GF News Forward: Foster parents make court appearance, cruddy county roads, task force explores phased opening of long-term care facilities

Grand Forks Herald reporters are covering events on Thursday, May 21.

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Journalist Hannah Shirley will be covering a detention hearing for Erich Longie Jr. and Tammy Longie, who will be appearing in federal court on Thursday. The two Spirit Lake foster parents made their initial court appearance on Monday, May 18, in connection with the May 6 death of Raven Thompson, 5, on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

The Longies were arrested Friday, May 15, by the FBI. They are each charged with two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury to a victim younger than 18, and two counts of simple assault.

Reporter Ann Bailey has been noticing how the wet fall of 2019 and spring of 2020 has wreaked havoc on gravel roads in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota counties. She checks in with county authorities for an accounting on how bad it is.

Also, look for Shirley's story on the Reuniting Families Task Force, formed recently under the North Dakota Long-term Care Association. The group will aim to take a measured, tiered approach to reintroducing visitation into those facilities.

"You've got residents out there who have not seen family in two months who don't have COVID," said Chris Larson, who will chair the task force. "If we don't get this opened up in the next two to three months, it wouldn't surprise me if we see cases of people that don't have COVID-19 dying in nursing homes, and it's because of a broken heart, and that's hard for me as a resident to even think about."


Read these stories and more online on Thursday and into the weekend.

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