SCHOOL MEETING The second of three public information forums held to discuss the future of the Minot Public School District attracted some 120 people this past week, fewer than the number of residents who attended the first meeting. The final meeting will be held late this month, and we hope a larger crowd attends. We're glad those who attended the first two meetings have been actively engaged in seeking information relating to the district's future needs and plans. There is much work to be done by officials within the district. There is plenty of work already in progress with additions at Longfellow Elementary and Lewis and Clark Elementary, and a new Erik Ramstad Middle School is under construction on North Hill. But there are also discussions to be had about the potential for building new elementary schools and even the possibility of building another high school in Minot. Again, we encourage anyone interested in the district's plans to attend the final public meeting when the schedule is announced.
WORKER DEATHS We doubt anyone was surprised last week when a report from the AFL-CIO listed North Dakota as having the highest rate of worker deaths in the nation. In 2011, there were 44 worker deaths in the state, a rate of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. The national rate for that year was 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The information is of great concern, of course, but not surprising given that half the state's worker deaths since 2010 have been in oil and gas occupations. Unfortunately, as hard as companies work to maintain safe working environments, employment in the oil industry can be dangerous. That's not likely to change as long as the industry is booming. We hope the number of worker deaths goes down, but we won't be surprised if it doesn't.