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Buffalo chip to littering at range

The Jamestown Sun hands out these bravos and buffalo chips this week:

* Buffalo chip to the people littering at the Pipestem Rifle Range. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the governmental entity that owns the Pipestem land, could shut the range down due to the condition people are leaving it in. And bravo to members of the Jamestown chapter of the United Sportsmen of North Dakota for holding a cleanup day at the range. Members collected several barrel-loads of trash that were burned and hauled three pickup truck loads of garbage to the city dump.

* Bravo to the Elks Club Jamestown Lodge No. 995 for getting a $2,000 Gratitude Grant from the Elks National Foundation to benefit Daily Bread – Jamestown. The grant was used to purchase six freezers for food storage and $200 in freezer bags for the certified kitchens that donate leftover food to the program.

* Bravo to the volunteers and workers at the Stutsman County Fair and White Cloud’s 18th Birthday Celebration and Tatanka Festival for their efforts to make the events run smoothly.

* Bravo to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its efforts to protect declining honey bee populations. North Dakota is one of five states receiving a combined $8 million in Conservation Reserve Program incentives, which is available to farmers and ranchers who create new honey bee habitats.

* Buffalo chip to the rise in drug arrests in North Dakota last year. The state recorded 3,431 drug arrests in 2013, a 19.5 percent increase over 2012’s total of 2,872 drug arrests. And bravo to the decline in the rate of binge drinking among North Dakotans in grades 9-12 and a decrease in the number of driving under the influence convictions. Binge drinking fell from 41.5 percent in 2001 to 21.9 percent in 2013, and DUI convictions decreased from 8,172 arrests to 6,600 from July 1 to June 24.

* Bravo to the North Dakota Reading Corps for receiving an $800,000 federal grant to improve childhood reading proficiency in grades kindergarten through 3. The National Assessment of Educational Progress found in 2011 only 34 percent of fourth-graders read at a proficient level, and NAEP research shows that students not reading proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

* Bravo to the continuing process of making improvements to the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse. Workers recently began installing a new heating system in the courthouse, which is owned by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The plan for the courthouse is “to eventually open it up as a state historic site,” according to Fern Swenson, director of the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Division of the SHSND.

(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)