KHRT ND News – 07/08/21

KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 070821 – 1200
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department has closed its nearly yearlong investigation into a suspicious death. Sheriff’s officials say the death of 68-year-old Florian Kiefer has been ruled accidental. Kiefer died at a Bismarck residence July 29, 2020 after suffering a head injury in a fall. Based on the initial findings at the scene and unexplained circumstances, deputies opened an investigation. Deputies were looking into a person of interest in the death, but that person was later ruled out as a suspect. Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Hulm says the investigation ultimately produced “no weapons, no suspects.
MEDORA, N.D. (AP) – One of two wildfires burning in the Badlands of western North Dakota has closed roads and part of a recreational trail system. Rangers say the fire near the Elkhorn Ranch historic site has grown to about 4.7 square miles, but is about 75% contained. The U.S. Forest Service has closed land in the area, including roads and part of the Maah Daah Hey Trail. The closure spans parts of Billings and Golden Valley counties, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Another blaze, the Sand Creek fire, broke out nearby Monday. That fire, which is northeast of the Elkhorn fire, has grown to 320 acres and is 20% contained.
FARGO, ND – For the first time in more than six years the average price for a gallon of regular gas in North Dakota has hit $3. Today’s $3 average is up 14 cents from one month ago and 90 cents from this time last year; however, it remains 14 cents below the national average of $3.14, according to AAA. The last time North Dakota motorists paid $3 a statewide average of $3 for gas was Nov. 18, 2014.
Fuel prices have moved higher on a sharp increase in the cost of crude oil. Crude oil prices (WTI) recently traded above $76, a level not seen since November 2014. The price for a barrel of oil has slipped below $72 today, bringing some hope that prices at the pump may soon peak.
“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive oil have pushed gas prices higher,” said Gene LaDoucer, regional public affairs director for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “An increase in crude oil production to meet growing global demand is needed to bring some relief to motorists.” A rebound in WTI back above $76 could increase gas prices by 10-20 cents or more, added LaDoucer.
As of today, North Dakota motorists can still purchase gas for less than $3 at 70 percent of gas stations.
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot, in conjunction with Minot Air Force Base and the Ohio Air National Guard, has scheduled aerial spraying for mosquito control in the Minot area for an evening between July 12-16, weather permitting. Crews will choose the day and time of the spraying depending on weather and wind conditions to spray when mosquitoes are most active. Updates on the timing of the spraying will be provided on the City of Minot’s social media platforms.
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered pesticide will be used. The active ingredient in the spray is Naled, which poses a minimal risk to the general population, pets and wildlife when applied in this method. Naled is toxic to insects, including honeybees. Beekeepers in the surrounding area will be notified of the scheduled spraying. More information about Naled is available from the Environmental Protection Agency at
Mosquito spraying is provided by the 910th Airlift Wing’s Air Force Aerial Spray Squadron from Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio. The application will be made using a C-130 cargo aircraft.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 070821 – 0700
MINOT, N.D. (AP) – A local petition backs the idea of a ban on illegal immigrants and the notion of declaring Ward County a Second Amendment “gun sanctuary.” Language on the resolution led by county resident Nicole Egeberg offers support “to ban sanctuary cities, illegal immigrants, aliens, refugees in Ward County, North Dakota, and add Ward County, North Dakota, as a Second Amendment gun sanctuary county.”
Egeberg said the immigration issue on the southern border is relevant to Ward County. Undocumented immigrants stress the local law enforcement system, schools and tax dollars, she said at Tuesday county’s commission meeting.
“They have no respect for our laws, no respect for our border and it causes pressure. We have drug trafficking, human trafficking, sex trafficking, amongst many other things,” Engberg said. “We want them removed. We don’t want them brought here illegally. If they want to come here legally, appropriately vetted, they are more than welcome here in the county.” Enberg said about 5,000 people have signed the petition, the Minot Daily News reported.
The Ward County Commission did not object to banning illegal immigration and supporting gun rights, which they pointed out are current law. However, commissioners sought more specific resolution language than was included in petition.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Rep. Keith Kempenich was among the North Dakotans who never took the coronavirus seriously, skipping face coverings and the vaccine as an unnecessary hassle. But the longtime Republican lawmaker and rancher from the state’s southwest corner is now a believer after being infected with the virus, which he said nearly killed him in the waning days of the legislative session this spring. “I’ve changed my tune,” he said. “You’re not going to beat this on your own.”
The North Dakota Health Department is looking for testimonials from former virus skeptics like Kempenich as part of a planned public education campaign to boost the state’s vaccination rate. Kempenich, who could barely breathe while being emergency airlifted from his home in Bowman to a Bismarck hospital, says he’s willing to share his story. “I’ve never been so sick, so weak or wore out,” the 61-year-old Bowman rancher said. “I basically lost three weeks of my life.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only 55.4% of North Dakotans 18 and older have been vaccinated, ranking North Dakota 34th among states. State Immunization Director Molly Howell said only one of North Dakota’s 53 counties – Dickey – has reached the immediate goal of a 70% vaccination rate. Nelson County is second at about 65%. The pace of the state’s vaccination drive has slowed to about a 1% increase or less weekly, which Howell called concerning.
There are many reasons some North Dakotans are choosing not to get the shot, but access to vaccination sites and vaccine supply aren’t among them, as the state has more doses than people willing to get them. Pushing holdouts into getting their shots is difficult due to vaccine hesitancy and a lack of trust in government, Howell said.
While some states have offered cash incentives or vaccine lotteries to get people to roll up their sleeves, North Dakota’s Constitution does not allow such giveaways. Instead, the state has relied on a campaign to dispel a wide variety of misinformation about vaccines, such as one claim that it can lead to infertility. The new campaign, which will be launched in a few weeks, will focus largely on vaccine skeptics-turned-disciples to try to reach resistant residents, Howell said.
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot is providing residents an opportunity to dispose of accumulated trash free of charge. During the week of July 12-17, Minot residents who use City of Minot sanitation services can bring unwanted items and trash to the City of Minot landfill free of charge. Residents must provide a current water bill as proof that they are a City sanitation customer. The landfill is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday during the summer months. Residents can also drop off household hazardous waste at the landfill during the summer.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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