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Federal authorities are providing $3 million in grants to address violence against women in rural and tribal communities in the oil patch....

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Federal authorities are providing $3 million in grants to address violence against women in rural and tribal communities in the oil patch of North Dakota and Montana.  The money from the Office on Violence Against Women will be used to help provide services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.
     The grants will be divided among the First Nations Women's Alliance and Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota, the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Montana, the North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services, and the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
     Department of Justice officials also announced that the Fort Beck and Fort Berthold reservations will each receive three-year, $450,000 grants to pay for tribal prosecutors who will be cross-designated as special U.S. attorneys.  


     TIOGA, N.D. (AP) - Oklahoma-based Oneok Partners is continuing to increase its natural gas processing capacity in the western North Dakota oil patch.  The company says its Garden Creek II plant in eastern McKenzie County is now operational, and capable of processing 100 million cubic feet of natural gas daily.
     About one-third of North Dakota's natural gas is burned off and wasted in a process called flaring, due to a lack of infrastructure. Oneok President and CEO Terry Spencer says the Garden Creek plant will help reduce flaring.
     Oneok has other facilities in North Dakota and earlier this summer announced plans for a seventh gas plant that's expected to be complete in 2016. That factory, in northeastern McKenzie County, will bring Oneok's total investment in North Dakota to about $4 billion.


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The public works director in Williston says he needs help finding workers.  David Tuan is asking the city to allow him to create a human resources manager position. He says there currently are 30 open positions in the department, including an operations manager. That's the No. 2 position in the department.  Tuan says the skill set needed for public works jobs is similar to the skill set needed for a wide range of oilfield jobs and he needs help finding workers.
     The Williston Herald reports City Auditor John Kautzman said Fargo doesn't use its human resources manager to help with hiring, but more for policy management.  Mayor Howard Klug scoffed at the comparison, saying, "We're a different dog than Fargo."


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota officials have approved the engineering and bidding process for a new water storage facility project near Bismarck.  The Bismarck Tribune reports the North Dakota Industrial Commission unanimously authorized the Western Area Water Supply Authority to move forward on a facility in McKenzie that will store up to 2 million gallons of water.  Officials estimate it will cost $2 million. The authority could be reimbursed for $120,000.
     The authority's director says the facility will be built at its Indian Hills reservoir on the south side of the Missouri River. He says the authority aims to have the project bid out in the fall and completed by June 2015. He says the facility will help meet residential and industrial water needs.  Residents in five counties will use water from the facility.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Bismarck Civic Center might be getting a new name - the Bismarck Event Center.  The Bismarck Tribune reports that the City Commission has approved seeking offers for a second marquee and also has accepted the concept of renaming the building that's undergoing a $27 million expansion. A decision on a new name is not final.
     Commissioners agree with Civic Center Manager Charlie Jeske that the "civic center" name might indicate limited options, and they want to convey that the complex can host many events including conventions and concerts.  Jeske will draft a new marketing plan for the expanded facility and present it to the commission for approval.


    MINOT, ND - A Devils Lake infant will get to hear his mom's voice for the first time on Friday as Trinity Health audiologists activate the boy's newly implanted cochlear implant.  One-year-old Blake Zimmerman is the first North Dakota resident to receive a cochlear implant in a surgery performed in the state.  

    "At the upcoming initial stimulation or activation appointment at Trinity this little boy's hearing nerve will be stimulated for the first time through this implant," said Trinity Health Audiologist Jerrica Maxson, AuD, CCC-A.  "For many children born with severe to profound hearing loss, it is a very memorable day because it is the first time they will truly hear the voices of their loved ones."

    According to Maxson, Blake was diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss last year after a newborn screening indicated a substantial hearing deficit.  "We fitted his hearing aids a couple of months after his diagnosis, and we've been seeing him every three to six months to optimize his hearing aids while he waited to get approval for surgery."

    Blake needed to be at least a year old before insurance would approve coverage for the surgery.  Dr. Joshua Yorgason of Sanford Health in Bismarck performed the procedure in late July.  Prior to the arrival of Dr. Yorgason, North Dakotans had to travel outside the state to receive cochlear implant surgery.   

    "The activation of a cochlear implant has to be performed by an audiologist," Maxson explained.  "To start, we'll stimulate the hearing nerve one electrode at a time to determine how much current is needed on each electrode to provide stimulation to the hearing nerve.  A program will be created where all of the electrodes are on, providing the child the ability to hear sound.  Since the brain has never heard like this, it will take time for the little boy to learn to understand what he is hearing and make sense of it."  

    She notes that Blake will continue to receive early intervention services to facilitate his auditory, speech, and language development.  He'll also return to the audiologists for re-programming of his implant about five times in the first three months and then every three to six months for a couple years.


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


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