When a group of dogs attacked a woman and young children, Jeremy Dawson did what he says anyone would do; he jumped in to help. Putting his own safety on the line, Dawson kept the attack from becoming potentially worse, and his quick thinking and selfless efforts have now been recognized by the City of Williston.
In a last minute change to the agenda, Mayor Howard Klug called for a motion among the assembled commissioners to give a public thanks to Dawson at the Tuesday, July 9 meeting of the Williston City Commission.
“A lot of people on town have talked about an incident that happened with a dog attack last week,” Klug said to the commission. “While there are some rumors, while there’s some no-so-true things said, the main thing is the we’ve got a hero among us.”
Klug asked Dawson to approach the podium, where he then thanked him for his actions during the ordeal.
“On behalf of the City of Williston, we want to thank you for saving the lives of our children,” Klug told Dawson. “Your actions, without hesitation, was amazing. And it came from the heart.”
Klug then asked Dawson to recount the incident, telling the commissioners and those present the circumstances of how he came to intervene in the attack. Choking back tears, Dawson spoke about his reactions upon hearing the cries for help, and how he didn’t give much thought to acting, just immediately springing into action.
“We’re all family, we all got kids, you know,” Dawson began, his voice cracking. “When I got out of the door of that truck and could hear the kid screaming, my instincts were as a father to go help this kid.”
Visibly emotion and wiping tears away as he spoke, Dawson spoke of the attack, and how his concern was not for himself, but to ensure that the kids were safe.
Dawson also pointed out that the praise did not belong to him alone, but to the individuals that also came to help.
“Without them, it could have been really bad,” he said. “I just tried to do what anyone else would do.”
Dawson added how in the aftermath, he was moved at how much his friends, neighbors and community have come together to support those involved.
“We’ve got a lot of good people in this town.” he told the commission.
Klug thanked Dawson and those who helped him, stating how proud he and the City was for his intervention and willingness to do the right thing.
Dawson was given thunderous applause and a standing ovation not just from the commission, but all those in attendance at City Hall.
“You’re right, we do have some good people in this town,” Klug told Dawson. “And you’re one of the best.”
Steady rain — heavy at times — throughout the day Tuesday caused problems throughout Williston and around Williams County.
Early in the day, Williams County restricted all gravel and chip seal roads to 12,000 pounds GVW. Later, flooding caused roads to close around the area.
Part of Front Street along Second Avenue West was closed Tuesday afternoon because of water spilling onto the roadway.
Several hours later, part of County Road 6 was closed for the same reason.
In all, 4 miles of County Road 6, also called 57th Street NW, from CR 9 — 133rd Avenue NW — to CR 11 —129th Avenue NW — were closed because of water over the roadway.
Barricades and “Road Closed” signs will be present.
Part of County Road 42 was closed by flooding, as well. Barricades were placed at the intersection of CR 6 and CR 42 and the intersection of CR 6 and Highway 1804.
Farmers have heard the word Fusarium in relation to small grains and problems with DON or vomitoxin. However, the term actually refers to a large genus of soil fungi, some of which target other plants, among them, lentils and peas.
While the species that cause root rots in peas and lentils are different from the species that causes DON or vomitoxin in wheat, the pathogens are no less devastating to lentil and peas.
Plant pathologist Dr. Mary Burrows, director of the MSU Extension’s Shutter Diagnostic Laboratory, is part of a three-state collaboration that’s digging into the fusarium complex that causes root rots in peas and lentils.
The study started with a survey of 25 fields in each of three states, Montana, North Dakota and Washington. Soil samples were taken to determine which fusarium species are present. The information developed from the soil surveys will be used to develop varieties that are resistant to root rots.
Producers at each location were also asked about their management practices, to see if any particular practice is tied to what was found in the soil.
“(Fusarium root rots) are not new, but they are really complex,” Burrows said. “There are probably six to eight species causing root rots, and we don’t know which are the prominent species in Montana.”
As more and more pulse crops are being grown, however, the diseases that affect those plants are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the region.
Burrows is among those who sounded an early warning call at pulse crop conferences, warning that pulse crop diseases are on the horizon. She has since been active in regional efforts to develop both better disease management and resistant varieties.
Burrows urges growers to continue practicing good crop rotations for pulses, particularly as there are still no resistant varieties available. There should be at least three to four years in between growing cycles for lentils, chickpeas, peas and dried beans, which are the most common pulse crops grown.
Seed treatments are also available and may help. Some.
“They only last two to three weeks after planting, though,” Burrows added. “Fusarium can occur after that, so the efficacy is limited.”
The amount of rain in some areas of the region is boosting the likelihood of disease problems with root rots in lentil and peas, and creating conditions ripe for Ascochyta and Botrytis or grey mold, according to an alert Burrows put out recently. Later in the season, white mold is expected as well.
Burrow’s efforts are not the only ones in the state. A second thrust in the root rot investigation is a study on agronomic practices, including nutrition, roll timing, seed treatments, and variety trials.
That study is being conducted at four research centers in Montana, including Sidney’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center, and at three centers in North Dakota, including Minot, Hettinger and Carrington.
Children who have been through a traumatizing experience can have lifelong difficulties if they’re unable to get the help they need when they need it.
“Research shows that when a kid is traumatized, when something happens to them, we have a window of time where if we can get them services, they are much less likely to develop PTSD,” said Paula Condol, director of the Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center. “It becomes a preventative approach, so they can learn some quick coping skills so it doesn’t have lifelong effects.”
