KHRT ND News – 09/03/21

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 090321 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota agencies have submitted proposals on how to spend $1 billion of federal coronavirus aid the state has received. Republican Gov. Doug Burgum asked the agencies for the proposals as a way to set priorities for the money. The proposals show a wish list totaling nearly $5 billion. North Dakota’s 11 public colleges and universities have $917 million in requests. The Commerce Department, which oversees tourism and economic development, has the biggest request for money at $922 million. Officials say they are still awaiting federal guidance on how the money may be spent. The Legislature, which controls spending on state government, will eventually decide where the money goes.
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BISMARCK, ND – Today’s COVID-19 numbers from the North Dakota Department of Health list a daily positive rate of 5.53%. There are 445 new positives and 238 recovered today. Active cases rise by 145 to 2,908. The majority of active cases are people in their 30’s and 40’s. Good news in the hospitalizations as they are down for a second consecutive day to 105, down 16 from yesterday. Breakthrough numbers (those fully vaccinated) have 44 new positives (2003), one new hospitalization (133), and one death (21).
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MINOT, ND – City Manager Harold Stewart is asking the City Council to support his recommended hiring of Jennifer Eckman as the new director at the Minot International Airport after a nationwide search process. The City Council will consider Stewart’s recommendation at the Council meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7. If the Council confirms Eckman’s selection, she would begin Oct. 4.
 
“I’m pleased to support Jennifer as the airport director for the City of Minot,” Stewart said. “She has more than 17 years of wide-ranging experience in airport management, and we would be excited to have her lead the great staff we already have in place at the Minot International Airport.”
 
Eckman, who has completed the Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) program, has been the manager of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks, N.D., since January 2019. She was previously the airport manager in Jamestown, N.D., the deputy airport director for finance and administration in Rapid City, S.D., and served as the airport administrative assistant and airport real estate specialist at Paine Field/Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Wash.
 
Originally from North Dakota, Eckman completed a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in airport management from the University of North Dakota in May 1999, and received a Masters of Fine Arts from California State University-Long Beach in May 2004. She is scheduled to complete her Master of Business Administration in May 2022.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – As families prepare to enjoy North Dakota’s outdoor destinations over the Labor Day weekend, residents and visitors are encouraged to recreate responsibly by practicing fire safety. While recent moisture has provided some relief from fire starts over the past few weeks, dry conditions still persist in many areas of the state with 100 percent of North Dakota experiencing severe drought conditions.
 
To view current fire restrictions by county, travelers can visit ndresponse.gov or contact their local emergency management office. Burn ban restrictions for state parks are derived from the county in which the park is located. Some burn bans also are determined by the fire danger rating and/or red flag warnings for a particular area. The fire danger rating is issued daily and also can be found at ndresponse.gov.
 
Campers should always “know before you go,” and are encouraged to verify if campfires are permitted at the destination they are visiting. The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department has increased communication to visitors in weekly emails outlining current fire restrictions. Those with state park camping reservations are encouraged to watch their inbox prior to their visit. In all North Dakota state parks, fires must be contained in designated fire rings.
 
Remember to practice these safety tips:
 
– Keep your fire small, and never leave a campfire unattended.
– Be sure that pets and children are supervised near any campfire.
– It is important to keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
– If possible, allow the wood to burn completely to ash when you are finished enjoying your fire.
– Pour water over all embers-not just the red ones-until the hissing sound stops.
– Then, stir with a shovel. Continue pouring water and stirring with a shovel until the fire is completely extinguished.
– Use the back of your hand to feel the heat of the fire embers. Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
 
“We’ve had a busy summer and the upcoming Labor Day weekend promises to be one of our busiest,” said Paul Taylor, Interim Director of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department. “Now is not the time to let down your guard with respect to fire safety. Let’s finish the summer camping season by protecting people, property and our lovely state parks.”
 
To learn more about recreating responsibly and to help prevent wildfires in the state, North Dakotans can visit SmokeyBear.com and read through the Campfire Safety Guide. Remember, only YOU can prevent wildfires!
 
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) also would like to remind citizens to please “Keep Your Beaches Clean.” These efforts are meant to help reduce littering and glass container violations on sovereign lands throughout the state, particularly along the Missouri River.
 
