KHRT ND News – 08/25/21

KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 082521 – 1200
MINOT, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Supreme Court will allow a man accused of drunken driving to withdraw his guilty plea to the charge. The court recently reversed a North Central District Court judge’s refusal to suppress some evidence in the DUI case against defendant Michael Anthony Boger. He was stopped by a Minot police officer in November 2019 who said Boger failed to have his rear license plate illuminated. Boger argued in court the officer’s own body camera footage showed the license plate was actually illuminated. The high court ruled the body camera video clearly shows that Boger’s license plate was illuminated and the officer did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle, so the evidence must be suppressed.
MANDAN, N.D. (AP) – A woman who lived in community housing in Mandan has filed a lawsuit claiming she was forced from her townhome because she has too many children. Shukri Ahmed, in her complaint, says she was told by Affordable Housing Developers, Inc., that she must leave the property where she has resided with her children for four years because she has violated the townhome’s occupancy standards. The policy limits the number of occupants to five in a three-bedroom unit. Ahmed had her fifth child in October 2020 and the nonprofit said she exceeded that limit. Ahmed says the policy discriminates against families with children.
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Department of Health reports another 364 COVID-19 cases. The daily positive rate is at 5.72% today, while the 14-day positivity rate stands at 6%. Active cases rise by 155 to 1,843, the most since mid-January. Those hospitalized with the virus drop by 5 to 53, with 8 of those in ICU.
MINOT, ND – Trinity Health has transitioned to tighter visitor restrictions at its hospital and clinic facilities due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations amid the highly transmissible Delta variant. Vice President Randy Schwan says restrictions at Trinity Hospital, Trinity Hospital – St. Joseph’s, and medical clinics across the system was elevated from “minimal” to “moderate” on Tuesday. “Cases are surging throughout our state and region, and Trinity Health has seen a steep increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19. It is imperative that we take this disturbing trend seriously to mitigate its effect on patients and staff,” Schwan said.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 082521 – 0700
MINOT, ND – Trinity Health has transitioned to tighter visitor restrictions at its hospital and clinic facilities due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations amid the highly transmissible Delta variant. Vice President Randy Schwan says restrictions at Trinity Hospital, Trinity Hospital – St. Joseph’s, and medical clinics across the system was elevated from “minimal” to “moderate” on Tuesday. “Cases are surging throughout our state and region, and Trinity Health has seen a steep increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19. It is imperative that we take this disturbing trend seriously to mitigate its effect on patients and staff,” Schwan said.
Only one adult visitor is allowed per day at a patient’s bedside or to accompany a patient to a clinic appointment. No visitor under age 18 is permitted in either case. There are limited exceptions to the one-visitor policy. Anyone with respiratory symptoms or who is COVID-positive is not eligible to access these medical facilities as a non-patient. Face coverings/masks are required of all persons entering the facility; compliance with the mask mandate is required to both enter and remain within the building. Patients who are COVID-positive are generally not allowed visitors – prior authorization must be granted for those rare and unique circumstances where a visit might be approved. Hospital cafeterias will remain open for staff and approved authorized visitors, with social distancing required.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s Senate majority leader said Tuesday he expects fellow Republican Gov. Doug Burgum to call a fall special session for legislative redistricting, which would give lawmakers as much time as they need to finish North Dakota’s new political map. Republican Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said Tuesday he and GOP House Majority Leader Chet Pollert have been meeting with Burgum in recent weeks to discuss the possibility of a special session in early November. Burgum has yet to agree to a special session, spokesman Mike Nowatzki said. “There are ongoing discussions but no formal agreement,” Nowatzki said Tuesday. “It’s still very much in flux.”
The North Dakota Constitution limits the Legislature to 80 days of meetings every two years, and last spring’s regular session used 76 days. That means if the Legislature calls itself back into session, lawmakers will have to squeeze the redistricting job into just four days.
Wardner said lawmakers have a host of issues besides redistricting to deal with, including how to spend $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding. The Legislature will likely reconvene sometime next year with its remaining days to address that and other issues that arise. “We only have four days left,” Wardner said. “It’s not worth burning four days we think we might need” next year.
A special session called by the governor has no time restriction and may last indefinitely. Former Gov. Jack Dalrymple called a special session to deal with redistricting in 2011, and John Hoeven did so in 2001. If the Legislature calls itself into session, a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate would be required for the new redistricting plan to take effect quickly. It’s unclear if the plan would get two-thirds support in both chambers. A special session allows lawmakers to specify, on a majority vote, when any state laws they approve will go into effect, said John Bjornson, who heads the nonpartisan Legislative Council, the Legislature’s research arm.
Legislative redistricting happens every 10 years after a federal census. It aims to ensure each lawmaker represents about the same number of people. When the Legislature completed its last redistricting plan a decade ago, district populations averaged about 14,500 people. The new plan will likely add about 2,000 people to that. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows most of North Dakota’s growth occurred in the western part of the state and in the state’s bigger cities. That means when North Dakota’s new legislative map is drawn later this year, Fargo and Bismarck will have more power in the Legislature, while North Dakota’s rural areas will have less.
FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota National Guard celebrated two facilities in Fargo on Tuesday by commemorating the beginning of construction for one and later celebrating the completion of another.
In the morning, the Happy Hooligans of the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for a consolidated operations facility at the Fargo Air Base. The $17.5 million project intended for use by the 119th Operations Group, is scheduled for construction to begin this fall, with an expected completion in 2023. Gov. Doug Burgum, commander and chief of the N.D. National Guard, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general for the N.D. National Guard, Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander along with Shawn Dobberstein, executive director, Fargo Airport Authority wielded shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking.
In the afternoon, the North Dakota Army National Guard celebrated the completion of the Fargo Readiness Center by hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony officially dedicating the facility. Among the participants in this ceremony were Hoeven, Cramer, Dohrmann, Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, N.D. National Guard, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander, N.D Army National Guard, Dobberstein, and Delton Steele, honorary commander for the N.D. National Guard and chair of the N.D. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
“These projects will ensure that North Dakota’s Air and Army National Guard forces have the best facilities and latest technology they need to maintain readiness, conduct training and protect freedom at home and abroad,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to our state’s congressional delegation for securing the federal funding for these facilities and to our North Dakota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen for their unwavering commitment to being ‘Always Ready, Always There.'”
Located west of the existing Fargo Armed Forces Reserve building in Fargo, this facility is the new home of the N.D. National Guard’s 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 191st Military Police Company, and Company D, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment. With the groundbreaking on August 14, 2019, this facility took two years to build.
“It’s a great day in the North Dakota National Guard when we can celebrate the initiation and dedication of much-needed facilities like these,” said Dohrmann who rendered remarks at both ceremonies. These facilities are important to our Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen in support of their continued successful completion of our state and federal missions.”
The final cost of the Fargo Readiness Center facility is approximately $29 million and consists of a 96,000 square foot readiness center and a 59,000 square foot unheated vehicle storage building. The facility provides a greater capability to conduct virtual exercises and facilitates improved command and control of units and personnel during responses to state emergencies. It also includes a modern fitness training area with a quarter-mile running track and a helicopter pad.
CAMP GRAFTON TRAINING CENTER, N.D. – Members of the 64th Officer Candidate School (OCS) class officially joined the North Dakota Army National Guard’s officer ranks during a graduation ceremony, Aug. 21, 2021, at the 164th Regiment Regional Training Institute (RTI). Nine Soldiers were awarded diplomas for completing the intensive officer training program, which is administered by staff and cadre from the RTI’s 2nd Training Battalion (Modular) at Camp Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, North Dakota.
Officer candidates may defer their commission upon graduating OCS, dependent on personal preference or the availability of an officer position within a unit. Three graduates of this class accepted their commissions as second lieutenants. They will now go on to lead platoons in North Dakota Army National Guard units across the state. Four candidates accepted their commissions at an earlier date.
The keynote speaker for the event, Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, N.D. National Guard deputy adjutant general, rendered remarks and offered advice to the graduates. Huber has served in the North Dakota Army National Guard since enlisting in 1989. Just a year later, in 1990, she deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the Mandan-based 191st Military Police Company. Huber earned her commission as a second lieutenant through the University of North Dakota’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1992. In 2003, she mobilized again for overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving as the personnel officer for the 142nd Engineer Battalion.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general, presented the graduates with their diplomas, while Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, North Dakota National Guard Army Component commander, administered the oath of office to the newest second lieutenants in the state. Lt. Col. Barbara Lowe, commander of the RTI’s 2nd Training Battalion, presided over the “Pinning Ceremony,” where the new officers donned their gold-colored second lieutenant bars. The graduates were joined by family and friends during the ceremony.
Students can pursue their commissions by attending a three-phased, 8-week accelerated course at Fort Meade, South Dakota, or at Fort McClellan, Alabama. OCS students also have the option to participate in a traditional course, which is spread out over 16-19 months during National Guard training weekends with two additional 2-week training periods. Other sources of officer commissioning are available through North Dakota’s ROTC program with locations at the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and Concordia College – Moorhead.
North Dakota has been training officers since 1957. The program’s mission is to create leaders who are mentored, trained, and empowered and essential to the Guard’s three-pronged mission of supporting communities, the state, and the nation. To date, the North Dakota OCS program has graduated more than 1,400 Soldiers.
The 2nd Training Battalion’s (Modular) 64th OCS graduating class includes:
*Rachel L. Church, of Helena, Montana
**Ryan L. Kamrowski, of Minot, North Dakota
*Jonathan G. Kranz, of Grand Forks, North Dakota
Tanner J. Rafteseth, of West Fargo, North Dakota
**Ethan J. Zoeller, of Dickinson, North Dakota
**Erin N. Demoe, of Bismarck, North Dakota
**Trevor J. Kleineschay, of Strasburg, North Dakota
*David J. Moll, of Fargo, North Dakota
Alexander R. Tryon-Tasson, of Minot, North Dakota
* indicates acceptance of commission
** indicates prior acceptance of commission
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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