KHRT ND News – 11/24/21

KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 112421 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted his request for another extension of the hours of service waiver for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting water and livestock feed to help North Dakota livestock producers affected by continuing drought conditions. Burgum first granted a similar 30-day waiver in an executive order Sept. 22, and the FMCSA previously extended the waiver through Nov. 23. Under the new extension, the waiver will remain in effect through Dec. 24 or until the end of the emergency, whichever is earlier.
 
In a letter Tuesday, FMCSA Regional Field Administrator Scott Hernandez explained that the extension “provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting water and livestock feed including hay into the State of North Dakota, or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the drought emergency in the State of North Dakota.”
 
Today’s U.S. Drought Monitor report shows 9% of North Dakota remains in extreme drought, mostly in the northwest corner, while 33% is in severe drought, 30% is in moderate drought and 21% is rated as abnormally dry.
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BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is urging parents to get children vaccinated against influenza. Getting vaccinated has been shown to reduce illness, doctor visits, missed days of work and school. Influenza vaccine also decreases the risk of flu-related hospitalization and death in children.
 
“According to the North Dakota Immunization Information System (NDIIS), 13,000 fewer doses of influenza vaccine have been administered to children this fall compared to the same time last year. During the 2020-2021 influenza season, childhood influenza vaccination rates were 61%, a decline from the 2019-2020 season of 69.1%,” said NDDoH Immunization Surveillance Coordinator, Danielle Pinnick.
 
“Influenza is not a stomach bug, as many commonly believe. It is a common respiratory disease spread through coughs, sneezes, shared saliva and the touching of contaminated surfaces,” said Dr. Nizar Wehbi, ND State Health Officer. “Children are especially vulnerable to influenza. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be effective and peak flu season is ahead. For maximum protection, it is important that parents seek out a flu vaccine for their child as soon as possible.”
 
The severity of influenza can range from mild to deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that from the 2010-2011 season to the 2019-2020 season, flu-related hospitalizations in children younger than age 5 have ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 in the U.S. The CDC’s most recent FluView reports an increase in flu activity that could mark the beginning of the 2021-2022 flu season.
Everyone who is older than six months of age is recommended to be vaccinated against influenza. Children younger than nine who are receiving the vaccine for the first time this year are recommended to have a two-dose series. Children younger than age five, American Indian children, and those with underlying health conditions, including asthma and diabetes, are at higher risk for flu-related complications. Children younger than six months of age cannot be vaccinated against influenza, which is why those who are pregnant or who will be around infants should be vaccinated.
 
Influenza vaccinations are offered at most North Dakota pharmacies, clinics and local public health units. For assistance finding influenza vaccines near you, please visit vaccines.gov or contact your primary care provider.

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MINOT, ND – The 2022 Norsk Høstfest has been scheduled for the end of September following an agreement with EPIC Events of North Dakota. The official dates for the 4-day festival will be Wednesday, September 28th through Saturday, October 1st 2022. North America’s largest Scandinavian festival has been sidelined for two years due to COVID-19 and its associated travel restrictions. The newly re-formed Høstfest Board of Directors have hired the West Fargo and Minot based firm, EPIC Events, to book the entertainment, sponsorship, design, and logistical arrangements.

 
“It is exciting to know that Norsk Høstfest 2022 is in capable hands, and I am thankful that the beautiful relationship with our Sister City of Skien, Norway, will continue to thrive,” said Pam Davy, Former Executive Director.
 
The 2022 Høstfest will bring back multiple features that the community has grown to love including dining, entertainment, shopping, attractions, RV camping, and more. They are also planning on hosting seven concert including a 1PM show and a 7PM show daily except for Wednesday as the 1PM show will be replaced with an opening ceremony. EPIC Events is also working on developing a 5k and 10k race that will take place during the 2022 festival.
 
Norsk Høstfest Board President Tim Mihalick said “We are excited to announce the upcoming dates for the 2022 festival as people are starting to plan for the New Year. The dates align with previous years along with returning to a 4-day festival which had been the case in the past. Our goal is to retain the previous visitors to the festival but also attract even more attendees nationwide.” Mihalick noted that local volunteers that have made Høstfest possible through its first four successful decades will continue to be essential to the festival’s return. He says sponsorships have also played a key role in making Høstfest viable over the years. He’s optimistic that businesses who have faithfully supported the event will continue to be a large part of the festival. We continue to look for multi-year partnerships with stakeholders and vendors.
 
“Diving into all the ins and outs of previous festival years along with reaching out to bring in new opportunities has allowed us to continue our collaboration process and enhance what we have offered for attendees in the past,” said spokeswoman for EPIC Events, McKenzy Braaten.
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MINOT, ND – EPIC Companies, based out of West Fargo, plans to construct a development similar to The Lights in West Fargo and The Beacon in Grand Forks on the south side of Minot, ND near the new Trinity Hospital. The Tracks will be a master-planned mixed-use development with two programmable plazas anchoring the site. This development includes seven mixed-use buildings with both commercial and residential space and will also have an outdoor artificial ice hockey rink, green space, a water feature, walking paths, a small stage, underground parking for tenants, and programmable community activities.

