Listen to KHRT ND News – here
 
 
KHRT NEWS – SATURDAY – 070420 – 0700
 
RAY, ND – The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a woman died in a motorcycle accident near Ray. Officers say it happened around 7:30 pm Friday about five miles west of Ray. A 55-year-old woman was riding west on Highway 2 when the motorcycle drifted onto the shoulder and overturned in the ditch. She was ejected and sustained life-threatening injuries. The woman was transported by ambulance to the Tioga Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The Patrol says the crash remains under investigation.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Bismarck police are investigating a stabbing that was reported at 8:00 am on Friday. The victim was taken to Sanford Hospital for treatment. Officers say 27-year old Benjamin Bermudes is wanted for attempted murder. He is described as 5’6″, 136 pounds, black hair, and brown eyes. Bermudes was last seen wearing khaki pants, a black t-shirt, black hat, and camouflage shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call the Bismarck Police Department.
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MINOT, ND – It’s Independence Day and the Minot Police Department is reminding people of the restrictions placed on fireworks in the city. Minot Code of Ordinance prohibits the “possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks” anywhere within city limits. The penalty for violating this section is a $150 fine.
 
Fireworks are defined as “any combustible or explosive composition, or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.” Sparklers, smoke bombs, and balloons that require “fire underneath to propel the balloon” (commercially called “sky lanterns”) are prohibited by this section.
 
Officers say the easiest way to determine if a firework is not permitted by this ordinance to is ask yourself, “Does it ignite by a burning fuse or do I otherwise have to light it on fire to ‘make it work’ “? If so, it’s prohibited.
 
Novelty noise-makers sometimes called “party-poppers” and “bang-snaps” are not prohibited, so long as they are not lit on fire to operate.
“Fireworks are prohibited within city limits so. They cannot be possessed or transported anywhere within city limits. If they are purchased in the area that’s outside city limits, they must remain outside of city limits,” said Minot Police Officer Aaron Moss.
 
The Minot Fireworks Association will have a celebration at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night around 10:45 p.m. after the races.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A number of safety changes are being implemented as courthouses in the South Central District of North Dakota prepare for resuming jury trials July 14. The precautions include physical changes such as the installation of Plexiglas barriers. The Bismarck Tribune reports other changes will be more about scheduling and managing traffic in a building with space limitations. Presiding Judge Bruce Romanick says no courthouse is built to keep people 6 feet apart. The district has more than 1,200 jury trials scheduled in the next year. The North Dakota Supreme Court suspended jury trials in March as the coronavirus pandemic gained momentum.
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney says he’s easing restrictions on access to public buildings, many of which were closed to residents because of the coronavirus. Mahoney’s order will open all City Hall departments to the public and increase capacity in the city commission chambers from 25% to 50%, for a maximum of 125 people in the chambers at one time. All public library locations in the city will be open to the public. The order also calls for buses in Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota to operate for free. Fargo has been the COVID-19 hot spot in North Dakota, where most of Cass County’s 2,800 cases have been confirmed.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 070320 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – The number of active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota continues to rise. Today’s report from the Department of Health lists 376 active cases, up 34 from the previous day. After hitting a low of 215 on June 22nd, active cases have steadily risen over the past two weeks.
 
65 positives were found in 4,639 tests processed yesterday for a daily positive rate of 1.4%. 31 have recovered from the virus while 20 remain in the hospital. There were no deaths reported today.
 
Totals have 193,054 tests processed with 3,722 positives. 3,266 have recovered with 237 requiring a hospital stay. There have been 80 deaths. 110,574 individuals have been tested.
 
Burleigh County added 21 new cases today; Cass County tallied 18; Grand Forks County had 7; Sioux County picked up 2 new cases; Barnes, Burke, Mountrail, Ramsey, Richland, Rolette, Traill, Walsh, Ward, and Williams counties each added one today.
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MINOT, ND – All City of Minot offices are closed today in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. This includes City Hall, Public Works, the Minot Public Library, and the Engineering Department.
 
The Minot Public Library will be closed today through Sunday.
 
The City of Minot landfill will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, but will be closed on Saturday, July 4. There will be no residential garbage collection today. The next collection day for residents with Tuesday/Friday pickup will be Tuesday, July 7.
There will be no public transit today.
 
For water service emergencies, residents are urged to call 701-852-0111.
 
City of Minot offices will be open regular hours and city services will run as scheduled July 6.
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BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota’s deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.
 
Chief of administrative services Kim Kary said moving to an online lottery has resulted in reducing the time between the application deadline and the lottery run date. “It’s a major benefit in moving to an all online lottery application process,” Kary said.
 
More than 6,200 deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the lottery can apply for remaining licenses.
 
More than 81,000 individuals applied for a deer gun lottery license, in addition to about 12,600 gratis applicants. The 2020 deer gun proclamation allows for 69,050 deer gun season licenses.
 
Unsuccessful applicants can apply online for remaining licenses. The deadline is July 22.
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BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up 15% from the same time last year, according to the state Game and Fish Department’s 2020 spring crowing count survey.
 
R.J. Gross, upland game management biologist, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up statewide, with increases ranging from 1% to 18% in the primary regions holding pheasants.
 
