KHRT ND News – 12/03/21

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 120321 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – Who’s ready for a snowstorm? National Weather Service forecasters say accumulating snow is likely in areas around and north of the I-94 corridor. A narrow band of moderate to heavy snow is expected somewhere over northern and central North Dakota Saturday and Saturday night. Total snow accumulations between 4 and 7 inches possible. Higher amounts possible within heavier snow bands. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Travel could be very difficult. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.
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BISMARCK, ND – The Highway Patrol has released the name of a woman killed when she crossed a road to help a motorist whose vehicle was disabled near Killdeer. The patrol says 73-year old Elaine Fettig of Killdeer had pulled over on the shoulder of the highway and was walking across the road to assist a driver who had a flat tire. Authorities say a 58-year old man from Berthold was wasn’t able to avoid Fettig and struck her with his pickup. Fettig died at the scene. The crash happened about 4:30 pm Wednesday. The patrol says it was dark and cloudy at the time. The investigation continues.
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RUGBY, ND – Rugby residents have voted for an addition and renovation of Ely Elementary School. Rugby Public School District hosted three public meetings and gathered input through a community survey. The district noted a need for additional space for a rising special education population, courses in STEM careers, physical education, music and much more for the 56-year-old school. District Superintendent Mike McNeff says due to expiring debt and one-time federal COVID-19 relief funds, the project will be completed with no increase to the school’s mill levy. The referendum passed Wednesday with 79 percent approval, in unofficial results.
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BISMARCK, ND – The weekly COVID-19 report from the North Dakota Department of Health list 3,401 new positives from Nov. 26 – Dec. 3rd. The 14-day rolling positive rate is 7.7%. Active cases are up 384 over the week to 3,392. Hospitalizations are at 177, down one. There were 39 deaths over the week among those who were positive.
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NEW TOWN, N.D. – Leadership with Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College said Thursday they have plans to forgive $1.3 million in student debt. The news follows an August announcement that more than $200,000 in debt was forgiven for students enrolled from fall of 2020 through summer of 2021. The new round of debt forgiveness was sparked by the difficulties students continue to face from the coronavirus pandemic. “Our students persisted and thrived in the face of COVID-19, but it was clear to our leadership and Board of Directors that our students continue to be significantly impacted by the worldwide pandemic,” said Dr. Twyla Baker, NHSC president. Student balances from the fall of 2021 will not be eligible for forgiveness.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 120321 – 0700
 
BIMSARCK, N.D. (AP) – The cost of North Dakota’s special five-day session last month is within the amount allotted, a legislative budget analyst said Thursday. Figures released to The Associated Press show costs incurred by taxpayers total just more than $301,000. About $316,000 was budgeted for the session, highlighted by redistricting legislation and the spending of nearly the entire amount of the $1.1 billion in federal coronavirus aid available to the state. The Republican-led Legislature also approved policy-related measures, including bills banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates and the teaching of certain concepts about race and racism in public schools.
 
Eleven of the Legislature’s 141 members had not submitted lodging and mileage expenses as of Thursday, said Allen Knudson, the lead budget analyst at the Legislative Council, the Legislature’s research arm. “We expect the final cost of the special session to be very close to the amount budgeted,” Knudson said.
 
Legislators make $189 daily while in session. Each day they are in a special or reconvened session costs taxpayers about $64,000, budget writers estimate. In addition to their daily legislative pay, the House speaker and majority and minority leaders of both parties get an extra $15 daily. Committee chairmen and assistant floor leaders are paid an additional $10. Legislators who do not live in Bismarck or Mandan are eligible for a housing allowance. Motel bills are reimbursed up to $87 a night, plus tax. Lawmakers also may claim 56 cents a mile for travel. There is no meal allowance when the Legislature is in session. Lawmakers are paid $518 a month and $186 a day during a regular session. They also receive a housing allowance during the session of more than $1,800 a month and are included on the state-funded employee health plan worth about $1,425 monthly.
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FARGO, N.D. (PNS) – The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a high-stakes abortion case. It coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud, mask mandates and school curriculum, and recent findings suggest many Americans could use more civics knowledge as they debate the issues.
 
This fall, the Annenberg Public Policy Center released its annual survey of overall public “smarts” about the branches of government. Adults who correctly named all three branches increased to 56%, the highest since the survey began in 2006. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, called it woefully inadequate.
 
“If one doesn’t understand that there are three branches, doesn’t understand the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, that lack of knowledge increases the likelihood that when asked whether someone thinks that if the Supreme Court issues unpopular rulings, it might be best to get rid of the Supreme Court, a person is more likely to say yes,” Jamieson cautioned.
 
Some divisive issues in the scope of government and constitutional protections have surfaced in North Dakota, including the state taking part in a lawsuit to overturn a workplace vaccine requirement for COVID-19. Mask-mandate debates also surfaced at many school board meetings across the state this fall.
 
While there has been more conversation about boosting civics education in schools, Jamieson feels the responsibility lies with the public in general to learn more. She added foundational knowledge of government is always important, but must be stressed in times like these.
“In an environment in which the branches are under stress, it becomes more important — not less — that the public understand why the founders set up the structure that we have,” Jamieson argued. She pointed out the news media can help by including more information when reporting on legislation or other matters related to government.
 
The survey revealed 61% of Americans incorrectly believe under the First Amendment that Facebook is required to allow all people to express themselves freely on the platform. And just over one in three people surveyed knew the correct lengths of terms for federal lawmakers.
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BISMARCK, ND – After record high temps on Wednesday, forecasters say accumulating snow is possible this weekend. The National Weather Service says accumulating snow is likely in areas around and north of the I-94 corridor. A narrow band of moderate to heavy snow is expected somewhere over northern and central North Dakota on Saturday and Saturday night. Some locations will likely receive 6 or more inches of snow, but the placement of the heaviest part of the band remains highly uncertain. Gusty winds Saturday afternoon through Sunday may cause areas of blowing and drifting snow, with lower visibility at times. Reduced visibility and slippery roads are possible.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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