KHRT ND News – 12/08/21

KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 120821 – 1600
VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) – A Valley City man charged with attempted murder has changed his plea to guilty. Twenty-seven-year-old Alex Mooridian previously pleaded not guilty. He’s accused of shooting another man in Valley City last February. The victim has since recovered. The man who was shot told police he woke up to find Mooridian standing over him holding a pistol. The victim says he and Mooridian talked for a moment before the man stood up and grabbed an unloaded assault-style rifle. Officials say that’s when Mooridian shot the man once in the abdomen. Mooridian surrendered at the Valley City Police Department.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced he will travel to Texas next week to visit 125 North Dakota National Guard soldiers serving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Burgum, who serves as commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard, participated in the sendoff ceremony for members of the Bismarck-based 957th Engineer Company before they deployed in October.

While on site, Burgum will receive briefings from North Dakota National Guard officials and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and visit with members of the Bismarck-based multi-role bridge unit as they support U.S. Customs and Border Protection in ongoing efforts to secure the border. The mobilization was requested by the U.S. Army through the National Guard Bureau and is a continuation of the southern border military mission that began in 2018. The 957th is expected to be deployed for about a year.

 
“We’re grateful for the brave men and women of the North Dakota National Guard for their readiness and service to protect our great state and nation, and we look forward to visiting them next week as they support efforts to end this humanitarian crisis and secure the southern border,” Burgum said.
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MINOT, N.D. – Trinity Health announced today that they are extending their visitation guidelines to better serve patients emotionally. Effective today patients at Trinity Hospital and Trinity Hospital – St. Joseph’s will be allowed two visitors at a time, provided they have not been in contact with someone with a contagious disease or been ill themselves. Children will be permitted to visit if they are accompanied by an adult. Visiting hours will be extended from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in most areas. Visiting hours in Behavioral Health Units may vary by program. Visitors are advised to consult with Nursing staff in the individual units.
 
Karen Zimmerman, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care, says as the pandemic continues, it is essential to reassess hospital policy while minimizing the risk of exposure to patients, visitors, and staff. “We recognize that the support visitors offer to patients is an important aspect of patient care,” Zimmerman said. “Studies have shown that allowing patients to spend more time with friends and family can improve outcomes by reducing feelings of isolation and anxiety.”
 
One noteworthy change is that patients in isolation rooms will now be able to have a limited number of visitors under special guidance that includes donning PPE, among other precautions. Visitors will be requested to leave the facility directly after visiting someone in isolation. Visitors will be screened upon entry and mask requirements will continue to be enforced at all Trinity Health facilities. Hospital cafeterias, lobbies, and waiting rooms will also be open. As always, Trinity Health reserves the right to amend restrictions as warranted based on changes in the community’s health status. Full visitor guidelines are located at www.trinityhealth.org.
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MINOT, ND – The KHRT Horn of Plenty received a surprise gift today. The Trinity Health Foundation presented a check to Horn of Plenty administrator Roy Leavitt for more than $16,000. Foundation Director Dusty Zimmerman says the funds were primarily raised among Trinity Health employees. This year’s total is $3,000 more than last year donation. Zimmerman says that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected workers at Trinity. Having seen the effects first hand she notes many of them have become more compassionate and graceful to those in need. Zimmerman says the Trinity Health Foundation deeply involved in supporting local communities.
 
Leavitt says the funds will be used to brighten the Christmas of nearly 250 families this year. In it’s 38th year, the KHRT Horn of Plenty provides needy families in the area with a week to two weeks of food, including everything needed for a Christmas day meal, toys for the kids, and a ministry gift, which this year is a Bible. Deliveries will begin this weekend.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 120821 – 1200
 
MINOT, ND – On Sunday at 11:00 AM area law enforcement officers and North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police – Souris Valley Regional Lodge #7 will be again participating in the annual “Cops and Kids” shopping event at Walmart in Minot. This event brings children in need from throughout the Northwest and North Central regions of the state, together with law enforcement officers for a day of shopping for the holiday season. Each child is budgeted $150, which the child may spend on whatever they wish. All funds are 100% donated by area organizations, businesses, and individuals. The children are selected and referred for participation by their schools and social services programs.
 
This year’s event is expected to be the biggest in it’s history in the Magic City, with over 100 area children being referred to Lodge #7 for participation. All participants have already been selected. This event has proven year after year to be, not only a rewarding time for both the officers and kids, but to be a fun way to connect with and establish positive relationships with the children and their families.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – On Nov. 16, the U.S. Army appointed nine new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) during an investiture ceremony at the Pentagon. Among these CASA appointees was Shelly Sizer for the state of North Dakota. She replaces Connie Sprynczynatyk, who has served in this position since 2011. Sprynczynatyk was named Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army emerita in recognition of a decade of service.
 