“We entered spring with a larger breeding population compared to last year,” Gross said. “Hens should be in good physical shape for nesting season and cover should be plentiful from the residual moisture left from last fall.”
 
However, Gross said there is concern with drought conditions in the western part of the state, and whether insects will be available to chicks for brood rearing.
 
“I am hopeful for above-average chick survival due to the lush cover and predicted warm temperatures, but we can use some rain,” Gross said. “But we don’t want any severe weather events.”
 
While the spring number is an indicator, Gross said it does not predict what the fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in late July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.
 
Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stop at predetermined intervals, and count the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a 2-minute period during the stop.
 
The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to the previous year’s data, providing a trend summary.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 070320 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) – While COVID-19 cases spike in other parts of the U.S., North Dakota’s total remains relatively low. But the state’s older population is being urged to stay vigilant to avoid infection.
 
Prior to the spikes in such states as Florida and Arizona, many states were gradually re-opening their economies. There’s no infection spike in North Dakota, but health officials are still asking everyone, including people over 50, to take steps to shield themselves from the coronavirus.
 
The call for vigilance also comes as certain restrictions are being eased at long-term care facilities in North Dakota. Molly Howell, assistant director of the health department’s Division of Disease Control, will field questions for Wednesday’s event. She credits the state’s emphasis on tools like contact tracing for keeping North Dakota’s COVID-19 situation fairly stable.
 
“We’re interviewing those cases, identifying their close contacts,” she states. “And then, we’re following up with all those close contacts, to notify those individuals that they were exposed to COVID-19 and need to stay home for 14 days.”
 
Howell says one of the biggest takeaways right now is that all residents, especially those considered vulnerable, should do their best to avoid large crowds when venturing out.
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MINOT, ND – All City of Minot offices are closed today in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. This includes City Hall, Public Works, the Minot Public Library, and the Engineering Department.
 
The Minot Public Library will be closed today through Sunday.
 
The City of Minot landfill will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, but will be closed on Saturday, July 4. There will be no residential garbage collection today. The next collection day for residents with Tuesday/Friday pickup will be Tuesday, July 7.
 
There will be no public transit today.
 
For water service emergencies, residents are urged to call 701-852-0111.
 
City of Minot offices will be open regular hours and city services will run as scheduled July 6.
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MINOT, ND – With Independence Day just days away, The Minot Police Department is reminding people of the restrictions placed on fireworks in the city. Minot Code of Ordinance prohibits the “possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks” anywhere within city limits. The penalty for violating this section is a $150 fine.
 
Fireworks are defined as “Any combustible or explosive composition, or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.” Sparklers, smoke bombs, and balloons that require “fire underneath to propel the balloon” (commercially called “sky lanterns”) are prohibited by this section.
 
Officers say the easiest way to determine if a firework is not permitted by this ordinance to is ask yourself, “Does it ignite by a burning fuse or do I otherwise have to light it on fire to ‘make it work’ “? If so, it’s prohibited.
 
Novelty noise-makers sometimes called “party-poppers” and “bang-snaps” are not prohibited, so long as they are not lit on fire to operate.
 
“Fireworks are prohibited within city limits so. They cannot be possessed or transported anywhere within city limits. If they are purchased in the area that’s outside city limits, they must remain outside of city limits,” said Minot Police Officer Aaron Moss.
 
The Minot Fireworks Association will have a celebration at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night around 10:45 p.m. after the races.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 070220 – 1600
 
MINOT, ND – A Minot man was arrested this morning after reports of a wandering toddler. Officers received a call shortly after 10 am about a 2-year old in a diaper wandering unsupervised in the parking lot of a southeast Minot apartment. Around an hour later Central Dispatch received a third party report that 27-year old Kyle Desjarlais was looking for his child. Police determined that the toddler was his son and he was arrested for child neglect and taken to the Ward County Jail. Officers say the child is in the care of Ward County Social Services.
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – The interim state health officer says taking over in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic has been a whirlwind, but he has quickly become acquainted with the job. Dr. Andrew Stahl took over in late May for Mylynn Tufte, who abruptly resigned her post without explanation. Stahl, an officer in the North Dakota Army National Guard’s Medical Corps since 2009, served on the Guard’s COVID-19 task force before joining Gov. Doug Burgum’s administration. Stahl said starting a new job at any time is challenging, but starting during a global pandemic “does add a different dimension.” He said residents have done a great job protecting the health of others and “using good COVID etiquette.”
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FARGO, ND – When hot, sticky weather moves in, North Dakotans turn on their air conditioning to keep cool and stay comfortable. So with high tempertures and humidity expected to arrive this holiday weekend, Xcel Energy is offering some tips to help customers find relief from the heat and their bills this summer.
 
