Members of a Grand Forks School District task force on Tuesday studied eleven scenarios that define the impact of redrawing school boundaries or closing schools. The Demographic Task Force ruled out five of the scenarios and kept the rest for more consideration or refinement. Scenarios still under consideration include those calling for a new south end school and closure of Lewis and Clark, West and Wilder elementary schools in Grand Forks and Carl Ben Eielson at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Wilder Elementary School supporters urged the Grand Forks School Board at its meeting Monday night to carefully consider the quality of life afforded by neighborhood schools and revitalization efforts aimed in the Near North Neighborhood. With an enrollment of 75, Wilder is the smallest school in the district.
For Larry Nybladh, Grand Forks School District superintendent, how to solve the problem of some schools having room to spare while others are crowded, boils down to one question: "Do we restructure or do we continue to subsidize inefficiency?" Meeting with the Herald's editorial board Thursday, he said enrollment in the district has been steadily falling since 1995, when it peaked at nearly 10,000, but the number of buildings has remained the same.
Minnesota and North Dakota rank high in a new state-by-state survey measuring overall health and lifestyle statistics, but their rankings have slipped in the past decade while the rate of obesity and diabetes has risen among adults. North Dakota ranked 12th among states in the 2011 America's Health Rankings survey, up from 16th in 2010. The state ranked first in 1990, the first year of the survey analyzing the nation's health, and remained in the top 10 states until 2008. Minnesota held steady from 2010 to 2011, ranking sixth in the nation.
As the pressure of final exams heats up at UND, university officials fear some students may turn to alcohol and other substances they believe will help them cope with stress. Alcohol is seen as a means of "celebration," said Becky Lamboley, assistant director of health and wellness education at UND. "Students think, 'I made it through.' It's a 'work hard, party hard' mentality." Campus-wide surveys done annually show about half of students have binged on alcohol, about a quarter have smoked pot and small number have abused prescription drugs.
Grand Forks Public Schools seem to not to have enough schools in the areas where it needs them and too many in the areas where it doesn't, something that a committee charged with maximizing the use of those schools continued to struggle with Monday. The 30-member Demographic Task Force discussed a report that shows the number of students each school could take on.
"We come into this world surrounded by love; we should leave the same way." Sue Fisk read that somewhere and it's stayed with her.
The UND Energy and Environmental Research Center is studying whether it's economical to convert flare gas, a waste product from oil drilling, to fertilizer. The one-year project, led by North Dakota State University, could benefit North Dakota agriculture by creating a low-cost and stable local supply of nitrogen fertilizer, said project leader Cole Gustafson, chairman of NDSU's agribusiness and applied economics department. "We think there's going to be considerable interest" in this study among drilling companies, he said.
UND competes for students in the world market, and, in light of recent criticism of higher education recruiters for sending unqualified foreign students to the United States, university officials say they have safeguards in place to prevent that. All UND students must meet admissions requirements "no matter where they are from," said Raymond Lagasse, director of international programs. Most of the 800 international students at the university were not sent here by professional recruiters, he said, and all must pass exams administered at testing centers where students are monitored. "Students
Murray Goodwin is being "watched" in every room of his house, and he doesn't mind a bit. Small sensors installed throughout his Warren home track his movement and alert health providers to changes that may signal a health problem.