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Becoming a Christian does not make life easier. Becoming a Christian makes you acceptable to God. Therefore, we can endure rotten things with joy because our biggest problem has been solved.

- Todd Friel


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State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says that 17 North Dakota school districts have been cleared to use the ACT exam in place of a required state math and English achievement test for high school students....

    BISMARCK, N.D. - State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says that 17 North Dakota school districts have been cleared to use the ACT exam in place of a required state math and English achievement test for high school students. The districts had asked for approval to make the switch.

    Some North Dakota students will take one less standardized test in high school as a result of the change, Baesler said. Many parents and teachers have expressed concern about the frequency of school testing.

    The change means students in the 17 districts will no longer have to take the North Dakota State Assessment in high school. Instead, they will take the ACT in the 11th grade. Both the State Assessment and the ACT measure a student's proficiency in math and English.

    Baesler said students are more likely to give their best effort on the ACT, because they generally regard it as more important than the state assessment. The ACT is a widely used college entrance exam, and North Dakota students must earn a composite ACT score of 24 or greater to qualify for up to $6,000 in state college scholarship aid.

    North Dakota is the first state in the nation to obtain permission to use the ACT, instead of a separate state test, as a locally selected measurement of student math and English proficiency, Baesler said.

    "Any time we can take fewer tests in high school, that means our students are spending more time learning in our classrooms, rather than being tested," Baesler said.

    Seventeen North Dakota school districts, including six of its seven largest districts, intend to use the ACT test to measure the math and English proficiency of their 11th graders, instead of giving the separate North Dakota State Assessment.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A new emergency shelter in Bismarck opened just in time to keep about 30 people warm in this week's storm. The Missouri Slope Areawide United Way opened the shelter a few hours early in part of the Sunrise Apartments building in downtown Bismarck because of the storm.
     Executive director Jena Gullo tells the Bismarck Tribune the United Way was happy to meet their needs on one of the snowiest nights. The shelter can house a maximum of 68 people. Women and children are housed in four rooms in a secure wing of the building. There are ten apartments for men. Clients can stay for free up to 30 days as long as they're working on goals leading to self-sufficiency.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Congressman Kevin Cramer says he accompanied his ailing son from Bismarck to a Minnesota hospital. Cramer says in a Facebook post that his 35-year-old son, Isaac Cramer, was transferred on Tuesday to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was being evaluated by a "transplant team."
     Cramer told The Associated Press earlier that his son is suffering from "failing liver and kidneys" and was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck on Feb. 23. Cramer says he stayed in Bismarck last week to remain with his son. The congressman says that while his son is improving, he "is not out of the woods."
     Cramer recently launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, where he is hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

    MINOT, ND - Lend a tool, build a better community. The Minot Public Library is working hard to do just that.

    As of Monday, the library now offers a tool lending service to its patrons who are at least 18 years of age and have had a library card for a minimum of 90 days. Landscaping, gardening, and home repair tools are available to check out for seven days, with the possibility of one renewal if no other reservations have been made.

    Tool lending libraries are not new, as the oldest continuously running tool library in the nation opened in Berkeley, Calif., in 1979. They facilitate the sharing of resources within a community, connecting people who may not be able to afford tools, or who only need to use a particular tool once. The Minot Tool Library will also assist the community in the event of a natural disaster by providing tools to homeowners to fix property damages.

    The Minot Public Library and the Resilience AmeriCorps VISTAs worked together to bring the first tool library to North Dakota.

    "The Minot Tool Library is intended to build a stronger, safer, and more stable community by lending tools to library patrons for free," said Colin Hendrickson, a Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA. "By facilitating more projects and enabling more neighbors to maintain their residence, the tool library will promote self-sufficiency and resilience. I am very grateful to the Minot Pub-lic Library for sharing a vision of an empowered Minot and agreeing to partner with us VISTAs to provide this service."

    The Minot Public Library connects its patrons to resources they might not otherwise have, making it the ideal location for the tool lending library.

    "The Minot Public Library is an inclusive space that provides people of any age with equal access to information and technology that will improve their quality of life. The library consistently strives to find new and innovative ways to better serve the Minot area community. That is why the library has chosen to expand its services to now include the lending of tools. The library is constantly transforming and helps others to transform as well," said Janet Anderson, library director.

    The library's inventory of new and used tools was acquired through donations and grants.



   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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