KHRT ND News – 11/16/21

KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 111621 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner has resigned following another alchool related incident. Ryan Rauschenberger was jailed for detoxification Monday after Bismarck police responded to a disturbance at a local hotel and found that he was too drunk to take care of himself, authorities said.
 
Rauschenberger’s alcohol problems first came to light in 2014 when he took a leave of absence to complete a 20-day inpatient treatment program in Minnesota. That came after he loaned his vehicle to a man he met while undergoing substance treatment and the man crashed it while driving drunk. Rauschenberger was arrested on a drunken driving charge in September 2017, when a preliminary breath test indicated his blood alcohol content was 0.208%, more than twice the legal limit for driving. As part of his guilty plea, he completed a recommended outpatient treatment program in March 2018. Court documents show Rauschenberger pleaded guilty three months ago in Bismarck Municipal Court to driving with an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and paid a $100 fine. The police citation shows he was stopped at 1:22 a.m. on Aug. 1.
 
Rauschenberger has been tax commissioner for the past seven years. He was appointed to tax commissioner at the end of 2013 to fill a vacancy after a resignation. The Republican won a full term in 2014 and won reelection in 2018. Gov. Doug Burgum will appoint a tax commissioner to serve the remainder of Rauschenberger’s term, which expires at the end of 2022.
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FARGO, ND – A Fargo woman has been sentenced to federal prison for a string of violent federal robberies. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte sentenced 20-year old Harleigh Josette Haugen to 45 months in federal prison for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and Robbery. Welte also sentenced Haugen to 3 years supervised release and a $100.00 Special Assessment.
 
Investigation revealed that from May and continuing through June 2019, Haugen and 21-year old Jordan Daniel Kraft of Fargo conspired with a group of young males and females to rob customers of commercial sex. Haugen, Kraft and others posted advertisements on “Skip the Games” promoting prostitution with adult women. The defendants sought to take advantage of a group of commercial sex customers whom they believed would be unwilling to go to law enforcement if they were robbed. The defendants arranged to meet the victims in their private residences and in local apartments controlled by the defendants. Using dangerous weapons, the defendants robbed the commercial sex customers by threats of force and violence, and in some instances the victims were physically assaulted by the defendants before they were robbed.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A former guard at the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck will go to trial in March after he was accused of sneaking drugs and electronics to an inmate in the prison in exchange for money. Matthew Taylor of Mandan on Monday waived his preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to two felonies. The more serious charge carries a possible 20-year prison sentence. Taylor was working as a correctional officer at the penitentiary in November of last year when the North Dakota Highway Patrol began an investigation. Prosecutors say he received $900 from a woman to deliver a cellphone, two computer memory cards and a cigarette package to an inmate, who later tested positive for methamphetamine.
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Internal Revenue Service filings show former Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft was paid more than $49 million in salary, severance and other payouts last year. Krabbenhoft left Sanford last year after nearly a quarter century, receiving a combination of salary, incentive-based pay, severance and two lump sum payouts from supplemental executive retirement plans. The Argus Leader reports about $15 million was paid as severance and another $29 million was given through the retirement plan, which was started in 1983 specifically for Sanford’s executives. The amount paid to Krabbenhoft upon his departure is shown on the regional health system’s IRS form 990, which is filed annually.
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BISMARCK, ND – Eight more deaths are reported today among those who were positive with COVID-19 (1823). Information from the North Dakota Department of Health lists 780 new positives and 530 newly recovered. The daily positive rate is 10.11%. Active cases rise by 261 to 3,267. Hospitalizations rise by 14 to 161, with 22 of those in ICU.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division has awarded a second contract to Eckert Youth Homes in Williston to expand a statewide residential addiction treatment program currently serving youth, ages 14 to 18, struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. This new contract, which begins in January 2022, will allow Eckert Youth Homes to increase capacity from eight to 10 youth in need of this intensive service after community-based treatment options have been ruled out. The division first contracted with Eckert Youth Homes in February 2020 for the program that has served 70 youth from across the state.
 
“We focus on helping youth and their families understand the complexities of addiction and assist with meeting individualized goals to reach their full potential,” says Dr. Leah Hoffman, clinical director for Eckert Youth Homes. “Seeking treatment can be overwhelming and confusing for families. We value helping families navigate the intricacies of residential treatment.”
 
The program includes a multidisciplinary team that uses multiple interventions to provide a comprehensive approach to treatment addressing the medical, biological, psychological, social and spiritual needs of each youth.
 
