KHRT ND News – 12/27/21

KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 122721 – 1200
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot awarded bids for two major projects at the Dec. 20 Council meeting, with both projects going to Rolac Construction.
Rolac was the lowest single prime bidder at approximately $8.395 million for the City Hall rehabilitation project, about 15 percent higher than the estimated $7.294 million. After adding costs for four alternatives, project soft costs, and a 5 percent contingency, the total cost of the project is approximately $15.749 million. That total is roughly $1.9 million higher than original estimates. After awarding the bid to Rolac, the Council also approved a $2 million budget amendment to help fund the project. City Manager Harold Stewart said the additional funding will come from the City’s general fund reserves, which is money that has already been collected. The City Hall rehabilitation project will also use $7.75 million in funding from the National Disaster Resilience program.
Rolac was also the low bidder for the recycling transfer facility at $4.177 million, above the estimate of $3.55 million. Funding will come from sanitation reserves and sales tax cash reserves. By awarding the transfer facility bid, Council set in motion the steps to implement a curbside recycling program.
FARGO, ND (PNS) – The spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk is a concern in North Dakota. Conservation groups hope bills making their way through Congress get more support to states to research and manage it. The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act, which passed the U.S. House this month, would help states and tribes learn more about CWD and share strategies for addressing new cases.
Mike Leahy – director of wildlife, hunting and fishing policy for the National Wildlife Federation – said getting this deadly disease under control is critical before it affects hunting seasons. Leahy said hunters are a big part of the conservation community. “If those numbers of deer and elk went down because of chronic wasting disease,” said Leahy, “or if the number of hunters went down, that could have a direct impact on how much funding goes into wildlife management of deer, elk – but then also, wildlife management of other species.” CWD, first found in North Dakota in 2009, attacks the brain of the infected animal and is contagious and fatal.
As for the House bill, it’s co-sponsored by the state’s lone congressman, Rep. Kelly Armstrong – R-Dickinson. It has been referred to a Senate committee. Separately, there’s the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide major funding to address the decline of wildlife species overall. Leahy said together, the two bills would ensure work done to recover deer and elk populations isn’t in jeopardy. “There was historic efforts to restore those populations, by hunters in particular and a lot of other wildlife supporters,” said Leahy. “Those are some of our greatest wildlife conservation success stories, and that success is certainly at risk by this disease.”
North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven – R-N.D. – has introduced past Senate bills dealing with CWD and conservationists hope he backs these measures.
John Bradley, executive director of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation, said the efforts can help with rapid-response testing. “Hunters want to know that their deer is clear of CWD before they can eat it,” said Bradley. “The testing also gives the state agency, North Dakota Game and Fish, that proper data to really get an assessment of where CWD is on the landscape.”
North Dakota hasn’t seen population declines linked to CWD like other states, but officials still want to avoid it. Conclusions on human transmission is unclear, but consumption of meat from infected animals is discouraged.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A winter storm is making life in North Dakota and Minnesota tough. The Bismarck Tribune reports that the storm closed Interstate 94 between Bismarck and Fargo and Interstate 29 from Grand Forks to the South Dakota border on Monday morning. Interstate 29 from Grand Forks to the Canada border also had been closed but reopened by 7 a.m. Authorities are advising people not to travel across much of the state. Burleigh County offices are closed expect for emergency services. Bus service in Bismarck and Mandan is suspended and Bismarck State College and University of Mary campuses have been shut down. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that roads and sidewalks in the Twin Cities are icy. Grand Marais has recorded 13 inches of new snow.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 122721 – 0700
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Authorities are investigating how a fatal explosion occurred at an oil field business. The Bismarck Tribune reported Thursday that a water tanker blew out at JM Oilfield Services near Ross on Saturday. The Mountrail County Sheriff’s Office says 33-year-old employee Jesse Holmquist was killed in the blast. Another employee was injured and taken to a hospital. Both employees had been working on changing the tanker’s tires. The sheriff’s department says Holmquist was a resident of Sidney, Montana. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, worked in the oil fields of North Dakota and Montana and drove a commercial truck across the country.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Three Republican North Dakota lawmakers representing the southwestern part of the state have announced their reelection campaigns. Reps. Jim Schmidt, R-Huff; Karen Rohr, R-Mandan; and Sen. David Schaible, R-Mott will all run for a fourth time to return to the Capitol, the Bismarck Tribune reported Thursday. The lawmakers’ districts include part of Morton County and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. All three were first elected in 2010.
Schaible, a farmer, chairs the Senate Education Committee and sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Schmidt, also a farmer, is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Rohr, a nurse practitioner, is a member of the House Human Services Committee and the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Due to redistricting – the process in which state legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years using census data – 99 seats will be up for
grabs in next year’s election, which is more than usual. Political parties are expected to hold their endorsing conventions for candidates early next year. Primaries are slated for June 14 with the general election set for Nov. 8.
MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) – Moorhead police responding to a report of a shooting early Christmas morning discovered a victim who had apparently been assaulted prior to the gunshots. Police said Sunday the victim was not shot and did not require immediate medical attention from the alleged assault, which was reported about 5 a.m. Saturday. A spent shell casing and other evidence was collected at the scene. Investigators did not find a firearm. Authorities said the suspect and victim know each other and there is no indication of an ongoing threat to public safety. Due to the active investigation, police said no further information would be released until later.
BISMARCK, ND – The weekly COVID-19 report from the North Dakota Department of Transportation list 2,219 new positives for the period of December 18 – 24. The 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5.69%. Active case were down 359 to 2,156. Hospitalizations are at 116, down 30. There were 19 more death reported among those who were positive, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 1,996.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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