SEEING STARS Minot is paying it forward. Volunteers with the city's Stars of HOPE organization have partnered with Lutheran Disaster Response to organize a Stars of HOPE event in the small North Dakota town of Bucyrus, which was damaged by a wildfire in October. The Stars of HOPE project is sponsored by the New York Says Thank You Foundation, and it encourages people to paint colorful wooden stars with messages of hope and inspiration. The stars are then placed around communities hit by disasters. Last year, some 1,100 stars were placed around Minot. Many residents of Bucyrus have been unable to return to their fire-damaged homes, and some homes in the community of less than 30 residents were destroyed by the wildfire that swept through the area. The Bucyrus project is scheduled for February, and it will no doubt send a message to the town's residents that they are not alone, and that residents of Minot and other disaster-stricken cities are thinking of them.