KHRT ND News – 07/13/21

KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 071321 – 1200
 
MINOT, ND – A 19-year old Berthold man has died in a single vehicle rollover. The North Dakota Highway Patrol the accident happened around 6:40 AM on Monday about 7 miles south of Ross. Troopers say the man failed to negotiate a curve, left the road, struck a signpost, and overturned in the ditch. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the Stanley hospital. Troopers say the accident remains under investigation.
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MINOT, ND – A new program to help businesses improve their exterior facades was recently by the Minot City Council. The program will provide public funds as part of a private/public partnership with building owners to improve exterior facades. The program is available to businesses located in the central business district.
 
“Downtown is a special asset in a number of ways,” Jonathan Rosenthal, economic development administrator for the City of Minot, told Council members. “It’s a special animal. It was built without a lot of parking. It was built before a lot of the current building codes were in place. There are some investments that go on in other parts of the city that aren’t the same as what happens in downtown.”
 
Rosenthal explained to Council members that the program has several key goals, including:
 
– Promote private redevelopment and investment in downtown properties (exterior and interior);
– Inspire local commercial development to address market failures;
– Encourage beautification in Minot, generally, and in the Central Business District, specifically;
– Revitalize downtown as a unique cultural and retail hub of Minot;
– Reduce vacancies in the downtown;
– Provide a unique experience that draws visitors and residents, and supports other economic development.
 
Several business owners from downtown voiced support for the program during the Council meeting before the council unanimously supported the project.
 
The program will operate as a forgivable loan program that will respect the historic nature of downtown buildings while updating their functionality and energy efficiency. A qualifying business owner with a building located in the central business district would be required to provide 25% of the necessary funding for a complete facade restoration, with the City providing the remaining 75% through reimbursements when the project was completed. Building owners would enter into a 10-year agreement to maintain the facade, among other conditions. The maximum amount of funding provided by the City on a single application would be $100,000.
 
Applications will be reviewed by City staff and submitted to the Renaissance Zone Review Board, which will forward recommendations for final approval to the City Council.
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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 tonight and Friday, 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 www.epa.gov/mosquitocontrol/naled-mosquito-control.
 
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.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 071321 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) – A federal eviction moratorium ends July 31, but states like North Dakota are still flush with emergency rental assistance tied to federal relief packages. Aid groups and the state are ramping up efforts to reach anyone who might be having access issues.
 
This year alone, North Dakota has received $352 million from the federal government to distribute to people behind on their rent. But so far, a little more than $3 million has been used. Rich LeMay, executive director for Legal Services of North Dakota, said there appears to be a disconnect in reaching some populations. “We’re finding people that are contacting us, haven’t heard anything about rent help,” LeMay explained. “To me, that speaks that there is a serious problem.” He noted lack of internet connections, email addresses or cell-phone minutes are likely factors.
 
The Department of Human Services cites having to wait for the Legislature to sign off on spending the aid. It’s working with local agencies to set up application counseling services. Nikki Aden, housing stability administrator for the North Dakota Department of Human Services, said multiple factors are to blame for the federal funding still going largely unused, but agreed underserved areas face barriers in the application process. “Folks that did struggle sometimes with getting assistance to upload documents, or turn documents to PDFs or pictures,” Aden observed. In addition to providing specialized counseling in the coming weeks, Aden pointed out they also plan to streamline the web portal to apply for aid.
 
The Center for Public Integrity has reported that nationwide, a significant portion of CARES Act money last year didn’t make it to renters or landlords in need. With the federal eviction moratorium fast approaching, LeMay would like to see a greater sense of urgency. “This needs to really be put in full swing if we’re going to actually avoid people being evicted,” LeMay urged. He added Legal Services is devoting the bulk of its resources to connecting people with assistance or help with applications. In the past year, it has seen a 15% increase in requests for help with housing issues.
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MINOT, ND – The City of Minot has scheduled an open house to present information about the project to renovate the former Wells Fargo building in downtown Minot into a new City Hall. The open house will be held July 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the current City Hall, located at 512 2nd Ave. SW. Officials from the City of Minot and JLG Architects will be in attendance to present information about the renovation project and to answer questions from the public.
 
“We want to provide an opportunity for the public to gather more information about this project, and to see where we are in the design process,” City Engineer Lance Meyer said. “City Hall is the centerpiece of our organization, and we want to keep the public up to date on what’s happening with this important facility.” Renovation work on the former Wells Fargo building is expected to begin later this year.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, providers and other interested stakeholders are invited to provide public comment on proposed amendments to the state’s Medicaid autism spectrum disorder waiver. The North Dakota Department of Human Services is seeking federal approval to amend the waiver to reflect recent state legislative changes. Comments will be accepted through July 30, at 5 p.m. Central Time.
 
The Medicaid autism spectrum disorders waiver provides services to eligible children and supports parents in their efforts to maximize their child’s development, while also preventing out-of-home placements. The waiver is being amended to increase the qualifying age of children who can be served from through age 13 to through age 15 and to add 54 more slots to serve a total of 150 children. The waiver is also being amended to add electronic visit verification requirements to respite services and to increase provider rates. The North Dakota Legislature granted providers a two percent increase in 2021 and a 0.25 percent increase in 2022. The services affected by these increases are service management and respite care.
 
The draft waiver amendment is online at www.nd.gov/dhs/autism/index.html. Copies will also be provided upon request. Individuals can submit comments by emailing dhsautismnd.gov, or calling 800-755-2604 or 701-328-4630, or 711 (TTY), or by fax at 701-328-1544. Comments can also be mailed to the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Medical Services Division, Attn: Autism Services, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325, Bismarck, N.D., 58505-0250.
 
After the public comment period ends, the waiver will be submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Based on the CMS timeframes for review and approval, the waiver is expected to be effective in November 2021.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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