Ramp to freedom | Cory Robertson reporting
Some people get anxious when they are separated from their house. We met a woman who redefines what it means to be homesick. Tranquil, serene, and quaint, is one way to describe the house on Seward Avenue. This residence is home to Barbara Harpster and her five other tenants.
"The companions I have are my cats, but they can't talk to you,” says Harpster. At age 58, Harpster has dealt with her share of hardships. "I didn't realize how important it is just to be able to walk," describes Harpster. A couple years ago Harpster was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and lymph edema.
“It would feel like you were burning your legs," explains Harpster. As Harpster lost strength she began to live a more sedentary lifestyle. “I went to the doctor last November, and I haven't been out of the house since. 11 months to be precise," says Harpster. She says there is agony in being a prisoner of your own home for almost a year. "You don't know how much longer you can go on, because it's just too painful," explains Harpster.
"I hope I never get to the point when I give up," says Harpster. "But a God gave me life, and it's not up to me to take it," she explains. Who would have guessed that a college fraternity project would be the answer Harpster was looking for?
"Not being able to go outside in a year, and she still has her humor and thinks positively. That would emotionally devastate most people" says Push Chairman of the Phi Kappa Phi, Zeta Gamma Chapter, Adam Christianson. In one charitable act, this fraternity is building Barb a ramp to freedom.
"You wouldn't know how happy I was, I was just as pleased as could be," exclaims Harpster.“I can enjoy the birds and the breeze, and the sounds. There is a little squirrel that runs back and forth between the two houses here, he likes to tease the cats," describes Harpster.
Leaves that blow in the wind, birds chirping in the trees, and the feeling of sun upon your face may be simple things. But for Harpster it is the basic necessities that mean the most. "It's been so long since I've been outside; I just appreciate it I really do," says Harpster.
The 1999 Columbine shooting is said to be among one of the worst massacres to have occurred in the US. A positive light that’s emerged from the horrific event is the story of Rachel Scott.
Years after the death of 17 year old Columbine high school student Rachel Scott, her story is still being told. As an effort to educate more on bullying and Rachel herself, "Rachel's Challenge" is a program speaking to students across the US. The program hopes to inform the public not only on the shooting, but Scott's life and how she saw kindness as a sign of strength.
"Rachel's Challenge" is setting its goals high in educating students and teachers on how they can influence for the better. "Rachel's Challenge" has reached over 18 million people and it all started with Scott's idea of simply starting a chain reaction.
It's estimated that 160,000 students skip school every day because fear of being bullied. But some say stopping bulling is not enough. Scott's legacy will live on from those who speak about her and those she impacted.
Rachel's Challenge is nationwide. Presenters include actors, NFL players and Olympians.
College in high school | Cecilie Engeseth reporting
High school students are learning that they are college material. Some now have the option of taking credits that do double the duty. Colleges expect incoming freshmen to meet many requirements. Some high schools are making the transition to college easier. North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has extended the option of dual credit to sophomores.
"They're dual credit. They count for high school credit as well as college credit at the same time, so it's really quite a bonus for the kids," explains Jon Strandell. Teens are able to save money as well as get the hands-on education they need. Strandell says the learning environment is friendlier and encourages students to ask questions.
"I decided to do dual credits because I figured it's going be cheaper for me. And the book is provided and everything like that and I thought being in a classroom with a teacher who's willing to help me, rather than being with 300 other students," says Nikolina Dogan. She is one of 140 students in her high school getting a jump start on college. As kids are on the fence of picking a major, the dual credit option is an opportunity to plan ahead. They will be better prepared for college and inspired to work for it.
"I find kids to be very driven and very motivated to do well and really looking for every advantage they can get when it comes to what they do after high school," explains Strandell. He says that students have changed for the past decade and are seeking higher education earlier. Dual credit courses help them pick up better study habits earlier on, as well as put in the extra effort.
"I don't feel like I'm smarter. I just feel like I'm willing to do more work for it. And this will just make my life easier when I get to college," says Dogan. With the dual credit option, students gain confidence to succeed and get a realistic expectation of what college classes are like.
Before dual credit classes were only offered to juniors and seniors. Most courses are three credits each.
Working out can be a tedious chore for many. But one fitness routine adds more variety to the everyday workout. Motivating people to work out is what this trainer likes to do. Dustin McWilliams has grown up being an active person and enjoys seeing others become successful.
"I have just been into fitness my whole life, just kind of sports in high school and stuff like that and after high school I didn't have, you know, a ton to do for sports so, I just picked up exercise and different things like tire flips," says trainer, Dustin McWilliams. Tire flips are exactly what it sounds like. This along with other everyday materials can make for a unique and fun fitness routine.
"It gets your heart rate up and your using, even though you feel like you're not using every muscle, everything is working, everything's firing, your cores firing," explains McWilliams. Moving tractor tires may leave you reaching for the Advil.
But, McWilliams says it can really benefit the muscles in your body. "Everything, every single muscle, even muscles that you didn't know you had," says McWilliams. Changing the way you go about doing things makes it not seem like a workout at all.
Halloween is just around the corner. One woman goes a bit further than just lighting the old jack - o - lantern. On the way home from daycare Grace Orr looks forward to a special stop.
"It's not really my house it's just my yard," says Kelly Straub.
She is the creator of the Halloween Yard. "It's just grown every year," explains Straub. She starts building her ghouls and goblins in August. Each year she chooses a new theme for her spooky scene. "This year it's formal dinner party," Straub describes. With maids and butlers, and chairs full of the undead, Kelly transforms her front lawn into an eerie dinner soiree.
"This year we went earrings, necklaces, headpieces because you know, they’re at a dinner party so c'mon let's dress for it," explains Straub. The elaborate display draws a faithful audience. “I’ve gotten thank you letter, calls, they stop by 3 or 4 times a day,” says Straub. She says its peoples' responses that keep her motivated to decorate every year.
"It's just funny, just people's reactions and that's why I do it," says Straub. So Halloween Yard fans like Orr can continue to look forward to special trips down Straub’s street. Straub and her family serve hot cocoa and candy on Halloween night.
Sometimes when looking up at the sky, every white puff seems to be an animal like an elephant or a crocodile. But these clouds are scientifically classified just like animals.
"The genre, that breaks them down into ten categories, then they have species and subspecies below that," says Tony Grainger. The International Cloud Atlas defines a wide variety of cloud species. "Some of these clouds are pretty rare. You don't see them very often. In fact, I sometimes think they were only seen once but they made it into the cloud atlas," explains Grainger.
Normally, these meteorological animals floating through the sky are puffy cumulus clouds. The cumulonimbus cloud is a more dangerous predator. "This is the thunderstorm, this is the big weather-maker, this is where we get lightning and thunder, this is lots of things happening in cumulonimbus clouds," describes Grainger.
Now, there is a new animal attempting to make its way into the international cloud atlas. Its name is Undulatus Asperatus, Latin for "Agitated Waves".
"The Undulatus is a typical wave-type cloud," explains Grainger. This ominous cloud forms when warm and cool air meets. However, this new animal has yet to be officially classified.