“The Tracks will be a tremendous asset to the community and build upon the premise of the live, work and play mentality of the Magic City. We are proud to have a partner in EPIC Companies to see this next phase of Minot take shape,” said Mayor Shaun Sipma.

The Tracks will be developed in phases starting with phase I construction kicking off in the spring of 2022 with the first two buildings. Building one will be named “Maverick” and building two will be named “Roughrider” to pay homage to the theme. Phase II will follow with the next two buildings and the public plaza spaces coming online in time for the phase I openings. Phase III will include the next set of buildings, parking structure, and the remaining part of the public plaza. The plan is for the entire development to be completed in 2026.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 112421 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Reported income by all North Dakota residents and the number of filers dropped last year largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state Tax Department reported Tuesday. Figures released to The Associated Press show the reported gross income by North Dakotans dropped by 8.4 % in 2020, while the number of filers dropped by more than 18,000 from the year before. Tax Department records show the average adjusted gross income in the state decreased from $65,829 in 2019 to $62,696 last year, a nearly 5% drop.
 
“Given the COVID-related shutdowns, and the weeks of negative oil prices, a drop of 5% in average income per return is not nearly as bad as we anticipated,” Tax Department analyst Kathy Strombeck said.
 
North Dakota’s oil industry has helped increase wages throughout the state and created hundreds of high-paying jobs for more than a decade. It also has an effect on other industries, including wholesale trade and manufacturing. The numbers are still well above the pre-oil boom numbers a decade ago. In 2006, there were 339,000 filers, with an average adjusted gross income of about $43,300.
 
North Dakota has about 18,500 online job openings at present, according to Job Service North Dakota. Gov. Doug Burgum and other state officials often say the actual number is closer to 30,000. Although the state’s economy has been hurt by the lack of workers, a growing population and rebounding oil prices have helped keep tax collections at near-record levels.
 
Oil prices are a key contributor to the wealth of North Dakota and the state’s crude production has recovered somewhat from last summer’s lows, but it’s far from the record 1.5 million barrels per day produced in late 2019. North Dakota’s oil production was about 1.1 million barrels per day in September, the latest figures available. Prices for North Dakota crude were 32% higher in than the state’s tax revenue forecast. The state’s population is estimated to be a record 779,000, which would mean it has grown by 16% over the past decade.
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MINOT, ND – If you need to get tested for COVID-19 this Thanksgiving weekend, the North Dakota Department of Health can help. The North Dakota Department of Health will be offering free COVID testing on Friday and Saturday from 8:30am – 1:00pm on a walk-in basis. The testing will be done in the Old Armory at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. Park in the north lot and enter through the far northeast door. Masks are required.
 
No appointments are needed, but everyone to be tested should pre-register at testreg.nd.gov. Anyone can be tested, regardless of residency or reason for testing, and all tests are free. Both the PCR molecular test and the BinaxNow rapid test will be available. Results of the PCR test will be available within 72 hours, and the results of the rapid tests will be available in 2 hours. More information can be found at www.fdhu.org.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Human Services announced that it will be hosting webinars beginning this month to spotlight services it funds that give adults with physical disabilities and older adults options beyond nursing home care. The first webinar is scheduled for today from 12 to 12:30 p.m. CST, and will focus on community supports and residential habilitation services that can include training to help people develop self-help and adaptive skills, as well as up to 24-hour daily support in qualifying individuals’ home.
 
Community entities that work with adults with physical disabilities who need support to live in the community are encouraged to participate online or by conference call. Individuals who could benefit from services and their family members are also welcome to join the webinar. Webinars will be recorded and available for viewing at https://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/adultsaging/. Individuals who need disability accommo-dations to participate can contact Michele Curtis at 701-328-8679, 711 (TTY) or mimcurtisnd.gov .
 
Approved during the 2019 legislative session, residential habilitation and community support are all-inclusive programs, meaning care is coordinated and includes a wide range of service options to meet individual needs. Services may include care coordination, homemaker services, meal preparation, personal care services such as dressing and bathing, medication management, supervision, transportation, help developing social skills and community connections and more. Community entities must be enrolled as an agency qualified service provider (QSP) and complete required training to be paid to provide these in-home and community-based services.
 
The Aging and Adult Services Division works with partners to help older adults and adults with physical disabilities remain living in their own homes and communities. The division also acts to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents of long-term care settings and vulnerable adults living in the community. North Dakotans can get help finding in-home and community-based long-term services and support by contacting the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Link toll-free at 855-462-5465, 711 (TTY) or email carechoicend.gov. Individuals can also apply for these services online or search the online database at https://carechoice.nd.assistguide.net/.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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