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Here is Christian identity: I know my past, where I came from. I came from God. I know what went wrong. I tried to play God instead of being satisfied to be a real man. I know my future. My destiny is Christ. And I know the present. I can face myself now—my problems, my hang-ups, my assets, my faults—because I have turned myself over to God.

- Leighton Ford


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Vice President Mike Pence is vowing that the U.S. will keep up economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.....

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence is vowing that the U.S. will keep up economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Pence spoke to airmen at North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base on Friday. The visit marked the second by a top Trump administration official in the past six weeks. The base is home to both B-52 bombers and intercontinental nuclear missiles.

    With a huge B-52 in the background, Pence thanked the roughly 250 assembled airmen for their service. He told them President Donald Trump is committed to maintaining America's nuclear powers as a force for peace.

    Pence's visit to the Minot base coincided with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' visit to the Demilitarized Zone that separates North Korea from South Korea. Mattis accused North Korea of threatening global order and said the Trump administration remains committed to compelling the North to accept complete nuclear disarmament.


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A major health care system serving the upper Midwest says that the number of opioid pills it prescribes has fallen by almost a quarter. South Dakota-headquartered Sanford Health started analyzing its prescribing last year to direct its response to rising opioid and heroin overdose deaths.

    Doug Griffin spearheaded the system's data collection as vice president and medical officer for Sanford in Fargo, North Dakota. Griffin says Sanford also took steps including mandating opioid education for providers and using its electronic health record system to alert doctors about safe prescribing habits.

    Sanford has since seen reductions in pills prescribed and prescriptions written. Sanford providers wrote 18 percent fewer prescriptions for opioids in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2016, amounting to 24 percent fewer pills prescribed.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The only shelter for homeless men in Bismarck-Mandan has closed after 30 years, coinciding with the first snowflakes of the season this week. The Bismarck Tribune reports that the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House closed Thursday. A sign posted on the facility's entrance said residents were to evacuate by 7 a.m. or be charged with trespassing.

    Advocates for the homeless lament the loss of what they consider an essential service for the community. Shelter residents questioned where they would go during the winter. Interim executive director for Ruth Meiers, Steve Neu, says residents were made aware of the possible closure.

    The facility opened in response to those in need of emergency shelter in 1987.


     ARTHUR, N.D. (AP) - An iconic venue for dances and concerts in rural Cass County has been destroyed by fire. Firefighters from Gardner, Arthur, Hunter and Grandin responded to the blaze Thursday afternoon at what is now known as Arthur's Burn. For decades it was known as Johnson's Barn. The sheriff's office says the cause of the fire wasn't immediately determined.

    The barn hosted hundreds of events through the years. Area resident Dawn Moore tells KVRR-TV that the loss of the barn where she and her husband had their first date is sad. She calls it "part of the town, part of the history." Cass County Sgt. Tim Briggeman calls the fire "tragic." A GoFundMe page has to been set up to help the owners rebuild.


     ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says replenishing and sustaining soil health is a priority for him. Perdue toured the prairie pothole landscape in northeast South Dakota on Thursday. He said using soil health as a basis for federal farm payments might be a way to encourage farmers to employ more sustainable land practices. Perdue also met with Natural Resources Conservation Service staff from the Dakotas, with improving the wetland determination process a main topic.


   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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