KHRT ND News – 11/04/21

KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 110421 – 1200
 
MINOT, ND – A crash involving a Highway Patrol vehicle in Minot resulted in injuries. Troopers say the incident happened around 7 PM on Wednesday at the intersection of Highway 2 and 13th Street Southeast. The patrol vehicle was traveling westbound on Highway 2 with its emergency lights and sirens activated responding to an injury crash. A minivan, driven by a 67-year old woman from Burlington, was eastbound on Highway 2 and was turning north on 13th Street SE. Troopers say as both vehicles entered the intersection, the minivan struck the patrol vehicle. The patrol vehicle struck a pole, overturned, and came to rest. Traffic was detoured for about an hour and a half. The minivan driver had non-life threatening injuries. The 39-year old trooper received minor injuries. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts. The crash is under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s drought is easing with recent precipitation, but some areas of the state are still dealing with poor conditions. This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that no areas of the state are in exceptional drought, the worst category, and less than 10% of North Dakota is in extreme drought, the second worst category. By comparison, all of the state was in some form of drought, with nearly two-thirds in extreme or exceptional drought, three months ago. Much of western and central North Dakota remains in severe or moderate drought. And most of eastern North Dakota is rated “abnormally dry” or not in any category.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota regulators have given temporary approval to a natural gas pipeline in McKenzie County that has been operating for years without a state permit. North Dakota Public Service Commission Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak says she’s not sure why the 2.6-mile Caliber Midstream pipeline has been operating since 2014 without proper permitting. The pipeline connects a natural gas processing plant with the nearby Northern Border Pipeline which is a major export pipeline taking gas produced in the Bakken and Canada to markets in the middle of the United States. Caliber is planning changes to the Midstream pipeline and wants to allow gas to flow either direction, including from Northern Border to a trucking facility next to its Hay Butte processing plant.
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BISMARCK, ND – The number of COVID-19 deaths in the first four days of November now stands at 28 after five more are reported today. The daily positive rate is at 6.32%. There are 608 new positives and 477 new recoveries. Active cases increase by 153 to 3,627. Cass County has the most active at 805, with Burleigh County second at 516 and Ward County third at 358. Hospitalizations are up one today to 150, with 13 of those in ICU.
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BISMARCK, ND – The National Weather Service has released their winter outlook. Forecasters say that La Nina will influence the weather in North Dakota through winter and into spring. This will be the second winter season in a row influenced by the phenomenon. La Nina’s influence on the North Dakota winter temperature is that it usually means colder than normal. The influence on precipitation (snow) is less well defined, but leans to near normal.
 
Forecasters say this coming winter is looking to be colder than normal overall. The rest of fall and into the first half of winter looks to be on the mild side of normal, followed by a colder than normal second half of winter, and into spring. The above normal temperatures during the first half will not be as intense as the below normal temperatures during the second half. So, in the end, overall, the cold later will outperform the mild earlier and result in overall below normal temperatures for the season as a whole.
 
As far as precipitation (snow), although there is no strong signal for wet or dry, we should expect this winter to end up with more snow than the very dry winter of 2020-2021. A good expectation would be for near normal amounts. Again, the second half of the season looks to be more active than the first half. Normal amounts of snow for the entire snow season would be, generally, about 50 inches, a little less in the southwest part of the state and a little more in the southeast.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 110421 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says state colleges should comply with legislation that forbids a school from funneling grant money to a person or organization that promotes or performs abortions. Stenehjem’s opinion came after an inquiry from North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott, who asked if the legislation was constitutional. Stenehjem says it is not “clearly and patently unconstitutional.” The legislation was aimed primarily at preventing North Dakota State University from funneling federal grant money to Planned Parenthood for sex education.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota health officials are expecting 18,000 initial doses of the pediatric coronavirus vaccine. That’s enough enough to cover 25% of the state’s roughly 71,000 children ages 5 to 11 who were identified in the 2019 census. The state Health Department said in a statement Wednesday that “vaccinating children will help protect them from getting COVID-19.” To date, there have been 8,841 cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota children ages 5-11, and 22 were hospitalized. The Health Department said it will be hosting an online town hall event on Friday to talk about the availability of the vaccine.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) – A recent dip in temperatures likely prompted many North Dakotans to start cranking up the heat. With natural-gas prices expected to be much higher this season, customers are advised to make a plan so that monthly bills won’t sink their budget. Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) said over the next five months, its customers could end up paying an additional $185 for their heating expenses.
 
Mark Hanson, spokesperson for MDU, urged residents to work with them to avoid dramatic swings in their monthly bill. He said they want to protect customers, not leave them in the cold. “During cold winter months, a customer’s not going to be disconnected,” Hanson explained. “We’re not gonna disconnect someone if it’s 20 below out.” But he added if a customer falls behind and doesn’t reach out, there is a disconnection risk after the winter season.
 
In the meantime, he suggested looking into programs such as Balanced Billing to keep monthly costs more stable. The utility also can put households in touch with those who carry out the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Home weatherization programs also are suggested, as are tips such as letting more sunlight in during the day, while closing blinds and drapes at night.
Josh Askvig, North Dakota state director for AARP, said the price surge added to many other cost-of-living headaches North Dakotans are juggling right now. “Utility rates are an essential pocketbook issue for North Dakota residents, especially those 50-plus,” Askvig pointed out. “When you have a projected price increase that is about 50% higher than last year across the country, the winter heating season is going to be a challenge.”
 
To help soften the blow, MDU said it built up some of its winter storage while prices were lower this year, but utility officials warn there’s still a lot of price volatility for the commodity. Throughout November, MDU and AARP will host four Facebook live events to better explain the situation and options for customers.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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