He escaped warfare and crossed the ocean to start a new life | Dag Amdam reporting
The civilian population is often the true victims of war. Many people end up as refugees, forcefully having to leave their homelands. In today's Studio One Spotlight we meet a man who fled his homeland of Liberia when the country broke out into a brutal civil war in 1989.
Education, a safe home to grow up in, and freedom; some things in life we often take for granted. "My name is Losini Bility and I'm from Liberia, “says Losini Bility. "If it weren't for the bloodshed it would almost be comical,” from ABC Nightline, 1989.
These are the people Taylor says will restore democracy for Liberia. More than 20 years later the pictures form the Liberian civil war still tells a story of violence, brutality and despair. Being a child of this war Mohammed's story is an example of courage, hope, and humanity.
"I believe there was a time period where major news networks or newsmagazines said that you know said that, you know Sierra Leone and Liberia in the mid 1990's were probably the most dangerous and frankly horrible places to live because of the extraordinary brutality of the civil war there," explains Eric Burin, History Professor.
"Right after the civil war broke out in Liberia, me and my family crossed the border to Guinea for rescue," says Bility. While he was growing up in refugee camps, Bility’s favorite activities were school and soccer; everyday life carried little hope for resettlement.
"So few people make it out of the refugee camps to a third country, many people will not make it out," explains Tara Dupper, Resettlement Coordinator Lutheran Social Services. Statistics from the United Nations show there were more than 15 million refugees worldwide in 2011. Only 0.5% of them are being replaced to a third country every semester.
"Around the world we'll see refugees forcefully leave their homeland in to areas that are not ready to support that massive influx of people so refugee camps being overcrowded, sometimes there is violence in the area," says Dupper.
In 2004 Bility and his family were resettled in Grand Forks, ND. Bility, known as Mohammed to his friends was determined to integrate in to his new community. His favorite activity growing up helped him along the way. "Since I came here it has been actually something that I'm so interested in. I have been able to be an organizer when it comes to soccer in this Grand Forks area," says Bility. Being the president of the University of North Dakota's soccer club, the most important thing for Bility was to get an education. “All I was thinking, I want go to school, I want to go to school," describes Bility.
"It was a very happy day for me actually, graduating wearing a gown," he explains. Bility’s journey from war-torn Liberia to the quiet Midwest thought him about safety, education and freedom; some of the things in life we often take for granted.
A lot of people are going green with their cars, clothes and now, their babies. Old-fashioned diapers are making a comeback. From going green to saving some green, this comeback is saving thousands of dollars for parents. "The biggest thing was a financial decision. Just to add a little bit more to our monthly budget so that I could stay home with our third baby as well," says Sarah Effhauser, Cloth Diaper Enthusiast.This eco-friendly, cost-effective product is gaining popularity as the idea of cloth diapers is hitting the market once again. Cloth diapering from birth to potty training costs an average of $381, while disposable diapers costs over $2500. But cost is not the only reason moms are making the switch. "Cloth diapering is one of those things that like I said, is not only economical and for some families it's the only way they can afford to diaper their children, or more than one children, but it also is healthier for our babies and I think as parents that's the best thing we want to do for our babies is offer them a healthy start," explains Effhauser. Disposable diapers contain absorbent chemicals that some moms want to avoid. Most disposables are bleached white with chlorine, resulting in a byproduct called dioxins, which may cause skin reactions. The World Health Organization also says they can cause a variety of health issues.
"A lot of parents spend a lot of time and money investing in what we feed our children and what toys they play with, but also we have the ability to choose what goes against their most delicate parts of their body,” says Effhauser. Cloth diapers have their downfalls. For moms like Effhauser, she says there is still one part that is hard to get used to. "The smell factor, you can't be afraid of poop. I just have to say that you can't be afraid of it because you are going to have to see it again," describes Effhauser. As an old diapering method is making its comeback, so is the money of parents with children in diapers.
Forcing fresh foods on trays | Victor Correa reporting
Lunch is the time of day that students often look forward to. They get to eat and socialize with their friends. But as of last January, the food has changed and it’s taken hold of the table talk.
The apples are washed, the sandwiches wrapped, and the salad bar is ready. From here on out, the lunch items will be healthy. However, public school cafeterias have fallen victim to criticism from students and parents alike. Either the food is good and unhealthy or it's healthy and just not good.
"I didn't even eat here today," says Colette Piche, student. The lunchroom food has been reformed because of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.The program is set up to fight childhood obesity and has a few guidelines to keep kids from eating foods high in sugars and salts.
"Basically, people are required to take three of the five elements of lunch. Whether it’s the main entre then they are required to take a salad or a fruit,” explains Brian Loer, High School Principal. Schools have reformed the lunches to give kids the option of at least one healthy meal where they might not be getting it for breakfast or dinner. Across the country the reception from students, despite the schools concern, is mixed. "It's not as much food and it's just kind of fake stuff,” says Grant Boyum, student.
"I usually go to my house, just because I like that food better. I usually eat healthy anyway, so I think this is good that the school is eating healthier,” describes Piche. In East Grand Forks High School in Minnesota there has been only one notable response to the changed lunches. "We do see probably an increase in garbage because when they are forced to take a vegetable or forced to take a fruit they will take it and run it right to the garbage can and throw it away," explains Loer. Despite the school's efforts to provide healthier food options for kids, the criticism still rolls in.
