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5 things to know today: Owner arrest, THC limit, recycle rate, sentencing bill, natural playground - InForum

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1. Police arrest Fargo man who refused to leave his slated home

For months, a Fargo man has refused to leave his home despite its impending demolition and a no trespassing order issued by government authorities.

The owner, Danial Curtis, was arrested and evicted from the property at 924 5th St. S. early Wednesday, Jan. 4, by the Fargo Police Department. According to a statement from city officials, Curtis was violating a court order ordering him to vacate the property, which was declared too unsafe to live on.

Nine other people were also evicted from the home on Wednesday, city officials said.

Curtis agreed to meet with city staff before his arrest but did not show up for the meeting, according to city officials. Therefore, the city’s inspection department requested police assistance to clean up the house, as authorized by the courts, city officials said.

Read more about Melissa Van Der Stad from the Forum

2. Bill would increase THC purchase limit for medical marijuana patients in North Dakota

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Senator Kristin Roers, R-Fargo, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, regarding a medical marijuana bill.

Tom Stromme / The Bismarck Tribune

Medical marijuana patients in North Dakota could purchase more products under a bill introduced in the state Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday heard Senate Bill 2068, introduced by Sen. Kristin Roers, R-Fargo. The bill would increase the limit of THC that medical marijuana patients can purchase over a 30-day period, from 4,000 milligrams to 8,000. THC is what gives marijuana users a high.

Roers said the bill, introduced by the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, seeks to address differences in the amounts of THC in different products and steer patients away from dried leaves and flowers toward products. manufactured products, which she claims contain a consistent dose of THC.

The THC amounts of products can vary such that buying two copies of the same item would exceed the 4,000 milligram limit for patients who prefer certain manufactured products over dried leaves and flowers, according to Roers.

“Just based on the way the industry makes things, it’s become a problem for people,” she said.

Patients are limited every 30 days to purchasing 2.5 ounces of dried leaves and flowers or 4,000 milligrams of THC in products such as concentrates, tinctures, capsules, transdermal patches and lotions , according to Medical Marijuana Director Jason Wahl. The bill would increase the latter to 8,000 milligrams of THC.

Read more about Forum News Service’s Jack Dura

3. West Fargo will hire a consultant to study waste and recycling rates

Waste Management's non-sorting bins are used in West Fargo's recycling program. David Samson / The Forum

Waste Management’s non-sorting bins are used in West Fargo’s recycling program. David Samson / The Forum

The City of West Fargo will hire an outside consultant to review its remediation and recycling services, including possible rate increases.

The West Fargo City Commission, after a unanimous vote, approved a $105,000 study by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc., which will be completed within the next six months.

The study should “provide recommendations and strategies for improving the sanitation service, as well as a 10-year financial plan to analyze revenue shortfalls and expenditures at adjustment rates if necessary.”

Sanitation rates increased in 2019.

Director of Public Works Matt Andvik said he hopes to bring at least three options to the commission once the study is complete and come up with those three options along with costs and what could be the key structure over the next five years.

“It’s more about where we want to be, how we get there as a community, and what pricing we’ll need to get there,” Andvik said. The study is needed to catch up with the city’s growth from 25,830 people in 2010 to more than 38,626 people in 2020, he said.

The study would follow the goals of the West Fargo 2.0 plan, Andvik said, and also assess the city’s recycling plan and maximize return on investment.

The city’s recycling contract with Waste Management will expire in April 2024.

Read more from Wendy Reuer from the Forum

4. Does North Dakota need mandatory minimum sentences?

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North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley speaks about crime rates during a press conference Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

Jeremy Turley / Forum Press Office

A bill that would set minimum sentences for gun crimes, resisting arrest and fleeing police is intended to tackle rising crime rates in the state, supporters said .

But the proposed changes could have costly consequences, lawyers have warned.

Details about North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley’s tougher prison and prison sentences emerged this week in the form of Senate Bill 2107. The former U.S. attorney for North Dakota cited an increase in violent crime to defend the establishment of mandatory minimum sentences in the state.

“If you talk to a law enforcement officer, they’ll probably tell you that cases of violence and absconding have increased dramatically over the past few years,” said the deputy director of the League of North Dakota Cities. , Stephanie Dassinger-Engebretson. 4, during a Senate Judiciary Committee at the State Capitol. Seeing individuals convicted of dangerous crimes on the streets after a short time causes morale problems for law enforcement, she said.

Travis Finck, executive director of the North Dakota Commission on Indigent Counsel, said the bill could clog the justice system with more trials and overcrowd jails and jails.

It would also cost the state a lot of money and likely do little to reduce crime, said Bismarck’s attorney Lloyd Suhr.

“If I had to describe this bill in one sentence, it’s everybody’s going to jail, everybody’s going to jail and it’s going to be very expensive,” Suhr said.

Learn more about April Baumgarten from the Forum

5. Construction of a natural playground will start this spring in Moorhead

Natural playground

A rendering of the planned natural playground at Riverfront Park in Moorhead.

Photo sent / Rotary FM Foundation

After five years of planning, the FM Rotary Foundation and the Town of Moorhead announced that construction of a natural playground will begin this summer near the Red River.

The playground, a collaboration between the foundation and the city, will be built at Riverfront Park at 600 1st Ave. N. It will feature a towering treehouse structure and rope bridge, zip line, log and rock areas, tunnels, play mounds, balance beams, nets and climbing areas.

“We’re trying to create a really inspiring place that will be fun for kids and parents alike,” Project Chair Heather Ranck told The Forum in 2020. “Something different, something that inspires a sense of adventure with the location.”

A first sod will take place this spring. During this event, a time capsule will be buried under the playground. The capsule will be filled with wishes for future generations, written by the children and supporters present.

Read more about Melissa Van Der Stad from the Forum


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