BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — December’s finally here, and with it comes talk of the holidays. This time of year tends to be one that is full of joy for many, but also full of stress — and sometimes both at once. While many see this time as a happy one, there have been plenty of rough spots in the week — but also a good number of more positive stories to lighten things up, at least a little. Here are the top ten stories from in and around North Dakota this week.
#1: Students threaten Plaza School with ‘Kill List’
Threatening documents and a picture were discovered at a Plaza school in November — including kill lists written by three students. In the wake of numerous incidents of school violence around the US, authorities were immediately placed on high alert, especially after another student posted a picture to Snapchat while holding a firearm. The students who created the documents were suspended, and law enforcement launched a full investigation. After, it was deemed that there was no threat to the safety of students, and classes resumed on Monday, November 28.
#2: Williston woman bites and kicks nurse in Williams County after being arrested
On November 18, a 24-year-old woman came to the attention of the Williston Police Department after she broke into the window of an apartment complex. After being taken into custody, she was stated to be combative and noncompliant — a behavioral trend that only got worse over time. After being sedated and taken to the emergency room, it was noted that the woman grabbed and bit the left hand of a nurse before kicking them in the head. The woman, Kennedy Rae Whritenour, has been charged with Simple Assault on EMS Personnel and Criminal Mischief, with another two charges under consideration.
#3: Two Minot businesses see unexpected closures
The unexpected shutdowns of two relatively popular restaurants have left Minot residents baffled. Both High Third and Elevation — two local eateries owned by the same person — announced their closure relatively close to one another, leaving the Minot Country Club struggling to find a solution for the 2023 golf season. Nobody has been able to get in touch with management for answers concerning the shutdowns, gift cards, or events that were to take place at either restaurant.
#4: Badger Wind Farm is approved, with warning from the Public Service Commission
The plan to construct a large wind farm around Wishek is moving forward, despite much opposition — a major source of which is a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The concern of commissioner Randy Christmann is that there isn’t enough equipment in the existing power grid to handle the energy generated by the new project.
#5: Search for Memarie White Mountain, missing from Fort Yates, comes to an end
18-year-old Memarie White Mountain, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, was last seen walking in Fort Yates on November 10. In the days following her disappearance, family, friends, and law enforcement agencies attempted to locate her. Eventually, Badlands Search and Rescue reported that unfortunately, they had found her deceased. The case is currently the subject of an active law enforcement investigation.
#6: Investing in our own destruction? The State Investment Board won’t talk about it
For two months, KX has been reporting that multiple banks and money managers hired by the North Dakota State Investment Board are under investigation by the attorney generals of 19 states. According to the investigation, these companies — three of which are in ND — are members of a United Nations-backed group working to phase out fossil fuels around the country. This raises suspicions that they may try to starve loans and investments to ND’s energy and agricultural industries, although no member of the board is willing to discuss the concern.
#7: Missing Montana 4-year-old found safe
4-year-old Taylem Berry was reported missing on October 9th along with his father Raymond, who had quit his job and moved out of his apartment shortly before that date. It was believed that he left his home state of Montana with Taylem at this time. After receiving a tip, police officers from Mariposa County, California managed to track the two down. Raymond was taken into custody and charged with Parenting Interference under Montana Law, and officers are now working to reunite Taylem with his mother.
#8: Lost World War II airman finally comes home to South Dakota
In 1944, 23-year-old Walter Nies was fighting in World War II when he was captured and later killed. Following the war, due to Soviet occupation, his remains could not be located or retrieved, and he was deemed non-recoverable. In recent years, though, his remains have been recovered, tested, excavated, and identified. Now, on December 9, he will finally be returned to his rightful home of South Dakota and interred at the Johannestal Baptist Cemetery.
#9: Hard plane landing on Enchanted Highway downs power lines, leaves 3 injured
What started as a power outage and a few downed lines became the subject of many rumors after it was believed that a plane crashed near the Enchanted Highway. A statement from the Hettinger County Sheriff’s Office somewhat confirmed these rumors, reporting that a small plane made a hard landing in a field east of Regent, causing the outage. Investigation into the case is ongoing.
#10: BRB: Christmas Spectacular at Belle Mehus Auditorium
We’ve all heard of dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sligh, but how about dancing through it on stage? That’s what over 400 dancers did during Let’s Dance’s Christmas Spectacular, and on this week’s BRB, Brendan Rodenberg attended the opening night of the performance, as well as provided KX with exclusive footage and backstage interviews.
To end this week’s article, here’s a spectacular photo of the rosy skies above Tioga, sent in to us by Jolene Kranig!
If you’d like to submit media of your own, you can learn how to do so here. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of In Case You Missed It!