When the doors opened in Fargo and Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Courts, there was no way of knowing what the success would be and that ten years later they would be joined with four other juvenile drug courts, five adult drug courts, and one college drug court. More than 300 youth have participated in Fargo and Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Courts. To celebrate this success, a dinner was held at the Canad Inn, Grand Forks, on May 20, 2010. Past and present members of the Fargo and Grand Forks teams were joined by members of the Bismarck, Williston, Minot, and Devils Lake Juvenile Drug Courts.
Honored guests were Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle, Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Judge Karen Braaten, Judge Wade Webb, Judge Debbie Kleven, and a past graduate of 2004. Also joining the team members were special guests, Justice Daniel Crothers, Senator Larry Robinson, Judge Joel Medd, and Louie Hentzen. Chief Justice VandeWalle read congratulatory letters from Governor John Hoeven, Senator Byron Dorgan, Representative Earl Pomeroy, and Justice Dale Sandstrom.
A graduate of 2004 shared his experience in drug court and the effects the program has had on his life and family. He expressed his thanks to the teams for their work and encouraged members to continue to help the youth in our state. A special letter was read from a graduate of 2002 who stated that drug court provided an excellent opportunity to focus on school and think about where he wanted to go in life without being distracted by drugs. His GPA was below a 2.0 his senior year; he had more than 100 hours of detention to make up; and he definitely wasn't planning on going to college. He said, "I don't think there's any way that I would be where I am today if drug court hadn't provided me with a solid excuse to say I just can't do that any more." This graduate has since graduated from college with two bachelor's degrees and currently plans to enroll in medical school.
Judge Wade Webb is the primary judge for the Fargo Juvenile Drug Court. Team members include: Steve Mottinger, Kim Hegvik, Susan Thomas, Nicole Leitner, Robyn Hanson, Ron Schneider, Sara Nicolli, Karen Kringlie, Kristin Klein, Jennifer Bartch, Rena McCarther, Melody Peterson, Terry Styf, and Mike Bernier. Judge Karen Braaten is the primary judge for the Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Court. Team members include: Ruth Jenny, Dale Rivard, Jennifer Liddle, Tracy Marback, Mike Iwan, Marilyn Iverson, Deborah Davis, Cindy McMillan, Katie Allen, Deborah Carlson, and David Vigeland.
Team members were honored at the dinner for their support and commitment to the drug court program. Ten-year Service Awards were presented to: Deborah Davis, Deborah Carlson, Melody Peterson, Steve Mottinger, and Ron Schneider. Five-year Service Awards were presented to: Judge Karen Braaten, Judge Wade Webb, Dave McGeary, Mike Iwan, Perry Lauer, Nicole Leitner, Christine Montgomery, Brad Peterson, Travis Rau, and Dale Rivard.
Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle.
|Judge Karen Braaten.|
|Judge Wade Webb.|
|Justice Mary Muehlen Maring.|
|Chief Justice VandeWalle, Graduate Matt Quinn, Justice Mary Muehlen Maring.|
|Receiving 10-year Service Award: left to right, Deborah Carlson, Deborah Davis, Melody Peterson. Not pictured: Ron Schneider and Steve Mottinger.|
|Receiving Five-Year Service Award: front row: Judge Karen Braaten, Christine Montgomery, Nicole Leitner; back row: Judge Wade Webb, Dale Rivard, Travis Rau, Perry Lauer, Mike Iwan, Brad Peterson. Not pictured: Dave McGeary.|
Jun. 3, 2010