KHRT ND News – 04/06/22

KHRT ND NEWS – 04/06/22 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – A Bismarck man is being held on an aggravated assault charge in connection with the stabbing of his brother Tuesday night. According to Bismarck police, officers were called around 8:45 p.m. to an apartment in the 2700 block of North Washington for a report of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found 38-year old Derek Carda, but not the stabbing victim, a 33-year-old man. Officers later located the stabbing victim at a local hotel. He was taken to the hospital and treated for three stab wounds. The 38-year-old brother was also taken to the hospital, treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later booked into the Burleigh-Morton Detention Center on one count of aggravated assault.
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WASHINGTON – A North Dakota farmer jailed in Ukraine has been moved to a new facility away from the capital city of Kyiv. Sen. John Hoeven says Kurt Groszhans was moved to Lviv. Groszhans, of Ashley, has been jailed since November on charges that he plotted to assassinate Ukraine’s then-agriculture minister, Roman Leschenko. Groszhans’ family has said the charges are false and aimed at silencing his claims of corruption in Ukraine. He is among a number of Americans jailed in Ukraine or Russia whose paths home have been complicated by the war.
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BISMARCK, ND – The flu season continues to hit North Dakota. The North Dakota Department of Health reports nearly 10,000 cases for the season. It has been especially hard on kids with half of all cases in kids age 19 and under. There have been 37 flu related deaths. There were 76 new cases of flu reported in the last week.
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MINOT, ND – Ward County has instituted a burn ban do to the dry conditions. The ban includes garbage/pit burning, campfires, and burning of farm or crop land when the North Dakota Rangeland Fire Index rating is High, Very High, Extreme or a Red Flag Warning is in effect. It does not ban the use of grills or commercially sold enclosed fire pits. The declaration is in effect through November and violating the ban is a maximum 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. Fire crews battle a wildfire Monday near the Minot Airport that scorched 100 acres. The fire index and burn ban maps can be found online at www.ndresponse.gov
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BISMARCK, ND – Routine childhood immunization rates, including those for measles, polio, and meningitis, declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statewide awareness campaign, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) encourages North Dakotans to “Pay Attention to Prevention” and encourages citizens to take action to protect against disease by contacting their doctor or trusted health care provider. National Adolescent Immunization Week (April 4-8) and National Infant Immunization Week (April 25-29) are opportunities to raise awareness around the importance of routine wellness immunizations. Throughout the pandemic routine wellness immunization rates have fallen and lower rates could result in outbreaks.
 
“Ensuring children are up-to-date on routine, wellness immunizations is the best way to keep children healthy and stop the spread of potentially serious illnesses in our childcares, schools and community,” said Molly Howell, immunization director with the NDDoH. “Children who are not immunized are not only at risk of becoming ill from a variety of diseases, but are also able to transmit diseases to others, including those who may not be able to be vaccinated due to various medical conditions or age.”
 
MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination rates amongst North Dakota infants ages 19 – 35 months decreased more than 6%, from 84.7% in December 2019 to 78.3% in December 2022. Measles is a very contagious disease that can cause serious complications. Prior to measles vaccine being available in 1963, between 400 and 500 people died and 48,000 were hospitalized each year due to measles. Meningococcal (meningitis) vaccination rates amongst North Dakota teens ages 13 – 17 decreased more than 5%, from 91.9% in December 2019 to 86.10% in December 2021. Although rare, ten to 15 out of 100 people with meningococcal meningitis will die and up to one in five survivors will have long-term complications, including loss of limbs or deafness. Kindergarten-entry MMR vaccination rates decreased from 94.75% during the 2019-2020 school year to 92.36% during the 2021-2022 school year. North Dakota state law requires children attending childcare and students in grades kindergarten through 12 to meet a minimum number of required immunizations prior to enrollment.
 
Parents can find more information about which vaccines are required for child care and school at www.health.nd.gov. Check with your health care provider or local public health to find out which vaccines your child needs. Cost should not be a barrier to getting children immunized. Children who are American Indian, on Medicaid, uninsured or whose insurance does not cover vaccines can receive vaccine at no cost through the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC).
 
“Adults are also recommended to receive vaccines to protect against illnesses like whooping cough, tetanus, pneumonia, and shingles,” said Howell. “North Dakota adults are also encouraged to ask a trusted health care provider if they are due for routine, wellness vaccines.”
 