Home cooling can account for about half of a summertime electric bill, and the best way customers can keep their bills low is to practice some basic conservation and efficiency habits that can keep you cool without stressing your family’s budget. Among the simplest ways customers can get the most out of their cooling are:
 
– Installing a programmable thermostat that raises the setting when the house is empty, and lowers it to a comfortable level when everyone comes home
 
– Using ceiling fans to help circulate cool air through the home
 
– Opening interior doors to improve the circulation of cool air inside
 
– Using a whole-house or attic fan to draw in cool nighttime air and push out hot air during the day
 
– Changing air conditioning filters
 
– Closing drapes and blinds during the heat of the day
 
Customers can also help reduce their overall bills by:
 
– Turning off unnecessary lighting and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which use 75 to 80 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last 15 percent longer
 
– Running washing machines, dishwashers and clothes dryers with full loads after the heat of the day, which helps keep the house cooler and reduces strain on the local grid
Xcel Energy has more tips for saving money and energy at its website, www.excelenergy.com.
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BISMARCK, ND – Fireworks are a beloved tradition on Independence Day and using them requires care in order to prevent personal injuries and wildfires. The North Dakota Forest Service and local fireworks retailers would like to remind you about important safety considerations while using fireworks.
 
Before purchasing fireworks, think about where you’ll plan to use them. There are some communities in North Dakota that do not allow fireworks because of burn bans, regulations, or ordinances. To check for local burn bans, please visit the ND Response website at NDResponse.gov.
 
Fire danger is low in many parts of North Dakota this week thanks to adequate fuel moisture. However, wildland fires can still start, though they may not spread quickly. That is why it is important to keep a bucket of water nearby so that if a wildfire ignites, you have the ability to extinguish it quickly. To assist with the monitoring of sparks, it is important to only ignite one firework at a time. Do not light fireworks near or on dry grass.
 
State Forester Tom Claeys said, “Fireworks are a time-honored tradition linked to the celebration of the 4th of July in North Dakota. Please be sure to practice fireworks safety to help protect lives and property from wildfire.”
 
According to local fireworks retailers, it is important that you make sure to brace small fireworks on all sides so that they do not tip over after you light them. After using fireworks, do not place the burned-up fireworks in a dumpster or in the back of a vehicle until they are dead out, which can take up to 24 hours after ignition. If you encounter a dud, do not place any part of your body over the firework, as occasionally, a firework that may seem like a dud could be delayed but still light. Adult supervision is important, even when using sparklers.
 
Officials also suggests purchasing fireworks only from a licensed and approved dealer. Read the directions before use. Never point or throw fireworks at a person. Keep all unused fireworks away from the shooting area. Do not use alcohol or drugs while using fireworks.
This Independence Day, be sure to celebrate the birth of our nation safely by practicing these recommendations.
 
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 070220 – 1200
 
MANDAN, N.D. (AP) – A Washburn man accused of killing four people last year interrupted a court hearing Wednesday and asked to speak directly to a judge against the advice of his attorneys. The hearing at the Morton County Courthouse was set to address motions made by Chad Isaak’s attorneys on suppressing certain evidence and on a change of venue.
 
The 46-year-old Isaak is charged with four counts of murder in connection with the deaths of RJR Maintenance and Management co-owner Robert Fakler, 52; and employees Adam Fuehrer, 42; and William Cobb, 50, and Lois Cobb, 45, who were married. The victims were found shot and stabbed at the business April 1, 2019.
 
Isaak told South Central District Judge David Reich that he wished to address the court, saying he had “waited patiently for 15 months in an isolation jail cell” to bring up some issues, but did not specify those issues, the Bismarck Tribune reported. One of his attorneys, Rob Quick, later said Isaak wanted to bring up issues that the defense team will address at a future hearing. Reich told Isaak he could not tell his attorneys how to represent him.
 
The judge did not immediately rule on the change of venue motion as well as the arguments about warrants used in the search of Isaak’s vehicle, residence, business, person, and electronic devices.
 
Isaak has been jailed on $1 million bond since his arrest a few days after the killings. Trial is scheduled for Nov. 30.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Bismarck police who asked for help in finding the person who shot a man Wednesday now say his gunshot wound was accidental and self-inflicted. A 22-year-old Mandan man had a gunshot wound to his upper thigh and was treated at Sanford Hospital after he was dropped off about 3 a.m. The injury was not believed to be life threatening. Police continue to investigate.
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BISMARCK, ND – Even though the daily positive rate of COVID-19 cases in North Dakota remains low, the number of active cases is increasing. The North Dakota Department of Health reports that 43 positives came from 3,625 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 1.2%. 19 people are currently hospitalized due to the virus and 25 have recovered today.
 
Total positive cases increases to 3,657 from 188,414 tests. 3,235 have recovered and 234 have required a hospital stay. There have been 80 deaths associated with COVID-19. Active cases are listed at 342, up 127 since June 22nd. 108,195 individuals have been tested.
 
Cass County recorded 17 new cases today; Burleigh County had 14 additional; Grand Forks tallied 3; Morton and Stark each added 2; Cavalier, McHenry, Traill, Walsh, and Wells counties each added 1.
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MINOT, ND – With Independence Day just days away, The Minot Police Department is reminding people of the restrictions placed on fireworks in the city. Minot Code of Ordinance prohibits the “possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks” anywhere within city limits. The penalty for violating this section is a $150 fine.
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ROSEVILLE, Minn. – The Salvation Army Northern Division, which serves all of Minnesota and North Dakota, has announced that Lieutenant Colonels Dan and Dorene Jennings have been appointed to the division’s top leadership roles, effective July 1. Col. Dan Jennings has become the new Divisional Commander, and Col. Dorene Jennings has become Director of Women’s Ministries. The Jennings come to the Northern Division after having served in the same roles in the Midland Division (Missouri/Southern Illinois) and, prior to that, in the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan Division.
 
