KHRT ND News – 0721/21

KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 072121 – 1200
 
MINOT, ND – The success of the CDBG-NDR Resilient Homebuyer program, which provides financial aid to low-to-moderate income Minot households affected by the 2011 flood, has resulted in the continuation of the program with the addition of another $1.5 million after the original $3 million was utilized.
 
The Resilient Homebuyer program works with Minot real estate brokers and financial institutions to provide gap financing in the form of a forgivable second mortgage up to $60,000 to cover costs needed by Minot LMI households that can demonstrate they were impacted by the flood. The funds can be used for any purpose associated with the purchase of a single family home outside the flood zone. The second mortgage is forgiven on the 15-year anniversary of the recipient living in the house. The first $3 million assisted 51 households in buying a single family home, with an average second mortgage of $57,000.
 
Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma noted the program’s success demonstrates that NDR funds can be delivered through innovative uses, which helps Minot residents impacted by the flood while supporting important elements in Minot’s private sector economy.
City Manager Harold Stewart said the program highlights the strategy of the NDR program, which is to make wise investments in the community to promote sustainable growth while addressing lingering effects from the 2011 flood. He also noted that it is an example of the value of collaboration with experienced agencies in the state.
 
The program is supported by the North Dakota Housing Financing Agency, which serves as underwriter for the second mortgages. It is projected that the additional $1.5 million will help another 25 to 30 LMI households buy single family homes outside the flood zone.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Oil production is flat in North Dakota due to a workforce shortage as the industry recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Companies say they are in need of workers to inject water, sand and chemicals down wells to crack open rock and release oil, a process known as hydraulic fracking. State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms says eight crews are currently working in North Dakota, down from at least 20 which would typically be working in the state at today’s oil prices. Helms says many workers went to Texas where activity was significantly higher than it was in North Dakota.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality was recently notified of a brine release due to a pipeline break occurring approximately 6.5 miles south of Watford City. The pipeline is operated by Tallgrass Energy. The company first discovered the spill on Monday, July 19. Most recent estimates indicate 850 barrels of brine were released on private property. Brine or produced water, is a by-product of oil production. It is typically carried from an oil well by pipeline or truck to a disposal site, where it is injected back into the ground for permanent storage. Personnel from the NDDEQ are investigating the extent of the impact and will continue to monitor the remediation.
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MINOT, ND – After taking a break last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minot Police Department has announced that National Night Out will be back on Tuesday August 3rd from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Roosevelt Park.
 
In 1984, the National Association of Town Watch started National Night Out, which is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. The first event involved 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states. In its 38 years, National Night Out has grown to include 16,000 communities across the nation, reaching 38 million participants. National Night Out events have been held in 20 North Dakota communities including The City of Minot beginning in 2010.
 
Admission is free and includes games, food, prizes, educational booths, K9 demonstrations, vehicles and equipment from area law enforcement agencies as well as US Air Force Security Forces. Other area first responders will be on hand with vehicles and equipment including the NorthStar Crtiticare helicopter.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 072121 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – A Minot woman who was the subject of a Silver Alert was found safe. Minot Police issued the alert around 8:45 PM Tuesday as they searched for 73-year old Sharon Mardsen. She had last been seen Monday morning around 8 AM at her home in northwest Minot. Police said Mardsen suffers from onset dimentia and may need help. Officers cancelled the alert around 10:30 PM after receiving a tip that she was in the Grenora area and was being reunited with her family. No further information was released.
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MINOT, ND – A North Central District Court jury ruled in the City of Minot’s favor Tuesday in a dispute with Cypress Development, LLC involving a public-private partnership project that included the development, design, and construction of two downtown parking structures. The jury’s decision came after more than a week of testimony before North Central District Court Judge Gary Lee.
 
“We’re glad to have this issue behind us after investing so much time, money, and emotion into these structures,” said Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma. “Now we can focus on moving forward for the benefit of the City.”
 
The City’s relationship with Cypress began in 2011, when the City selected Cypress for a development contract following a Request for Qualifications process. The City and Cypress entered into a series of agreements pursuant to which Cypress agreed to develop, design, and construct two mixed use developments including parking, retail space, and apartment homes on City land; the City agreed to contribute $4,937,500 per structure from a combination of MAGIC Fund and federal funds towards the construction of the parking structures. The Renaissance and Central parking structures opened in 2016, but Cypress did not complete the retail space and apartment homes.
 
The City terminated its contracts with Cypress and filed suit for breach of contract in March 2018. At trial, the jury awarded the City $2,442,479.94. Those amounts included unpaid rent and excess costs the City incurred constructing the parking structures. They also include costs incurred by the City to install the exterior walls and roofs on the two structures, which were the obligation of Cypress but were completed by the City. The City has managed and operated the structures since March 2018. Cypress’ countersuit, which was denied by the jury in its entirety, sought more than $50 million in damages related to excess construction costs and lost profits.
 
Sipma said efforts will begin to find a partner to construct apartments on top of the two structures and complete the development of the existing commercial space. “We appreciate the hard work done throughout this lengthy process by Jocelyn Knoll and Kate Johnson from the Dorsey & Whitney law firm, who represented the City in Court, as well as the City Attorney’s office and current and former City staff,” Sipma said. “We presented a strong case to the jury, and we’re happy they agreed with us.”
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WYNDMERE, N.D. – A woman wanted in the robbery of the bank in Wyndmere on Monday morning has been arrested. Police say that 43-year old Tessa Jaksa of Moorhead was arrested after a tip from someone who recognized images released to the media. Jaksa is in the Cass County Jail in Fargo. Officers say the money taken in the robbery was recovered. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office says Jaksa will face federal charges.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health will host a live, virtual “Ask a Doctor” Town Hall event at 1 p.m. CT today with four doctors from across the state to discuss COVID-19 vaccines and fertility. Those participating include:
 
Nizar Wehbi, MD, MPH, MBA, North Dakota Department of Health
Stephanie Foughty, MD, Altru Health System, Devils Lake
Christina Broadwell, MD, Sanford Health, Fargo
Ana Tobiasz, MD, Sanford Health, Bismarck
 
People can view the “Ask a Doctor” Town Hall event live Wednesday at http://health.nd.gov/covidtownhall and submit questions to the doctors live during the “Q & A” panel on Microsoft Teams. Advance registration is not required to attend.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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