It’s a growing trend as of late for kids to be one-sport athletes. Not only is this because of the increasing amount of time each activity requires, but also because of finances. These days even the littlest leagues cost the big bucks.
This is 16-year-old, Joey Anderson, North Dakota's State Champion in singles and doubles Tennis. It takes a lot to fill Joey's shoes: talent, agility, hard work and money? "I've been to probably 15 states regarding tennis-playing tournaments throughout my career," says Joey Anderson. Like many young athletes, Anderson is subject to paying to compete at the sport he loves.
"Yes, it's all out of the family's pocket," explains his mother, Paula Anderson. “I have like 5 rackets that are 200 dollars each. A pair-two pair of shoes that are a hundred dollars each, so that's 200. Shirts, shorts, hats…,” describes Joey Anderson.
It's not only elite athletes in individual sports like Joey that are feeling the burn in their wallets. It's estimated that the average youngster will rack up more than 10,000 dollars in athletic expenses, regardless of the sport they compete in.
"So you're helping pay for your coaches, you're helping pay for your referees, you're helping pay for your ice time. You're helping pay for tournaments and gate fees,” explains Scott Koberinski, Youth Hockey Coordinator. And for those activities that involve excessive equipment, it's even more.
"Back in the day where you could get a stick for 30 dollars, now a top-end stick is 250. Skates are seven hundred dollars, where Back in the day when I played it was a hundred bucks for a good pair of skates," says Koberinski.
Such steep expenses have many wondering if the bang on the court is worth all the bucks. "It's time then as a family, since all three of my kids play it's a lot of windshield time, but its time we're together. Financially it costs money, but he has the memories,” says Paula Anderson.
"I'm really thankful. I thank her after every tournament-she does a lot- without her I probably wouldn't be anywhere. I plan on paying her back, whether it be scholarships, after college, however that might be, but yeah, I plan to,” describes Joey Anderson. During the time of youth is when a person finds their passion. These sports may cost a pretty penny-but the benefits last a lifetime.
Things like rodents, bees and flies can be an unwelcome bother. Today we'll meet someone who looks for bothersome situations.
We all know life can be a pest. For Brian Bohlman, that's what it's all about. "Probably the biggest thing for us guys right now is bed bugs. We're having a heck of a time controlling those," says Bohlman, Pest Control Owner. And that's the types of little horrors he takes care of for his clients. For Bolhman, each call is a new opportunity "Going and meeting the customers. I really enjoy that. We all get to know each other and get to become friends," explains Bohlman.
Friends are a bonus. Family is the foundation. "I'm kind of a second generation bug man. My dad was in the service business for 38 years,” says Bohlman. This second generation bug man plans on training in a third generation. "My wife's working with me too yep, Theresa, and I'm just getting my son on board too, Evan," describes Bohlman,
Pest control, of course, is not all glamorous. Sometimes he has to take care of some pretty creepy crawly problems.
"We opened the doors and we saw rats running around all over and they're playing and squealing,” describes Bohlman. “So I went out to the pickup, put my coveralls on, taped up the pant legs and went in there and started treating accordingly," Bohlman explains. When most people would avoid these situations, Bohlman treats those critters to everything in his arsenal.
Interior Designer | Jimmy Gefroh reporting
A local artist and interior designer helps her customers add a little color to their lives. In many homes, Terri Berg adds complexion and identity to each wall. "I love it. I really love doing it. I love, like I said, helping people take the color plunge," says Berg, artist and interior designer. While Berg helps others take the color plunge, the love of her job is what keeps her going. Besides her family, Berg’s true love is painting.
"I think the whole process for me to fall into this as a job just made so much sense to me," says Berg. For two decades Terri has been finding a variety of colors to fit a rainbow of personalities. "I finally decided one day, a couple of years ago, why am I not getting paid for this?" describes Berg. Not everyone enjoys painting the interiors of their homes, but Berg has no problem with adding a splash of color to her customers' walls. "Well, I hate painting so it was well worth it to me to find someone to come in and try and help me with the project as it's pretty big," describes Lee Moran, Berg’s customer.
Terri's creativity is left on people's walls, but more importantly, she brings color to those who need it most. With Berg’s artist experience, she also teaches art classes through the Arts and Classroom program at a local nursing home. "I just like to help people out so if that's what they need I just bring it!" says Berg. By bringing a vivid imagination to her pupils, Berg's goal is to bring the picturesque life into everyone's home.
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Fall may be your last chance to get outside before the snow hits the ground and the cooler temperatures don't stop outdoor enthusiasts from taking advantage of it. In their rush to get outside however, they may forget something important.
"In cold weather, you may be prone to thinking 'Oh it's cold out. There's no danger of overheating' and so you may think that you don't have to hydrate," says Martin Short, Professor of Physical Education and Exercise Science. Dehydration comes from a lack of water in the body and is normally felt through thirst. In cold weather however, it may not be as easy.
"Dehydration with cold weather your thirst response is a bit dampened. So you don't get as thirsty as would in warmer weather," explain Short. Drinking water during exercise is important, but drinking water during everyday activities is important as well.
"As long as you’re getting around four hundred to eight hundred milliliters, so 20 milliliters an hour, you can stay pretty safe,” describes Short. If you are ever wondering whether you are dehydrated or not, Dr. Short has one simple rule to keep you safe.
"If you're thirsty, you should drink. It's your body telling you 'Hey! We need a little more water here,” says Short. Paying attention to your body during cold weather will keep dehydration from putting a damper on your day.