KHRT ND News – 11/19/21

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 111921 – 0700
DICKINSON, N.D. (PNS) – Efforts continue in North Dakota to carry out programs put in limbo by this year’s closing of Lutheran Social Services (LSS), including a new group focusing on strengthening families, so kids can avoid the foster-care system. Out of the ashes of the LSS closure rose a nonprofit called USpireND.
Missi Baranko, executive director of USpireND, said they are maintaining the Healthy Families program, which involves specialists visiting with overburdened parents around the time of their child’s birth, to develop nurturing skills. Baranko acknowledged the foster-care system is a vital option when there are too many risks in keeping a child with their biological family, but she said the goal is to avoid placement.
“We know once children enter the foster-care system, it’s often really challenging for both the child and the parent,” Baranko observed. “It’s a traumatic event for that child.” She pointed out the mission is not meant to diminish foster placement efforts in North Dakota, or the dedicated families who take in children.
Research shows when kids age out of the foster-care system, they often encounter barriers in securing a job and permanent housing. In North Dakota, 5% of the roughly 1,500 kids living in foster care stay through their eligibility before they venture on their own.
Baranko noted some of the parents who come to their program were once foster children themselves, who can relate how long-term stays within the foster-care system affected their lives once they aged out. “Getting out and not having a place to go, or those types of challenges, and so, we kind of see that repeated in some of the families we work with,” Baranko emphasized. She added new parents want to break the cycle for their kids, but don’t know how.
Programs such as Healthy Families focus on prevention by coaching families in a variety of ways, so they don’t become overwhelmed. Some training areas include early childhood development, family budgets and car-seat checks. Leaders say these can reduce a lot of stress for new families, giving them more time to nurture their child.
MINOT, ND – Minot police investigated an accident involving a vehicle and a home. Officers say it happened around 1:13 PM Thursday. 44-year old Jessie Casey was traveling in a residential area of SW Minot. Police say he failed to negotiate a turn, causing him to cross the roadway onto a residential lot and striking the front side of a home causing considerable damage. Casey suffered minor injuiries and was treated and released on scene by Community Ambulance. After officers on scene investigated, Casey was arrested for Reckless Driving (B-Mis) and released with a pending court date. The residents were not home at the time of the crash.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Bismarck’s only Democrat in the Legislature won’t run for re-election next year. Sen. Erin Oban announced Thursday she won’t be seeking a third term, citing the divisive nature of current politics. ├íHer departure opens up one of seven seats held by Senate Democrats, who have dwindled to their smallest minority in 50 years in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Her announcement comes a week after Bismarck GOP Sen. Nicole Poolman said she won’t seek reelection. Poolman said she wants to spend more time with her family but also cited an eroding civility in politics.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s top election official says an effort to recall a state legislator can’t occur now that a new redistricting map has been approved. Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Thursday announced that he rescinded the petition to recall GOP Rep. Dwight Kiefert because an election will be held in his district in less than a year. Kiefert won reelection last year. But he must run again next year to keep his seat because the redrawn legislative map adds a third incumbent. The effort to recall Kiefert was largely over his vote to expel GOP Rep. Luke Simons who was accused of sexually harassing women.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) – A 35-year-old man has been charged with three counts of murder in the shooting deaths at a Fargo factory of a man and a woman who was eight months pregnant. Anthony Reese Jr., of Moorhead, Minnesota, is charged with killing 43-year-old Richard Pittman, 32-year-old April Carbone and her unborn child after an argument Wednesday at Composite America. He made his first court appearance Thursday, where a judge set his bond at $2 million and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Dec. 16. Authorities allege that Reese shot the couple after getting into an argument at the factory and being told by management to leave. Police say he later returned with a gun and opened fire.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A database of missing people in North Dakota finally has the funding to get it off the ground. The state Legislature passed a law in 2019 which created the database. And with $300,000 allocated during the recent special session, the Attorney General’s Office has the money to implement the tool. The funding comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The database will enable all law enforcement, including tribal officers, to upload information into a shared system. The general public will also have access to the database so they can assist in searches.
MINOT, ND – The Minot Area Council of the Arts says they have been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. MACA will be receiving $250,000 and will use this funding to distribute grants to eligible recipients to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for subgranting.
“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including the Minot Area Council of the Arts, is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”
“We are very excited to receive this grant and look forward to playing a role in these recovery efforts,” said Justin Anderson, Executive Director of the Minot Area Council of the Arts. “This is an amazing opportunity to support the arts across the state.” The Minot Area Council of the Arts will be distributing the ARP funds to arts organizations and individual artists throughout North Dakota. “Because these are federal dollars there is a lot of reporting involved and more criteria for applicants, but we look forward to working with North Dakota artists and distributing needed funds.” The Minot Area Council of the Arts will be releasing more detailed information about their grant cycle in January.
This is the second of three installments of the NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding. Last April, the NEA announced that 40 percent of its $135 million in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The third installment of APR funding to arts organizations to support their own operations will be announced in early 2022.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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