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5 things to know today: Mapleton shooting, Prisoner death, Abortion law, Teacher shortage, Median project

A select rundown of stories found on InForum.

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Sheriff Bill Bergquist, sheriff of Clay County from 2002 until 2019, has been placed in hospice care due to recent progression from Alzheimer's Dementia.
Forum file photo
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1. Police shoot and kill man following hours-long standoff in Mapleton

A man going through a mental health crisis was shot and killed by police after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement in Mapleton on Monday, Aug. 1, according to Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner.

Deputies first responded to the area of Fifth Street and Third Avenue North in Mapleton for a shots-fired call around 10:30 a.m. Around the same time, Jahner said, they received a report of a person in the same area who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

As officers arrived, they reported hearing more gunshots, Jahner said, adding no shots were fired at officers.

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The Sheriff's Office then issued a shelter-in-place order for the city, telling residents to remain indoors, and set up a perimeter in the area.

Read more from WDAY's Matt Henson

2. Man convicted in Mandan quadruple murder dies by suicide, authorities say

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Chad Isaak of Washburn sits with his defense team Wednesday during the third day of his murder trial at the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan. Isaak is on trial for the killing of four people at RJR Maintenance and Management in Mandan on April 1, 2019. At left are defense attorneys Bruce Quick and Jesse Walstad. Mike McCleary / The Bismarck Tribune

A man convicted of killing four people at a Mandan property management business has died by suicide, authorities said.

Chad Trolon Isaak, 48, was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. Sunday, July 31, after being taken to Sanford Hospital in Bismarck, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said Monday in a news release. Both the Highway Patrol and the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are investigating the death.

The Highway Patrol was called to the State Penitentiary for a report of an inmate who harmed himself, the release said. No further information was available in the release.

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Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Kayli Richards said the department could release few details about Isaak's death because it is under investigation. Isaak had a roommate, but that person was not present at the time Isaak reportedly took his life Sunday afternoon, Richards said.

Read more from The Forum's April Baumgarten

3. Dem-NPL lawmakers ask for attorney general opinion on 'conflicts' within North Dakota's abortion laws

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Protestors and escorts stand in front of the Red River Women's Clinic in downtown Fargo on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

Two Democratic-NPL lawmakers have asked North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley to weigh in on what they view as inconsistencies between the state's abortion laws.

Reps. Karla Rose Hanson, of Fargo, and Zac Ista, of Grand Forks, announced Monday, Aug. 1, they had requested an opinion from Wrigley, a Republican, to clarify how abortion will be regulated in the state after a near-total ban on the practice takes effect.

In 2007, the North Dakota Legislature passed a "trigger" bill that would ban most abortions in the state within 30 days if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

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Wrigley set off the 30-day countdown in late June after the Supreme Court's landmark Dobbs decision, but last week, a Bismarck judge ruled in favor of the state's only abortion clinic and temporarily blocked the ban a day before its effective date. The ban is now slated to go into effect on Aug. 26.

Hanson and Ista argue the state's existing abortion laws conflict with the impending trigger law.

The legislators say conflicts between the trigger statute and a separate chapter of state law called the Abortion Control Act could result in doctors hesitating before treating ectopic pregnancies and rape victims.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

4. Facing teacher shortage, Willmar Schools hire teachers from Nicaragua and the Philippines for new school year

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Willmar Public Schools will have five new teachers from other countries when the school year starts Sept. 6

Once visas and teaching licenses are approved, four women from the Philippines and a man from Nicaragua will be teaching at Roosevelt and Kennedy elementary schools.

All are experienced teachers who speak fluent English. They are expected to arrive in August.

Filling teaching positions and other jobs in the district has been a struggle in recent years. Even with five international teachers coming, the district continues to have multiple openings for teachers, paraprofessionals and other positions, according to Human Resources Director Liz Windingstad.

Read more from Forum News Service's Linda Vanderwerf

5. Interstate 94 median project in Fargo enters new phase

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Traffic flows along I-94 in Fargo as construction work to install concrete and cable median barriers continues on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

The $3.75-million Interstate 94 safety barrier construction project has entered a new phase.

Work has begun flattening the median with extra dirt and soon crews will install high-tension cable fence from the 42nd Street overpass in Fargo to the Sheyenne Street interchange in West Fargo.

Work will result in more lane closures and slower speeds for the upcoming month until work is completed by a target date at the end of August. The median will be flattened along most of the interstate to provide the proper height for the barrier fence.

The construction is part of a major effort across North Dakota to raise the ditch levels to improve effectiveness of safety barriers.

Work started a few weeks ago on what will be a concrete barrier between west and eastbound lanes from the Interstate 29 interchange to the 42nd Street overpass, one of the most heavily-trafficked areas. The new barriers, similar to those on Interstate 29, will be completed at the end of September.

North Dakota Department of Transportation Assistant District Engineer Joe Peyerl said the specially designed concrete barriers are made with reinforced steel, preventing any crossover crashes.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What to read next
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
Justice Lisa Fair McEvers said high caseloads are delaying decisions that are important for children and families, and could be alleviated by hiring several more judges.
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A select rundown of stories found on InForum.