KHRT ND News – 12/10/21

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 121021 – 1200
FARGO, N.D. (AP) – A young person was arrested for making violent threats on social media at a West Fargo middle school. The West Fargo Police Department said students at Liberty Middle School tipped a security officer to the threat made on Snapchat Thursday. Police made the arrest roughly an hour after the threat was reported. Police say the young person did not intend to carry out any of the violent acts. But they arrested the individual because the threat caused fear and safety concerns.
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BISMARCK, ND – The weekly COVID-19 report from the North Dakota Health Department lists a rolling 14-day positivity rate of 7.3%. There were 2,510 new positives for the period of December 4-10. Active cases are down 617 to 2,775. Hospitalizations are at 156, down 21 over the week. Deaths among those who were positive rise by 32 this week. Vaccination rates include 50.2% of residents age 5 and older (377,506) that are fully vaccinated. 57.8% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated (351,432).
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MINOT, ND – Getting a traffic ticket in Minot will cost you a little bit more money after the Minot City Council approved on first reading increases in some fees on Dec. 6. In 2019, the North Dakota Legislature passed a bill allowing municipalities to adjust some traffic fines by as much as 100 percent of the state’s fine schedule. The Council this week approved changes to City ordinance to increase fines on a variety of traffic violations. Capt. Justin Sundheim of the Minot Police Department presented a list of changes to Council members, who unanimously approved the updated fines. It includes a minimum $80 fine for speeding in a construction zone. The changes become effective Jan. 1, 2022, it they are approved on second reading at the Dec. 20 Council meeting.
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BISMARCK, ND – Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) has awarded $187,730 to individual artists and $508,120 to non-profit arts organizations in North Dakota. In addition, through a regional partnership with Arts Midwest, an additional $117,515 has been designated to ND arts organizations, also funded through partnership agreements with the National Endowment for the Arts.
 
Individuals and organizations, defined as those whose primary mission is to promote and provide connections through creative expression by sharing creative experiences, expressing their own creativity, or connecting people with their local and statewide communities through the arts, were eligible to receive funding. A grand total of 244 applications totaling $2,762,555 in requests were received, which made for a very competitive process.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 121021 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Only a few of the tens of thousands of people who may be eligible have taken advantage of a policy that lets those with low-level marijuana convictions in North Dakota petition have their records wiped clean if they avoid unlawful behavior for five years. Records show only 51 of the 70 people who applied have been granted pardons in the two years the policy has been in place. Another three people, who were recommended for pardons last month by an advisory board, are awaiting approval by the governor.
 
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem both support the change, which brings North Dakota in line with some other states and cities that have been trying to fix problems that such past convictions have caused for people trying to find jobs and housing. Stenehjem estimated as many as 175,000 marijuana convictions over several decades could be eligible for pardons under the policy. Burgum has said the policy change could help address North Dakota’s workforce shortage and grow its economy. He said removing the stigma for what in many cases are minor cases from years ago gives former offenders a second chance and allows them to contribute to their communities.
 
North Dakota already had allowed people to apply for pardons to remove marijuana-related offenses from their records, but the process was burdensome. While the new policy doesn’t go as far as other states that automatically dismiss or pardon convictions, it does involve an application process. People applying for pardons must complete a 1 1/2-page form that law enforcement reviews before placing a case on the pardon board’s agenda. It costs nothing to apply.
 
Burgum’s spokesman said the number of applicants seeking to have their pot convictions erased has “slowed to a dwindle.” Only eight applications were received last month in the fourth round of the summary pardons. Five of the eight were returned because the applications were incomplete.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum on Thursday advocated for North Dakota interests and priorities in meetings with top leaders from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) during the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) winter meeting in California. Burgum met with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and also had one-on-one meetings scheduled with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, FERC Chairman Richard Glick and Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the United States.
 
“North Dakota plays a key role in feeding and fueling the nation and the world, so it’s crucial that federal leaders understand and appreciate the challenges and opportunities facing our state. We’re grateful for their time and attentiveness, and to WGA for providing a forum for these important conversations that can yield real results for the state of North Dakota, the tribal nations with whom we share geography, and all our citizens,” Burgum said. “Our administration continues to promote innovation over regulation as the best path to success for our key agriculture and energy sectors and our economy as a whole, contributing to U.S. food and energy security that benefits us all.”
 
Burgum urged Haaland to direct Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to avoid further delay in resuming normal lease auctions of federal lands for oil and gas exploration as ordered by a federal judge in August. North Dakota sued Interior and the BLM after they suspended new oil and gas leases – which are required by law – in January 2020, shortly after President Biden took office. The governor also highlighted the potential of North Dakota’s “geologic jackpot” of underground storage capacity for carbon dioxide to help achieve carbon neutrality, support an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes baseload coal power, and decarbonize baseload as a fast and economic approach to stabilizing the grid. In 2018, North Dakota became the first state to achieve primacy from the federal government to oversee Class VI injection wells for carbon dioxide, creating a regulatory framework to permit and attract carbon storage projects and to ensure that landowners are fairly compensated, and Burgum recommended Interior work with tribal nations to allow carbon storage and royalty payments under tribal trust lands as well.
 
In addition, Burgum and Haaland discussed the importance of completing the Garrison Diversion project to meet irrigation and water supply needs in central and eastern North Dakota; fixing the impassable South Unit scenic drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park; tribal gaming; and efforts to reduce incidences of missing and murdered indigenous women. “With its many agencies touching land, water, tribal affairs, mining, parks, fish and wildlife, Interior’s impact across North Dakota is huge, and it’s critical that we stay engaged on these and other important issues,” Burgum said.
 
The WGA represents the governors of 19 western states and three U.S. territories, supporting bipartisan policy development, the exchange of best practices and ideas, and collective action on issues of critical importance to the western United States such as agriculture, energy, water economic development and natural resource development.
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Tribal communities in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota are working together on a project that would reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Minneapolis-based Native Sun Community Power Development plans to collaborate with Standing Rock Renewable Energy Authority and two dozen other partners to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
 
The Upper Midwest Inter-Tribal Electric Vehicle Charging Community Network will link tribal communities spread across nearly 500 miles in the three states, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $6.7 million grant to get the project going. The team plans to create 120 electric vehicle charging stations and purchase at least 19 electric vehicles to be used by reservation schools, utilities, casinos and tribal governments. Standing Rock Renewable Energy Authority and Native Sun are among 25 nationwide projects awarded funding by the Department of Energy.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – In accordance with an amended proclamation from President Joe Biden, Gov. Doug Burgum has directed all government agencies to continue flying the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff through Saturday, Dec. 11, and encourages North Dakotans to do the same at their homes and businesses, in honor and remembrance of World War II veteran and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who died Sunday. Flags were originally set to return to full-staff today. The president has extended the half-staff order through midnight Saturday.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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