Cheryl McCormack / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — A short film shot almost entirely in North Dakota, utilizing a local cast and crew, is nearing end of production and, soon, will be featured at film festivals, where the movie's stars, including Ham the Astrochimp, will try to win over audiences and pocket awards. Loosely based on the 1961 launch of a chimpanzee into space via America's space program, "Ham" is a passion project by Zachary Wentz, a Mayville, N.D., native and independent filmmaker who earned a bachelor's degree in film production from Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
BISMARCK—The owner of a tobacco shop here is facing one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and four counts of unlawful delivery, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia. The Bismarck Police Department served Tokes "R" Us a search warrant April 20. Owned by 23-year-old Ryan James Loeb, of Mandan, the store is approved to sell tobacco pipes, water pipes and other accessories used for pipe tobacco.
ST. ANTHONY, N.D.—After prolonged debate, a special use permit for the establishment of a medical marijuana compassion center near St. Anthony was denied by the Morton County Commission on Thursday night, April 12. The request, made by Brian and Angie McGinness, of Riverbound Farm, was a first for the county, according to Natalie Pierce, Morton County's director of planning and zoning.
BISMARCK—Two Cub Scout packs here are among the first in the state to welcome girls, allowing all youth — regardless of gender — access to the character development and values-based leadership the scouting program prides itself on. Mandan's Pack 153 and Bismarck's Pack 125 recently welcomed their first all-girl dens, with four and 10 girls registering, respectively.
MANDAN, N.D. — Kennedy Harris is not in the school choir or ever entered a singing competition, but the Mandan High School junior has been honoring those broad stripes and bright stars with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" since she was a 5-year-old girl. It is her unique tribute to her country and her now-deceased grandfather who loved it. The first time Kennedy sang the national anthem in front of people other than family was at a baseball game in Makoti, where her mother, Kari, grew up and her grandpa, the late Terry Petrick, coached a team.
BISMARCL — Highland Acres is home to a state champion red oak tree, whose important job it is to supply ample shade in the summer and woodstove kindling in the winter. The non-native Quercus rubra has been added to the 2017 North Dakota Register of Champion Trees, which is the official list of the first- and second-largest trees of each native and non-native species in the state. "We've always been excited about the tree, but we're even more excited now that it's a champion," said Jim Fuglie, who, along with his wife, Lillian Crook, owns the now-famous red oak.
BISMARCK—After winning $64,802 on "Jeopardy!" in December, Bismarck native Kyle Becker has yet to determine on what he'll spend his winnings from the television quiz show. "I don't have the money, yet, so I don't quite know what I'll spend it on," Becker said. "I'm going to hold off on any big expenditures until I see how it's taxed." Tentative plans are to pay off a portion of his student loans, save for retirement and travel domestically and internationally.
RUGBY, N.D. — When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, about 80 percent of McIntosh County's population was of German or Russian descent. Very few spoke or read English, or had American citizenship. Yet, when the county became eligible for the draft, 738 young men registered the first day to join the American forces in fighting a war against their native countries.
BISMARCK — A drain tile system intended to bring flood relief to homeowners' basements in the Hay Creek Pines subdivision, located 6 miles northeast of Bismarck, has downstream landowners protesting the diversion of possibly contaminated groundwater to their property. Alton Nitschke and his wife, Arlene, who are concerned about the quality and quantity of water that will be discharged onto their land, are appealing a permit that the Burleigh County Water Resource District granted to itself for a drainage project meant to remove excessive groundwater from the subdivision.
BISMARCK—A Bismarck resident is aiming to promote patience and compassion for those grieving the death of a loved one by designing and dispersing button pins to wear during moments of fragility. Kaitlin Bohlander came up with the grief pin project in July after her 20-year-old brother, Drew, was killed in a traffic accident. "Drew was funny and always willing to help other people. He brought so much light to our lives," she said. "Our family was blessed to have him for those 20 years."