A visit home reveals wall-to-wall support for Trump in North Dakota

The only TV at the Bismarck Airport is still permanently glued to one station: Fox News

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Sign in Mandan, N.D., the town which proclaims this is “Where the West Begins.”

Sign in Mandan, N.D., the town which proclaims this is “Where the West Begins.”

Michael Sneed / Sun-Times

Dateline: The Trump line.

Belated greetings from my beloved North Dakota home state, which seems to have turned into all things Trump.

Clicking on! The only TV at the Bismarck Airport is still permanently glued to one station: Fox News.

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Eating out! The most polite waitresses at the best restaurant in nearby Mandan, the “Pirogue,” are Trump supporters. “He’s given us jobs!”

(Did I mention “Pirogue” means canoe, the kind Lewis and Clark used when wintering with the Mandan Indians?)

Mandan, Bismarck’s mini-twin and my birthplace, still insists it’s the only town in the world with that name. And still proclaims to be “Where the West Begins.”

Really.

Eating Up! The town’s popular bakery, which serves up the best long john donuts this side of the Missouri River, is called “Bearscat.”

(Did I say that translates as animal droppings ... long ones?) 

Yet, a little change seems evident.

Listening Up! A few of the men who wear hats at breakfast at the old Ohm’s restaurant are now trashing President Donald Trump and wondering if first lady Melania is really happy.

In the world of Gastro Obscura, one of the nation’s last operational Whirla-Whips, a 1930s device that turns ice cream into soft serve, is still churning out retro blizzards in the small town of Stanley, due west of Minot. Except the machine is now a newly purchased “old” one. 

The famous “Hot” and “Cold” stamped water towers in the town of Garrison have since been repainted … minus the water temperature. 

And small towns from Beulah to Williston now sport roads larger than they are so large trucks can move supplies to the fracking fields spitting out methane gas.

However, everywhere I drove from Mandan/Bismarck and Minot West are pro-life billboards.

Everywhere.

Pro-choice billboards?

Nowhere.

I’m not going to get into the abortion debate.

But nowhere did I see a billboard advocating adoption as a pro-life alternative while driving hundreds of miles throughout western Dakota.

And nowhere did I see a sign telling a frightened young woman where she could safely leave her newborn, unwanted child without recrimination and punishment.

I may love my magnificently beautiful prairie state; its mighty Missouri River; its pothole bird wetlands and free-roaming antelope; its elk near Parshall where the Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa tribes live; and where the quiet Knife, Cannonball and Heart Rivers snake under bridges off quiet dirt roads.

But ...

The Smollett wallet . . . 

Actor Jussie Smollett’s new Chicago lawyer, William J. Quinlan, who just filed a motion moving the actor’s Chicago lawsuit to federal court involving police investigation fees for an alleged hate crime, tells Sneed his legal fees will help in his effort to  do pro bono (unsalaried) work for a Chicago friend.

It involves the controversial case of Dr. Michael Beyer, a well respected Ogden International School principal accused by the Board of Education’s inspector general of falsifying attendance records. Beyer was subsequently removed — but not yet terminated — by the Chicago Public Schools.

“Beyer, whose suspension has been vehemently protested by parents and the local school council, is suing the district for due process violations and is awaiting an arbitration hearing,” said Quinlan, who feels the controversy actually revolves around children of diplomats attending the school who need to travel with their parents.

“My son went to Ogden, where Dr. Beyer was a terrific principal,” claims Quinlan, who has represented celebs Nicky Hilton, heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune; George Maloof, former owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA team whose sister Adrienne Maloof is a former star of the reality series “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”; and Alejandra Nash, during her divorce from former Phoenix Suns hoopster Steve Nash.

“Look, the Smollett case belongs in federal court because the financial dispute is more than $75,000 and Smollett lives in California  — not Chicago,” added Quinlan, who said the case was assigned to federal Judge Virginia Kendall.

“One of the reasons to take high-profile celeb cases like Smollett is because it gives lawyers the opportunity to do pro-bono work,” he said. “And I feel Dr. Beyer’s case falls into that category.”

Sneedlings . . . 

I spy: DJ Pauly D recently spotted performing at TAO Nightclub. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Kevin Hart, 40; George W. Bush, 73; and Sylvester Stallone, 73. . .  Sunday’s birthdays: Ringo Starr, 79; Alesso, 28; Tom Sandoval, 36, and Danielle Bejlovec, priceless.

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