KHRT ND News – 10/02/21

KHRT NEWS – SATURDAY – 100221 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and health officials say that hospital capacity is reaching critical levels. And the are urging the public to take steps to help reduce hospitalizations, ranging from avoiding high-risk activities to practicing defensive driving to taking coronavirus precautions. The COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state surpassed 160 on Friday for the first time in nearly 10 months, and the percentage of staffed hospital beds in North Dakota that remained available fell below 10%. North Dakota’s six largest hospitals on Friday reported 43 patients have been sent to other facilities, sometimes hundreds of miles away.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota lawmakers have scheduled six meetings for October to consider adjustments to the state budget and discuss how to spend the state’s $1 billion in federal coronavirus aid. Gov. Doug Burgum said Thursday that he wants to spend the aid quickly on infrastructure, economic development and other projects to avoid inflation and rising construction costs. Legislative leaders say they agree with some of the themes in Burgum’s spending blueprint, but that the spending plan could differ significantly from the governor’s proposal. The Legislature controls state government spending and will eventually decide how the money is spent.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The drought worsened in northwestern North Dakota over the past week, but conditions in all other regions of the state are holding steady. Parts of the northwest that were in severe drought last week are now in extreme drought, the second-worse of four categories, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor map. The Bismarck Tribune reports a small pocket of exceptional drought – the worst category – remained in Golden Valley County in the southwest. Record and even historic heat blanketed much of North Dakota early this week. Dickinson on Tuesday hit 100 degrees. Above-normal temperatures are likely again next week.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Beginning this heating season, North Dakotans who need help paying for their winter heating bills can apply online for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The heating assistance program is the final program to be added to the state’s online Self-Service Portal and Consolidated Eligibility System (SPACES). Individuals can also apply locally at a human service zone office or by mail if they prefer.
 
“As we work to improve lives and focus on our key priority of stable families, we are pleased to give North Dakotans the option of applying online for economic assistance programs, including heating assistance, and health care coverage programs,” said Economic Assistance Division Director Michele Gee. “This is the final release in the SPACES project, which began with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2015. The project replaced multiple outdated technology systems with a modern, web-based system.”
 
Applications for the upcoming 2021-2022 heating season can be submitted between Oct. 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022. This past year, the federally funded program helped about 12,800 qualifying North Dakota households by providing an average of $890 in help per household.
LIHEAP can pay part of a qualifying household’s home heating costs, whether a home is heated with natural gas, electricity, propane, coal, fuel oil, or wood. The aid amount varies based on the number of people living in the household, their combined incomes, the heat source and other factors intended to ensure help goes to those most in need.
 
Both homeowners and renters can apply. However, individuals living in subsidized housing whose heat is included in their rent are not eligible for the program. North Dakota who are struggling to pay for food, heating costs, rent, child care or medical coverage, or who are experiencing related stressors can apply and learn more about helpful programs on the department’s Help is Here website at https://www.helpishere.nd.gov/.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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