KHRT ND News – 03/15/22

KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 031522 – 1200
 
MINOT, ND – The Minot Fire Department had a busy morning on Monday, responding to two calls back to back.
 
Firefighters responded at 12:21 a.m. Monday to a reported fire in the upstairs of a home at 601 7th Street SE. Firefighters found heavy fire coming from the structure’s upstairs when they arrived on scene. Fire crews extinguished the fire in approximately 20 minutes, but the structure suffered major damage. One cat perished in the incident. No other injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation.
 
While crews were finishing a call came in at 1:21 a.m. Monday to a report of a heavy fire coming from a garage at 612 Mount Curve Avenue in southeast Minot. Crews encountered a fully involved garage fire, with flames working into the second floor of the home. The fire in the home was quickly extinguished, and no one was found during a search and rescue operations. Fire crews then used multiple hose lines to extinguish the garage fire. The occupants of the residence were home when the fire occurred. No one was injured during the
incident. The fire remains under investigation.
 
Fire officials say you should always have a plan with your household in case of an emergency, and ensure that you have working smoke detectors.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A police officer has been injured in an attack at Bismarck Airport. Police say the officer was called to check on a man who was bothering passengers waiting in the security line Monday. The officer told the man that he would have to leave the airport if he didn’t have an airline ticket. That’s when the man attacked the officer and caused lacerations that required stitches. The officer radioed for assistance and the man was handcuffed with the help of airport and Transportation Security Administration officers. Police say the 37-year-old man had brass knuckles in his possession when he was booked into the Burleigh Morton Detention Center.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s Parks and Recreation Department laid out plans for projects to improve state parks over the next three years with nearly $16 million in federal coronavirus aid. The Bismarck Tribune reports the spending comes in a park system that had a record year in 2021 with nearly 95,000 nights of camping – and that has an estimated $74 million backlog of deferred maintenance of roadways, buildings and shoreline. The list includes nearly $4.6 billion of work to bid this year. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park near Mandan has $440,000 of projects set for bid this year, including general maintenance, campground electrical upgrades and an accessible sidewalk to connect all of Cavalry Square’s structures.
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BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota anglers, trappers and hunters are reminded that new licenses are required beginning April 1. Licenses can be purchased online by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Once the license is processed, hunters and anglers will have the option to print a hard copy and/or download the license to a smart phone or mobile device, which is helpful when asked to show proof while hunting or fishing in rural areas that lack cellular service. Licenses can also be purchased at more than 140 vendor locations throughout the state. The 2022-23 small game, fishing and furbearer licenses are effective April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
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FARGO, ND (PNS) – After years of attempts, a bill designed to reverse troubled finances at the U.S. Postal Service has cleared Congress. It is viewed as a major victory for workers and customers in rural states like North Dakota. A key provision no longer requires the agency to pre-fund worker health care costs for decades down the road. Instead, future retirees would be covered by Medicare. Critics argued the previous approach, and dwindling revenue, contributed to growing budget problems.
 
Scott Boehm, vice president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 957, said it appears lawmakers heard their concerns about keeping the service intact for communities that truly need it. “You can imagine, we have a lot of rural areas that really rely on e-commerce and the parcel business,” Boehm pointed out. Boehm said the new model should help the Postal Service to compete with delivery companies, even with traditional mail volumes on the decline. He added it could help secure safer delivery vehicles, noting the current fleet is largely outdated.
 
The relief plan excluded controversial ideas, such as reducing delivery days or privatizing services. Boehm noted a better financial outlook, along with improved conditions, could help recruit and retain postal workers. He said it’s been a roller-coaster ride in dealing with staffing issues. “If the Postal Service is flourishing, they can afford to make sure that the rolls are full, and we have enough staffing to keep the mail timely.”
 
Agency staffing levels have dwindled to just below 500,000 workers across the country, after peaking at around 800,000 two decades ago. In the Senate action to send the bill to the president’s desk, both North Dakota U.S. Senators cast “yes” votes. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the measure.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has announced that registration is now open for the sixth annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education on June 9 at Dickinson Middle School in Dickinson, N.D. The summit brings together local and national leaders in education to share best practices and engage with educators, administrators, parents and students. It is free and open to the public.
 
The event will continue to focus on innovative instructional best practices to personalize learning, as well as other community-derived solutions to best prepare young people for the 21st century economy and citizenship. Stakeholder voices from across the state will be sharing stories from their communities targeted at better supporting student learning. Additional details regarding the agenda and information for professional learning hours will be available soon. Reserve your seat today at 2022InnovativeEdSummit.eventbrite.com.
 
