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Forum Editorial: Police,BCI win the weeds

LEAFY SPURGE: To the Moorhead Police Department and to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation for an over-the-top response last week to apprehending a suspect with felony warrants who sped off and led authorities on a chase through a Moorhead golf course and eventually to West Acres shopping mall in Fargo. Three police cars chased the suspect through the golf course while a police chopper tracked the fleeing vehicle. Yet, the squad cars ripped across the course, doing considerable damage. An official’s initial response was that the squads did not enter the course. When confronted with video evidence they did, the story changed. The Keystone Cops character of the episode is evident. For its part, the BCI circled the wagons when criticized for its plainclothes agents entering the mall with weapons drawn. The agents caused more panic among customers, walkers and store clerks than a running suspect would have caused. To make the situation all the more bizarre, Fargo police were not immediately informed BCI personnel were on the scene. All in all, not a good day for law enforcement.

PRAIRIE ROSES: Once again to the vector crews for their work in the never-ending spring/summer mosquito wars. When conditions permit, the workers take to the fields on foot, in motorized ground sprayers or in the air to hold back the warm weather scourge of the Northern Plains, the nasty mosquito. With more and more concern (some a tad overblown) about West Nile virus found in a specific species of mosquito, control measures have been ramped up. They work.

Mosquito populations never will be completely eradicated, but perennial treatment by vector agencies, using latest control techniques, have a cumulative effect over time that reduces populations of the little stingers. The work is appreciated by all who love the outdoors.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To candidate for North Dakota commissioner of agriculture Ryan Taylor for resurrecting ideas that would strike a better balance between oil development and landowner rights and public safety. Among other things, the Towner rancher and former legislator would increase the setback between drilling operations and occupied homes. A similar provision was stripped out of legislation in the 2013 Legislature. Taylor also wants to see mandatory flow meters and pressure cutoff switches on gas and liquid pipelines, a safety measure. Taylor’s initiative is noteworthy because should he be elected ag commissioner, he would serve on the Industrial Commission, which has significant regulatory and permitting authority in oil country.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.