5 issues to know as we speak: Panhandler’s perspective, Park horses, Mattress bugs, Crime lab, Sugar Mama – InForum

5 issues to know as we speak: Panhandler’s perspective, Park horses, Mattress bugs, Crime lab, Sugar Mama – InForum

1. A look at the everyday life of Fargo Beggar, who considers begging to be his “second job”.

For five years, Troy Jacobson swallowed his pride, insults and contempt to make a few extra bucks. He begs, mostly at freeway exits, in cold and heat for everything he can get almost every day.

“I get a lot of looks like I’m low-life or like, ‘Get a job.’ Well, that’s my job, my second job,” Jacobson said.

Though he has financial help for rent and utility bills, he said his body was worn out by illness and he couldn’t keep a decent-paying job. He was hit by vehicles twice in the past year. He is often hungry. A part-time job washing dishes and the occasional free groceries from grocery stores aren’t enough.

“I’m the only one in Fargo who wishes for a red light,” said Jacobson, 58. “To me, begging is about survival, a meal at Burger King, and a pack of cigarettes.”

He knows the city ordinances that say it’s illegal to aggressively slog or slog around town while within 20 feet of an intersection, crosswalk, or bus stop, or on a median, bridge, public highway or somewhere downtown.

Read more from CS Hagen’s forum

2. Park officials say they have “no basis” for keeping horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Wild horses roam Theodore Roosevelt National Park in July 2008.

Forum file photo

National Park Service officials said a legal review found the enabling legislation for Theodore Roosevelt National Park does not allow it to groom horses that the park has kept for decades in order to bring it to the “historic scene” of the free-range era to remember.

The park administration has recently identified the phasing out of the 186 horses and 12 longhorn cattle kept at the park as their tentative preferred alternative for a livestock management plan at the park.

Park officials gave an online presentation on Thursday evening, January 12 to explain the history of the management of the horses and livestock and to answer questions about the scoping process for the livestock management plan during the public comment period.

Angie Richman, superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, said the livestock species of horses and cattle were not included in the park’s enabling legislation, nor in the Organic Act of 1916, which obliges the National Park Service to “conserve the landscape and nature and historical objects and the wild life within” in national parks.

“The park service has a very limited ability to keep cattle in a park, and we have no basis for keeping cattle in that park,” Richman said.

However, Richman acknowledged that the park’s policy since the 1970s has been to retain them to represent the “historic scene” of free-range husbandry during Roosevelt’s time in the Little Missouri Badlands in the 1880s.

When asked what rules or laws, if any, would need to be changed to keep horses in the park, Richman said, “It would cost a lot,” including changing the park’s enabling laws and the Organic Act.

Read more from Patrick Springer of the Forum News Service

3. Bugs infest 4 apartments at Eventide in Moorhead


Exterior view of The Linden extension at Eventide at Eighth Care Center in Moorhead. David Samson / The Forum

Barbara Mohs was at Eventide Senior Living Communities with her mother on Christmas Eve when she noticed something crawling on her own leg.

“I grabbed it and cursed right away,” said Mohs, a social worker. She later realized it was a bed bug that came from her elderly mother, who has dementia and has lived at the Linden Building, 2405 8th St. S., for about a year.

The bugs completely invaded her mother’s room, Mohs said.

Eventide spokesperson Carrie Carney confirmed on Friday, January 13 that there was a bed bug problem and the facility was coping.

“It wasn’t just the bedroom; they were in her bathroom and bad enough to spread to the living room. The infestation has grown. Once the population gets dense, they crawl out and start multiplying,” Mohs said.

As a social worker, she knew what to do. She has dealt with bed bugs, lice and other problems before. She brought her mother and some necessities home and started calling for help.

She said she didn’t get a call back until two days later, after the bank holiday weekend.

“It’s a bit worrying for me that nobody called me to ask where my mom is,” Mohs said.

Read more from CS Hagen’s forum

4. Former director of ND State Crime Lab calls shelling a “witch hunt”; Wrigley cites performance issues


North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley testifies Thursday, January 12, on Senate Bill 2131, which would place the independent State Crime Lab under the jurisdiction of his office. Wrigley appeared before the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Tom Stromme / The Bismarck Grandstand

From the Bismarck Tribune via Forum News Service

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley has fired the director of the State Crime Lab over “performance-based” issues, but Robyn Quinn calls her firing a “witch hunt.”

Wrigley confirmed to the Tribune on Friday, January 13, that he fired Quinn a week ago, just days before testifying before a Senate committee on a bill that would allow the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation to oversee the lab , a part of his office.

Quinn told the Tribune, “I didn’t agree with Drew’s agenda and I supported my staff 100%.”

During testimony Thursday on Senate Bill 2131, Wrigley repeatedly alluded to changes in leadership at the lab. He told the Tribune on Friday that he decided to fire Quinn after not seeing solutions to administrative challenges he said he wasn’t aware of when he took office.

“There were no complaints about the science. That’s not the challenge,” Wrigley said. “The challenge is backlogs and leadership hasn’t come up with a plan to get us out of there.”

Quinn was the crime lab’s director and quality manager for four and a half years. In her statement to the Tribune, she said Wrigley made false accusations about a toxic work environment based on staff interviews that she “has not seen to date.”

Quinn claims Wrigley attributed her staff loss to an overly difficult training program. She said an employee was pulled from casework and retrained twice when Quinn’s quality review system showed the employee lacked an understanding of analytics.

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5. School may be out in Hendrum, but Sugar Mama is in

010923.B.FF.SUGARMAMA.Dena Bishop

Matching her vintage style, Dena Bishop, founder of Sugar Mama, gives her best “Rosie the Riveter” pose on Thursday, January 5, 2023. and pop-ups, but will soon be running her bakery out of the school’s cafeteria in Hendrum, Minnesota, which closed its doors in 2020.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

Here’s a recipe for success.

Take a highly motivated baker looking to expand. Stir in a school that has largely remained unused since closing its doors in 2021. Then sprinkle liberally with five or so communities who want to see the baker prosper and the school put to good use.

What are you getting? Sugar Mama Bakery and Catering.

That’s been the formula for Dena Bishop, a cottage baker from Ada, Minnesota, who plans to lease the commercial kitchen at the former Norman County West Elementary School in Hendrum.

Bishop hopes to open their doors on March 1st. She says she can’t wait to start baking in the well-appointed commercial kitchen with its spacious stainless steel ovens, high-performance Varimixer-branded blender, commercial dishwasher, dry storage space, and multiple refrigerators and freezers.

“I have an oven at home that I can only put two pans in at a time, but I can put six to eight things in it,” she says, pointing to the convection oven and the dual conventional ovens. “I’m ready to hit the ground here.”

In fact, she feels quite fortunate to have access to such facilities.

“Actually, when a school closes, the first thing that gets spruced up and auctioned off is the kitchen,” says Bishop.

School officials made the decision to close the school – which served Hendrum, Halstad and Perley – when its enrollment dwindled to about 50 students. Most of the pre-school children through 5th grade now attend Ada Borup West School in Ada.

Read more from Tammy Swift on the forum