Nominations are being sought for the #InnovativeND education awards, which recognize the great work being done by educators to prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world. By recognizing innovation and best practices, North Dakota can celebrate the work happening in its schools to transform learning for every student. Excellence will be recognized at the student, classroom, building and district levels. #InnovativeND award nominations may be submitted here.
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MINOT, ND – Two of North Dakota’s oldest wind turbines have come down. The turbines at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Minot Wind facility were among the first in the state to stop operating. The co-op built them 20 years ago next to U.S. Highway 83 south of Minot. Basin Electric officials say the turbines had reached the end of their useful life and that parts and service were no longer available. The towers were 200 feet tall.
 
 
 
(Copyright 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 031522 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A national data collection system shows the number of child abuse reports in North Dakota rose last year, but the number of victims declined. Officials at Child Protection Services in North Dakota say the increase in reported cases may be up because people in general are more vigilant about contacting authorities about suspected abuse and because North Dakota shifted to a centralized reporting line in January 2021. Data shows there were 16,907 reports of child abuse last year in the state. Of those reports, 1,349 children were found to be victims of child abuse.
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MINOT, ND – Ward County is currently completing an update to its Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Jennifer Wiechmann, Director of Ward County Emergency Management, says by identifying hazards and prioritizing actions that reduce their potential impacts, the Plan helps to create a more resilient county. The Plan must be updated every five years in order to stay eligible for certain federal disaster funds in the event of a major emergency event.
 
Wiechmann says Ward County Emergency Management and the County’s Planning Team made up of representatives from all cities within are the lead people in the County working to update the Plan. They are being assisted by the planning and engineering firm KLJ.
Wiechmann notes that it is important to receive input from county citizens as well. There is a project website that gives basic information about the planning process and provides opportunities to comment for anyone with access to the Internet (https://klj.mysocialpinpoint.com/ward-hazard-mitigation-plan/home). Those without access to the Internet can call the Ward County Emergency Management Office at 701-857-6560 for more information.
 
One specific way to provide input is to take a short survey that will help the Planning Committee understand concerns and priorities about emergencies in the county. Anyone can take the survey by going to the project website. For those without access to the Internet, call the Ward County Emergency Management Office to obtain a paper copy of the survey.
 
Another way to provide input is to attend one of the upcoming public meetings scheduled for March. The dates, times, and places are as follows:
 
· Ryder – March 22, 2022, 6:00pm, Ryder City Hall – 260 Main St, Ryder, ND 58779
· Surrey – March 23, 2022, 6:00pm, Surrey School- 200 2nd St SE, Surrey, ND 58785
· Donnybrook – March 24, 2022, 6:00pm, Donnybrook Fire Department – 321 1st Ave SE Donnybrook, ND
 
Wiechmann says the planning process is on a fast track to be completed by December 2022. After receiving input from citizens by survey and public meetings over the next few weeks, the Planning Committee will meet again at a later date to consider what action steps can be taken over the next few years to reduce the hazard impacts. There will be opportunity to review the draft plan later in Fall 2022.
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FARGO, ND (PNS) – North Dakota’s new legislative map is being challenged in court. While the process plays out, voters are reminded to make sure they’re caught up on any potential changes to their district. Late last year, the state approved new political boundaries based on the latest census count. Those new lines will be in place for the upcoming June primary.
 
Debbie Nelson, Grand Forks County auditor, said for rural sections, District 19 is longer part of the county with only District 20 remaining. The changes did not affect polling locations, but it means some voters will have new candidates to research. “They can find it on the Secretary of State’s website, or they can give us a call,” Nelson explained. “We can tell them what legislative district they’re in, so they can do their research ahead of time.”
 
Once they are ready, voters also can request a sample ballot to help prepare. Earlier this year, two Native American tribes filed a federal lawsuit over new subdistricts intended to boost the voting power of Indigenous communities. But the tribes say they do the opposite. A separate lawsuit from Republicans argued the consideration of race in adding subdistricts is unconstitutional.
 
Meanwhile, not just legislative boundaries changed. Jeanine Jensen, Burke County auditor, said its changes are at the local level, such as county commission seats. She emphasized it is just as important to familiarize yourself with local candidates, especially if your district is no longer the same. “Your tax dollars are paying for them,” Jensen remarked. “You want to know that you have qualified people and people who are able to do the job.”
 