Both Colonels Jennings have earned bachelor degrees from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL, after having met at the University of Kansas. Col. Dan Jennings also earned a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Nazarene Theological Seminary in
Kansas City, MO. Both are first generation Salvationists and are passionate about the missional nature of Army ministry.
 
Prior to being promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, the Jennings served as local leaders of Salvation Army corps. They’ve also served at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters in Chicago and have had other divisional appointments.
 
Col. Dan Jennings will be taking over the Northern Division leadership role from Lt. Col. Lonneal Richardson, whose new assignment will be to serve as Commander of the Metropolitan Division, which includes Chicago, northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. Lt. Col. Patty Richardson will take on the roles of the Metropolitan Division’s Director of Women’s Ministries and Officer Development Secretary.
“We’re looking forward to this assignment with great anticipation,” said Colonel Dan Jennings, “and we’re excited to continue the important work in Minnesota and North Dakota that was actuated by the Richardsons.”
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 070220 – 0700
 
FARGO, ND – At $2.10, North Dakota motorists paid 27 cents a gallon more for gas Wednesday than they were one month ago. Despite the increase, motorist paid the lowest price for the first day of July since 2004. Last year the average stood at $2.61.
 
Gasoline demand has steadily increased as people return to work and take summer drive trips. AAA projects Americans will take 683 million road trips between July 1 and Sept. 30, a slight decrease from last year. While overall gas demand is much lower than a typical summer reading due to ongoing impacts of Covid-19, it’s the highest recorded since late March.
 
Looking forward, gas prices are likely to remain historically low, but may start to reflect 2017 prices. That year oil production outpaced demand and allowed for low gas prices throughout most of the summer. The average of $2.22 on July 1, 2017, was just 12 cents higher than today’s average.
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BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is utilizing a phased strategy approach to resume visitation at its facilities. The Youth Correctional Center (YCC) began outdoor visitation June 27 and Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC) is set to begin outdoor visitation July 3. James River Correctional Center (JRCC) and North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP) are finalizing plans to resume visitation.
 
YCC family visits allow for two adults per visitation. Each cottage will have a 60-minute visitation period on Saturdays and Sundays as follows:
 
Hickory Cottage 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Pine Cottage 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Brown Cottage 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Social distancing etiquette will remain in place for youth and their visitors, tables will be sprayed down with disinfectant between visitations, and hand sanitizer will be available.
 
“Family visits are a critical component to the successful transition of any of our youth back into the community,” said Tim Tausend, Director of YCC. “We are maximizing our mitigation efforts to ensure kids and their families can meet face to face in a safe environment.”
 
MRCC visitation will allow for one adult per visitation. Each resident will be allowed a 60-minute visitation. Visitations will be held Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. The outdoor visitation will be clearly marked and contain two hard plastic chairs six feet apart with a sanitation bucket that will include disinfectant and hand sanitizer. Seating will be disinfected between visits.
 
“The coronavirus pandemic has been ever-evolving and the care and safety of our employees and the people we serve must come first,” said Shannon Davison, Deputy Warden of Transitional Facilities. “As we continue to mitigate the coronavirus, we recognize that visitation is vitally important to our residents and their families as it provides an opportunity for human connection and strengthens family bonds. As we move forward with visitation opportunities, we will assess risk utilizing a phased approach to ensure the safety of our employees, residents, visitors, and the public.”
 
All visitors and residents from MRCC and youth from YCC will be issued masks; visitors will have their temperature taken and asked screening form questions. Anyone who has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater or who answers yes to any of the questions on the screening questionnaire will not be permitted. Families wishing to visit at YCC may contact the Juvenile Correctional Institute Case Manager for the designated Cottage of whom they wish to visit. Those wishing to visit at MRCC may call the MRCC Control Center at 701-328-9699.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum encouraged North Dakotans on Wednesday to register for the 2020 Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education, announcing Khan Academy founder Sal Khan as a featured speaker. The summit will take place July 21 in a virtual format.
The summit is open to the public and brings together local and national leaders in education to share best practices and engage with educators, administrators, parents and students. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local and national leaders, participate in locally led sessions about best practices and innovation in the classroom, and engage in the conversation surrounding a safe restart to school this coming fall.
 
Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, a free online learning platform, will join the summit to share his message about empowering students through personalized experiences in which each individual masters knowledge and skills in preparation for a global world. Khan Academy’s content and mastery learning platform has more than 106 million registered users from all over the world and has been localized into more than 40 languages. Khan has been recognized as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
In addition to the summit, Burgum encouraged nominations for the #InnovativeND Awards, which will be presented during the summit.
 
The awards include the following categories:
 
Frontline Innovation – recognizes innovative approaches in the classroom.
 
Collaborative Culture – recognizes efforts that reach across subjects and classrooms.
 
