1 Breckenridge homecoming: The Cowboys host Hawley for their homecoming football game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4.
2 This day in history: In 1965, Pope Paul VI became the first reigning pontiff to visit the United States.
3 Can you say jet lag? The longest regularly scheduled nonstop passenger flights in the world is Singapore Airlines Flight 21, which departs from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey for Changi International Airport in Singapore with a scheduled length of just over 18 hours.
4 Today’s Birthdays include former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893); reporter-author Damon Runyon (1880-1946); Oscar winner Charlton Heston (1923-2008); author Anne Rice (1941-); Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (1946-) and “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist (1988-)
With a 5-0 vote, the Richland County Board of Commissioners postponed making a recommendation of procedure in applying for farm-related tax exemptions.
The commissioners voted Wednesday, Oct. 2, following conversation with Richland County Assessor Sandy Fossum. The commissioners aren’t making a recommendation, Commissioner Rollie Ehlert said, because they are waiting for North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger to provide clear guidance.
“I don’t think (the office’s) going to provide clear guidance,” Fossum said.
North Dakota Senate Bill 2278 states any person claiming a farm related tax exemption shall sign a verified statement of facts establishing their eligibility. Exactly what the statement is has not been determined.
“Do we have them bring in their tax returns and we fill out the worksheet, or are we going to just accept worksheets?” Fossum asked.
In September, Fossum recommended applicants bring their tax returns to her office, rather than a worksheet or the form completed by a tax preparer.
The assessor’s office is required to keep tax return information confidential, Fossum said. Information would be taken from the tax return and entered onto the worksheet.
Exemptions are permitted when farm income is 66 percent or more of a household’s gross income. Fossum anticipates more people will qualify for exemptions.
“I’ve been consulting with other counties regarding how they’ll handle this,” she said. “I’ve been getting a mix of ‘We’re not sure yet’ and ‘We will be requiring them to bring in tax returns.’”
The next commissioners meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Richland County Courthouse, 418 Second Ave. N. in Wahpeton.
Breckenridge High School students and teachers have been showing off their school spirit and homecoming excitement throughout the week with activities and dress-up themes.
Throughout the week students have been dressing up in their favorite pajamas, favorite characters, and camo/blaze orange. Thursday was no different. Students and teachers took the day to forget the cold weather and dress in their favorite Hawaiian clothes, sandals, and all tacky tourist garb.
After previous days of musical chairs, dodgeball, and school-wide Kahoot, students were able to show off their talent in dancing, singing, and telling jokes.
The talent show kicked off with a lip-sync and dance to “All-Star” by Smash Mouth. Then a group of senior boys wore their finest thrift store purchases and danced to “Thrift Store” by Macklemore. Some used their old school style to woo the crowd while others used their moves. Some broke down into the worm dance while others the classic sprinkler.
A group of teachers then made their twist of “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf into “Teachers are Wild” with their dance and ‘70s rock garb.
Some students told jokes that left the crowd in an uproar. Another student swept the crowd away by singing “Love Someone” by Lukas Graham while they waved their phone flashlights in the bleachers. Then lastly the freshmen football boys lined together and sang “I’m a little teapot, short and stout” while they put their hands on their hips and finished in unison, “tip me over and fill me out!”
Ultimately, there was a three-way tie: Adam Hieserich, Isaiah Stetz, and a Valley Lake Boys Home student.
Friday, Oct. 4, will be the last day of homecoming where students and staff will dress in school colors to show their school spirit and will end their day with a pep fest. The football game will be held at 7 p.m. against Hawley. The dance will follow after the football game.
Minnesota Department of Health released its statewide student survey on Wednesday, Oct. 2 which shows an acute increase of teens vaping compared to previous years. In response to these results, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called for a multi-faceted policy change on education, outreach, and restraining access to vaping products.
The 2019 Minnesota Student Survey results show that one in four 11th graders reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. Compared to the 2016 survey, this is a 54 percent increase, where 17 percent of 11th graders reported vaping.
Another finding showed a sharper increase in vaping by eighth graders. Eleven percent reported use in 2019, whereas 5.7 percent reported use in 2016, nearly twice as many.
Along with these findings, results showed that students are ill-informed about the health risks. Seventy-six percent of 11th graders reported there is no, slight or moderate risk of e-cigarettes.
These results are currently only Minnesota state-level results, not county-level data. In the following weeks, county results will be released.
Ashley Wiertzema, coordinator for the We Care Coalition, said she does think that Wilkin County will see an increase in the vaping numbers once county-level data is released. Currently, the coalition is providing education for teachers, parents, and students and also supports Tobacco 21.
The results came at a time pertinent to the national outbreak of lung injuries related to e-cigarettes and vaping. As of Sept. 27, 2019, there have been 805 lung injuries from 46 states and one U.S. territory. Twelve deaths have been confirmed in 10 states. All patients reported a history of e-cigarette use or vaping.
