KHRT ND News – 12/17/21

KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 121721 – 1200
BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced today he will not seek re-election in 2022. Stenehjem is the longest-serving attorney general in North Dakota history, having held the position for 21 years. He was elected as the state’s 29th attorney general in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. Stenehjem also served in the North Dakota Legislature for 24 years, including four years in the House and 20 years in the Senate, where he was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995-2000. Stenehjem, who is 68 years old, said he plans to retire.
“Wayne Stenehjem is the epitome of a dedicated public servant. We are deeply grateful for his more than four decades of exemplary service to the State of North Dakota, both as a legislator and attorney general, a position he held longer than his three predecessors combined,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “As the state’s top law enforcement officer for more than 20 years, Wayne’s chief concern has always been the safety and well-being of North Dakota citizens, and our state is a better place because of his devoted service. We very much look forward to partnering with him on important initiatives during his remaining time in office to keep our state moving forward.”
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an appeal by developers of the Dakota Access oil pipeline who are seeking to reinstate a federal permit for the line’s Missouri River crossing. Early this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed part of a lower court order that revoked the permit and required a new environmental review of the pipeline. Standing Rock and other Sioux tribes argue that the high court should decline the developer’s petition to hear the case because appeals courts are not split on the issues surrounding the dispute, which can lead to the Supreme Court taking the case.


DICKINSON, ND – Morton County Sheriff’s Deputies and North Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers were called to investigate a semi-truck that ran off the roadway on I94 near milepost 145 of the eastbound lane around 5:20 PM on Wednesday. Once on scene, law enforcement found the driver of the truck behind the wheel, unresponsive with no pulse. Troopers have identified the driver as 62-year old Jeff Mayer of Dickinson. CPR and life saving measures were initiated however Mayer was later pronounced dead on scene. No foul play appears to be involved and it is not clear if this event is a medical emergency that initiated a traffic incident. The incident is still under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
BISMARCK, ND – The weekly COVID-19 report from the North Dakota Department of Health lists 2,515 active cases, down 260. Four counties have more than 100 active cases led by Cass with 843, Burleigh has 272, Grand Forks with 205, and Ward has 171. There were 2,410 new positives from December 11th – 17th. The 14-day rolling positivity rate is 6.3%. There are 146 hospitalized, down 10. There were 33 more people who were positive this week that died, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 1,977.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 121721 – 0700
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Department of Health has updated hospital capacity. They say hospitalizations remain very high statewide-for COVID-19 as well as other illnesses and injuries-with only 8.4% of all inpatient hospital beds and 4.6% of all ICU beds currently available on December 15. Stark and Adams counties had no ICU beds available, while Williams and Grand Forks counties had 1 ICU bed each. Cass, Burleigh, and Stutsman counties each had 2 ICU beds available and Ward County had 3. Health officials are asking at this critical time, please take precautions to stay out of the hospital, including being up to date on your immunizations and practicing injury prevention.
Health officials also report that according to the NDDoH COVID-19 Dashboard for the week of December 12, active cases are 4.3x higher among those not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated. Active hospitalizations are 3.8x higher among those not fully vaccinated than the fully vaccinated.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new monthly survey of bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows the economy remains strong in the region, but some bankers said they are worried about how inflation will affect farmers. The overall economic index slipped from November’s 67.7 to 66.7 in December but any score above 50 suggests growth. The report released Thursday said high inflation is a concern as land costs and the price of supplies farmers need are expected to keep growing next year. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
BISMARCK, ND – Cold weather has settled into North Dakota and forecasters with the National Weather Service advise people to get used to it. They say near to below average temperatures are forecast in the week leading up to Christmas.
There is a moderate to high risk (40 to 60% chance) for much below normal temperatures for December 24 – 27 across parts of western and central North Dakota. Based on similar weather patterns in the past, there is a 40-50% chance of at least 2 inches of snow, so hazardous travel around the Christmas holiday is possible.
Daily high temperatures at times could range 10 to 15 degrees below average. (In general, average highs in mid to late December are in the lower to mid 20s). There is a 90% chance for wind chills to be colder than -20°F in the December 23 – 29 period.
Colder than normal temperatures are expected to continue through January, which is typical during La Niña. This does not mean that there won’t be mild periods, but the overall temperature pattern is expected to be below average, especially in the northern half of North Dakota.
There is some indication of above average precipitation during this period as well. This signal is not as strong as the temperature pattern, but there is more guidance in support of above average precipitation compared to below average precipitation.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota consumer protection officials are warning about recent gift card scams that have resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says that at the holiday season especially, it’s good to remember that gift cards should be used as gifts, not to settle an account payment or for a phony sweepstakes. Stenehjem says gift cards are a favorite tool used by scam artists.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, many gift card scams start with a phone call from someone impersonating a government agency. Scammers may claim that they will freeze your accounts or threaten to arrest you, unless you make an immediate payment. Once the victim has purchased the gift cards, the scam artist asks them for the numbers on the back of the cards. Those numbers are all anyone needs to go online from anywhere in the world and transfer the balance of the gift card into their own account.
“No government agency ever accepts gift cards to pay a debt,” Stenehjem warned. The Attorney General’s consumer protection division reports that in the last two weeks, they have received nine reports from victims of gift card scams, with losses totaling $45,000. The victims, who range in age from 26 to 75, reportedly fell for different versions of the scam, including fake sweepstakes officials pretending the victim had won a prize but needed to make an upfront payment.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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