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Community Columnists

Memories of June 2011 keep us moving forward

June in Minot will always stir up a meandering mix of emotions for our community’s residents who lived here in 2011, but especially for those who called the river valley their home. What’s the river level today? How much water is on the way? How will I save a lifetime of possessions? How ...

Unprecedented times require a special session

Agricultural prices were already poor. Then the pandemic shook every corner of the state’s economy. Finally, the commodity roller coaster took another sudden drop as oil prices crashed. And across the state, infrastructure projects that could ease economic uncertainty were placed on ...

No demonstrations for Native-Americans

Native-Americans in North Dakota have been experiencing the same discrimination as the African-Americans now demonstrating across America. Hundreds of North Dakotas went to the streets to support African-Americans even though we have only a few in the state. It was a demonstration of ...

Supporting Minot PD during a difficult time

While talk of defunding, disbanding, or reorganizing police departments continues in some parts of the country, that discussion isn’t appropriate or necessary in Minot. Let me outline why. No one is claiming the members of the Minot Police Department are perfect; we know that’s ...

A time for reflection and action

Our great nation has been through some trying times the past few months. The continuing impact of COVID-19 has touched our lives in many ways. And now, with the recent killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, essential and overdue conversations are happening across ...

Only riots, burning result in action

As I look at the past two weeks of burning, demonstrating and rioting, I am torn between my Christian self and my realistic self. As a Christian, I hurt when other people hurt. If Ruth cried, I just melted. When the dad and little girl drowned on the Rio Grande, I wept. When I think of the ...

On the front steps

There are certain June mornings here on the prairie that remind us why we chose to live here. We awoke this morning with a faint breeze from the northwest and the promise of rain and so sat on the front steps of the ranch house, enjoying a hot mug of coffee and taking in a free avian chorus. ...

Sipma: Reflecting on an uncomfortable time of uncertainty

As we continue to navigate through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and approach the anniversary of the 2011 flood, I can’t help but look back and draw parallels between two disasters that have greatly affected and impacted our community. There are similarities – and a sharp contrast. To ...

Adult conversations need some adults

A few weeks ago, Senator Kevin Cramer suggested that it was time to have an adult conversation about the national debt, noting that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should be on the table. Once again, initial thoughts of the “haves” is to shortchange the “have-nots.” The rich ...

Honoring those who have sacrificed

Every crisis has new heroes. During the 9/11 attacks, they were the first responders running into burning and crumbling buildings as others ran out. Now, during the Coronavirus pandemic, the most visible heroes are the healthcare professionals, who are saving others and risking their own lives ...

ND facing realities of coal decline

With the closure of the state’s largest power plant a certainty in 2022, North Dakota is forced to accept the realities facing a coal industry that has existed since settlement days. Great River Energy, a Minnesota company, announced recently that it was closing its Coal Creek Station near ...

Reopening is under way, but we must stay vigilant

The state of North Dakota has begun the deliberate and intentional process of reopening businesses through the North Dakota Smart Restart effort, providing businesses with guidelines for opening to their customers while following recommendations from health care experts. In Minot, that ...

Praise God! Churches not going bankrupt

"Church donations have plunged because of coronavirus. Some churches won’t survive.” That’s what the newspaper headlines blared a couple of weeks ago as the financial problems of churches across the country begin to erupt. According to a 2018-2019 National Congregations Study, a third ...

ND newspapers didn’t need a pandemic

After losing three weeklies and experiencing painful belt-tightening all across the industry, North Dakota didn’t need a pandemic to push local newspapers closer to the brink. Subscribers have been complaining loudly about the constant cutbacks – smaller papers, less news, diminished ...

Legislative leaders update: CARES Act, BND and special session

Although legislative interim committees have been postponed over the last month due to the coronavirus, your legislative leaders have been working closely with Governor Burgum and Lt. Governor Sanford to ensure that the citizens of North Dakota have the resources and support they need to emerge ...

Is state bankruptcy waiting in wings?

The Founding Fathers, mostly Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, didn’t expect that a by-product of federalism would be state bankruptcies. But that is what could happen if we adopted U. S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suggestion that states buried in debt because of the virus ...

Working together, we can achieve a safe ND Smart Restart

Since this historic journey began with the first case of COVID-19 being confirmed in North Dakota on March 11, we have learned much about this insidious disease. We have learned that it spreads quickly and without regard for borders. We have learned that it takes loved ones too soon and ...

ND Smart Restart is about making choices

Gov. Doug Burgum’s ND Smart Restart allowed businesses across the state to begin the process of reopening late last week during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s guidelines also provide opportunities for businesses and individuals to continue to make choices that are best for ...

Supporting our patients at every level

The caregivers at Trinity Health have been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for the last six weeks. I want to take a moment to update you on our response, share how your support and investment of time and resources have impacted our ...

Thank you for the incredible generosity

When the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading and it became apparent that students at Minot State University would have to complete the Spring 2020 academic semester at a distance and online, one of the first issues that surfaced was the unexpected financial burden faced by many of our students. ...