fryburg school building, the matter may go to court. Morgan Chase Management purchased the building with intentions to turn it into a crew camp. It maintains that it has met every request the county has made, yet commissioners do not want to approve it. Commissioners are right to be concerned with safety, but the building has sat empty too long. Unless the commission reconsiders, the battle could be dragged out for many more months.

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

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