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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
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December 26, 2012     Walsh County Press
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December 26, 2012
 

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DECEMBER 26, 2012 THE PRESS ' CE 3 Walsh County Spotlight The merchants below are proud to announce: Park River Hockey and Park River Figure Skating will be hosting a teen dance for grades 7 to 12 from 9 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Dec. 28 at City Hall in Park River. Entry charge is $5. Kringstad's will DJ the event. All teens in attendance at the dance will have the chance to win a UND hockey jersey. Also in conjunction with the dance will be a raffle for an iPad mini. All proceeds from the raffle and dance go directly toward the payment of the new ice plant. COUNTY Park River PO Box 49 Park River 301vCounty Road12B! ..... iiii:.284.7115 1 AUTO PARTS Park River Implement 284-6316 Insurance Park River ,-, 284-7244 Adams ~ 944-2231 Grafton ~ 352-3668 Mi( .'hig.an ~ 259-2112 Hoopm ~ 894-6123 Crystal ~ 657-2168 110 4th St. E Park River \ Jim's Super Yalu 101 3rd St. W Park River For all your dinner needs! ldHA'r' YOU tNC 7 The Press will print your announcements - weddings, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, or babies- free of charge Small fee applies for open house invitations 1Br Apts \1 / Park Court Apts - Park River , All udlities paid 1 **Income Based** -- / Private Entrance with NO STEPS I t Now AVAmABLE:, !\ Call Vicki 701-331-3826 \1 i%j ...... 70,_35212275 Ill / professionally Managed by IV [ ,k~/ Prairie Homes Management ~ ~11 ,, 1-888-893-9501 : / ! ~ EHO ~.~ -Walsh County Veterans Service Office Cheers.to the New Year We survived the rtunored end of the world and I hope you StLrvived Christ- mas. These columns of mine are always intbnnational and to the point. I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone well as we transition from 2012 into 2013. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am looking forward to the next year. I love having that mindset of 'tomorrow is a new day', but having a whole new year is by far the best. My 2011 was full of family trips and events, but it was also a year of heartbreak and change. I couldn't wait for 2012; rightfully so as 2012 was my In'st drama-free year in a very long time. I took this job in the Veterans Service Office to help people. I wanted to be a do-gooder and a person that you could call for straight answers. My wish has come true a few times where I was able to help where no one was able to before. Thank you my area Veterans for allowing me to be a resource, voice, confidant, friend, and ally. The last tv o years have been a great start and I hope my stride will continue into 2013. Please let your fellow Veterans know this season that they are neither alone nor abandoned in their quest to get their voices heard. If there is a concern of eligibility of benefits, call me. If there is a topic that should be forwm'ded to the lawmakers of this great state, call me. If your neigh- bor has a question about being a Veteran but doesn't know who to ask, call me. If there is an event that you would love me to attend, call me. I am the only Veterans Service Officer in the NE comer of the state, aside fi'om Grand Forks, that is available more than two days a week. Sin-e, there may be a lot on my plate from time to time, but I always have a moment or three to answer a question or follow up on one. Contact Information: Office Phone 352-5030; Office Fax 352-5031; Work Cell 331-1700; Work Email kahodny@nd.gov; Web Site www.walsh- countynd.com/veteran; Facebook Walsh County Veterans Service Office Here's to a New Year and all the good things that come with it. Katrina HotbO, * Walsh Count' Veterans Semice O/ricer Administrative Building, 638 Cooper Ave, Grafton Walsh Winners 4-H club news By Sandra Kjelland the Catholic church. We elected PARK RIVER, N.D.- Walsh officers for the 2013 4-H year. Winners had our December President-Zach Nelson, vice meeting on Sunday the 16. Our president-Jordon Brummond, president Kaitlyn Nelson called a treasures-Kaitlyn Nelson, meeting to order the Pledge and Secretary-Jette Peterka, and Pledge of allegiance. Beatrice reporter- Sandra Kjelland. We Kjelland did the Secretary's report, finished our meeting with a Andrew Bmmmond did the treasurer's report. We welcomed community service project, of new members the Jacobsons who making trays of cookies for the elderly; we also made cookies for are officially club members, We the local business that supported 4- discussed going skiing with the , H at the county fair premium sale. Spirit 4-H club for our January meeting. We decided to go to the " Editor's Note: Kjelland is parliamentary procedure workshop reporter for the Walsh Winners 4-H February 2. All officers are club. expected to come and at least 1 Editor Note: Kjelland is leader. The next 4-H event is reporter fbr the Walsh I4"nners 4- communication arts March 16 at H club. Espeliens celebrate 70th wedding anniversary over Christmas PARK RIVER, N.D. -- The children of Joe and Irene Espelien are happy to announce the 70th Wedding Anniversary of their parents. Joseph Espelien and Irene McLauchlin were married December 25, 1942 in Alexandria, Louisiana. They have four children: Arden (Donna) Espelien, Scappoose, Oregon, Carmen (Steve) Severson, Minto, ND, ReNae (Wayne) Gerszewski, Park River, ND, and Jo Ellen Espelien, Honolulu, HI. They also have 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Four generations gathertogether GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Chris Hillebrand, daughter Aspen of Fargo, ND, Great Grandinother Dorothy Hodny of Grand Forks, ND, and Grandmother Louise Hillebrand of Petersburg, ND captured a moment celebrating four genereations of family. