News: Drug experts see confluence of factors behind opioid crisis   source: Grand Forks Herald  

In Minot, the Mayor’s Committee on Addiction met this week. When it comes to dealing with the effects of the opioid and larger addiction problem, they’re going to divide and hopefully conquer. They’ll be splitting into several sub-committees to deal with different arms of the larger animal. It’s important work, but the method also invites the larger question, how do we prevent the problem before it starts? That […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Shopping habits are hurting American jobs, especially today   source: The Washington Post  

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, it was the rise of the mall that dramatically changed shopping habits and the retail delivery model. Today, it’s the Internet and giant online retailers like Amazon. The consumer behavior is shifting toward the model that provides lower prices and more convenience, and the pace of the change is increasing.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Winging it on a prayer: churches are trying new ways to attract young followers   source: Dickinson Press  

There’s a lot in flux right now in our country — our economy, our political spectrum, the technology that shapes our daily lives — all of it is changing. And so are our churches; those that are growing are finding new ways to connect with parishioners.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: ‘We hereby declare!’ Young citizens take oath in special Children’s Museum event   source: Star Tribune  

When it comes to immigration formalities, the children of naturalized parents and those adopted by American parents are often notified by of their citizenship by a letter in the mail. But at a recent ceremony at the Children’s Museum of Minnesota, the full oath and recognition of the occasion were celebrated. The Star Tribune has the story on the use of a children’s museum as a tool for […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: In Williston, a downtown fixture closing its doors this month   source: Williston Herald  

A generations-old retail store in downtown Williston is closing its doors this week. The downtown Hallmark store has been in Williston in some form since 1964, but changes in consumer retail behavior have forced the change. It’s relevant here in Minot because it’s a sign of changing times. Tomorrow, Minot’s City Council will be discussing what to do with $4.8 million in sales tax designated for community facilities, […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Business, News: Fargo employers discuss ways to keep employee gatherings relevant and effective   source:   

Kill the meeting! Well, not completely, but Fargo employers are adapting to new ways of thinking and one of the old ideas that’s slowly going the way of the dodo bird — staff get-togethers. It turns out that meeting for meeting sake is a great way to kill morale and stifle productivity. Business owners take note!

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Arts and culture boost North Dakota, Minnesota economies, studies show   source: Grand Forks Herald  

When it comes to economic activity, the arts and culture communities are not little players. The North Dakota Council of the Arts was a participant in a recent economic impact study conducted in 341 regions in the U.S. The findings are significant; the arts culture and communities in North Dakota annually generate $110 million in economic activity, 4,000 full-time jobs, and $10 million in direct government revenue.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: Downtown Fargo continues on a path of continuous improvement   source: InForum  

Over the past 20 years, Fargo has been successful in creating a downtown environment that is the envy of all the other cities in North Dakota. How did they do it? Fargo’s Downtown Community Partners President Tim Flakoll provides some commentary on the success; the ingredients Fargo used won’t surprise you, but they will point the way for Minot — collaboration and attention to detail.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: How Small Town Papers Have Kept Community Trust   source: NPR  

You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘fake news’, and if you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t trust much of what you hear on TV. It’s a cultural problem that needs a solution, because if what don’t trust the information we hear, it becomes difficult to make decisions; information is the grease that keeps our society running. But when it comes to small town newspapers, we’re still willing […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Self-Driving Cars Mean Cops Won’t Have Excuses to Pull People Over   source: Motherboard  

Self-driving cars are coming; there’s nothing to be done about it. Automation, in general, is going to radically remake the way we live our lives and our society, and if we look at self-driving cars as one of the early dominoes, the challenge then becomes what are the second, third, and fourth cultural dominoes that tip after the transition to self-driving cars starts dropping? Law enforcement will certainly […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Finland has a migration crisis, too: Smart, young professionals are moving out   source: Quartz  

“They leave Finland because of poor employment opportunities and future prospects. This has been happening for a long time… The difference with today’s migrants is they are better educated and leaving a welfare state that ranks as one of the best places to live in the world according to most indices.” Sound familiar? Finland is dealing with an out-migration problem similar to North Dakota, and they’ve started to […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Learn, News: The life-changing magic of getting a person to change their mind—even yourself   source: Aeon  

With those we care about, we try and try and try. Sometimes we need to do it ourselves, but we resist. Yes, I’m talking about change, particularly of our minds. And as our knowledge of how our brains work starts to align with observed behavior, we’re starting to get confirmation that changing minds is possible. But we have to forced into the uncomfortable situation of holding two opposing […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky