MOORHEAD—Dozens on Concordia College's campus are honing their saber skills as the new "Foam Weapon Fighting" season kicks off. The soft swordsmen practice twice a week, with a goal of being the last fighter standing. The rules are simple, don't get hit, and knock the snot out of your opponent. Longtime warriors say the sport is a great way to let out some rage without hurting anyone too much.
BISMARCK, N.D.—It's been more than two weeks since North Dakota native Julia Jacobson went missing from her San Diego home. Sunday, friends and family across the country, and in our region, are holding a vigil in hopes that Jacobson will be found. People bowed their heads and said prayers in both North Dakota and California. Julia Jacobson, a retired Army Captain, was last seen on Sept. 2, two hours from her home. Her family began to worry when she missed her daily phone call to her father.
BURNSVILLE, Minn. --Students at Burnsville High School in the Twin Cities metro returned to class Monday, missing one of their classmates. Devin Delaney, a senior, was found dead in an NDSU dorm over the weekend. Devin's friends say he was a "fun, goofy guy" and his teammates on the lacrosse and hockey teams say he was always encouraging. Lacrosse players at Burnsville High School set up a lacrosse goal post on the field and placed flowers and other items on it. 17-year-old Devin was staying with a friend in Sevrinson Hall over the weekend.
N.D.—The United Tribes of North Dakota are calling for action after a missing Fargo woman, Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, was found murdered. The call for action comes after the 22-year-old went missing from her apartment on August 19th. Her newborn baby was found alive in that building with two people charged in the case. Greywind was later found in the Red River. The United Tribes of North Dakota plan to send a letter to the state's congressional delegation to get justice for Greywind's family and other native families in tragic situations.
CHICAGO, Ill.—A growing number of children and teens are turning up in U.S. emergency departments dependent on opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. This comes from a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Researchers found that in 2013, nearly 50,000 patients aged 21 and younger were diagnosed with opioid dependence or addiction. Compare that to 2008, when it was just over 32,000. That's nearly double. The findings of the study will be presented formally on Monday in Chicago.
MINN.—Minnesota is one of 26 states affected by four separate outbreaks of Salmonella. The outbreaks are linked to imported Maradol papayas from Mexico. The Centers for Disease Control says over 200 cases have been confirmed between all four outbreaks combined. Four of those cases were in Minnesota. The CDC is recommending consumers to stay away from any papayas that come from Mexico because they believe the contamination could become more widespread.
FARGO—Human rights groups in North Dakota are pushing for hate crime legislation after three women were threatened in a Walmart parking lot in July. The woman has since apologized to the trio, but now human rights groups want specific hate crime legislation. The idea for a statewide statute is not popular with lawmakers and prosecutors, who say that a specific hate crime law would be difficult to prove in court. They say judges already take the nature of an offense in account during sentencing.
NORTH DAKOTA—North Dakota Bakken sweet crude oil is seeing increased demand, thanks to the recent hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida. That's because refineries on the Gulf Coast are trying to make up shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel. North Dakota's oil production rose slightly in July and remained above one million barrels per day for the sixth consecutive month. The State Mineral Resources Director says if per-barrel prices rise above $50 as expected, production of a million barrels a day soon could become routine.
NORTH DAKOTA—Clean-up of a North Dakota pipeline break is nearing completion after four years. Over 20,000 barrels of oil spilled in a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota in 2013. The Tesoro pipeline spill has been called one of the largest on-shore pipeline spills in U.S. history. More than one million tons of soil has been removed from the site. Estimated cleanup costs are at $73 million. The excavation is expected to wrap up this month. The company blames a lightning strike for the rupture.
NEW YORK—It's been a whirlwind three days for North Dakota's own Miss America, Cara Mund. Cara Mund, who is from Bismarck, is currently in New York doing a press tour after winning the title in Atlantic City Sunday night. It's just the beginning of a busy year ahead. She says she expects to be changing locations about every 48 hours. She is heading to LA Thursday, then back to Atlantic City and then Washington, D.C. A "homecoming" event in North Dakota is also in the works.