NEW TOWN MOURNS It's been a difficult week for residents of New Town, who are still dealing with the shock of last week's shooting deaths of Martha Johnson and three of her grandchildren, Benjamin Schuster, Julia Schuster and Luke Schuster. The small town held a community prayer service and supper, giving residents a chance to mourn the victims and meet with grief counselors as well. School was closed for a day, and counselors have been at the school to help students deal with the tragedy. The FBI has taken over the investigation into the killings, and Kalcie Eagle, a New Town man who killed himself on the same day as the shootings, is considered a person of interest in the shootings. Recovering from such a tragedy won't be easy for anyone involved, and it won't come quickly. We remember everyone affected in our thoughts, as they struggle to move forward with the grieving and recovery process.
IN WITH THE NEW After years of debate and discussion, residents of McLean County have a new courthouse. The new facility is expected to be fully open on Wednesday. Employees have been slowly transporting office records and other things to the new building. The facility's first flood opened in?September, and is home to First District Health Unit, McLean County Social Services and the North Dakota State University Extension Service. An open house will be scheduled in?December. Voters approved a plan that borrowed money from the Coal Severance Trust Fund to pay for the roughly $3.8 million construction cost. The old courthouse has been embroiled in controversy for years, even after the new building was completed. A group is fighting to keep the old building from being razed, while the county wants to demolish the aging and crumbling structure. While that issue is resolved, we're glad the residents of McLean County have the new facility.