System Transformation – recognizes innovations in the educational system that will have a fundamental impact on how students learn.
 
Student Leadership – recognizes students who are advancing innovative education through leadership inside and outside the classroom.
 
For more information, to register for the 2020 Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education and to submit a nomination for the #InnovativeND Awards, visit https://2020innovativeeducationsummit.eventbrite.com.
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MINOT, N.D. – Public information meetings for two phases of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project that were previously postponed due to COVID-19 have been rescheduled. The public information meetings are sponsored by the Souris River Joint Board and will include an open house and a formal presentation by project engineers. The meetings will provide information to neighborhood property owners and community members regarding the current design plans, potential traffic impacts and proposed detour routes, and information about what the community can expect as the project progresses.
 
Meeting details for both phases are outlined here:
 
Phase VE-1 Velva Bridge Replacement
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
6:30pm Open House
7:00pm Formal Presentation
Location: Velva School Gym (101 4th St W Velva, ND)
 
Phase RC-1 Mouse River Park Bridge Replacement
Thursday, July 30, 2020
6:30pm Open House
7:00pm Formal Presentation
Location: Mohall Community Center (807 Highway 5 East Mohall, ND)
 
For more information about the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project, visit www.mouseriverplan.com, or visit us on Facebook at Mouse River Plan.
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MINOT, ND – All City of Minot offices will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. This includes City Hall, Public Works, the Minot Public Library, and the Engineering Department.
 
The Minot Public Library will be closed July 3-5.
 
The City of Minot landfill will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on July 3, but will be closed on Saturday, July 4. There will be no residential garbage collection on July 3. The next collection day for residents with Tuesday/Friday pickup will be Tuesday, July 7.
 
There will be no public transit on July 3.
 
For water service emergencies, residents are urged to call 701-852-0111.
 
City of Minot offices will be open regular hours and city services will run as scheduled July 6.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 070120 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Bismarck police are investigating a shooting after a wounded individual was dropped off at the hospital early today. Authorities say the person who was injured had a gunshot wound to his upper thigh. He was treated at Sanford Hospital after he was dropped off about 3 a.m. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening. Police haven’t been specific about how the gunshot wound occurred and are asking for the public’s help if anyone heard or saw the shooting.
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Police have made an arrest in a stabbing outside a bar in Fargo. Authorities say the 21-year-old female suspect stabbed another woman outside the Empire Tavern Tuesday about 4 p.m. The victim was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be OK. KFGO reports the suspect, a Fargo woman, was booked into the Cass County Jail on possible charges of aggravated assault and giving false information to police.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Supreme Court has sided with state regulators in a challenge to a proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the western part of the state. In a unanimous opinion, the state’s high court upheld a lower court ruling that affirmed permitting decisions by the Department of Environmental Quality. The Bismarck Tribune reported Tuesday that the state Supreme Court ruled that the department “did not act arbitrarily, capriciously, or unreasonably in issuing the permit.” William Prentice, the CEO of Meridian Energy Group, called the ruling “very welcome.” Opponents called it “a major setback for the preservation of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and all it protects.”
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BISMARCK, N.D. – As skilled nursing, basic care and assisted living facilities move through North Dakota’s phased-in reopening approach, state agency officials, industry leaders, facility residents, their family members and advocates continue to work together to find a balance between residents’ health, safety, well-being and rights.
 
Throughout the pandemic, North Dakota has allowed exceptions to visitor restrictions at these various facilities for compassionate end-of-life care. Tuesday, North Dakota expanded how it defines compassionate end-of-life care situations in its guidelines for reopening skilled nursing, basic care and assisted living facilities. The expanded definition aligns with new guidance the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided to states late last week.
 
In addition to eminent death situations, compassionate end-of-life care visitation can now include scenarios where residents are currently exhibiting documented signs and symptoms of sharp psychosocial or medical decline, which is above and beyond normal parameters, and may benefit from additional social interaction that cannot be achieved via outside visitation.
 
The guidelines also say these situations should only be allowed on a very limited basis, must not be considered routine, and may be granted only after careful consideration by a facility’s clinical interdisciplinary team. Facilities that believe a resident’s condition meets this expanded definition must notify a member of the state’s Vulnerable Population (VP3) Task Force, so information can be collected and utilized to help govern future plans for the state’s most vulnerable individuals.
 
“Our knowledge about the coronavirus and data on its local impact across our state continues to grow,” said North Dakota Department of Human Services Executive Director Chris Jones. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Task Force on Reuniting Residents and Families, the North Dakota Long-Term Care Ombudsman and our colleagues in the North Dakota Department of Health to develop common sense guidelines that reflect new information and are responsive to the needs of individuals and their families.”
 
The updated long-term care facility guidance is available online at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/covid-19/provider-resources.html.
 
In response to the pandemic and to control the risk of exposure for individuals whose underlying health conditions made them more vulnerable to COVID-19, on April 6 North Dakota restricted visitation at skilled nursing, basic care and assisted living facilities. On June 5, Gov. Doug Burgum announced a phased-in approach to reopening these facilities to the public while balancing the health, safety, and well-being of facility residents.
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BISMARCK, ND – Today’s report from the North Dakota Department of Health lists another death from someone who tested positive for COVID-19. It was a man in his 90’s from Stark County with underlying health conditions. He is the 80th death in the state.
 
