1. Moorhead human rights award winner spends weekends helping immigrants learn english

When Lisa Arnold's duties as an English associate professor at North Dakota State University are finished on Friday, she doesn't take the weekend off to relax.

Instead, she continues helping others learn every weekend. Except they aren't college students, but adult immigrants mostly from Somalia, Iraq and the Congo, some of whom have had little education in their lives.

Arnold is one of three main volunteer teachers at the Afro American Development Association to New Americans in Moorhead that meets every Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.

She started at the New American center the first year she moved here, and she said meeting all of the people that come to her classes is "worth it."

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More from The Forum's Barry Amundson

2. McFeely: 'Date which will live in infamy' still matters

The front page of the extra edition of the Dec. 7, 1941, Fargo Forum, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Forum photo
The front page of the extra edition of the Dec. 7, 1941, Fargo Forum, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Forum photo

Dec. 7 still matters to some of us who grew up in a household with a father who fought in World War II.

It is a most solemn day. It is a day to remember and reflect, one on which to give thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on that morning in Hawaii and all the days afterward until Aug. 15, 1945.

For those of a certain vintage it is one of the Big Four dates that will not, or at least should not, be forgotten: Dec. 7, 1941; June 6, 1944; Nov. 22, 1963; and Sept. 11, 2001.

Only one of those days, 9/11, occurred during my lifetime. The others are important because they were unforgettable to my dad, who was born in 1922, and my mom, who was born in 1927 (and is still with us, thankfully).

More from Forum columnist Mike McFeely

3. ND lawmakers attend Puerto Rico policy trip

From the Bismarck Tribune via Forum News Service

Fourteen North Dakota lawmakers are attending a national conference in Puerto Rico, one of several, similar events throughout the year that legislative leaders say are necessary to advance policy.

The Council of State Governments National Conference began Wednesday, Dec. 4, in San Juan and wraps up Saturday, Dec. 7. No costs were yet available for the trip, as those in attendance will submit vouchers for reimbursement when they return.

Twenty North Dakota lawmakers and nine legislative staff attended the four-day National Conference of State Legislatures summit in August in Nashville, costing about $90,000. The Legislature this year also paid about $130,000 to the national conference for dues, or "professional development," according to an online checkbook.

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4. Nicholls brings confidence and playoff experience against Bison

Nicholls State junior wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon is the school’s third all-time leader in receiving yards with 2,220. He averages 122.2 yards receiving per game this season.   Thibodaux (La.) Courier/Daily Comet photo
Nicholls State junior wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon is the school’s third all-time leader in receiving yards with 2,220. He averages 122.2 yards receiving per game this season. Thibodaux (La.) Courier/Daily Comet photo

From the Thibodaux Courier/Daily Comet

There was nothing historic about Nicholls State beating the University of North Dakota in the first round of the FCS Playoffs last week.

It wasn’t the first time the Colonels hosted a postseason game — that was in 2017. It wasn’t the first postseason win in three decades — that happened in 2018. It wasn’t even the most significant game of this season, coming just a week after Nicholls beat rival Southeastern Louisiana on the road to claim the Southland Conference title for the second straight year.

From an outside perspective, winning a playoff game for only the third time in school history had about as much drama and fanfare as a Tuesday practice session. The only postgame party plans mentioned was Julien Gums saying he wanted to go to bed after rushing for 172 yards while battling a cold.

It’s a mindset that was unthinkable just a few years ago when winning any games was cause for celebration. And yet here the Colonels were barely acknowledging they were once again one of the last 16 teams alive in the hunt for a FCS national title.

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5. Bad smell causes big stink in Wahpeton

Derek Murray / WDAY
Derek Murray / WDAY

There's something lurking in eastern Richland County. You can't see it, nor can you hear it. But every once in a while, you can definitely smell it.

In recent weeks, residents in Wahpeton and Breckenridge, Minn., have been dealing with the intermittent arrival of an overpowering stench that hangs over the area — offending some and making others downright queasy.

The smell gets into cars and can even seep into buildings. Residents have different ways of describing it, but they all agree on one thing: It’s pretty vile.

Kristi Severson said it smells "like sewer" and that it has been strong enough to make her sick.

"It gave me a migraine; my stomach was upset — it's just nasty," she said. "You can't even walk outside, you basically have to cover your mouth."

Watch the story from WDAY's Alyssa Kelly