KHRT ND News – 09/24/21

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 092421 – 1200
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The company responsible for the largest oil field spill in North Dakota has pleaded guilty to criminal charges after reaching an agreement with the federal government to pay $15 million in fines. Summit Midstream Partners was charged for negligently discharging oil and for failing to immediately report the spill, which occurred north of Williston over a period of five months in 2014 and 2015. A pipeline leaked 700,000 barrels of produced water, which is highly saturated saltwater that comes up in wells along with oil and gas. Some of the wastewater reached Blacktail Creek, which eventually flows into the Missouri River.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A panel of lawmakers on Thursday worked on completing a draft of North Dakota’s new legislative map that creates three new districts in the state’s fastest-growing areas but erases an equal amount in population-lean rural regions.
The redistricting plan was drafted over the past several weeks. The task was required due to population shifts shown by the 2020 federal census. Each district is supposed to include approximately the same number of people, although small variances are allowed. The principle is called, “one person, one vote,” and is intended to give each district similar voting power in the Legislature.
North Dakota’s population is estimated at a record 779,000, up almost 16% during the last decade, but most of the state’s rural legislative districts continued losing residents, according to census data. The new map avoids splitting up the majority of North Dakota’s 53 counties among separate districts. The panel focused on keeping 47 districts, rather than increasing or reducing the size of the Legislature. Each district is represented by two House members and a senator, which gives the Legislature 141 members. Lawmakers added new three new districts in and around the state’s biggest city of Fargo, and Williston and Watford City in the heart of the state’s oil patch.
The GOP-controlled Legislature will finish the redistricting job during a special or reconvened session this fall. The full Legislature must approve the plan, and the governor must sign off on it.
BISMARCK, ND – Active cases of COVID-19 increase by 109 today to 3,604. Information from the North Dakota Department of Health lists 525 of those active are age 11 and younger, 480 are age 12-19, 509 are age 20-29, 611 are age 30-39, 498 are age 40-49, 368 are age 50-59, 325 are age 60-69, 288 are age 70+.
Health officials report 645 new positives and 560 new recoveries. The daily positive rate is 6.45%. Cass County had the most new positives today with 136, while there were 112 in Burleigh County, Stark added 62, and Ward County with 49.
Hospitalizations are down by four to 121, with 19 of those in ICU. The majority of hospitalizations are people age 40+. Only 14 are under 40.
There are two more deaths among those positive with COVID-19. It brings the total deaths since the pandemic began in North Dakota to 1,597.
Breakthrough numbers (those fully vaccinated) have 230 new positives (4196), three new hospitalizations (198), and one death (30). Those adults fully vaccinate against the virus is at 52.9% (318,152) while those 12+ fully vaccinated is at 50.7% (336,167).
BISMARCK, ND (ND G&F) – The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates poor to fair wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout the state. Andy Dinges, Department migratory game bird biologist, said the number of duck hunting wetlands are down statewide about 44% from last fall and are also 45% below the 2003-2020 average.
“We are experiencing fall wetland conditions similar to what occurred from 2006-08, which was our last prolonged dry period throughout the state,” Dinges said. Dinges said the northeast region has the highest number of duck hunting wetlands this fall, but is still about 30% below average for the region. The south central region is also faring a little better and is only about 17% below the long-term average for the number of duck hunting type wetlands. However, all other regions of the state are experiencing conditions that are at least 50% below average for the number of duck hunting type wetlands observed.
“Most of the remaining wetlands are in fair to good shape, but hunters should certainly expect mud margins around wetlands, possibly making hunting more difficult,” he said. Wetland conditions were poor in early spring from little to no snow melt, in addition the early and mid-summer were also extremely dry for most of the state, Dinges said.
“We have received some much-needed rainfall in the last month or so, but it hasn’t been enough to really improve wetland conditions,” he added. “Most of the state has only received about 50-75% of normal precipitation since last year when the fall wetland survey was conducted.”
The quality of waterfowl hunting in North Dakota is largely determined by weather conditions and migration patterns. Dinges said waterfowl populations are still doing well for the most part despite drought this year, which still makes for the potential of some good fall hunting in North Dakota.
“Hunters should always scout because of ever-changing conditions and distribution of waterfowl,” he said. “Hunters should also be cautious driving off-trail to avoid soft spots, and while encountering areas of tall vegetation that could be a fire hazard.”
The fall wetland survey is conducted in mid-September, just prior to the waterfowl hunting season to provide an assessment of conditions duck hunters can expect. Duck hunting wetlands are classified as seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 092421 – 0700
MINOT, ND – Minot police are asking for the public’s help in a burglary. On the morning of September 18, 2021, The Minot Police Department was alerted to a burglary of an area retail store. The burglars made away with a substantial amount of merchandise. The investigation has revealed that the burglars in this case have been targeting similar retail stores throughout the country. The Minot Police Department has reason to believe the suspects spent time in the Minot area in preparation for this burglary. As a result, police are asking the public and specifically, area hospitality businesses, for any information. The two subjects and their associates may have stayed in an area hotel, ate at an area restaurant, or frequented other area businesses. Police are looking for any information or surveillance video. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Minot Police Department at 701-852-0111 or Crime Stoppers at 701-85-CRIME (701-852-7463).
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A panel of lawmakers has made substantial progress on a draft of North Dakota’s new legislative map that creates three new districts in the state’s fastest-growing areas but erases an equal amount in some rural regions. The preliminary plan unanimously approved Thursday also forces several incumbent lawmakers to run against each other to keep their jobs, including the Democratic Senate minority leader and the GOP House majority leader. Rep. Bill Devlin, chairman of the committee, says the panel will return to the Capitol twice next week to “tweak” the plan that was drafted over the past several weeks.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says extensive news media coverage of the death of Gabby Petito should be a reminder of hundreds of Native American girls and women who are missing or murdered in the United States. The first Native American Cabinet secretary said her heart goes out to Petito’s family. But she also grieves for “so many Indigenous women” whose families have endured similar heartache “for the last 500 years.” The disappearance and death of the 22-year-old Petito generated a whirlwind of news coverage as well as a frenzy of online sleuthing. The Florida woman was found dead at the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot is sponsoring a Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the City of Minot Public Works building, 1025 31st Street Southeast, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Saturday. All household hazardous waste not normally picked up by the sanitation crews may be brought to this program free of charge for City of Minot Sanitation customers. E-waste will also be accepted at this time. (TVs, computers, printers, tablets, etc.)
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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