Today’s daily positive rate is 1.6% as 39 positives come from 2,505 tests processed. 20 are currently in the hospital and 15 more people have recovered from the virus. 1,104 individuals were tested.
 
Totals have 184,792 tests processed with 3,615 positives. 234 have required hospitalization and 3,210 have recovered. Active cases are at 325, which is up 103 in the last week and a half. 107,226 individuals have been tested in the state.
 
Cass County recorded 15 of today’s new positives; Burleigh added 9; Williams had 5 more; Grand Forks, Stark, and Traill counties each added 2; Dunn, Mercer, Steele, and Walsh counties picked up one each.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – In an effort to ease acceptance into the higher education system, the State Board of Higher Education has authorized institutions to temporarily waive the requirement of standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) that are normally submitted as part of the application process for admission to North Dakota’s eleven colleges and universities. The temporary waiver will be in place through the summer of 2022 as that is the last of the three terms that comprise the 2021-2022 recruitment year.
 
“Because ND high school students normally take the ACT during their junior year, this fall semester is probably the least of our concerns. It’s the following fall semester, 2021, that we anticipate might be more problematic. Additionally, we have anecdotally heard that two-thirds of Minnesota students have not taken the ACT,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Lisa Johnson.
 
Additionally, the Board permitted North Dakota University System colleges and universities to accept unofficial copies of high school and college transcripts for the purpose of admission through the summer of 2022.
 
Johnson added, “The Board and the colleges and universities of the North Dakota University System strive to remain flexible and adaptive in response to the limitations associated with COVID-19. We understand the numerous challenges students and their families face and are trying to do our part to alleviate barriers to entry and access to education in the state.”
 
The university system will again reassess the current policy that requires submission of standardized test scores as part of the admissions process in the future.

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BISMARCK, N.D. – A North Dakota Army National Guard unit has received an alert for possible mobilization. If ordered to mobilize, the Bismarck-based Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, would deploy to the National Capital Region (NCR) area late in 2020.

 
The unit consists of about 70 soldiers and operates the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. If mobilized, their anticipated mission would be transport of personnel and light cargo within the NCR area.
 
“We are extremely proud of the professionalism of our Army aviators,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. “They have a safe operating record of nearly 150,000 flight hours dating back to 1958 and have been instrumental in support of state and federal missions to include flood response, wildfire fighting, search and rescue missions and have successfully served overseas.”
 
The unit is led by Capt. Robert Sorenson and 1st Sgt. Mitch McCoy.
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new survey of business leaders released today suggests the economy has begun to recover as businesses reopened in the past month in nine Midwest and Plains states. But Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the region’s economy remains weaker than before the coronavirus outbreak began. And business leaders expect the economy to continue improving over the next six months. The region’s overall index jumped into positive territory at 50.3 in June from May’s 43.5. Any score above 50 suggests growth, while scores below 50 suggest decline. The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
 
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 070120 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – A construction accidednt caused a natural gas fire and power outage in Minot. A construction crew struck an underground high voltage power line Tuesday morning, causing a nearby natural gas line to rupture and catch fire.
 
Minot Fire Department crews were called to the 600 block of East Burdick Expressway and found fire coming from a hole in the ground. A construction crew using a directional boring machine had struck a high voltage underground power line, which caused a gas line to rupture and ignite. A number of homes and businesses in the area, including downtown, lost power.
 
Utility workers secured the electrical power and the gas line. After the gas line was shut down, the rest of the fire was extinguished. Power was restored to most customers within an hour. Repairs to the utilities were under way Tuesday afternoon. Several buildings in the immediate area were evacuated and monitored as a safety precaution. No injuries were reported.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Department of Commerce leader and a former agency worker want the state to pay their legal fees for a criminal investigation resulting from a 2019 audit. Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer and former senior manager Holly Holt hired lawyers after an audit found that agency officials skirted public bid requirements in developing the new state logo and also mishandled appropriations. The subsequent investigation found no wrongdoing. The Bismarck Tribune reports that Kommer is seeking $9,858 and Holt is asking for $2,220 in legal fees.
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HORACE, N.D. (AP) – An eastern North Dakota man now faces a manslaughter charge after a weekend bar fight turned fatal. Cass County prosecutors have charged 25-year-old Jordan Pendleton of Horace with manslaughter and three counts of assault. Pendleton is accused of punching 31-year-old Marlin Klatt outside Big Erv’s Bar & Grill early Sunday morning. Klatt’s head hit the concrete. KFGO-AM reports Klatt died Monday at a Fargo hospital. Investigators have not said what led up to the assault. Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner says Pendleton and Klatt knew each other. Pendleton remains in the Cass County jail, with bond set at $500,000.
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Attorneys in the case of a man accused in the killings of four people at a Mandan business are set to argue whether investigators followed the correct procedures in collecting evidence. The hearing Wednesday at the Morton County Courthouse comes 15 months after the stabbing and shooting deaths of four employees at RJR Maintenance and Management. Investigators say Chad Isaak carefully planned the gruesome killings, then tried to avoid detection by picking up shell casings, changing his clothing, and cleaning a knife and gun with bleach. But Isaak’s attorneys say authorities didn’t get proper search warrants and made false statements in the applications. They want much of the evidence thrown out.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Board of Higher Education has approved a 2.5% pay raise for the university system chancellor, who said he will donate the money. The increase for Mark Hagerott is the maximum amount approved by the state Legislature. It would bump his annual salary of $374,400 by $9,360, which he plans to give to the North Dakota University System Foundation. Hagerott says Board chairman Nick Hacker says Hagerott has met or exceeded eight goals that were laid out by the board a year ago, following a labor complaint that was eventually dropped. Hacker says Hagerott has also done a good job dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Supreme Court has sided with state regulators in a challenge to a proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the western part of the state. In a unanimous opinion, the state’s high court upheld a lower court ruling that affirmed permitting decisions by the Department of Environmental Quality. The Bismarck Tribune reported Tuesday that the state Supreme Court ruled that the department “did not act arbitrarily, capriciously, or unreasonably in issuing the permit.” William Prentice, the CEO of Meridian Energy Group, called the ruling “very welcome.” Opponents called it “a major setback for the preservation of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and all it protects.”
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 062620 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot says that 10 contract employees working on a City construction project recently tested positive for coronavirus.
 