Because North Dakota has only one Congressional district, voters do not have to worry about federal changes. The statewide primary election is scheduled for June 14, with the general election to be held Nov. 8.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum is encouraging school, community and church bands, orchestras and choirs across North Dakota to apply to serve as the Governor’s Official State Band/Orchestra Program and Choral Program for the 2022-2023 school year.
The Governor and First Lady will select the Governor’s Band/Orchestra Program and Governor’s Choral Program from the applications received based on musical talent, achievement and community involvement. The band/orchestra and chorus may be invited by the governor to perform at official state functions held throughout the year, including the State of the State Address.
 
Interested groups should submit an application, references and a musical recording to the Office of the Governor by 5 p.m. Thursday, April 7. The Governor’s Band/Orchestra Program and Governor’s Choral Program will be announced in mid-April and may be invited to perform at the Capitol in mid-May 2022 and at events throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Please complete the application and provide materials at https://www.governor.nd.gov/governors-chorus-and-bandorchestra-program-application.
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WILLISTON, ND – A weekend crash in McKenzie County left an Arizona man with serious injuries. The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the accident occurred about 10 miles east of Sydney, Montana around 7 AM on Saturday. Troopers say 31-year old Charles Steed of Colorado City, Arizona was driving a pickup truck when he drifted and overcorrected. The truck entered the ditch and struck a fence. A passenger, 19-year old Nathaniel Steed also of Colorado City, Arizona, was ejected. Both were taken to the Sydney hospital. Charles Steed had serious injuries, while Nathaniel Steed suffered non-life threatening injuries. Troopers say neither man was wearing a seatbelt. The accident remains under investigation by the Highway Patrol.
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SYDNEY, MT – The cause of death for a Grand Forks prosecutor’s daughter has been released. A death certificate issued Friday in Richland County, Montana lists Katelynn Berry’s cause of death as hypothermia. The certificate said the hypothermia was a result of “walking outside without proper clothing for inclement weather.” Berry’s family wrote in a Facebook post that they are left without answers as to the circumstances surrounding her death, but will pray that they are able to learn more. Berry had last been seen at her residence in Sidney, Montana on December 21st, and her body was found on January 20th by volunteer searchers. Police say her cellphone was found inside her residence, she didn’t have a vehicle, and was known to walk away from her home. Katelynn Berry grew up, in part, in East Grand Forks and her mother Mattison is a Grand Forks County prosecutor.
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FARGO, ND (PNS) – Nearly 9% of North Dakota households do not have enough to eat right now, and the push to expand free meals for students at school appears to have ended as the pandemic wanes. Moving forward, a hunger relief group said it is clear the need is not going away. The household numbers were reported in the most recent U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey. Plans to extend universal free schools lunches beyond June were scrapped in congressional budget talks.
 
Jared Slinde, communications manager for Great Plains Food Bank, said when you factor in higher food costs, organizations like his have to stay on their toes. “We always want to be prepared to provide to be able to provide the service to as high a level as we can,” Slinde explained. “Because there’s going to be people that are going to need it for quite some time.”
 
He noted with fewer bulk donations from the food industry, they anticipate having to make more purchases to help maintain supplies at local food shelves. The group reported serving more than 121,000 North Dakotans in 2021, the second-highest total in its history. While down from the previous year, officials say it is still much higher than pre-COVID cycles.
 
Higher grocery costs carried over into 2022 following supply-chain issues, and June 30 is the scheduled end date for universal free school meals the federal government provided during the pandemic. Supporters say extending it would mean more certainty for households and districts still leaning on the extra support. But some Republicans say with COVID cases waning, free meals should be offered only to those who qualify.
 
With all the outside forces affecting families, Slinde emphasized it is vital for people who want to help to consider making monetary donations. “The way we’re structured, we’re able to provide three meals for each dollar donated, which we’re able to stretch that quite a ways,” Slinde stressed. Great Plains works with nearly 200 food pantries, soup kitchens and other free meal programs.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – ND Sober Ride, a Vision Zero program to remove impaired drivers from North Dakota roads, will offer discounted Lyft rides for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 17-21, or while codes last. Use code “VZMARCH1” to get $10 off your ride, where Lyft is available. Discounted rides are made possible through grant funds from AAA – The Auto Club Group of North Dakota. Lyft codes are unique to each holiday or event and a user may only use a code once per time period. Codes can be found on the Vision Zero website.
Approximately 1 in 7 (14%) adult arrests in North Dakota in 2020 were for driving under the influence (DUI), with alcohol being a factor in about 41% of fatal crashes in North Dakota annually. Officials with Vision Zero say many lives would be saved in North Dakota each year if every driver consistently makes the choice to always drive sober, designate a sober driver or use a ride-hailing service.
 

(Copyright 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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