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KHRT ND NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 04/06/22 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck woman has pleaded not guilty to neglecting her newborn daughter who was found dead when police were called to her home. The felony child neglect charge against 26-year-old Cassandra Black Elk could send her to prison for five years if she is convicted. South Central District Judge Daniel Borgen scheduled a trial to begin Aug. 2.
 
According to court documents, police responded to a Feb. 20 call of an unresponsive child and found 3-week-old Starlight Black Elk had died. Authorities say Black Elk fought with the baby’s father in the hours before the child was found dead. The baby was alive when the father left the apartment about 1:30 a.m., according to the prosecutors. Black Elk told police her infant was swaddled and asleep on the bed after the father left. And, when she woke up about 6 a.m. she found the child unresponsive, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
 
Black Elk said she did not recall details of the fight with the baby’s father because she was intoxicated and didn’t remember doing anything to harm the infant, according to a court affidavit. She told police she had drank at least one beer and several shots of liquor, smoked marijuana, then purchased more liquor which she also consumed, the affidavit states. Public defender James Loraas did not immediately respond to a request Tuesday for comment.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sentinel is the new name for the Air Force’s defense system that includes the missiles operated out of Minot Air Force Base. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall approved the designation for the system on Tuesday that modernizes the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) leg of the Nation’s nuclear triad. The full name name given to the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent is LGM-35A Sentinel.
 
The Air Force determined the LGM-35A Sentinel would provide continuity in strategic deterrence and cost less than extending the life of the current ICBM fleet, comprised of the aging Minuteman III. Replacing the 1970s-era missile modernizes the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad and brings the Minuteman’s more than 50 years of service to a close. Minot Air Force Base, along with F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, and Malmstrom AFB in Montana will house the new system.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration plans to freeze federal student loan payments through Aug. 31, extending a moratorium that has allowed millions of Americans to postpone payments during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an administration official familiar with the White House’s decision-making. Student loan payments were scheduled to resume May 1 after being halted since early in the pandemic. But following calls from Democrats in Congress, the White House plans to give borrowers additional time to prepare for payments.
 
The action applies to more than 43 million Americans who owe a combined $1.6 trillion in student debt held by the federal government, according to the latest data from the Education Department. That includes more than 7 million borrowers who have defaulted on student loans, meaning they are at least 270 days late on payments. Borrowers will not be asked to make payments until after Aug. 31, and interest rates are expected to remain at 0% during that period.
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FARGO, ND (PNS) – North Dakota is a haven for wildlife, but climate change and development threaten certain species and their habitat. Supporters of a bill in Congress say states would see much-needed investment to protect them from extinction. North Dakota leads all other states in the number of wildlife refuges, but some species are in trouble. The northern pintail duck has declined by roughly 70% in recent decades.
 
Mike Leahy, director of wildlife, hunting and fishing policy for the National Wildlife Federation, said states often lean on hunters to fund wildlife preservation through fees. But he contended a federal proposal would keep funding consistent. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act finally gets the states, the territory and the tribes the money to do proactive, collaborative wildlife conservation to keep species off of the Endangered Species List,” Leahy asserted.
 
Under the plan, North Dakota would see $15 million annually. Backers argued it would allow the state to work with private landowners to restore wetlands and protect grasslands. The Senate version, co-sponsored by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-S.D., could get a committee vote Thursday. While the plan has bipartisan support, how the federal government should pay for it has led to divisions. Losing more species also creates concerns for states where hunting is popular, and in North Dakota, waterfowl hunting creates about $30 million in economic activity.
 
John Bradley, executive director of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation, said it goes beyond protecting the interests of sportsmen and women. “Both the hunter and folks that just like to hike or bird watch just like knowing that there’s healthy wildlife populations out there,” Bradley explained. “This bill does exactly that. It’s actually focused mainly on nongame species.” According to North Dakota’s Wildlife Action Plan, 115 species are in need of protections through conservation efforts.
 
Meanwhile, the bill would commit nearly $100 million to Tribal nations and their programs to protect endangered species. Indigenous conservation leaders stressed their work is often slowed by competitive grants and the uncertainty in securing annual funding.
 

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