“We are pleased to continue to partner with Eckert Youth Homes to ensure residential services are available to support adolescents and their families when that level of service is needed,” said Lacresha Graham, the division’s manager of addiction and recovery program and policy.
 
Funding for the expanded program was provided by the division’s federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
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MINOT, ND – For the second consecutive year, the Minot Public Library has been recognized as a Future-Focused Library by the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council’s Standards for Public Libraries.
 
“It means a lot to be recognized as a library looking to the future,” Library Director Janet Anderson said. “The staff at the Minot Public Library work incredibly hard to provide quality services to the community. This recognition is thanks to every MPL employee who continue to go above and beyond.” Anderson said that it was especially meaningful to receive this recognition for 2020 due to the many challenges the Library faced during the pandemic.
 
The Minot Public Library is one of only two of the 83 public libraries to be recognized as a Future-Focused Library. The Standards for Public Libraries is a three-level system:
 
Developing, Excelling, and Future-Focused. To be recognized as a Future-Focused Library, MPL must meet all the standards in each level, which include offering interlibrary loan services to patrons, conducting programs for all ages, providing community outreach, and adopting policies.
 
“There are a ton of boxes to be checked in order to reach this level,” Anderson explained. “While many of the standards are administrative, I am most proud of the Library’s ability to provide quality programs, unique items for check-out, and attend community events throughout Minot.”
 
The Standards for Public Libraries was created by the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council. a task force appointed by the Governor of North Dakota, and the library community.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 111621 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum signed the final bills of the Legislature’s special session on Monday, approving strategic investments of federal dollars into infrastructure, workforce, economic development and other priorities. The investments include support for a major natural gas pipeline to carry gas from the state’s western oil patch to eastern North Dakota to serve communities and attract new industry – a key proposal from the Burgum-Sanford administration’s Accelerate ND plan.
 
“Combined with tax relief, these strategic investments will benefit North Dakota taxpayers right now and for generations to come. Making these investments will grow and diversify our economy, make our state more competitive, improve the efficiency of government services, avoid inflationary costs and create long-term cost savings for North Dakota taxpayers,” Burgum said. “We’re deeply grateful to legislative leaders and the entire assembly for their collaboration on these priorities. Our shared conservative approach to fiscal management has allowed us to make these one-time investments without growing government while also providing tax relief for half a million North Dakota citizens.”
 
The legislation signed Monday – House Bills 1505 and 1506 and Senate Bill 2345 – strategically invest the state’s allocation from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The largest single investment is $150 million to the North Dakota Industrial Commission for matching grants to support natural gas pipeline infrastructure, including a major east-west natural gas pipeline from the Bakken oil fields.
 
The total also includes $10 million that must be used to transport natural gas to areas in Grand Forks County, where it will support a recently announced wet corn mill. A trans-state natural gas pipeline will help lift the ceiling on oil production in North Dakota by better utilizing the state’s abundant natural gas supplies, while also generating additional state tax revenue that supports the Legacy Fund and other state funds for schools, water projects and outdoor recreation.
 
Other infrastructure investments include:
 
– $317 million for road and bridge projects approved by the Legislature during its regular session last spring, plus $135 in funding authority beyond the regular federal funding in the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s 2021-23 biennium.
 
– $75 million for critical water infrastructure.
 
– $17.9 million for deferred maintenance and capital improvements at state parks, plus $5 million in matching funds to renovate and upgrade existing facilities in local park districts.
 
– $45 million for broadband infrastructure grants to ensure all North Dakotans have high-speed data access that supports education, telehealth, government services and businesses.
 
– $10 million for deferred maintenance at state facilities.
 
The legislation includes several investments to address the state’s workforce shortage, which currently stands at 18,500 online job listings with Job Service North Dakota and an estimated 30,000-plus job openings statewide. These investments include:
 
– $88 million in matching funds for private-sector investment in career centers where high school students can pursue high-demand careers in the trades, tech and other sectors.
 
– $38 million for Bismarck State College to create a Polytechnic Center to help fill the specific needs of industry using hands-on applied learning.
 
– $15 million for adding or expanding local workforce development incentive grants.
 
– $5 million for technical skills training grants and a workforce innovation grant program.
Among the investments in economic development programs and energy projects are:
 
– $20 million for hydrogen development grants as approved by the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority.
 
– $21 million for an ethanol production grants.
 