According to the U.S. Army, CASAs are business and community leaders appointed by the Secretary to advise and support Army leaders across the country. They promote good relations between the Army and the public, advise the Secretary about regional issues, support the total Army workforce, and assist with recruiting and helping our Soldiers as they transition out of the military.
 
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Shelly Sizer retired from the North Dakota Army National Guard after 40 years of service. In her final assignment, she served as the North Dakota Army National Guard’s command chief warrant officer from 2014 until her retirement in 2018.
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MINOT, ND – EPIC Companies, based out of Minot and West Fargo, closed on the Midwest Federal Building in downtown Minot on Monday. It was recently a finalist for the new City Hall, but otherwise it has been permanently vacant for nearly 20 years. The M building was last temporarily used by construction managers on the downtown parking ramps, which were finished in early 2016.
 
Midwest Federal also known as “The Big M and M Building” first opened in 1963 as Minot Federal Bank. Minot residents remember multiple businesses being in this location including: The Shirley Room, Arnold Theater, Embers, Midwest Federal Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield, New York Life, Minot Center for Family Medicine, and many others. Current U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris was based out of the building, when she was Attorney General of California while on the disaster relief board when the flood occurred in 2011. Her name tag is still there today!
 
The Big M on its roof established the eight-story former Midwest Federal Savings Bank as a Minot landmark, and many memories were made by folks who entered the building’s doors over the past 58 plus years. Due to its size and height, the M Building is visible from a large portion of the city, making it the focal point of downtown.
 
“It will be a tremendous boost to the community to have the Big M building revitalized and once again a productive asset for the Magic City,” said Mayor Shaun Sipma.
 
According to Governor’s Burgum’s Main Street Initiative, the main goal is keeping a bustling and busy downtown with prosperous businesses and accessible living. Governor Burgum’s Main Street initiative pushes for mixed-use properties and walkable districts. The future of this development heads towards action and entertainment providing a better quality of life for the community.
 
The long-term plan for The Big M is to keep the look of the building with black glass and to restore the large, orange Big M that was placed on top in 1971. The original Big M was acquired by Chuck Kramer with I Keating Furniture World and donated to Magic City Campus in 2001 for Duane Carlson Field after the telemarketing firm Z-Tel replaced the M with a Z.
 
“The more and more we learn about downtowns, we have realized how important it is to restore the culture and continue to breathe life into the area. It seems downtowns are the heart of many cities and Minot’s is no different. With the addition of High Third, The Ironhorse and many more businesses in downtown Minot, we are proud to join other developers who have invested a lot to keep the area successful,” said McKenzy Braaten, Vice President of Communications at EPIC Companies. EPIC received the Main Street initiative award in 2019 at the Main Street Summit for their work in conjunction with the City of West Fargo revamping their downtown area.
 
“The sale of the former Midwest Federal Building is a sign of confidence in Minot and downtown. The building is an iconic part of Minot’s past and our skyline and we’re excited to see plans for its redevelopment and reuse.” said Josh Wolsky, Interim Direction of Minot Downtown Business and Professional Association.
 
It will bring back an underutilized building in downtown and spark life once again in it, improving the vertical landscape of the area. The Big M will have around 36 residential units, 10,000 square feet of commercial space, and the renovation is valued at $10+ million. EPIC also plans to develop a skyway connecting to the current Minot parking ramps to better utilize them and provide an enclosed walkway for residential and commercial tenants who want protected parking. Sitting vacant over the last few years, this building has not brought a large taxable value to the community, but after removal of asbestos and other building issues the tax value will be restored for this property.
 
“The future is mixed-use in order to maximize space and create valuable properties that cater to active communities we need to continue restoring properties we have as well as developing new ones,” said McKenzy Braaten, Vice President of Communications at EPIC Companies. “The EPIC team is proud to be a part of the Minot community with an office in town along with many of us having ties to the community. Charlie Muus, Vice President of Operations at EPIC, dad Dick Muus was the former president at Midwest Federal.”
 
Other notable Minot projects that EPIC has developed include Beaver Ridge, Park South I & II, Blu on Broadway (recently opened on October 1st) and in development is The Tracks. EPIC Companies has experience developing mixed-use buildings and entertainment spaces including The Lights in West Fargo, The Beacon in Grand Forks, the redevelopment of downtown West Fargo (Sheyenne Plaza, Pioneer Place, the POW/MIA Plaza and The Firm), Gateway by EPIC in downtown Fargo, and EOLA by EPIC in south Fargo just to name a few. EPIC Companies also has other projects in Bismarck, Fargo, West Fargo, Jamestown, Grand Forks, Minot, and Detroit Lakes.
 