“The crew members are not City of Minot employees; they are employed by contractors working on a City project,” Interim City Manager David Lakefield said. “These positive cases will not cause any disruptions to City services.”
 
Lakefield said the crew members have been isolated since their positive tests, and have not returned to the work site. The site has been closed down for cleaning and additional testing. The positive tests will be counted in each employee’s county of residence. Not all of the workers re-side in Ward County.
 
First District Health Unit has done rapid response testing and is conducting contact tracing. FDHU will notify anyone suspected of coming into close proximity with those who tested positive.
 
“The City of Minot will continue to assist the First District Health Unit as they conduct contact tracing to track any interactions these crew members may have had either at the work site or in the community,” Lakefield said.
 
“We appreciate the cooperation and efforts of the City of Minot and all the contractors involved to contain the spread of the virus,” said Lisa Clute, Executive Officer of First District Health Unit.
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MINOT, ND – First District Health Unit in Minot is offering another free COVID-19 testing today at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds from 2:00 – 7:00 pm.
 
Any member of the public can be tested during this drive-through event. Anyone 12 or older can be tested at this event, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Unlike symptomatic testing, there is no need to quarantine until you get your test results; you can get tested and go on with your day.
 
No appointment is needed, just drive in. However pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Instructions for pre-registration can be found at www.fdhu.org. Vehicles with people who are not pre-registered will be directed to a separate lane for registration assistance.
Enter from 4th Avenue NE by the All Seasons Arena. Cloth face coverings are encouraged.
 
For the latest information, please check www.fdhu.org or watch the First District Health Unit Facebook page for updates.
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MINOT, ND – Food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers to Families (F2F) Food Box Program will be distributed to those in need in Minot today. The distribution will be held in the north parking lot of the Minot State University Dome from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Great Plains Food Bank is working in partnership with the USDA to distribute the food boxes. There are no income requirements to receive food assistance and all in need are welcome. Cars may begin lining up one hour prior to the start of each distribution. This is the second distribution in Minot as an indentical event was held two weeks ago.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced that the agency has developed the Economic Resiliency Grant (ERG) Program which was approved at Thursday’s Budget Section hearing to assist businesses with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
 
The Budget Section approved $69 million to administer the ERG Program which is geared to enhance revenue in both the immediate and long-term future by growing consumer confidence. To achieve this, applicants may qualify to receive grant funding of up $50,000 for investments that will encourage customers to get back into the marketplace by ensuring businesses are equipped to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
 
In addition to assisting businesses be successful, the grant is also designed to reduce the burden on the unemployment insurance system by getting people back to work in a safe environment.
 
Importantly, the ERG is a grant – not a loan. The expenses allowed for through the ERG did not previously qualify under both the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program.
 
“The Commerce Department is committed to assisting businesses with mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19,” Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer said. “The purpose of the grant is to provide businesses one-time funding to increase customer and employee safety through improved infection control, with the ultimate purpose of inspiring consumers to return to the marketplace. A safe return of customers to marketplace is the best and most sustainable way to stimulate the economy.”
 
The Economic Resiliency Grant application process is anticipated to open July 24. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first serve basis. Funding will be approved if the application meets all criteria and funding is available. Additional information, including educational sessions will be available shortly, and updates about the program will be posted to the Commerce’s website.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 062520 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota is closing in on 100,000 individuals tested for COVID-19. Today’s report from the Department of Health says a total of 99,444 people have been tested, in increase of 755 today.
 
32 positives came from 2,967 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 1.1%. Total positives rise to 3,393 from 165,430 tests. 3,064 people have recovered, up 20 today. 25 are currently in the hospital out of 222 who have required a hospital stay. There were no new deaths reported today so that total remains at 78. Active cases are at 251.
 
