- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Minot Daily News, Minot, Oct. 21, 2016

Another sign of rebirth on the way

Clearly, many in Minot and the region are still recovering from the flood of 2011, and its effects on the city are still obvious. Moreover, its aftermath impacted more than the face of the city it affected many on a deeply psychological level.

That’s why signs of the city’s return are so important to note, at least as important as updates on flood prevention efforts. Minot and its residents need to simultaneously recover from 2011 and feel confident that a disaster of that scale won’t happen again.

There’s another sign of Minot’s comeback on the horizon with the ongoing rebirth of Oak Park Shopping Center. Many folks have fond memories of their youth and of the plaza, with it having served both as a commercial center and a place where friends and families spent time together. While the flood spelled a suspension of the shopping center’s life, it was not the end. Happily it is on the cusp of returning and will hopefully once again help create new memories.

The HighAir Ground Trampoline Park is just weeks away from opening. The innovative family recreation center will be a first in Minot and will provide residents and visitors with an entirely new source of entertainment and exercise options.

Additionally, details of the theater re-opening in the shopping center should be forthcoming, another valuable addition to the community.

The Oak Park Shopping Center’s rebirth is certainly a huge plus for Minot. Hopefully other signs of recovery follow, becoming important symbols that will perhaps help individuals and the community at large continue recovery.


Daily News, Wahpeton, Oct. 17, 2016

Be constructive rather than destructive

The month of October has plenty of national awareness days attributed it to it, but one thought is actually based on a sound idea - National Positive Attitude Month.

Did you know it takes five positive comments to erase a negative one? There are studies underway throughout the world highlighting the importance of balancing negative, or constructive criticism, with five times more positive interactions. In fact, there is a 5-to-1 ratio that teachers are using in the classroom to help their students succeed by saying five times more positive interactions than negative. This is further explained, a positive interaction can be a friendly interaction rather than a punishment or criticism.

It is important to note we retain and remember negativity more so than positive events. According to experts, the brain processes negative emotions with more thorough critical thinking as compared to more positive memories, where we may simply remember the feeling. During an adverse moment, our brain has been hard-wired to react faster, sort of a fight or flight response. In describing these events, people tend to use stronger and more defined words, rather than happy ones.

In essence, it is easier to believe negative thoughts, relive negative experiences and remember unpleasant episodes in our lives. In order to convert that, we must remember to balance criticism with encouragement. Favorably exclaim over a child’s improved work. Let co-workers know when they are doing a good job and give credit where it is due - balancing the good with the bad. Everyone likes to hear something good. Make it a practice to be constructive rather than destructive.

Put a smile on your face, look forward to a positive attitude and remember, it is also National Toilet Tank Repair Month.


Williston Herald, Williston, Oct. 15, 2016

Our view: County, developer both failing to meet obligations

The residents of Lukenbill Estates in Missouri Township have found themselves facing the prospect of another winter without paved roads, in a situation that should remind everyone of the dangers of uncontrolled, unplanned growth.

The roads in question, a roughly one-mile stretch of 138th Avenue NW and a section of 56th Street NW leading to the entrance of the subdivision, were supposed to be paved by the developer, according to an agreement made in 2011. Five years - and five winters - later, they remain treacherous and rutted.

The developer is now saying that it is willing to contribute money to a permanent solution, but that is different from being responsible for paving the roads. And the stipulation from the county’s original vote that the homeowner’s association should be responsible for the paving is simply impractical. With only 113 homes in the subdivision, there is no way the association could afford the project.

We are sympathetic to Missouri Ridge Township, which didn’t want the subdivision in the first place and fought to keep the county from approving it. We are sympathetic to the residents, who were promised paved roads.

We are not at all sympathetic, however, to Williams County, nor to the County Commission’s argument that the township or the residents should pay for the paving.

The roads in question are not in the subdivision, but rather the roads leading into it. The roads are public, and are used by more than just the residents. If the residents were asking for every inch of road in the entire subdivision to be paved, it would be a different story.

The county approved the project, and if the developer is unwilling or unable to do the paving, the buck needs to stop with the county.

If need be, the county could take legal action to either force the developer to abide by the agreement or to pay for part or all of the county’s work paving the roads.

In 2011 the county was in desperate need of more housing, and a new subdivision seemed like a good idea. When the developer agreed to handle maintenance of a portion of the road, the county could - and should - have put what maintenance meant in writing. Was there an expectation of pavement? Or was the commission thinking of maintaining unpaved roads.

Without a real plan in place and without a set of regulations or guidelines, it should never have approved the project.

But it did, and now it needs to take responsibility for that decision.


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