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Williston firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of a massive fire that destroyed much of the Red River Supply yard.....

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Williston firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of a massive fire that destroyed much of the Red River Supply yard.  

    Williams County Emergency Manager Mike Hallesy says the fire broke out about midnight. Explosions could be seen and heard at the scene. Police attributed them to barrels but didn't immediately say what was in them.  By daylight this morning, most of the flames were out, but heavy black smoke continued to fill the sky over Williston.
    Hallesy said firefighters from Williston, Ray and Epping were at the scene throughout the night, working to control the blaze. Firefighters were able to save three of the five buildings at the Red River yard.

     The site is just east of Williston's downtown. No one was allowed within a half mile of the site. Businesses within that zone were closed until further notice. State Highway 1804 in the area was also closed.  The fire sent flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air. The Williston Herald says no injuries were immediately reported.


    BISMARCK, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Health has identified the 47th case in the Minot hepatitis C outbreak investigation.  The 46th and 47th cases are residents of Somerset Court in Minot and have not been residents of ManorCare Health Services - Minot.  The first 45 cases all occurred in current or former residents of ManorCare.

    Following the discovery of the 46th case, the department conducted additional testing in Minot, which led to the identification of the 47th case. The Health Department will be contacting additional people for testing in the Minot area.  The department and Somerset Court are working closely together to determine how and when these cases occurred.

    "The presence of this strain of hepatitis C outside of ManorCare indicates that the outbreak is not confined to that facility, and that is a concern for the North Dakota Department of Health," according to Kirby Kruger, Director of Disease Control at the Health Department.  "We need to do additional testing to better determine the parameters of the outbreak and ensure infection control procedures are in place to help stop the transmission of the virus," Kruger added.

    In December, the Health Department released their preliminary findings, which stated that statistical information suggested that having hepatitis C may be associated with receipt of: (1) podiatry and phlebotomy (blood draw) services through contractual agreements with Trinity Health; and (2) nail care services by ManorCare.  So far in the investigation, the two new cases fit within the original findings without the exposure to ManorCare.     

    When the outbreak was first identified, the Health Department worked with ManorCare to review and reinforce infection control policies and procedures.  In February 2014, a consultant hired by the department worked with the facility to further review infection control procedures.  Ongoing testing has not identified any new cases at ManorCare.

    If you are contacted as a part of the outbreak investigation, the Health Department urges you to have the requested blood test.  Those who test positive for hepatitis C should seek additional care from their medical provider.  Testing results, both positive and negative, can provide valuable information in the investigation.

    Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause serious liver disease. People with Hepatitis C should work with their health-care provider on a care plan for their infection. Hepatitis C is primarily transmitted through blood-to-blood contact.  The Hepatitis C virus is NOT spread by sharing eating utensils, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing, and it is not spread through food or water.  


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office plans to sell a home connected to a man who has been questioned in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme in Spokane, Washington, and is awaiting trial on weapons charges in North Dakota.
     The case centers on James Henrikson, who had business dealings in North Dakota's oil patch with a man who was killed by an intruder in his Spokane home. Henrikson told police he was upset with the victim but denied any involvement in his death.
     Prosecutors have brought forfeiture action on a Watford City home owned by Henrikson's wife and another man, Ryan Olness. The home will be sold for $400,000 unless the government gets a higher offer.
     A lawyer for Olness says the property hasn't been widely advertised and might not bring a fair price.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The new warden at the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck has 17 years of experience working in correctional facilities.
     Colby Braun most recently has been director of transitional facilities for the state Corrections Department, overseeing about 450 inmates. He's taking over at the State Penitentiary for Robyn Schmalenberger, who resigned as warden in February after about four years on the job.
     The Bismarck Tribune reports that Braun began his career in 1997 at the regional jail in Dickinson. In 2004 he became warden of the Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center. He was named to his current post in 2010.  State Corrections Director Leann Bertsch says Braun's experience will be an asset in his new job.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Strong thunderstorms that crossed North Dakota brought strong winds that damaged buildings, vehicles and trees, along with heavy rain that led to flash flooding in some areas.
     A semitrailer was blown over Monday night on U.S. Highway 281 north of Jamestown, where winds were clocked at about 75 mph. Storms knocked out power in Carrington for a time.
     At least five farmsteads between Grace City and Bordulac suffered damage to buildings and grain bins. There were widespread reports of tree damage in the state, along with hail and several inches of rain. A flash flood warning was posted for a time in Grand Forks County, with street flooding reported in the city of Grand Forks.

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The FX network is planning a second season of "Fargo" the TV show, but with a new cast and a new story line that will take place a little farther south.
     Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman shored up the cast for "Fargo's" first season, which recently picked up 18 Emmy nominations. The show was based on the 1996 Coen brothers movie that's considered a crime classic and made Fargo a household name for many across the country.
     The second season of the TV show will be set in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Luverne, Minnesota.  The show is filmed in the Canadian city of Calgary. The second season likely will air in fall 2015.


   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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