Citizens’ protection came at a steep price in Fargo standoff
The Daily News, Wahpeton, Feb. 15, 2016
In a tragic turn of events, a Fargo police officer was killed in the line of duty and his family, a wife and two children mourn the loss of their loved one.
All of North Dakota joins them as they place their husband and father at rest.
An armed standoff Wednesday brought police officers to the aid of a Fargo neighborhood as they tried to keep everyone safe. While he was doing his job on the perimeter of the scene, Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer was fatally shot by a gunman who caught Moszer in his sights.
It is the job of police of protect citizens, in fact protect and serve is their motto and is visible on many police cruisers. However, that protection came at a steep price when officer Moszer died Thursday.
When most people see a police vehicle on the streets, it reminds us to buckle up, slow down and pay more attention to the road. In the daily course of their jobs officers are doing whatever it takes to keep citizens safe, even from our own careless mistakes.
Now more than ever we are reminded of the frailty of human life and the danger these officers face on a daily basis. To all area law enforcement: Thank you for everything you do. To Officer Moszer’s family, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
State will need emissions plan
The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, Feb. 17, 2016
North Dakotans were relieved last week when the U.S. Supreme Court put the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan on hold. The plan being implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency called for North Dakota to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent by 2030.
The proposal is considered drastic, and there have been predictions of higher energy prices and the closure of some power plants. North Dakota chose an option to come up with its own plan for compliance and was beginning to develop it when the court ruled. After the court’s decision the state decided to temporarily halt work on its plan. North Dakota was one of 27 states to file a challenge to the EPA proposal the court ruled on.
While it will take some time for the challenge to work its way through the judicial system, North Dakota can’t afford to delay its work on a plan for long. A day before the court ruling, David Glatt, head of the environmental section of the North Dakota Department of Health, had this to say to the interim Taxation Committee. “We are going to be in a reduced carbon future. That’s just a given. It’s going to happen whether this law happens or not.”
He’s right, the issue isn’t going away even if the 27 states prevail in the court challenge. Even if a Republican wins the White House in November the push for carbon reduction will continue. The state and the power industry may gain more time, but they need to use it developing plans to cut carbon emissions. The industry is taking steps to do just that.
Great River Energy has hired a Kansas City-based engineering company to seek ways to make the company’s power plants more efficient. Basin Electric Power Cooperative says it’s still analyzing the EPA proposal and will develop a plan of action.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. welcomed the court-ordered delay, but noted it will continue to explore compliance options for the EPA plan.
The state also needs to continue its work on ways to reduce carbon emissions. It already has done some good work, reducing emissions by about 11 percent from 2005 to 2014. North Dakota needs to craft a plan to cut emissions, not necessarily to meet the EPA’s goal, but to show we are serious about reductions.
Glatt thinks when lawsuits are over the mandate will be ruled illegal or the plan will be sent back to EPA for major changes. If either happens, if North Dakota has a plan or is working on a plan, the state will be in a good position to deal with the pressure for reducing emissions.
Church break-ins a sign of the times
Minot Daily News, Minot, Feb. 18, 2016
Twice in the past few days, Minot churches have been targeted for robberies, leading many to openly ponder, “How desperate must someone be to rob a church?”
The reality is that in Minot and other small towns and cities, residents must come to grips with the idea that this is a sign of the times in which we now live.
Some who idealize the past might believe that in previous decades, only the worst, the hardest-core criminal would stoop to breaking into a church or victimizing people who are in a house of worship. Maybe that’s true to some extent. One would like to think that in the nation’s simpler days, even the criminal element had some respect for churches, since there was more respect for churches in general in the past.
Our world today is very different. People in small towns and cities aren’t safe from crime anymore. Identifying what the “criminal element” consists of is virtually impossible. Living in a remote location doesn’t isolate anyone from the ravages of drugs, mental illness, despair and the general decline in civility that infects culture today. There is nowhere to hide from these rough realities of the 21st century not in a quiet, friendly community such as Minot. And not in churches.
Recognizing this unfortunate reality will empower people to be more safety conscious. It will also, hopefully, prompt a broader discussion about crime in the nation, its roots and ways to combat it.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.