Cass and Grand Forks counties each added 7 cases today; Ward had 4; Burleigh, McKenzie, Richland, Stark, and Williams counties each tallied 2; Morton, Rolette, Sargent, and Walsh counties each added one.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota University System has released its annual affordability report, which focuses on key factors tied to educational access and affordability in the state.
 
Among other findings, the report notes that 2019-20 tuition and mandatory fee rates at the research and four-year regional universities were lower than the regional peers. Additionally, room and board rates at all those universities was also significantly lower than regional peer averages. Scholarships, grants and waivers, including state-funded programs play a significant role in affordability for families, accounting for 36 percent of all aid awarded for NDUS students. Additionally, state-funded grants and scholarships have grown significantly in the past 10 years, a positive trend.
 
“These findings point toward positive outcomes on the State Board of Higher Education’s goal of providing affordable education to our students,” said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott. “These positive metrics of affordability are a credit to the hard work of our faculty and staff for ensuring that higher education in the state remains accessible to all.”
 
In addition to looking at tuition, fees, room and board, the report also tracks estimated total student costs, summarizes financial aid, looks into federal funding sources, and more.
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BISMARCK, N. D. (PNS) – As North Dakota’s population becomes more diverse, state health officials are seeking guidance on how to better serve people arriving from other countries. A new panel aims to help with any gaps. This week, the New American/Foreign Born/Immigrant Advisory Board held its first meeting.
 
The board consists of 40 volunteers with diverse backgrounds who will offer input to the North Dakota Department of Health, and help with access issues.
 
For example, according to North Dakota Health Equity Director Krissie Guerard, it could involve outreach to the immigrant community about immunization rates. The group or person raising the concern can go to the board for assistance.
 
“Whether it’s messaging, making contacts, making sure that we are doing things in a culturally appropriate way for that certain group,” said Guerard.
 
From 2010 to 2016, North Dakota’s foreign-born population grew by 48%. Experts caution that the spike appears large because of the state’s small immigrant population before that time period, but supporters of the initiative say it’s still vital to do more outreach in these communities.
 
Guerard said because of the pandemic, the state actually had to speed up implementation of the advisory board to ensure these communities were being served.
 
As she put it, “Because of all the needs that there were in those communities, and some of the barriers in reaching those communities, it just made us go a little faster in the establishment of this board.”
 
She added the health department is in the process of launching a similar effort for the state’s Native American population.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 062520 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – The Minot Police Department has noticed a troubling increase in automobile burglaries. Also concerning, recent reports have shown a rise in firearms being stolen from these vehicles.
 
Leaving a firearm in a motor vehicle is very tempting target for would be thieves. The most effective way for vehicle owners to protect themselves from this type of crime is to remove valuables and to lock the vehicle. If valuables absolutely cannot be removed to a more secure location, the next best option is to hide them from view and lock the vehicle.
 
While forcible entry into a motor vehicle does occur from time to time, statistically auto burglars are far more likely to move on to an unlocked vehicle, particularly if they do not see anything of obvious value. Also keeping photos of high value items and lists of serial numbers to share with law enforcement, are helpful in reporting thefts and can aid in return of stolen property to rightful owners.
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. – A Grand Forks man appeared in Federal Court on Wednesday after threatening to commit a mass shooting. During his court appearance, it became known that Steven Ralph Lindblad had been indicted on the charges of interstate communication of a threat to injure persons and false information and hoax for an incident that occurred on August 15, 2019. Authorities say Lindblad made a call to his cell phone service provider and said he had explosive materials and threatened a mass shooting. The incident is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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MINOT, ND – First District Health Unit in Minot says another free COVID-19 testing is planned for this Friday with later hours. The testing at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds will run from 2:00 – 7:00 pm on Friday.
 
Any member of the public can be tested during this drive-through event. Anyone 12 or older can be tested at this event, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Unlike symptomatic testing, there is no need to quarantine until you get your test results; you can get tested and go on with your day.
 
No appointment is needed, just drive in. However pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Instructions for pre-registration can be found at www.fdhu.org. Vehicles with people who are not pre-registered will be directed to a separate lane for registration assistance.
 
Enter from 4th Avenue NE by the All Seasons Arena. Cloth face coverings are encouraged.
 
For the latest information, please check www.fdhu.org or watch the First District Health Unit Facebook page for updates.
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WASHINGTON, D.C – Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven delivered remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding Sister Thomas Welder, the longtime president of the University of Mary who passed away Monday morning at the age of 80.
 
“I come to the floor today with a heavy heart and a fair bit of trepidation,” said Cramer as he began his remarks. “My goal is to pay tribute to someone who is so special, remarkable, beloved, and important to my home state of North Dakota.”
 
“Sister Thomas was truly somebody who I think epitomizes the term servant leader. She was a person of incredible faith. She lived her faith and she provided that to others certainly in her words but in her deeds,” said Hoeven. “Mikey and I want to express our sincere appreciation for her lifetime of service and her commitment to God. Sister Thomas was patient. Sister Thomas was wonderful. Sister Thomas was beloved and Sister Thomas will be missed very, very much.”
 
Her funeral is planned for Monday morning in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel (OLA), located in the Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership building on campus. The funeral is open to Welder’s close friends and family.
 
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)