News-Monitor

January 17, 2017

News-Monitor Weekly local newspaper Wahpeton ND

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Published for the Red River Valley and Doris Anderson of Wyndmere TUESDAY, January 17, 2017 VOL. 130, NO. 3 Timmy Golden Hankinson 2nd Grader is Week's Weather Look for steady temperatures all week with highs near 30 degrees Student Art Athlete of the Week 8 Classifieds 9 Comics 11 Coming Events 5 Dakota Estates 5 Editorial 4 News from Past 2 Obituaries 3 School Calendar 6 School Menus 6 Senior Menus 6 Sports 7-8 Worship 6 Inside Today High Low Outlook Jan. 17 26 18 Flurries Jan. 18 33 23 Partly sunny Jan. 19 30 13 Sunshine Jan. 20 33 10 Flurries Jan. 21 27 7 Cloudy Jan. 22 25 -11 Cloudy Jan. 23 13 -9 Mostly sunny Hankinson senior guard Mya Steinwehr turned it on Friday night in the third quarter, scoring the majority of her points then to help spark the Pirates into a victory against Region 1 rival Lidgerwood-Wyndmere $1.00 « SPORTS, Page 7-8 'I just think the third quarter is the most important for us' Mya Steinwehr Mental health reform stalling Mathern: State hospital 'lets us believe we care' BY MIKE JACOBS North Dakota Newspaper Association A four-year-long effort to reshape North Dakota's mental health ser- vices may be shipwrecked in the shallows at the Legislature. Money is tight. There's institutional resistance. And there's stigma attached. The effort began in the 2013 ses - sion, when the Legislature ordered a study. This was completed in July 2014. The 2015 session sent the project to an interim committee to craft bills that would be presented this year. The early going has been rough. Last week the State Senate rejected the idea of removing the State Hospital from the constitu - tion, one of the pro- posals advanced by the interim com- mittee. Closing the hospital would have required a public vote; if passed, it would have cleared the way for a system of regional mental health centers. The proposal got only three votes — but it as a bipartisan vote, two Democrats and one Republican voted in favor of the idea. Changes in certification and li - censure for mental health profes- sionals ran into trouble last week, too. Governing boards pushed back against changes the interim com- mittee had recommended. Legislators may move ahead with one portion of the plan, renaming mental health. Occurrences of the phrase in state law would be re - placed with the phrase "behavioral health." That's aimed at the stigma associ- ated with mental health, state Sen. Judy Lee of West Fargo explained. She chairs the Senate Human Ser- vices Committee, and she presided over the interim study committee as well. Lee said she plans to concentrate SEE LEGISLATURE, PAGE 12 LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP F LACK OF FUNDS AFFECTING EFFORTS TO RESHAPE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM Lee MARSY'S LAW The new law protects the  right of victims and ensure  they have a meaningful role  through the criminal and  juvenile justice system. 19 rights Editor's Note: This begins a two-part series about Marsy's Law, which went into ef- fect for North Dakota in mid-December 2016. This story deals with the difficulties  experienced by law enforcement in dealing with a law that is somewhat vague in  how they should ensure that crime victims are given their new protections. Larry Leshovsky wasn't a vocal opponent of Marsy's Law, knowing it would appear as if the Richland County sheriff doesn't support victim rights. He did have reservations about this new law, feeling the matter would have better been a legislative issue as op - posed to a constitutional one. If any problems crop up, it will require a vote of the people or two-thirds of both Hous- es in the Legislature to make changes, he said. "It was tough ground to stand on, because if you say I'm not for Marsy's Law when it was in the elec- tion period, then people would say, 'what is it, you don't like victims?' That wasn't the case. It had nothing to do with that. We work with victims all the time. Our goal is to try and accommodate their needs as best we can. We un- derstand they're victims. In this law, it's muddling things up so much with this requirement, that requirement," Leshovsky said, worrying that Marsy's Law dictates will stand in the way of officers trying to obtain criminal con- victions. He's not alone in his misgivings about a law that went into effect in North Dakota about a month ago. Most crime victims don't even understand a law meant to give them more protections than what was available through state law. When asked if they want to enact their rights under Marsy's Law, Leshovsky said most victims Victims have the right to be  treated with fairness and re- spect; free from intimidation,  harassment and abuse; and  the right to be reasonably  protected from the accused  and any person acting on  behalf of the accused. Protection Marsy's Law ensures crime  victims' interests are  respected and protected by  law in a manner no less  vigorous than the  protections afforded to  criminals. Fairness North Dakota was one of three states that passed Marsy's  Law during the November 2016 election. Marsy's Law protects  victims of crimes, creating what law enforcement officials call even  more protective layers than what the state already had in place. BY KAREN SPEIDEL newsmonitor@wahpetondailynews.com SEE MARSY'S LAW, PAGE 12 Mathern "I may feel I've been a victim of something, but you may feel I'm being over- ly dramatic, where is the definitive answer of which one of us is correct?" - Colette Barton "It's muddling things up with this requirement, that requirement." - Sheriff Larry Leshovsky "It sounds good, so of course we had to have it." - Kathy Mauch Marsy's Law not so easy

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