EPIC Events, an offshoot of EPIC Companies, recently announced a partnership with the Norsk Høstfest to help co-promote the 2022 event. Dates for that were announced last month as September 28th, 29th, 30th and October 1st, 2022, with performing acts to be announced soon.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 120821 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – Minot voters have approved Minot Public Schools bonding issues which are a little over $100-million. According to the Ward County Auditor’s Office, the first question passed with roughly 84% of the vote. It approved $84.8 million that would fund a 9-12 high school at the site of the former Cognizant building in northwest Minot, turn Magic City Campus from an 11-12 high school campus into a 9-12 high school and turn Central Campus from a 9-10 high school campus into a third in-town middle school for grades 6-8.
 
The second question to approve an additional $24.2 million to pay for construction of a 50-meter competition swimming pool, new turf and an athletic complex at the school passed with roughly 78% of the vote. The third question to approve raising the debt ceiling to allow the district’s debt to be at 10% of its assessed property value also passed.
 
Minot Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Vollmer says it isn’t just about a new high school, it’s about realigning the way we offer educational opportunities for our kids.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Older adults and adults with physical disabilities have long-term care options. The North Dakota Department of Human Services is hosting two lunchtime webinars in December to raise awareness about how North Dakotans can get connected to existing in-home and community-based programs and services and who qualifies for them. Individuals can participate online or by phone.
 
The Thursday, Dec. 9 webinar from 12 to 12:30 p.m. CST spotlights the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Link (ADRL). Participants will learn about the ADRL information and referral service and how trained intake specialists connect individuals to services and support.
 
On Thursday, Dec. 16, 12-12:30 p.m. CST, department team members will give a brief overview of in-home and community-based service programs funded by the state and federal government and the functional and financial requirements of each program. Presenters will briefly discuss Medicaid State Plan personal services, Medicaid waiver for Home and Community-Based Services, the Service Payments for the Elderly and Disabled (SPED) program, and the Expanded Service Payments for the Elderly and Disabled (Ex-SPED) program.
 
Older adults and other adults who could benefit from additional help to continue living independently at home, their family members, guardians, and community entities that offer services that support independent living are encouraged to participate online or by conference call.
 
These and future webinars will be recorded and available for viewing at https://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/adultsaging/. Individuals who need disability accommodations to participate can contact Michele Curtis at 701-328-8679, 711 (TTY) or mimcurtisnd.gov.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – State data shows North Dakotans poured more than $1.3 billion into electronic pull tab machines in fiscal 2021, nearly double the amount spent in the previous fiscal year. According to the Attorney General’s Office, which oversees gambling in the state, Gamblers already have wagered more than $563 million in the first four months of the current fiscal year. North Dakota’s top gambling regulator believes pull tab activity should easily set another record again this year. Lawmakers approved the games in 2017 but they were not launched until August 2018. There are now more than 3,700 machines at over 700 sites in 51 of North Dakota’s 53 counties.
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FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota Air National Guard, known as the Happy Hooligans, bid farewell to its senior enlisted leader Saturday, Dec. 4, as Chief Master Sgt. Duane “Dewey” Kangas retired during a ceremony at the base in Fargo. Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for air, presided over the ceremony.
 
“A person like Dewey bounces from different jobs always in search of personal and professional growth,” said Anderson during his remarks. “The career path he took was much more than timing, much more than being the right person at the right place and time – you have to work at that – and it really fed into his ability to lead in a senior leadership position with the North Dakota Air National Guard.”
 
In honor of his service and achievements during his more than 36-year career, Anderson presented the Meritorious Service Medal to Kangas during the ceremony. As the state command chief master sergeant, Kangas advised senior North Dakota National Guard leaders on matters concerning discipline, morale, welfare, effective utilization, professional development and career progression of the state’s Airmen.
 
“Representing the 119th as Command Chief was rewarding and humbling, and the great men and women of the wing made the job a lot easier as they kept winning outstanding unit award after outstanding unit award,” said Kangas during his remarks. “It’s been a great ride and I want you to know you are all like a second family to me, and I love you all.”
 
Kangas, a native of Pine River, Minnesota, began his career upon his enlistment into the U.S. Air Force in September 1984. He completed technical training at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill., in March 1985 and served on active duty as an aerospace ground equipment mechanic until 1988. Kangas joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1989. He cross-trained in 2000 to become an F-16 aircraft maintenance phase inspector. In 2002, he was chosen for a quality assurance position, capitalizing on his many years of experience as an aircraft maintenance technician. In 2006, Kangas was selected as the 119th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant, a position that saw him deploy to five different countries in four years. In 2010, he was chosen as the 119th Mission Support Group first sergeant, and in 2011, he was selected as the 119th Wing first sergeant. Prior to his role as state command chief, Kangas served as the 119th Wing Command Chief from 2016 until 2020.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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