KHRT ND News – 08/18/21

KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 081821 – 1200
 
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) – The body of a fisherman has been recovered from a lake in Ramsey County. Sheriff Steve Nelson said the man’s body was discovered floating in Devils Lake Tuesday. Nelson says the man from Grand Forks, believed to be in his early 60s, was fishing from shore and somehow ended up in the water. An autopsy will be done. The man’s name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.
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BISMARCK, ND – An upward trend in COVID-19 cases has active cases in North Dakota above 1,200. The Department of Health reports 250 new positives today from 4,551 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 5.75%. Active cases rise to 1,231, up 130 since yesterday. Those currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is at 41. Adults in the state that are fully vaccinated stands at 50.1% (299,830). Those who have received at least one dose is at 53.6% (320,728).
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – There are no current plans to bring any of the people fleeing the conflict in Afghanistan to North Dakota, state officials said. The North Dakota Department of Human Services, who oversees the Refugee Resettlement Program, said the process is actually quite extensive. It takes eight different government agencies and six background checks for a person to gain clearance for the Refugee Resettlement Program in North Dakota, officials said.
 
The state’s refugee coordinator said the people being transported to the U.S. are classified as Special Immigrant Visa Holders. Each person will be resettled in an area of the country that Afghans have already settled in, KX TV reported.
 
“There are strong communities that have already been set up for individuals that have a successful history of gaining employment, assimilating within the community, learning English and you know really developing successful relationships with a variety of different community members,” said Holly Triska-Dally.
 
The Pentagon said that over the past 24 hours about 2,000 people, including 325 American citizens, have been flown out of the Kabul international airport on 18 flights by U.S. Air Force C-17 transport planes. Plans were being made to house up to 22,000 evacuated Afghans and their families at three U.S. Army installations in the continental United States. Those locations are Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Lee in Virginia.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Pandemic-related job losses and other financial hardships have had a domino effect in households’ finances, impacting the ability to pay rent or mortgages, utilities and other household expenses. It has also increased household debt and placed a financial burden on many housing providers.
 
To help North Dakota renters regain their financial stability, the North Dakota Department of Human Services announced that in addition to help with rent, the ND Rent Help program can now also help qualifying renters pay past-due utility bills. Payments will be made directly to utility vendors. Qualifying utilities include electric, natural gas and other heating sources, water, sewer and garbage services. ND Rent Help utility assistance is designed to complement the state’s existing Low Income Home Energy Assistance program. It will pay for heating costs not covered by LIHEAP if a household qualifies for and participates in both programs.
 
To access rent and utility help through the ND Rent Help program, North Dakota renter households can earn up to 80% of area median income (AMI) based on household size, which equals an annual income of up to $80,000 for a family of four depending on the county in which they live. In addition, at least one member of the household must have qualified for unemployment or have experienced a COVID-related hardship during the pandemic and be behind in rent or utilities, or be at risk of homelessness or housing instability.
 
Households with incomes below 50% of AMI or that include a household member who has been unemployed for 90 days or longer receive priority. Renters in North Dakota can contact an approved application counselor to get help locally applying for rent and utility assistance.
The utility help is the latest enhancement to North Dakota’s housing stability program. In late July, the department announced that it had contracted with local application counselors to help renters apply for assistance.
 
In partnership with North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, DHS is developing a streamlined program. When fully implemented later this fall, it will feature a new online portal, housing facilitator services to help people navigate housing challenges, along with other support designed to lead to greater housing and financial stability for participating North Dakota households, as well as the housing providers who make up the state’s local housing markets. A companion program to help qualifying North Dakota homeowners with housing-related costs is also expected to be available later this fall.
 
From Jan. 1 through July 30, 2021, the department has expended $5.6 million on rental assistance, benefiting 1,758 North Dakota renters. Payments are made directly to housing providers. There are about 117,556 rental units in North Dakota according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
 
DHS has estimated that the ND Rent Help rent and utility assistance program and related housing stability efforts may be able to serve as many as 15,000-25,000 North Dakota households. The ND Rent Help program follows U.S. Treasury Department guidelines.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 081821 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota soared above 1,000 for the first time since spring, state health officials reported Tuesday. The state’s coronavirus dashboard showed 267 new virus cases. The Bismarck Tribune reports it’s the highest daily total since 303 cases on Jan. 8. Active cases statewide rose to 1,101, up 112 from Monday and more than double the total just two weeks ago. Cases are spiking nationwide due primarily to the highly contagious and fast-spreading delta variant of the coronavirus. Health officials also confirmed three more virus-related deaths Tuesday, raising North Dakota’s pandemic death toll to 1,548.
 
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, North Dakota has had 113,673 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 111,024 recoveries and 4,487 hospitalizations. 44 COVID-19 patients remained in a hospital Tuesday, down three from Monday.
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MINOT, ND – A grass fire in southeast Minot quickly spread to a shed and threatened a nearby home and garage on Monday afternoon. The Minot Fire Department was dispatched to a reported grass fire at 4609 16th Avenue SE at 5:47 p.m. Firefighters were informed that the grass fire was spreading toward a home and garage, and a nearby shed was already on fire. Crews from Fire Station 4 on 55th Street Southeast arrived on scene within 2:24 of the 911 call, and were met with heavy smoke and fire coming from a garden shed, with the grass fire moving rapidly toward a home and detached garage. Fire crews extinguished the fire spreading toward the structures and knocked down the fire that had engulfed the shed. Four additional firefighter units arrived on scene and assisted in fire suppression operations. The homeowner was treated for smoke inhalation and denied transport to a medical facility; no firefighters were injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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BISMARCK – More than 258,100 pounds of unusable pesticides were collected and shipped out of state in the 2021 Project Safe Send collections.
 
“Nearly 350 North Dakota farmers, ranchers, applicators, homeowners and others took part in the collections,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “It demonstrates the need for a program that enables people to safely get rid of unusable, unneeded or unwanted pesticides, free of charge.”
 
The collections were conducted during July in 12 communities: Langdon, Devils Lake, Larimore, Bismarck, Dickinson, Hettinger, Ashley, Harvey, Minot, Tioga, Valley City and Wyndmere. Larimore recorded the largest collection with 47,998 pounds. Valley City was second with 33,380 pounds of unusable pesticides.
 
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture contracted Veolia Environmental Services, Blaine, MN, to collect, repackage and transport the waste chemicals to out-of-state incinerators. Project Safe Send is funded by pesticide manufacturers through product registration fees in North Dakota.
 
“Project Safe Send is a recognized model as a means for the public to safely get rid of these chemicals and help ensure a healthy environment,” Goehring said. “The need for this program will continue, as more people learn how it benefits them and as more pesticides become obsolete and are no longer usable for current applications.”
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MINOT, ND – The Minot Fire Department will hold the 2021 Citizen’s Fire Academy on Saturday, Sept. 11th, from Noon to 4:00 PM. The Citizen’s Fire Academy is designed to increase the community’s understanding and awareness of the Minot Fire Department. Citizens will be exposed to many different aspects of the fire service including the day-to-day operations of the Minot Fire Department. Stations will be set up to teach different skills used by the Minot Fire Department. These topics were chosen because they are fun, challenging, hands on and expose the public to some of the types of incidents that the Minot Fire Department might face on any given day. Participants are encouraged to be hands on, however, you can also just watch and learn.
 
You are not required to stay for the entire event. No prior knowledge is required. Must be 18 years of age. If you are interested in attending or would like more information about the Citizen’s Fire Academy, please contact: Battalion Chief Glen Hardy or Battalion Chief Austin Burns at 701-857-4740.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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