That’s part of what the Children’s Advocacy Center is all about. Making sure that children who have been traumatized by either sexual assault or domestic violence learn healthier coping skills and get the services they need, when they need them.
Services through the center are free of charge, but have been in short supply in most North Dakota counties, including counties in the Oil Patch.
In Condol’s experience, trying to refer parents or guardians of a traumatized child in the Oil Patch to a service provider, there either wasn’t an appropriate service provider at all, or, if there was, the wait time was at least three months.
“Imagine that kind of waiting period for a child who has been sexually assaulted or abused and is scared to go to sleep,” Condol said. “We have had cases like that, and it is heartbreaking. You don’t know what to do. The family cannot drive three and one-half hours to Bismarck to get services. It’s unrealistic and not sustainable.”
Fortunately, the agency has a new approach that will improve access for children across the state who are in shortage areas. A nine-month grant from the North Dakota Department of Corrections Victim of Crime Act Funding is funding both training and additional staff to create a Telehealth Outreach Program.
It will include trauma screening, assessment and cognitive behavior therapy.
Three additional therapists were hired thanks to the grant, among them one for the Williston/Minot region who speaks Spanish. The three, newly hired therapists were among 12 trained in April in a brand new approach that is being developed by the Medical University of South Carolina. North Dakota is the first state in the nation to receive training in the newly developed protocol.
Condol said they discovered the program after seeing an article about it, and began visiting with the researchers to learn more about it and decide whether it would be beneficial in North Dakota, a state which has long distances between each community.
“Luckily enough, the researchers were willing to come to North Dakota and provide training to 13 of our (employees) across the state,” she said. “It is going to have a high impact across the state, particularly where they cannot get to someone who is trained in evidence-based practices in their community.”
In addition to training and hiring additional staff, the grant is also helping fund equipment such as an iPad and laptops, which can be loaned to families as needed.
“We also have laptops that we can send to schools so it’s right there at the school for them,” Condol said. “The counselor can bring them to the office, so that they are only missing one class period.”
“When you look at (statistics for societal problems in youths) a huge percentage of those kids have had a trauma in their history,” Condol said. “Eighty to 90 percent of them. So there’s a lot of talk about alcohol and drug use is really kind of a symptom of a kid who has not dealt with some trauma.”
Ensuring that more North Dakota children get timely assistance with a traumatic experience could help lower such numbers in the future, Condol said.
Charles Gorecki today was named CEO of the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) by UND Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas DiLorenzo.
Gorecki has been with the EERC for 12 years, the last four of which were as director of subsurface research and development. He succeeds current CEO Tom Erickson, who is stepping down to lead the State Energy Research Center (SERC) initiative at the EERC. Gorecki will begin his duties as CEO on Aug. 1.
Gorecki began his career with the EERC as a research engineer in 2007, working on carbon dioxide storage, enhanced oil recovery-related projects and reservoir engineering. He then served as a research manager and senior research manager, leading the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership (PCOR) program. This multi-million-dollar program focused on assessing the technical and economic feasibility of capturing and storing CO2 emissions from stationary sources in the northern Great Plains. He was part of the EERC leadership team for the last four years.
Gorecki served in the Minnesota and North Dakota Army National Guard for nine years.
He’s a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed to Iraq with 141st Engineer Battalion’s Company B out of Jamestown, N.D. He holds a B.S. degree in geological engineering from UND.
The safest training is hands-on, and the oil and gas industry wants to see it return to the Bakken. That’s what is driving the resurgence of two WellSharp classes at TrainND Northwest, which will be restarting in August.
The programs were dropped as a cost-cutting move during the downturn after an instructor retired, when it seemed the only option for a replacement would be flying in an instructor from Alaska.
“This is a directive of our advisory board saying there is a need for a hands-on approach to the training out in North Dakota,” Kenley Nebeker, regional director for technical programs and training at WSC. “Our life-size simulator gives us the ability to give a true hands-on training approach to this curriculum.”
Nebeker said he anticipates there will be a high demand for both courses and the supplement, which are an annual certification in IADC WellSharp Drilling Operations Supervisor and IADC WellSharp Oil and Gas Operator Representative.
The Drilling Operations training includes an optional one-day supplement for workover rigs.
IADC stands for International Association of Drilling Contractors, and its curriculum is considered among the best in the field.
“It is much more than just being compliant by passing a standardized test,” said Martin Walters, IADC instructor of well control. “It is important that personnel understand and retain the information and principles so that they are able to work quickly and decisively under stress.”
WellSharp training was developed by industry veterans to provide detailed, technical coursework that helps oilfield workers feel confident in the field.
“Well control is integral to the drilling process,” Accreditation Operations Vice President Mark Denkowski said. “Maintaining well control throughout the lifecycle of a well is crucial to ensuring safe, efficient, and environmentally sound operations.”
Role-specific well control training is part of the training, to familiarize everyone, regardless of position, with safety principles.
“It is very stringent and very highly tested,” Nebeker said. “They come out and audit you. It is the real deal. They don’t mess around with this at all.”
The two classes will be offered every other month to start out, but could expand to monthly if demand is there.
“The biggest thing about this program, and why I’m so passionate about it, is that this is a real danger and hazard that is out in the field, and this training is built to help people know and avoid the hazard should it come about,” Nebeker said. “I cannot think of a more important thing to do than training people on how to be safe and go home to their families at the end of their shift. This is just one more way we are making sure that happens.”