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5 things to know today: Walkout, Attracting tourists, Cobber recovers, ISIS, Unlikely pair

Climate teens 2
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist who has inspired mass youth protests, joins other young climate activists for a climate strike demonstration outside the White House on Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C. Washington Post photo by Jahi Chikwendiu

1. Global climate change walkout

A global walkout aimed at increasing awareness of climate issues is set to take place today with at least some local young people planning to take part.

A number of students at Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo informed school officials they plan to participate in the walkout and school officials said they were working on a plan that would accommodate the situation, according to AnnMarie Campbell, a spokesperson for the school district.

Campbell said a similar process would take place at other schools if students inform school administrators they would like to participate in the walkout.

The demonstration will be similar to other "strikes" that have taken place around the globe since August 2018, when Greta Thunberg, a teen from Sweden, sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks to protest what she felt was a lack of action on climate change.

More from The Forum's Dave Olson


2. ND tribes work to attract international tourists

Participants of the grand entry for the Mandaree Hidatsa Powwow wear regalia and dance in a rotating circle July 19 in Mandaree, N.D. Forum file photo

The five Indigenous nations in North Dakota have teamed up to promote Indian Country to the world as the 2016 Standing Rock protest over the Dakota Access oil pipeline helped put tribal tourism on the map.

The controversy “opened up the world’s eyes again to Indian Country,” said Les Thomas, chairman of the North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance. “The whole world wants to know about Indian Country. They’re interested.”

Thomas, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, helped start the North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance three years ago in the hopes of attracting international tourists in search of cultural experiences and developing the state’s tribal economies. He said he wants to "preserve, protect and promote Native cultures" and educate non-Indigenous peoples.

Read more from The Forum's Natasha Rausch

3. 'I have a better life'

Former Concordia football player Michael Herzog is recovering from being burned in a fish house explosion and appreciates the support he has received from the community. David Samson / The Forum


On a recent hunting trip with his father and older brother, Michael Herzog was hiking in the mountains near Scofield, Utah, something that didn't seem possible for the former Concordia Cobbers quarterback six months ago.

"I was sucking air and my heart's beating like crazy, and usually you're like 'This sucks,' but I'm alive and I could feel it so I love that" said the 24-year-old Herzog, who is from Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Herzog has symbolically climbed a mountain after he was involved in a serious accident last spring.

Read more from The Forum's Eric Peterson

4. Minnesota man reportedly left family to join ISIS

Abdelhamid Al-Madioum
Abdelhamid Al-Madioum went with his parents on a two-month vacation to Morocco in 2015. According to federal court documents, Al-Madioum slipped away and boarded a flight to Turkey, a common point of departure for aspiring ISIS fighters. This week, CBS News reporter Holly Williams visited a prison in northeastern Syria and interviewed Al-Madioum. Screenshot of CBS News video via Minnesota Public Radio.

From Minnesota Public Radio via Forum News Service

A St. Louis Park, Minn., man who investigators say left his family four years ago to join the terrorist group Islamic State, or ISIS, has turned up in a Syrian prison.


Abdelhamid Al-Madioum is a U.S. citizen born in Morocco. In the summer of 2015, while on break from studying computer science at Normandale Community College, he went with his parents on a two-month vacation to Morocco.

Al-Madioum socialized with family members on July 7 and then slipped away early the next morning, taking only his cellphone and passport, according to federal documents. The young man — who was 18 at the time — caught an 8:25 a.m. flight from Casablanca to Istanbul. Turkey is a common point of departure for aspiring ISIS fighters.

More from Minnesota Public Radio's Matt Sepic

5. Laundromat and library team up in Moorhead

The Sons of Norway will be used as a location in the film Tankhouse. David Samson / The Forum

Literacy and laundry. Suds and storytime. Unlike that missing sock, libraries and laundromats are seemingly the perfect match.
"The laundromat — of course!" Jenny Rodger said when she first heard about the Wash and Learn initiative.

Rodger, public services supervisor at Moorhead Public Library, said the international program through Libraries Without Borders began in Detroit as a way to bring public library services to laundromats.

Pop-up libraries in non-traditional learning spaces offer families more than books as they wait to fold clothes and head home. Educational opportunities range from story time, technology assistance with eBooks, smartphones and other gadgets, as well as the chance to sign up for library cards.
Read more from The Forum's Kim Hyatt


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