The latest count in Minnesota is 55 confirmed or probable case of vaping-related server lung injuries, and one death.
“Vaping is a public health crisis for your Minnesotans, and it is critical that we act now to bring the rate down,” Gov. Walz said. “As a teacher and as a father, I know the first step is making sure our young people understand the risks. That’s why I’ve directed our health and education commissioners to work together to get the word out to students, parents and school officials this month while also putting forward bold legislative policies to tackle this crisis head-on. Our goal must be to make sure young people and the adults in their lives have the information, support, and resources to fight back against those profiting at the expense of our children’s health and well-being.”
Gov. Walz’s first action was to instruct the commissioners of health and education to institute an outreach campaign to provide schools, parents, students, and healthcare providers with information and resources to assist with vaping issues.
The governor’s second action direct his administration to set 2020 policy changes combating youth vaping. These policy changes include” changing the legal age for tobacco to 21; prohibiting the internet sale of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and vaping produces; prohibiting the sale of flavored smoking products; and granting authority for Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to declare a public health emergency.
This student survey is voluntary and anonymous that is conducted every three years. It includes questions regarding school climate, bullying, out-of-school activities, healthy eating, emotional health, substance use, connections with school and family and other topics important to identify trends to improve the well-being of Minnesota’s youth.
For more information on go to https://www.health.state.mn.us/ and for more coverage follow Wahpeton Daily News.
The former Asbury Apartments, located at 1340 and 1330 12th St. N. in Wahpeton, are being completely gutted.
Clearance began Tuesday, Oct. 1, immediately after Joe St. Aubin’s purchase was completed. The two-building, three-story, 24-unit complex will be known as the Huskie View Apartments.
“We’re not going to keep much other than the main structure,” said St. Aubin, 43, Wahpeton. “Everything’s going to be brand new.”
The property’s windows and exterior doors are being removed. By midday Thursday, Oct. 3, approximately 90 yards of garbage had been cleared from garages.
St. Aubin, who hopes to have the Huskie View completed by June 1, 2020, said he’d only be guessing if he tried to put a final price tag on his project. He purchased the complex from Eusebio Mendoza, 90, Fargo.
In May 2015, a fire destroyed several of Asbury Apartments’ parking garages. Years later, residents and Wahpeton officials expressed frustration with the level of maintenance and upkeep for the complex’s interior and exterior. The property is located across the street from Wahpeton Elementary and Wahpeton Middle School.
“I think the biggest issue, when we’ve talked to the owner before, is that he’s not aware of what’s going on,” City Building Official Todd Johnson said in July 2019. “He doesn’t live in town, he doesn’t see the day to day activities and he’s so out of touch with what’s going on over there.”
Nineteen of the Asbury’s 24 units were occupied when he signed a purchase contract in August, St. Aubin said. The complex is nearly unoccupied.
“There are two people left that were supposed to have left before now,” St. Aubin said. “It’s up to the previous owner’s attorney to get them out.”
Attorney Nicholas Nelson, Wahpeton, was unavailable for comment. Assistant City Attorney Brittany Hatting said her office has not been involved in the two occupants’ situation.
St. Aubin showed Daily News an unoccupied apartment. It included abandoned property and debris, including furniture, clothing, a kennel and animal feces.
“They stink. They’re full of garbage,” St. Aubin said. “(There’s feces) all over.”
When Daily News visited the Asbury in July, residents in one apartment displayed a kitchen sink with no attached pipes.
“If you push onto the living room window, it will fall from its unsealed position. The heaters are still on, resulting in ‘hot as hell’ bedrooms. Flies and mosquitoes are common,” Daily News previously reported.
St. Aubin is almost starting from scratch with the Huskie View.
“We’re getting new windows, doors, balconies, entries. Everything on the inside’s going to be new other than the subfloor and some of the drywall,” he said.
Huskie View neighbors the Huskie Run Apartments, purchased and renovated by St. Aubin Apartments Central, LLC in 20017. Previously known as the Windsor Park Apartments, the Huskie Run complex was once owned by Mendoza and eventually his ex-wife.
“I’ve got 20 properties, 209 apartments after (Huskie View) is complete. They’re all on the north side of Wahpeton,” St. Aubin said.
The Huskie View is in a neighborhood receiving attention for its building projects and housing.
Construction of the Wahpeton Agriculture Education Facility continues on the nearly Wahpeton High School campus. The facility is possible through a partnership among Wahpeton Public Schools, Southeast Region Career and Technical Center and North Dakota State College of Science.
A few streets north of the Huskie View are the Northland Apartments complexes. Northland residents and city officials are seeking more information about a proposed buyer’s intentions with the rent structure and current occupants.
St. Aubin Apartments Central’s properties include The Courtyard, formerly known as Community Homes.
“It’s 100 percent occupied. The Huskie Run is, too. Pretty much everything I have is occupied,” St. Aubin said.