Blair Emerson / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—North Dakota hospitals are responding to a spike in flu-related visits in recent weeks, mirroring a current nationwide trend and in neighboring states. Despite the flu season ramping up to be one of the worst, the end may be in sight: On Friday, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it may be at its peak. CDC officials, in a conference call with reporters, said the flu season appears to be peaking due to slower patient traffic in comparison to last month.
BISMARCK — Three people were arrested Friday with dozens of stolen credit and debit cards, checkbooks, banking account numbers and Social Security cards. Christina Lee Meyers, 31, and 36-year-old Brandon Allen Christian, both of Wisconsin, and 40-year-old Gerald Jermaine Adderley were arrested and each charged with 30 felony counts of theft of property and one misdemeanor count each of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
BISMARCK—Cheers from jubilant bowlers and the familiar sound of bowling pins crashing filled Midway Lanes in Mandan one Saturday earlier this month. Alex Burr, a senior at Bismarck High School, stood in a sea of students with a huge smile on her face. "I almost got a spare!" she proclaimed to her partner, who helps her with bowling.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Department of Health on Thursday raised the level of flu activity in the state to widespread. There were 234 cases of influenza reported during the week that ended Dec. 16, according to the health department's weekly influenza summary. Since August, there have there have been 709 cases of the flu reported. Public health officials are reporting an unusually high number of influenza cases for this time of the year, and they are expected to continue to increase for the next several weeks at least.
MANDAN, N.D. — A former Mandan student sentenced to eight years in state prison after driving drunk and killing three of his friends spoke to teens at Mandan High School on Tuesday, Nov. 21. "I want to stop you guys from making the same decision I did. I want you to learn from my mistake," said Taylor Berhow, 29. Berhow gave about a 40-minute presentation to a room packed with students, teachers, staff and administrators about his life and the events leading to Oct. 29, 2011, or what he described as "the day (his) life was turned upside down."
BISMARCK—Medical facilities across North Dakota are responding to a shortage of IV bags after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico in September, disrupting production at major pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities on the island. The shortage is being felt nationwide. Last week, the American Hospital Association told a House subcommittee that the U.S. healthcare system is "on the brink of a significant public health crisis" due to slowed manufacturing in Puerto Rico.
BISMARCK— Lt. Governor Brent Sanford used his power on Monday to pardon two feathered brothers that were sentenced to be stuffed. They were calm and well-behaved, as they perched on a conference room table, waiting for Sanford to commute their sentences. "This may be the most important thing I do as lieutenant governor," Sanford said, right before granting them amnesty. "May they go in peace and not leave anything behind." Luckily, they didn't.
BISMARCK—Drugs had a tight grip on Shila Stiefel starting at a very young age. Stiefel, of Bismarck, was 12 years old when she was sexually assaulted. After that, she started treating herself with different medications and alcohol. "I liked the numb feeling. I didn't want to feel anymore," said Stiefel, 40. For years, Stiefel remained under the spell of drugs and alcohol. She had three children as a teenager, and she described her life as "out of control."
LINCOLN, N.D.—Heather Huus, of Lincoln, has been adjusting to her "new normal" ever since she had her stomach removed in August 2016. After receiving unfavorable results from a genetic test, which indicated she was at risk for an inherited cancer syndrome, Huus, 32, made the fateful decision to undergo major surgery. Genetic tests analyze a person's genes, or the DNA inherited from their mother or father. One genetic counselor in Minneapolis said genetic testing is becoming more common in the realm of cancer, and as people are becoming more conscious of their genes.
BISMARCK — About 2,000 people turned out Saturday, Nov. 4, to welcome home the woman who put North Dakota "on the map." In the crowd were young girls — and boys — who cheered when North Dakota's first Miss America made an appearance at her homecoming party at the Bismarck Event Center. Little girls donned their own plastic foam crowns and held onto their own wishes that they, too, could one day make history.