KHRT ND News – 01/07/22

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 010722 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – A Minot man injured in a vehicle accident on Christmas Day has died. The North Dakota Highway Patrol says they were informed by the family on Wednesday that 23-year old Matthew Melbarzdis had died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Troopers say the accident happened as Melbarzdis last control of his pickup on a slippery road while traveling from Minot to Burlington. The truck struck an approach and overturned on it’s roof pinning him inside. The Patrol says he was not wearing a seatbelt.
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BISMARCK, ND – There’s a big spike in COVID-19 cases as reported by the North Dakota Department of Health. The weekly report for the period of January 1st through today shows 6,503 new positives and a 14-day rolling positivity rate of 11.8%. Active cases for the week are up by 2,459 to 4,487. Hospitalizations are at 118, down nine. There have been 16 more deaths among those were tested positive bringing the total since the pandemic began to 2,028. Vaccination rates include 51.8% (389,880) of residents age 5 and up that are fully vaccinated.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The state’s oil and gas division says a produced water spill was reported 5 miles south of Epping. On Thursday, 270 barrels of produced water leaked at a well operated by Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation. The cause of the leak was because of equipment failure. Environmental experts say the leak has been contained and cleanup is underway, while an inspector will continue to monitor the cleanup.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The sale of Coal Creek Station to Rainbow Energy Center LLC cleared its final regulatory hurdle on Thursday. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the transfer of Coal Creek Station’s high-voltage direct current transmission line from Great River Energy (GRE) to Nexus Line LLC, a subsidiary of Rainbow Energy Center LLC. Rainbow Energy Center and Nexus Line are both affiliates of Bismarck-based Rainbow Energy Marketing Corp.
 
“This approval is a momentous step toward Rainbow Energy taking ownership of Coal Creek Station and providing a long-term future for the power plant, its workers and the communities supported by the hundreds of jobs at Coal Creek and the nearby Falkirk Mine,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “It also offers North Dakota the opportunity to further prove that we can be a national and world leader in carbon capture, storage and utilization through our continued focus on innovation over regulation. Preserving the baseload generation that Coal Creek provides is critical to U.S. energy security and maintaining a strong regional power grid, and we’re grateful to the industry, the state Legislature and our congressional delegation for their collaboration on ensuring a viable future for North Dakota’s abundant lignite coal.”
 
Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford began working with GRE to facilitate a sale of Coal Creek Station to a third party operator even before GRE announced in May 2020 its plans to close the 1,151-megawatt generating plant in Underwood during the second half of 2022.
 
Burgum announced on March 25, 2021, that GRE was in exclusive negotiations to sell Coal Creek Station and GRE’s high-voltage, direct current transmission system that extends between central North Dakota and Minnesota. The pending sale to Rainbow Energy Center and Nexus Line was announced June 30. In July, GRE’s member cooperatives approved a related purchase power agreement under which GRE will buy 1,050 megawatts of power from Rainbow Energy Center for approximately two years, followed by 300 megawatts for approximately eight years.
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MINOT, N.D. – A figure skating pair with ties to Minot took top honors this week in at the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championship, Junior Ice Dance competition in Nashville, TN. Leah Neset of Minot and her partner Artem Markelov took the top overall spot with a score of 155.84. Neset is the 16-year old daughter of Chris & Cheri Neset of Minot. Markelov is originally from Volzhsky, Russia. The pair have their sights set on competing at the Olympic level one day, and they’ll be closely watching the winter games next month.
 
 
(Copyright 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 010722 – 0700
 
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota regulators have approved the transfer of a key permit necessary for a financially troubled coal-fired power plant in North Dakota to be sold to a Bismarck-based marketer of wholesale electricity. Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to transfer the permit associated with the power line that carries electricity from Coal Creek Station to Minnesota. The PUC in September had deferred a decision on the transfer as environmental groups, hoping to see the coal plant shut down, pushed against it. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum cheered Thursday’s approval, calling it “a momentous step” toward Rainbow Energy taking over to give the plant and its workers a long-term future.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Democratic Sen. Erin Oban says the Jan. 6 insurrection isn’t the reason she won’t run for reelection next year. She says it’s the increased divisiveness in politics that has followed. Oban announced last month that she would not seek a third term. It came a week after Bismarck GOP Sen. Nicole Poolman said she also won’t seek reelection, in part because of an eroding civility in politics. North Dakota U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong says there has been an erosion of civility in politics ongoing for a long time and parallels the advent of social media.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Dangerously cold temperatures enveloping North Dakota have pushed wind chill readings down to minus 59 degrees in at least one city early Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, Bowbells, the county seat of Burke County in northwestern North Dakota, recorded that wind chill temperature while Mandan was at minus 45 and Bismarck at 41 below zero. The arctic air surged into the Northern Plains on the heels of an Alberta clipper weather system that moved out of the Northern Rockies earlier this week. The weather service issued a wind chill warning for the entire state of North Dakota until noon Central Standard Time on Friday.
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Conditions remain dry throughout the Missouri River basin, so officials are predicting that the amount of water flowing down the river this year will be below average again. The dry forecast reduces the chance of widespread flooding along the river this spring although some local flooding is still possible if chunks of ice block the flow of water or if heavy rains fall on an area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that last year was the tenth driest year on record in the Missouri River basin. This year, runoff is expected to increase somewhat but it is expected to be only 84% of of the long-term average.
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House’s top official on environmental justice is stepping down a year after President Joe Biden took office with an ambitious plan to help disadvantaged communities and overhaul policies that have historically hurt them. The departure of Cecilia Martinez, senior director for environmental justice at the Council for Environmental Quality, puts a spotlight on both the administration’s successes and promises yet to be fulfilled.
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MINOT, ND – It was a record setting year for the KHRT Horn of Plenty. For the second consecutive year funds for food vouchers were raised instead of asking for non-perishable donations. Marketplace Foods joined in by asking for donations from customers at their four Minot locations. Today, Marketplace Food officials presented the Horn of Plenty with a check for over $58,000. The total was $24,000 more than they raised last year. Matt Wentz with Marketplace Foods says the generosity of the community resulted in a huge donation this year. Horn of Plenty administrator Roy Leavitt thanked Marketplace Foods management and staff, along with the community, for their partnership. Leavitt say about 260 families in north central and northwestern North Dakota received packages of food, toys, and ministry gifts at Christmas.
 
 
(Copyright 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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