Blair Emerson / Bismarck Tribune
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.
BISMARCK -- About 50 students in Bismarck Public Schools were excluded from classes Monday, Oct. 1, for not meeting state immunization requirements. Monday was the cutoff date for students to be in compliance. Under state law, school districts must enforce these requirements, and, if any children are not fully immunized or do not have an immunization exemption on file, they're excluded from school.
FORT YATES, N.D. — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has used a federal grant to start a volunteer fire program. Last year, the tribe received a more than $260,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recruit and train volunteer firefighters. Through the grant, the Akicita Fire Program was established. A long-term goal for the tribe is to create a department staffed 24/7 by professional firefighters. The tribe has never had a structural fire station nor a group of individuals trained to suppress structural fires.
BISMARCK — Last year was a nasty year for the flu in North Dakota. The 2017-18 flu season was one of the worst seasons in the past 20 years, according to Jill Baber, influenza surveillance coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. There were 8,498 reported cases of the flu, an increase from the severe 2014-15 season, which saw 6,439 cases. So far this year, there have been six reported cases of the flu in North Dakota, according to latest data from the health department.
BISMARCK — As a medical marijuana review panel evaluates applications for medical marijuana dispensaries in Bismarck and Fargo, little is known about the two medical marijuana manufacturing facilities in the state. Pure Dakota LLC was selected to proceed with obtaining state registration as the Bismarck manufacturing facility. Dave Meyer, a registered agent for Pure Dakota, did not return messages seeking comment.
BISMARCK—A South Central District judge dismissed felony charges late last month against a father and son arrested in February after 210 pounds of marijuana was seized from their pickup. Christopher Conkey, Oregon, and Robert Smith, Washington state, were charged with three counts each of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and another specific to methamphetamine, after a Feb. 4 traffic stop west of Mandan on Interstate 94.
BISMARCK—A Lyft driver has been charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger Saturday, Aug. 25. Corey Michael Wickham, 39, of Mandan, was arrested Monday after the victim reported the assault to Bismarck police. The woman told police she took a Lyft ride from a Mandan bar and was dropped off at her home in Bismarck shortly after 1 p.m. The woman identified Wickham as the driver.
MEDORA, N.D. — A historic home in the town of Medora has been restored to former glory. The Schafer Cabin, which was once home to Harold and Sheila Schafer, was built in 1967 as a small, one-bedroom cabin for the curator of Medora's museum. It then served as an art gallery for the town and finally was expanded to a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom home for the Schafers.
BISMARCK—A Bismarck tobacco shop owner accused of possessing drug paraphernalia for use with controlled substances changed his plea to guilty on Monday, Aug. 20, in South Central District Court.