KHRT ND News – 04/01/22

KHRT ND NEWS – FRIDAY – 040122 – 1200

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A minimal amount of precipitation so far this spring has caused drought conditions to worsen in North Dakota. According to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map, areas that have some form of drought increased by 2.6% over the past week to more than 54% of the state.

“Much of the High Plains remained dry last week resulting in deteriorating drought conditions across parts of the Dakotas and Nebraska,” National Drought Mitigation Center Climatologist Deborah Bathke wrote. “The eastern edges of abnormal dryness and moderate drought crept eastward. Severe drought expanded over a large swath from southwest North Dakota to central Nebraska.”

Drought has persisted in North Dakota for more than a year. Nearly all of central North Dakota is either abnormally dry or in moderate drought. Western North Dakota is in moderate or extreme drought, with the northwestern corner in exceptional drought, the worst category. The eastern half of the state is no longer in any drought category, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Bathke offered little optimism. “Short-term dryness is superimposed over long-term moisture deficits across the region,” she said. “The lack of seasonal snow cover combined with the onset of spring has people in the region worried. Soil moisture is very low, stream flows continue to decline and state reports indicate that stock ponds are drying up.”
BISMARCK, ND – A man seriously injured in an accident in Mandan has died. The North Dakota Highway Patrol said the crash happened on the afternoon of March 10th at an intersection in Mandan when a pickup turned in front of another truck. Troopers reported that 71-year old Ronnie Kienzle of Bismarck was driving the truck that turned and was seriously injured. They now say that he died of his injuries on March 27th. The accident remains under investigation.


BISMARCK, ND (PNS) – Blizzards, droughts and tornados are disasters many North Dakotans have experienced. With the spring storm season underway, local governments are reminded of a tool to determine if their residents will have a harder time recovering from these events.
The U.S. Census Bureau said its new Community Resilience Estimates tool compiles certain characteristics of a county, such as socio-economic factors and transportation options. Bethany DeSalvo, statistician and demographer at the Bureau, said they then use the data to predict how vulnerable a household is in the face of something like a flood or tornado. “What we mean by ‘vulnerable’ is not having the ability to cope with the external stressors of the disaster,” DeSalvo explained.
Examples could include overcoming language barriers in seeking disaster assistance. DeSalvo pointed out the tool can help local planners come up with more resources in a vulnerable area, including evacuation spaces. According to the bureau, roughly 20% of residents across North Dakota have three or more risk factors. Almost 40% have one or two. DeSalvo emphasized a key goal is to establish more equity in disaster recovery, and she said it can help reduce government costs in rebuilding after a storm.
“With the effects of climate change, you may see more and more expensive disasters,” DeSalvo projected. “Planning ahead of time and mitigating the things that can be mitigated is a really good goal.” In addition to local governments, DeSalvo noted it can be a vital tool for FEMA, by helping the agency determine the number and type of personnel to deploy.
North Dakota’s Grant County has a population of only 2,300, but more than 30% have at least three risk factors for disaster vulnerability. Pat Diehl, emergency manager for the county, sees the resource as a useful tool, noting the county has emergency shelters, but faces barriers in equipping them with onsite generators. “People who might be on oxygen that require electricity to run those compressors, well, all of a sudden, that becomes a very concerning factor,” Diehl remarked. He added the data can be used for the county’s multi-hazard mitigation plan, which is up for renewal.


BISMARCK, N.D.  – Gov. Doug Burgum released the following statement after President Joe Biden announced plans to release more than 180 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next six months.

“Once again, President Biden is relying on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and foreign nations to boost oil output when he should instead be working directly with U.S. oil companies and removing federal roadblocks to increase domestic production,” Burgum said. “Instead of demonizing U.S. oil producers and threatening to impose fees on them based on misleading data points about federal leases, the Biden administration needs to embrace a realistic long-term path to U.S. energy independence – one that sends a clear signal that his administration supports U.S. oil production and infrastructure so that capital investment will flow toward, instead of away from, energy producing states like North Dakota at the cutting edge of carbon capture technology. Today’s announcement does little to reduce prices at the pump, ease the burden on hardworking Americans or unleash homegrown energy production with a mix of clean fossil fuels and renewables.”

Burgum says the Biden administration should also commit now to a plan to replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with U.S.-produced oil and provide an immediate waiver to the Jones Act to reduce shipping costs and ensure that all U.S. refiners have access to the SPR releases, Burgum added. Burgum recently invited President Biden to North Dakota to see firsthand the work of clean, efficient, domestic oil production and how carbon storage can play an immediate and significant role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

MINOT, ND – Officials with First District Health Unit say they now are giving an additional booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, in accordance with new CDC recommendations. The new recommendations authorize providers to offer a second booster dose to people who received their first booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least 4 months previously, and who:

    • are 50 years and older, or
    • are 12 years and older and moderately to severely immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system).

CDC also states that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago may now receive an additional booster dose using Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.  If you are unsure if you need the booster vaccination, consult your medical provider. 

First District continues to encourage everyone to get recommended immunizations, eat healthy meals, get plenty of sleep, and stay physically active. Healthy lifestyles help the immune system and improve the body’s ability to fight diseases like COVID-19.  It is also important to stay home if you are sick.  A COVID-19 vaccination appointment can be scheduled online by visiting the First District website,, or by calling your local First District Health Unit office.   In Minot, call 701.852.1376. 


WAHPETON, N.D. — The State Board of Higher Education has selected Dr. Rod Flanigan as the 10th president of the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The Board interviewed three finalists at their meeting Thursday, March 31, on the NDSCS campus. Flanigan most recently was Dean of Business and Technology (B & T) at Cochise College since 2018. Prior to that he held several positions at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. It is anticipated that Flanigan will assume office no later than July 1, 2022.


BISMARCK, N.D. – To raise awareness about how communities and individuals can help grow strong, stable families, Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed April, Child Abuse Prevention Month in North Dakota. In observance, the North Dakota Department of Human Services (NDDHS) and Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota (PCAND) are partnering with community organizations to sponsor local events and activities supporting families and raising awareness about prevention.

“We encourage families and community members to enjoy time together and participate in these family-friendly activities in their community,” said PCAND Executive Director Dan Halverson. “There are many opportunities in April to learn more about creating positive early childhoods for North Dakota’s children.”

Learn more about all upcoming CAP month events in North Dakota by visiting PCAND’s website at or following their Facebook page.


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