In a nutshell

North Dakotan farmers request payments

The North Dakotan Farmers Union (NDFU) called for the advancement of the Market Facilitation Program payment on Oct. 23, as reported by KVRR. The payments would go to farmers who are impacted by the trade war with China. All farmers who enrolled in the program in August received a fifty percent payment for crops covered under the title one of the Farm bills. A second payment of 25 percent will be paid in November. According to the USDA, a third payment will be made in January if the market conditions don’t improve. Mark Watne, the NDFU president, claimed farm families need the payments as soon as possible. With the worsening farm economy and flooding impacting the harvests, Watne encouraged producers to submit documentation to the state’s congressional delegation. This comes as 42 out of 51 counties across North Dakota are in designated disaster zones.

Possible Special Education only facilities in Fargo

Fargo school board members toured two Special Education-only facilities in Red Wing, Minnesota and Blaine, Minnesota on Oct. 22. The purpose of their visits was to determine how the facilities operate along with the costs and benefits of placing students who have special needs in separate locations. According to Valley News Live, board members claimed the facilities allow for personalized education for students by allowing staff to customize students learning through an exclusive, one-on-one environment. The main concern parents have regarded is the short-staffing of Special Education teachers along with a lack of proper training. Some parents commented on the possibility of this new school in the Fargo area as Katy Barnum, a mother of a special needs student, mentioned providing additional resources for Special Education students instead of separating children with special needs from other children.

Testimony delayed because of House Republicans

An impeachment inquiry testimony on Oct. 23 was delayed five hours after a group of House Republicans barged into a secure room at the Capital. According to the Washington Post, Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official who oversees Ukrainian policies, was set to testify about the White House’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine over the summer. Lindsey O. Graham, the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, at first criticized House Republicans for barging into the room, but then later tweeted that it was a peaceful protest saying, “I understand their frustration and they have every reason to be upset.” It is reported that some of the House Republicans took their cell phones out to record videos and tweet about the testimony in the room which is restricted. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for action to be taken saying, “I urge you to take House-wide action to remind all members of such reckless action and the potential national security risks of such behavior.”

Missing West Point cadet found dead

Cadet Kade Kurita, from Gardena Calif., reportedly went missing on Oct. 18 according to The Hill. He was considered missing at 5:30 p.m. after he failed to show up to a military skills competition. A search party made up of West Point Military Police, New York State Police, the Coast Guard, CSX railroad Police, local police and the 23rd Military Police Company from Fort Drum, N.Y. helped search 6,000 acres of ground around West Point. An M4 rifle was also reported missing from the school, but Kurita was not suspected of having ammunition or magazines on him. After a five day search, Kurita was found dead at 9:47 p.m. on Oct. 22. The academy has not released the circumstances to his death.

Animal cruelty could become a federal felony

On Oct. 22, the House passed a bill that would make animal cruelty a federal felony. CNN reported that the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (the PACT Act) revises a previous law passed in 2010 that was introduced by Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan, both Floridan congressmen. The new act allows authorities to go after those who have abused animals because they will have federal jurisdiction meaning they won’t be bound by state laws. Anyone convicted of animal cruelty will face federal felony charges, fines and can face up to seven years in prison. Now that the measure has passed through the House, it must pass through the Senate which has not scheduled a vote for it yet. Currently, federal law only prohibits animal fighting and criminalizes wrongdoers if they create or sell videos showing animal cruelty taking place.

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