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Published July 18 2010

National Guard improves family communication

A new system allows the North Dakota National Guard to quickly contact military families.

Through Blackboard Connect, the Guard can send phone and text messages to let military families know their loved ones’ status, according to a news release.

The system can also notify families of upcoming events, said Melissa Kilde, Family Assistance Center coordinator for the North Dakota National Guard.

“This could include soldiers arriving at their duty station, yellow ribbon or family readiness group events, guardsmen returning home, etc.,” Kilde said in a statement. “The recordings can be made by calling a toll-free number, so we would like to include the commanders and give them the opportunity to record messages to the families in the future, as well as messages from the Family Assistance Center. It will not replace the personal wellness calls family members receive.”

More than 1,100 family members are already connected, and the Service Member and Family Support Division expects to add more as needed.

Children’s justice event scheduled in Bismarck

The Children’s Justice Symposium is July 27–29 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.

Law enforcement professionals, attorneys, social workers, judges, educators, therapists and others who work with children and families are encouraged to attend.

The symposium will offer workshops on decision-making in child welfare, preparing and delivering credible evidence for testimony, termination of parental rights, forensic interviewing strategies for preschool children and working with individuals living in poverty.

The four-day event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register at www.cfstc.und.edu./10ndsymposium.php.

Olmstead Commission will meet in Bismarck

The North Dakota Olmstead Commission will meet at 1 p.m. July 29 in the Red River Room in the State Capitol. The public is welcome to attend.

The commission focuses on providing community services for people with disabilities, according to a news release.

The agenda includes updates on the Money Follows the Person grant activities, the Aging and Disability Resource Center pilot project, Medicaid waivers for children’s hospice services and autism spectrum disorders, the Transition Age Youth pilot program and developments in community-based mental health services.

Information about

the commission is at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/olmstead-commission.html.

‘Ask your government’ seeks your questions

Do you have a question for a state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

E-mail politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman, c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505.

Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.

Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.