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5 things to know today: Guardian Angels, Minnesota primary, Pregnancy centers, Small bison, WE Fest

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. Financial stress, court cases not stopping guardians from doing important work in North Dakota, agencies say

Professionals who provide guardianship services in North Dakota say even though agencies are under financial stress and at least one company was successfully sued for fraudulent conduct, many guardians remain dedicated to protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.

"On the whole, guardians are doing work after meeting rigorous requirements and standards and are answerable not just to those agencies that certify and accredit, but to each other as well," said Margot Haut, president of the Guardianship Association of North Dakota and director of Guardian Angels Inc., a guardianship and conservatorship service in Jamestown.

Guardian Angels has a staff of seven, five of whom are certified guardians, according to Haut, who added that the Guardianship Association of North Dakota includes about 50 individuals, some of whom are family members of those they serve while others work through guardianship agencies.

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Read more from The Forum's David Olson

2. When and where to vote in Clay County for Tuesday's Minnesota primary

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Minnesota voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can check their registration status online at mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterStatus.aspx.

Voters will be narrowing the field of candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and various statewide offices including governor, attorney general and secretary of state ahead of the November general election.

Following the retirement of Democratic Sen. Kent Eken, a new candidate will soon be representing District 4 in the state Senate.

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District 4 encompasses Moorhead and most of Clay County, western Becker County, along with Detroit Lakes, Audubon and Lake Park.

State DFLers endorsed Rob Kupec, former TV meteorologist at KVRR-TV, to replace Eken, while Republicans endorsed former Moorhead City Council member Dan Bohmer on May 7.

Read more from The Forum's Andrew Haugland

3. 24 Minnesota crisis pregnancy centers promote ‘dangerous’ abortion pill reversal; some are state-funded

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A new study by the American Medical Association shows the average age of late pregnancies may be going up. WDAY file photo

Abortion pill reversal, a controversial and harmful practice intended to ‘reverse’ an abortion halfway through, is still being advertised by more than a quarter of crisis pregnancy centers in Minnesota — some of which are state-funded.

Advocates claim that medication abortion, which involves taking two pills in sequence within the first 11 weeks of pregnancy, can be halted in the middle by skipping the second dose and taking a high dose of progesterone instead. However, abortion pill reversal is “not supported by science,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“The data is totally unproven,” said Laura Dodge, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Harvard University. “It doesn’t work, and it is dangerous.”

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Minnesota crisis pregnancy centers receive almost $3 million in taxpayer funds each year through the Positive Alternatives Grant Program – more than half a million of which goes to five crisis pregnancy centers that promote abortion pill reversal, according to a Post Bulletin analysis. The grant program, which was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2005 and assigned to the Department of Health for implementation, grants money to nonprofit organizations that promote healthy pregnancy options outside of abortion.

Read more from Forum News Service's Molly Castle Work

4. Bison are getting smaller. It’s another sign of climate change — and poses challenges for herds

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Bison at Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota were part of a study that documented that bison are getting smaller in response to warming temperatures from climate change. Males and females in the park herd both are more than 20% smaller than 50 years ago — and female lifespans have gotten shorter, according to research by Jeff Martin of the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies at South Dakota State University.
Patrick Springer / The Forum

Jeff Martin noticed a striking trend in winners picked in competitions at the annual National Bison Association conventions that has persisted throughout the more than two decades he's attended.

The winning bison, invariably the largest and most impressive specimens, typically came from the north, while those passed over for recognition usually came from the south.

He observed a similar, although more subtle, contrast in size between the bison he helped raise on his family operation in western Wisconsin and those he encountered working as a ranch hand at a South Dakota bison ranch while in college.

It gradually dawned on Martin that the bison at the 777 Bison Ranch in southwestern South Dakota were visibly smaller than those on his family’s ranch in Wisconsin, where the climate is cooler, especially in winter.

Intensely curious, he began searching for explanations. For more than a decade, starting as an undergraduate and later while earning his doctorate, Martin has extensively researched the puzzle of why bison are larger in the north — and has compiled a body of evidence that the answer lies in warming temperatures.

Quite simply, as temperatures rise, bison become smaller, a correlation Martin found played out over thousands of years and continues.

Read more from Forum News Service's Patrick Springer

5. Working vacation is annual fun for many WE Fest employees

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Angelina Pederson has been waiting a lifetime to work at WE Fest. This year, her dream came true as the 18-year-old celebrated her birthday on Friday, Aug. 5. Now, rumor has it, the fun may lead to an even more memorable birthday weekend.

The 2022 Detroit Lakes High School graduate said when some of the festival's management learned that it was her birthday, they pulled strings and invited her to go backstage Friday, before headliner Miranda Lambert performed. The singer has been one of Pederson's favorites since she took the country music scene by storm in the early 2000s.

Whether the backstage invite comes to fruition or not, Pederson was thankful that she and her mother, Sara Pederson, were hired to work WE Fest. She has heard many stories of past employees having fun working the country festival. Other big draws to work the event included the competitive pay and perk of concert tickets and camping options in the employee campground.

“I love the music,” Angelina said. “I love the atmosphere.”

Mom Sara joined the WE Fest workforce because she wanted to spend time with her daughter, who is heading to college in the fall. While she had heard about WE Fest, this was the first time she attended the three-day concert. Having the first day under her belt, she was surprised at how some public perceptions of the event have not matched her experience.

Read more from Forum News Service's Barbie Porter

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.
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A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
A press release from the Sioux Falls Police Department did not specify whether the individual killed was a suspect, officer or bystander.