Charity aims at using robotics to help wounded, disabled vets

Jeff Woods has always been interested in robots.

“Since I was a child, I dreamed of a robot that could solve all kinds of problems and assist mankind in a helpful way,” Woods said during his Memorial Day service address Monday at Dickinson State University’s Stickney Auditorium.

The U.S. Air Force veteran has turned his hobby into a not-for-profit charity, Robots 4 Wounded Soldiers, aimed specifically at helping wounded and disabled American veterans take advantage of the technological advances in robotics and robotic prostheses. Woods gave a nearly 20-minute speech that was more about inspirational Americans and the country’s history than his charity. His words prompted a standing ovation.

“I can see he has a heart for veterans,” said George Nodland, a former state senator from Dickinson who served as master of ceremonies at the service and introduced Woods.

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Tornado hits south of Watford City

WATFORD CITY — A tornado touched down about 5 miles south of Watford City on Monday night, damaging a dozen trailers at an RV camp, according to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

Meteorologist John Martin with the National Weather Service in Bismarck said a tornado warning was issued for areas of McKenzie County at about 7:46 p.m. CDT Monday and learned shortly thereafter that a tornado had touched down. Martin said it was the first tornado of 2014 in North Dakota.

“We know that there were 12 trailers that were destroyed,” said Cecily Fong, the public information officer for the state Department of Emergency Services.

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Barking dog ‘savior’ for family during home fire

Dickinson Fire Department personnel investigate a house and garage fire at the 800 block of 13th Avenue West on Sunday morning.

A barking dog named Pebbles helped save the lives of a Dickinson woman and her daughter as a fire was destroying their home early Sunday morning.

Amber Beld and her 10-year-old daughter, Simone, escaped the house unharmed but lost most of their possessions because of a fire that the Dickinson Fire Department believes was the result of smoldering ashes from a backyard fire pit.

“I don’t know what I would have done without our little dog there with us,” Beld said. “She was like our little savior. She watches over us.”

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When a veteran speaks, listen

On Thursday night, we had to make a quick trip to Bismarck. Because we were heading that way, I decided that it was time to pay a visit to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan.

That’s where my Grandpa Monke was buried in December, and because circumstances kept me from attending the burial service, I had yet to see the place where he was laid to rest.

While this was my first trip to the Veterans Cemetery, it certainly won’t be my last. Not only is my Grandpa there, my Grandma and parents plan to buried there as well.

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Univited Guest: Pickup crashes into unoccupied Dickinson residence, driver faces charges

The Dickinson Fire Department works at the scene of an accident at 45 Ninth Ave. W after a pickup truck crashed into the side of the unoccupied duplex going about 60 mph, according to investigators, at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

The driver of a pickup was injured Sunday night after violently crashing into the side of an unoccupied Dickinson residence.

Brian Foss, 40, of Dickinson, was traveling eastbound on First Street West at about 60 mph when he lost control of the Dodge Ram 1500 he was driving and crashed into the northwest corner of a residence at 45 Ninth Ave. W. The pickup drove over and uprooted a large tree on the property before entering the residence just before 9 p.m.

Capt. David Wilkie of the Dickinson Police Department said Foss was charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital by the Dickinson Ambulance Service. A neighbor, whose vehicle was narrowly missed by the pickup, said he responded immediately after the crash and found Foss responsive but badly injured.

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