5 things to know today: Investigations bill, Boundary change, Daylight saving, Next steps, Protest run
A rundown of some of the best stories found on Inforum.
1. ND House OKs bill bringing childbirth death investigations under state control
The North Dakota House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously on Tuesday, Feb. 9, to cement in state law a board of medical experts to review and investigate maternal deaths caused by childbirth.
House Bill 1205 , proposed by Rep. Vicky Steiner, R-Dickinson, will go to the Senate when the two chambers exchange legislation later this month.
The bill would bring the existing Maternal Mortality Review Committee under the state's domain, granting the board more authority to investigate the causes of pregnancy-related deaths. The committee, founded in 1954, has historically operated through an organization of obstetricians and gynecologists.
Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley
2. Final version of Fargo schools' boundary change offers no grandfather clause
New boundary changes to be phased in over three years at Fargo Public Schools will begin at the start of the 2022 -23 school year, but no overall grandfathering clause will be allowed to keep students in current schools.
The Fargo School Board passed transition Plan A on a 5-3 vote on Dec. 8 and passed the no grandfathering clause on Tuesday, Feb. 9, on a 5-2 vote, with one member not present. To be grandfathered during a school boundary change would have given students an opportunity to stay at their current school.
Although the boundary change plan will not include a grandfathering clause, no two or more students from the same dwelling will be forced to attend two different high schools at the same time, said Assistant Superintendent Robert Grosz. Students who are already participating in a varsity school sport would also be allowed to continue at the current high school.
Read more from The Forum's C.S. Hagen
3. North Dakota Senate passes bill for permanent daylight saving time
North Dakota senators passed a bill Monday, Feb. 8, that aims to get the state on year-round daylight saving time just days after the legislation had failed in a narrow floor vote.
Senate Bill 2201 passed 36-11 after receiving a substantial amendment by its lead sponsor, Sen. Jason Heitkamp, R-Wahpeton, that would ensure North Dakota's time alignment with neighboring states. Before Heitkamp's amendment, the bill was defeated by the razor-thin margin of one vote on Friday.
States must receive Congressional approval to switch to year-round daylight saving time observance. Thirteen states have already adopted legislation that would make the change, according to the National Conference of State Legislators, and are waiting on the OK from Congress.
Read more from Forum News Service's Adam Willis
4. 'I feel their sense of urgency': Walz weighing next round of COVID-19 dial turns, offers few details
Drug overdose deaths in Cass County have been on the rise since 2018, and the total number of fatal meth overdoses in 2020 eclipsed the total number of fatal opioid overdoses in 2016, a year notorious for the number of lives lost to opioid addiction.
Comparing the 42 fatal meth overdoses in 2020 to the 31 fatal opioid overdoses in 2016, Robyn Litke Sall, substance abuse prevention coordinator for Fargo Cass Public Health, said she believes the community is "on the cusp" of an even greater fatal drug problem for which there are very few solutions.
She said that is because, unlike opioids, there is no chemical antidote people can use to reverse a meth overdose.
Read more from Forum News Service's Dana Ferguson
5. Standing Rock youth urge President Joe Biden to shut down Dakota Access pipeline with 93-mile run in frigid weather
Just as the sun peeked over the horizon on Tuesday, Feb. 9, youth of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began their slow jog north from Timber Lake, South Dakota, in the freezing cold with only their burning determination to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline keeping them warm.
The temperature hovered around 11 below zero during the first legs of the 93-mile journey. A runner, followed by a convoy of cars with more runners ready to take over, kicked off the relay run toward the finish line at the distant Oceti Sakowin Camp — the site of the 2016 Dakota Access pipeline protests.
The Standing Rock youth took up this mammoth effort to grab President Joe Biden’s attention and urge him to shut down the pipeline that has been a source of outrage for the tribal nation for years.