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD By Richard Volesky BELFIELD, N.D. -- North Dakota is near the top among states in drunken driving deaths per person. Alcohol was involved in more than half of the fatal crashes in North Dakota this year, meaning more than half of those crashes may not have happened. Some say it's a part of the culture in a rural state where there are long distances, nearly everyone drives, and alcohol is mixed in with most types of get-togethers. While it can be said alcohol is a part of the culture - but sadly linked to that is a DUI culture - where drinking and driving is con- sidered acceptable by some. Often mentioned in the media lately is that there were more than 6,000 DUI arrests last year. Not mentioned is that the actual number of drunk diivers likely is much higher because law en- forcement cannot be everywhere all of the time. The DUI culture has to change. Maintaining the status quo would mean we accept these types of crashes as inevitable. In recent years, the mantra of community developers has been that a key to success also includes a good quality of place, where recreation and other amenities abound. Cellainly, North Dakota can't claim to have a good quality of place, if our highways can be ranked among the least safe, where one can wonder if today's the day someone will once again meet a drunk drivel-. The htunan costs are immeasurable. On Oct. 29, 201 l, Charles Boehm, 21; Trevor Erie, 21; and Eastman Nadeau, 22; died in a Mandan crash in which their driver was drunk. At Lake Metigoshe in Bottineau on July 9 of this year, two brothers, Alar- ies Ruiz, 5, and Cyris Ruiz, 9, died when a tent they were camping in was driven over by an alleged drunk driver. Three days earlier, a drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 94 near Jamestown killed Aaron Deutscher, 34, his wife, Allison, 36; their daughter, Bridle, 18 months, and their unborn child. Look at the ages: Those are some of the young lives in our state with potentials not fully realized but now lost. In the case of the Deutschers - with Aaron being my nephew - the old phrase that says "words cannot describe" the aftemaath is certainly true. Aaron and his family were headed to a family reunion - with all the hap- piness that could entail - but instead that turned into days of shock and sorrow that dichl't have to be. As one relative said, "This truly makes your heart break." Once caught and convicted, a drunk driver of course faces fines, jail time and legal costs. A proposal ofRep. Ed Gruchalla, D-Fargo, seeks to stiffen the penalties. Yes, stronger penalties should play a role. Rep. Kim Koppelman, R-Fargo; Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem this week also announced legislation that includes mandatory jail semences, higher fines and use of a sobriety program for DUI of- fenders with testing twice per day for alcohol use. While penalties are important, it seems that the greater "value'" to a driver is simply the opportunity to drive. After all, people with sus- pended-licenses still can and do. Another "'wall" needs to be put up be- tw'een ddrunk ddrivers and their access to their steering wheels. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports the use of ignition interlocks, which are already used in 17 states. A person who has been convicted of ddrunk driving must first blow into the device before his or her vehicle starts. The vehicle won't start unless the driver's blood alco- hol is below a preset level. Costs of the interlock can be assessed to the driver, and there should be penalties for anyone who tampers or overrides the device. Ignition in- terlocks should become mandatory for all offenders. MADD, citing a National Research Council report, says that interlocks are effective in saving lives mad reducing repeat offenses and are more ef- fective than license suspension because 50 to 75 percent of convicted driv- ers continue driving without being licensed. Interlocks are effective in re- ducing repeat offenses by 67 percent, according to MADD, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While a current state budget proposal calls tbr additional highway pa- trol troopet in North Dakota to help pan:ol the roads of a state with a growing population, local police and sheriff's departments should also be offered a helping hand. Federal funding, funneled through the N.D. Department of Trans- portation, has been assisting law en~brcement with DUI and underage drinking issues. Considering North Dakota"s ample financial resources, the state certainly can aflbrd a grant program to enhance entbrcement. Lo- cal entities should be offered optional funding that would mean increas- ing the number of man hours, or if staffing would allow, providing for overtime with existing officers. When someone is arrested on a DUI charge, the possible outcomes are a conviction, a lesser charge or a dismissal. Prosecutors have the discre- tion ofdetemlining the direction of a case. A part of the DUI problem, as Becky Byzewski, prevention and safe commtmities coordinator with Community Action in Dickinson, sees it, is that too many DUI cases end up in reduced sentences. This doesn't help those who were charged or everyone else on the road, she says. Certainly, we all need to keep the pressm'e on our judges and state's attomeys, letting them know that leniency isn't an answer, it can be a part of the problem. In the stone North Dakota county in recent years, a drunk dliving crash that included fatalities resulted in no jail time for the surviving drivel while in another case the driver was put behind bars. True, the circum- stances in each case were different, but one result- death- was the same. A mandatory minimum sentence for any drunk driving death or injury could have a deterrent effect. A few days after the Deutscher and Ruiz clashes, eastern North Dakota resident Wayne Stautz proposed an idea to require the marking of driver's licenses of convicted DUI offenders. People with marked li- censes wouldia't be served. Sen. Tim Mathem, D-Fargo, is supporting the idea as another bill to be taken to the Legislature in January. Marked driver's licenses, however, could become entangled in First Amendment challenges. Pefllaps electronically marked licenses, which would still have the same effect, are another route. North Dakota has a law against serving alcohol "to a habitual drunk- ard, an incompetent, or an obviously intoxicated individual." But for there to be an anest, the over serving has to occur in the presence of a law en- forcement officer. The reality of such a circumstance is unlikely and prac- tically makes the law lneaningless" A possible alternative is changing the law so that a report by anyone about over serving can lead to an investigation and an arrest. Even in a bar, there still could be others, such as designated drivers, who would be coherent enough to report what they have seen. North Dakota has much to be proud of', but should be ashamed of its DUI culture. Lawmakers who don't support changes in that culture are complicit in it, and so are we all, if we don't speak up. Editor;s Note: Voles : isJ?om Be(ileAl, N.D. ?,