I was born in 1984. It was the year in which George Orwell set his classic dystopian novel of the same name. In reality, Big Brother didn’t come around until a few years later. (That’s another column for another time.)
Instead, the world got the “Ghostbusters,” George Michael and four more years of Ronald Reagan. Oh, and let’s not forget me and millions of other newborns.
Today, a little more than three decades later, the children of the early ’80s are an interesting bunch. Some of us are well into raising the next generation of Americans — the so-called “Boomlets” — while others are still raising hell.
In North Dakota, our age group — at least on the surface — is doing well. We are fortunate to be in an area where jobs are plentiful and pay well. Many of our peers throughout the country can’t say the same.
However, there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on: we are a generation without a classification.
A young Dickinson couple is homeless after a late Friday night fire consumed the trailer home they were renting, as well as their two pets and most of their possessions.
“Absolutely everything they had, they lost right here,” Dickinson Fire Chief Bob Sivak said at the scene around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.
The couple, whose names were not provided, lost their Chihuahua dog and a cat in the fire. They were only able to salvage a handful of items left unaffected by the fire.
The trailer was only about 25 feet behind the Paragon bowling alley and sports club off Villard Street. The building was evacuated for a short time until the Dickinson Fire Department contained the blaze.
Sivak said the fire likely started in the front of the trailer, but that it’s difficult to determine the cause.
“There’s nothing to investigate. That’s how bad it is,” he said. “Wires are burned right down to the copper. The walls are down and everything. We could make a guess, but I don’t want to do that because I can’t prove that one way or another.”
Sivak said the couple did not have renter’s insurance, but that the American Red Cross was at the scene and was looking into ways to help them.
The body was “relatively intact” and found in the crouched upright position near an underground utility pipeline, according to a statement sent at 8:35 p.m. Friday, according to statements from Dickinson Police Capt. Joe Cianni.
“A positive identification of the body was not possible at the scene due to the extent of the decomposition of the body and the deterioration of the related clothing,” Cianni’s statement read. “Nothing unusual or suspicious was unearthed during the exhumation.”
Phoebe Stubblefield, the forensic science program director at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, supervised the exhumation. The body will be transported to UND for Stubblefield’s forensic medical examination.
Law enforcement agencies began investigating the construction site at the corner of 40th Street East and Fourth Avenue East before 7 a.m. Friday morning, according to reports, as police taped off the area and officers stood watch around the perimeter. The exhumation didn’t wrap up until 7:26 p.m., according to Cianni’s statement.
The remains were discovered near an industrial park and directly east of the Integrated Production Services and Halliburton campuses on 40th Street. The area is north of Lincoln Meadows Apartments.
Multiple calls and messages left for Cianni were not returned.
Steel was ripped, bricks crumbled, dust flew and even chalkboards weren’t spared from the wrath of a construction excavator performing the final demolition project at Trinity High School on Tuesday afternoon.
“When I first came out here, I started crying,” said Dickinson Catholic Schools President Steve Glasser as he drove by to watch the demolition late in the afternoon. “It puts some closure to everything we’ve been through in the past 14 months. Now it’s real.”
Demolition of the structure began shortly after lunchtime, said Eugene Smith, project superintendent for JE Dunn Construction.
He said Veit Construction, which is a subcontractor on the job, began chipping away at the building and segregating iron, aluminum, sheet metal and concrete.
“They pull the concrete and recycle everything,” Smith said.