5 things to know today: Mapleton shooting, Party lines, 2023 budget, Cyber security, Union representation
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
1. Authorities release name of man killed in Mapleton standoff, officers involved in shooting
Authorities have identified the man who was killed by police during a standoff in Mapleton on Monday, Aug. 1, along with the four officers involved.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said Andrew James Martinez, 35, died after being shot by four Fargo police officers in Mapleton.
Sergeant Travis Moser, detective Josh Heller, detective Ryan Jasper and investigator Jordan Korte all discharged their weapons at the scene, according to a release from the Fargo Police Department. The officers involved, all veterans of the department, are now on paid administrative leave.
Before the shooting, Cass County deputies responded to a report of shots fired around 10:30 a.m. Monday in Mapleton. Dispatch also received a report of a man suffering from a mental health crisis in that area, according to Sheriff Jesse Jahner.
More shots were heard as officers arrived at the scene, but none were fired at officers, Jahner said.
2. North Dakota, Minnesota senators split along party lines on proposed assault weapons ban
The four U.S. senators from North Dakota and Minnesota are divided along party lines on a bill that would ban assault weapons.
The proposal to ban assault weapons narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, July 29. All but five of the chamber's Democrats voted for the bill, and all but two Republicans voted against it.
The bill would make it a crime to sell, manufacture or possess semi-automatic assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition feeding devices. Democrats have pushed their Republican colleagues to pass gun control legislation after a recent string of deadly mass shootings rocked communities in Texas, Illinois and New York.
The bill appears unlikely to pass the Senate given the near-unanimous Republican opposition. Ten GOP senators would need to join Democrats in the evenly split chamber to pass the bill over a filibuster. It's unclear if or when the Senate will vote on the legislation.
North Dakota's Republican senators dismissed the bill, arguing it would violate their constituents' Second Amendment rights.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said his vote on the legislation is "a firm no."
3. West Fargo passes its preliminary 2023 budget
Thanks to an increase in taxable valuation, the city of West Fargo isn't planning to raise its mill levy in 2023, but it is banking on taxpayers passing a half cent sales tax increase to be used for police and fire budgets.
City Administrator Tina Fisk said each city mill was worth $198,650 in 2022, and each one is equal to about $234,434 for 2023.
She said the 2022 mill levy was 72.69 mills, and there is no change to the total levy for 2023. Fisk said the change of mill values will increase the city's income by about $2.5 million.
Fisk said they are expecting to ask the commission to consider increases in water and sanitary fee increases in the future; however, those increases would not have to be finished as part of the overall budget that must be sent to the Cass County auditor by Aug. 10.
Since the preliminary budget was presented in July, Fisk said a few licensing fees and other fees could be increased and the fire department is going to pause a request for some new equipment. She said those changes will allow the city to decrease the transfer from special revenue funds from $1 million to $500,000.
The city also plans additional income due to interest. Interest income is about $1.5 million higher for 2023 than it was for 2022, Fisk said.
4. Businesses and individuals 'in a fight every single day' against cyber attacks, experts say
Experts and professionals from a broad range of industries gathered Tuesday morning, Aug. 2, at the Delta by Marriott in Fargo for the Midwest Cybersecurity and Technology Summit.
The No. 1 takeaway from the event, which was put on by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce , was that nearly every business in the modern world is at risk of a cyber attack. That point was driven home by several speakers and panelists who offered their perspective on cybersecurity and how it pertained to fields like agriculture, energy, health care and the military.
While the morning’s discussion took on a foreboding tone with regard to the dangers of cyberattacks, the speakers and panelists also offered guidance for businesses seeking to secure their enterprises.
5. Nurses at Mayo Clinic in St. James, Minn., vote to decertify themselves from union representation
For the second time in the span of a week, nurses at a Mayo Clinic Health System location have voted to decertify themselves from union representation.
On Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board announced that nurses at the Mayo Clinic in St. James met approval for decertification from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 65. Nurses at Mayo Clinic St. James voted 15-2 in favor of decertification.
The petition for the decertification was led by Heather Youngwirth, a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic St. James. Youngwirth received help from the National Right to Work Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit that helps to break workers from union representation.
The vote was put ahead of the current contract expiration between the Mayo Clinic St. James nurses and AFSCME Council 65, which was set to expire on Aug. 21, 2022. All 17 nurses participated in the voting through mail-in balloting according to NWRL spokesperson Kylie Thomas.