In a nutshell

Farmers’ Mental Health

The recent abundance of rain has cost farmers a lot of money, according to the Inforum. The governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, is worried about farmers’ mental health after the impact to this harvest season. Over the last couple of months, North Dakota has seen an unusual amount of precipitation and snowfall which is causing a set back for most farmers in the region for the last three months. Typically by this time of year, soybean farmers would be done with harvest, but most have only harvested about ten percent of their soybeans. Farmers are urged to call 2-1-1 if they are experiencing any severe mental health issues following this stressful period.

The murder of Phillip Gattuso- 10 years later

Ten years after the murder of local dentist Phillip Gattuso, the friend who found him bludgeoned in his own home spoke out. Julie Willert of South Fargo opened up about one of the worst days of her life, years after the conviction of Gene Kirkpatrick (Gattuso’s father-in-law) and Michael Nakvinda (Kirkpatrick’s handyman) for the murder-hire-scheme of Gattuso. The Grand Forks Herald reported that Nakvinda was paid $3,000 to drive a U-haul to Gattuso’s home, murder him and make it look like a robbery. Gattuso’s wife had died a year previous and Kirkpatrick was seeking full custody of Gattuso’s three-year-old daughter. After Kirkpatrick and Nakvinda were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, Gattuso’s niece and her husband adopted Gattuso’s daughter Kennedy who now lives in New Orleans. They have zero contact with the Kirkpatrick family. Julie Willert still lives a couple of blocks from the murder scene and says that she thinks about it often and makes an effort to go see Kennedy at least once a year.

Opioid Settlement

The Inforum reported that four major pharmaceutical companies have reached a $260 million settlement after a major opioid lawsuit. Three of them agreed to settle with two counties in Ohio, to avoid a trial. “It involved caring for the kids that have been left behind, it involves criminal justice issues, it involves all kinds of things that we’ve had to deal with,” Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive, said in the court hearing. One potential plaintiff, Walgreens, was left out of the case. They claim to have never sold opioid medications to pain clinics and the Co-Counsel for the county decided the pharmacies should stand alone. Even though they were left out of this particular case, Walgreens may have another trial awaiting them in the near future. Monday’s settlement is the first case of more than 2,700 complainants from communities across the United States. 

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