“Keep Your Beaches Clean” is an ongoing public awareness campaign that was first introduced by the State Water Commission in 2013 and aims to educate recreational users regarding the rules and regulations on sovereign lands. Sovereign lands are publicly owned lands that are managed for the benefit of the citizens of the state. The DWR helps to ensure public safety on North Dakota’s sovereign lands, including the beds and islands, lying within the ordinary high watermarks of navigable lakes and streams, by alleviating harmful littering and the illegal use of glass bottles on the state’s public beach areas and sandbars. Signs are posted at numerous access points along the Missouri River, making the public aware of possible consequences for these violations, including a $100 fine for glass containers and a $250 fine for littering.
 
Illegal motorized vehicle use on sovereign lands is also prohibited with a potential fine of $100.
 
“North Dakota has an abundance of scenic locations and recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. Many of these activities take place on sovereign lands across the state, and especially along the Missouri River. It is important that we keep these destinations clean and safe,” said Department of Water Resources Director Andrea Travnicek. “By working together to ‘Keep Your Beaches Clean,’ it will allow present and future generations the opportunity to enjoy North Dakota’s sovereign lands for generations to come.”
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 090321 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – A lawmaker who heads North Dakota’s pro-life legislative caucus says it’s likely the Republican-led Legislature will seek to pass a measure that mirrors a new Texas law that virtually bans all abortions. GOP Sen. Janne Myrdal says she “assumes” legislation will be crafted eventually that uses the Texas law as a template. North Dakota already has successfully passed some of the nation’s most pro-life laws.
 
Republican lawmakers in at least half a dozen states are looking to copy the Texas law. The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Texas law to stand triggered both cheers and strategizing from Republicans. Other states with early-term abortion bans that have been blocked by federal courts are looking at the Texas law because of an unusual provision that puts enforcement in the hands of private citizens, not government officials.
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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) – A utility company in western Minnesota plans to end its investment in a coal-fired plant it operates in North Dakota as part of its push to add more sources of renewable energy. Otter Tail Power Co., based in Fergus Falls, plans to sell its 35% stake in the Coyote Station Power Plant in Beulah, North Dakota by 2028. The utility says “more flexible and economical resource options are available” and it is concerned that its obligation to the plant will become too costly for customers. Otter Tail serves about 137,000 homes and businesses in western Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – The federal agency that oversees schools that educate some Native Americans in nearly two dozen states, including North Dakota, has issued an employee vaccine mandate. The mandate, announced Thursday, covers faculty and staff at schools and dormitories operated directly by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education. More than 180 schools operate under the agency’s umbrella. But about two-thirds are run by tribes under contract with the federal government or through grants, including most on the Navajo Nation. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says employees must be vaccinated no later than Oct. 15 or they could face disciplinary action.
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HORACE, N.D – Farm Rescue, a nonprofit organization that provides planting, haying, harvest and livestock feeding assistance free of charge to farm and ranch families who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster, received $50,000 in donated funds from Hess Corporation.
 
The contribution will not only support Farm Rescue’s assistance operations throughout Hess’s shared service territory, but also aid in the purchase of a crucial piece of harvest equipment. Thanks to support from John Deere and several of its local dealers, the nonprofit has been able to utilize sponsored combines for a limited number of engine hours during its harvest assistance operations. However, with a growing number of families requesting help and a larger number of service states, Farm Rescue found it necessary to purchase a combine to accommodate the demand.
 
Last year, the organization launched a capital campaign in hopes of raising funds to purchase a combine at the conclusion of its 2021 harvest season. This latest donation from Hess Corporation has provided a tremendous boost to the fundraising effort, with only a few months remaining in the campaign. Hess has been a sponsor of Farm Rescue since 2016 and has now contributed more than $200,000 in support of the Midwest-based nonprofit’s assistance operations.
 
“The unwavering commitment from Hess to help farm families and rural communities is impressive,” said Bill Gross, Founder and President, Farm Rescue. “Hess is the largest energy sector sponsor of Farm Rescue and has been instrumental in furthering our assistance efforts for those who have experienced major injury, illness or natural disaster.”
 
“Hess is proud to support the great work Farm Rescue is doing to ensure our area farmers in need receive assistance,” said Brent Lohnes, Hess general manager in North Dakota. “Hess’s mission is to be the most trusted energy partner wherever we operate and positively impact the communities where we live and work.”
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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