– $10 million to the Department of Commerce for autonomous agriculture matching grants.
 
– $5 million for the North Dakota Development Fund.
 
Investments in health care and behavioral health include:
 
– $25 million in financial assistance to long-term care facilities and the State Hospital.
 
– $17 million for child care services, $5 million for Medicaid system upgrades, $4 million for community-based health care and $3 million for substance abuse disorder treatment vouchers.
 
– $15 million for the North Dakota Department of Health to build a new Public Health Lab, with the department required to provide a plan for the building to the 2023 Legislature.
 
– $3 million for the Free Through Recovery program.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A Bismarck man accused of physically abusing his infant son has pleaded not guilty to felony charges. 22-year old Jaydenle Bushard waived his right to a preliminary hearing in court Monday and entered the pleas to three counts of felony child abuse.
Last month Bismarck police responded to a call that the 1-month-old baby was unresponsive. A police affidavit says the child had suffered scratches, bruising on both legs, a bruise on his chin, and bruising on the right and back left portion of his head. A doctor told police an X-ray also showed healing injuries that could have occurred two weeks earlier, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Police said Bushard told them he bounced the baby on his leg without supporting the infant’s head, and that the baby hit his head on the wall while being bounced. Authorities say he also told investigators he shook the child for about five seconds after which the infant suffered a seizure. South Central District Judge Douglas Bahr scheduled a trial to begin March 8.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger was jailed for detoxification Monday after Bismarck police responded to a disturbance at a local hotel and found that Rauschenberger was too drunk to take care of himself, authorities said. The 38-year old Rauschenberger has a history of alcohol issues and was waiting to check into a clean room when he entered a room that wasn’t cleaned. He shut the door and refused to answer cleaning staff, police said.
 
Officer Brandon Rosen said in his report that he eventually “found Ryan passed out, face down on the bed.” The officer wrote that Rauschenberger was “intoxicated beyond the point of being able to take care of himself” and he was brought in for detoxification at 1:31 p.m. Rauschenberger was not arrested, The Bismarck Tribune reported. “What he’s in for is not a criminal offense,” Lt. Luke Gardiner said. Rauschenberger did not immediately respond to a message left on his cellphone.
 
Rauschenberger, a Republican, has been tax commissioner for the past seven years. His alcohol problems first came to light in 2014 when he took a leave of absence to complete a 20-day inpatient treatment program in Minnesota. That came after he loaned his vehicle to a man he met while undergoing substance treatment and the man crashed it while driving drunk. Rauschenberger was arrested on a drunken driving charge in September 2017, when a preliminary breath test indicated his blood alcohol content was 0.208%, more than twice the legal limit for driving. As part of his guilty plea, he completed a recommended outpatient treatment program in March 2018. Court documents show Rauschenberger pleaded guilty three months ago in Bismarck Municipal Court to driving with an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and paid a $100 fine. The police citation shows he was stopped at 1:22 a.m. on Aug. 1.
 
Rauschenberger was appointed to tax commissioner at the end of 2013 to fill a vacancy after a resignation. The Republican won a full term in 2014, beating Democrat Jason Astrup with 57% of the vote. He won reelection in 2018, defeating Democrat Kylie Oversen with 61% of the vote. He is up for reelection next year.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Employee housing is a priority as officials make plans for improving and upgrading Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s aging facilities. The park’s planning team is consulting with American Indian tribes and the State Historic Preservation Office about the long range goals for North Dakota’s top tourist attraction.
 
Park Superintendent Wendy Ross has a proposed list of improvements that also include upgrades to administrative facilities, visitor centers, park entrances and parking. Public comments on the plans are due by Nov. 30. Housing is “the No. 1 driver of improvements and deferred maintenance in the park,” Ross said, given the park’s tight quarters and limited housing in western North Dakota. “We need to take care of housing as our No. 1 priority,” she said.
 
Badlands Conservation Alliance President Lillian Crook said her organization will be following the planning process. She’s aware of the housing difficulties from her time on the park staff, and she’s excited about the park’s potential for partnerships, the Bismarck Tribune reported. “The challenge we face when addressing the visitor needs is to balance that with the unspoiled landscape as per the mission of the national parks,” Crook said.
 
Ross would like to see the Painted Canyon visitor center expanded to a “year-round, multi-agency information facility,” rather than a highway rest stop. Partnerships with the state government and the planned Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library could potentially “provide this welcome center to western North Dakota and a gateway to western national parks,” she said.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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