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5 things to know today: Abuse allegations, Leadership team, COVID-19 cases, Impropriety concerns, Police sue

A rundown of some of the best stories found on InForum.

Fargo Diocese Bishop James Sullivan is seen in retirement June 2, 2005. Bruce Crummy / The Forum
Fargo Diocese Bishop James Sullivan is seen in retirement June 2, 2005. Bruce Crummy / The Forum

1. Investigation confirms Former Fargo bishop abused 2 children; middle school renamed

A former Fargo bishop sexually abused two children in the 1960s when he was a priest in Michigan, church leaders said.

The accusations against former Bishop James Sullivan have been deemed credible by Catholic officials, the Fargo Diocese said in a statement issued Friday, July 2. An investigation found that Sullivan sexually groomed and inappropriately touched two boys when he was a priest living at the Church of the Resurrection Parish in Lansing , Michigan, according to a news release issued Friday by the Lansing Diocese.

Read more from The Forum's April Baumgarten

2. Fargo Police Department names new leadership team



The Fargo Police Department announced Friday afternoon, July 2, its appointment of Lt. Travis Stefonowicz to the new position of assistant police chief.

He will be joined in the executive leadership team under Police Chief David Zibolski's newly reorganized department by Joe Anderson as deputy chief of the neighborhood services division, Chris Helmick as the captain of the criminal investigations division and George Vinson as the captain of the professional standards division.

A panel of community members, city staff and law enforcement officials helped make the selections. In an interview with The Forum, Zibolski said he agreed with each of their choices.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

3. Nearly 95% of recent COVID-19 cases in North Dakota came in unvaccinated people

A coronavirus graphic. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Nearly half of all North Dakota adults have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and the protections offered by the shot are working, according to new numbers from the state Department of Health.

Just 5% of COVID-19 cases, 9% of virus-related hospitalizations and 16% of virus-related deaths came in fully vaccinated North Dakotans between May 1 and June 25.


Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

4. South Dakota lawmaker says no impropriety in Kristi Noem's donor-aided Guard deployment to Texas

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks on Monday, May 3, 2021, underneath a backdrop of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills, announcing a new recruitment measure to bring seasonal labor to the state for the upcoming tourism year. (Screenshot)

One of South Dakota's top legislators on an armed services committee says the deployment of the state's National Guard to the southern border is appropriate and legal.

Rep. Tony Randolph , a Rapid City Republican who chairs the House Military and Veterans Affairs committee, told Forum News Service in an interview on Friday, July 2, that he'd spoken with Gov. Kristi Noem's office about her plan to dispatch 50 South Dakota National Guard troops to Texas in a response to a request for border patrol resources from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Read more from Forum News Service's Christopher Vondracek

5. Police groups sue over Minnesota deadly force law

A squad car is blocked by protesters as it attempts to leave the neighborhood where Daunte Wright was killed during a traffic stop earlier in the day in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on April 11, 2021. Evan Frost / MPR News file photo


From MPR News via Forum News Service

A coalition of Minnesota law enforcement groups sued Friday, July 2, over a recently enacted law that changed the standard for justified use of deadly force by police.

Their lawsuit challenges a 2020 law on the grounds it would violate an officer’s constitutional right against self incrimination. The law went into effect this March.

Efforts to either redo the law again or pause it failed to advance in the now-concluded special session.

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