November, 2014

Daily News: Wahpeton one of safest N.D. cities

November 26, 2014

By Matthew Liedke

A recent ranking by a real estate company revealed that Wahpeton is statistically the fourth safest city in the state of North Dakota, to which city officials explained that the ranking is made possible due to strong cooperation.

“One of the most important things we have here is teamwork,” said Wahpeton Mayor Meryl Hansey. “That involves the Wahpeton Police Department, the Richland County Sheriffs Office, SEMCA, North Dakota State College of Science and also the good relationship we have with Breckenridge, Minnesota and Wilkin County law enforcement.”

The rankings, done by Movoto Real Estate, used methodology from the Uniform Crime Report from the FBI in 2012. Movoto then rated criteria such as the rates of murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft.

To continue having the strong ranking, Hansey explained that the city needs to continue providing law enforcement with the best equipment to handle whatever comes along.

Besides the equipment, though, the citizens themselves are the most important piece in keeping Wahpeton safe according to Police Chief Scott Thorsteinson.

“It’s our people, we have good people here,” Thorsteinson said. “The community standards are such that we make similar good people feel welcome.

“Our citizens don’t accept criminals. If citizens see something that is going on, they call in. The neighbors here look out for each other,” Thorsteinson continued. “That makes all the difference. I can’t give enough credit to the citizens, and we want people to call in, we are there to respond 24 hours, seven days a week for 365 days.”

Like Hansey, Thorsteinson also stressed the importance of people working together as a team.

“Over all the years that I’ve worked in law enforcement, I’ve seen some agencies that don’t know what the other hand is doing. Even sometimes within an agency, they don’t communicate as well,” Thorsteinson said. “But here, we coordinate with Richland County Public Health, the Public Works Department and the sheriff’s office.

“Like with (Richland County) Sheriff Larry Leshovsky, we always work together. I have total respect and confidence in him, and I feel that way about Breckenridge Police Chief Nate Harder and Wilkin County Sheriff Rick Fiedler,” Thorsteinson added. “You don’t always see that level of cooperation in a lot of places.”

“I have a lot of respect for the city staff, not just the police department, but our public works department, our street plows and the fire department. This recognition makes me proud of them,” Hansey said. “We go to bed at night and we can be comfortable in knowing that if there is a fire, our fire department will be there to take care of it. It’s the same thing with the police department, we can sleep knowing everything is safe.

“They’re all 24/7, too,” Hansey added. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. The police department will be out there as well as our fire department and our street crews.”

“The important thing is for our residents to continue to say ‘we won’t tolerate crime. If there’s something wrong, I will call the police department,’” Thorsteinson said.

The full top 10 cities ranked in order by Movoto was:

  1. Carrington
  2. Lincoln
  3. Lisbon
  4. Wahpeton
  5. Valley City
  6. Rugby
  7. Minot
  8. West Fargo
  9. Dickinson
  10. Jamestown

Movoto’s research additionally concluded that North Dakota is the fourth safest state in the nation, behind Vermont, Idaho and New Hampshire and ahead of Maine.

Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News

Daily News: ‘A Christmas Carol’ parody runs Nov. 18-20 at NDSCS

November 14, 2014

By Matthew Liedke

A bitter, rich old man is visited on Christmas Eve by three ghosts. It sounds like the classic Charles Dickens story that we know, but the North Dakota State College of Science Performing Arts Department is putting a little spin on the timeless tale with a “Christmas Carol” parody.

The full name of the play is “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of ‘A Christmas Carol.’”

The play, according to director Melissa Frank, follows a group of women who are trying to put on a production of “A Christmas Carol,” but it doesn’t go according to plan.

“There are technical problems, the cast shows up late and many of them forget their costume changes,” Frank said.

The play was written by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr., and Frank said the original script is British, however, the NDSCS crew has “Americanized” it a bit.

“It’s a show that not as many people have heard of, but once people see it and know how funny it is, word of mouth really spreads,” Frank said.

For Frank, despite being a first-time director, she is very familiar with the play after having worked on other productions before.

“I figured for my first time directing I would do something with a smaller cast and with something I am familiar with,” she said.

The cast of the play is made up of students who are doing the production as an extra curricular activity.

“I hope that through this, more people become aware of the performing arts department at NDSCS,” Frank said. “There is a big need for more drama in the community.”

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18 through Thursday, Nov. 20, with all shows at the Bremer Bank Theatre in the Harry Stern and Ella Stern Cultural Center on the NDSCS campus.

Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News

Photo courtesy of the Wahpeton Daily News

NDSCS-Fargo to hold Open House session for prospective Students

November 10, 2014

The North Dakota State College of Science will be holding an Open House session this Friday, November 14 from 12-5 p.m. at NDSCS-Fargo, located at 1305 19th Avenue North, for students interested in taking classes at the Fargo location.

This free come-and-go session is open to the public and will focus on NDSCS-Fargo and Online program options, curriculum and class schedules, tuition costs and financial aid, the application process and any questions. Current NDSCS-Fargo faculty and Enrollment Services representatives will also be present to answer questions. No pre-registration is required to attend the open house.

New courses being offered include: General Business Management, Web Design/Web Developer, Information Systems Administrator and Welding Technology (second year option).

For more information please contact a Fargo Programs Representative at or 701-231-6935 or visit

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