KHRT ND News

KHRT NEWS – SATURDAY – 041721 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Gov. Doug Burgum has signed a measure aimed shielding schools and teachers from lawsuits arising from posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms. The Republican’s endorsement Friday comes after attorneys and school officials warned the legislation is unconstitutional and would spur costly and unwinnable legal fights. Hoping to fend off legal challenges, the House amended the bill with a requirement that the Ten Commandments be included in a display with other historical documents. The American Civil Liberties Union said no court has upheld the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools, even if displayed with other material.
—————————————————————————–
 
DENVER – FEMA and the Indian Health Service are partnering to provide COVID vaccination services to 13 communities in North Dakota and South Dakota. Two mobile vaccinations units will be operating on schedules beginning April 19 and running through the end of May. The units will be making two stops in each community, so that both doses of the vaccine can be delivered.
 
“FEMA is excited to be able to support our colleagues from the Indian Health Service on this vital mission,” said FEMA Region 8 Acting Administrator Nancy Dragani. “This effort will complement the great work that our state and tribal partners are already doing in getting vaccinations for all those who want them.”
 
“This partnership will allow us to expand access to vaccines in tribal communities and reach more people as we work to achieve community immunity,” said IHS Great Plains Area Director James Driving Hawk. “We’re especially excited that these events will allow us to vaccinate 16 and 17-year-olds in more tribal communities.”
 
The mobile vaccination sites will be able to provide up to 250 shots a day. No pre-registration is required, with vaccinations provided first come-first served. The sites will be walk through, with parking available, and the vaccination and post-shot waiting areas are protected from the elements. Vaccines are available to anyone age 16 and older. Those who are 16 and 17 will need permission from a parent or guardian. The vaccine that is authorized for individuals aged 16-17 requires ultra-cold storage. The mobile vaccinations units have the capability of storing and administering this vaccine.
 
Stops in North Dakota include:
 
Fort Yates / IHS Health Center – 10 South River Rd / First Visit – April 25 / Second Visit – May 16
 
Bismarck / United Tribes Technical College – 3315 University Dr. / First Visit – April 26-27 / Second Visit – May 17-18
 
Trenton / Community Health Clinic – 331 4th Ave. E. / First Visit – May 1-2 / Second Visit – May 22-23
 
Bottineau / Bottineau County Fairgrounds – 60 Main St. / First Visit – May 4-5 / Second Visit – May 25-26
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has directed all government agencies to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff until sunset Tuesday, April 20, and encourages North Dakotans to do the same at their homes and businesses, in honor and remembrance of the victims of Thursday’s shooting in Indianapolis. The governor’s directive is in accordance with a proclamation issued Friday by President Joe Biden.
——————————————————————————
 
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot Sanitation Department offers a clean up week twice per year for its patrons. The city will be divided up into four sections during the week with crews focusing on curbside pick up in one section each day. Spring Clean Up Week will be May 3rd – 7th. The Minot Landfill will also accept waste at no charge for City of Minot garbage collection customers during the clean-up week. Participants must bring a copy of their water bill. Household quantities of bulky and household items – items at the end of their useful life, such as appliances, furniture, junk, etc will be picked up curbside.
 
Items considered Household Hazardous Waste will not be collected curbside. This includes paint cans, oil containers, stains, varnishes, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, or car care products. An annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection is scheduled for May 7th – 8th for City of Minot Sanitation customers.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
 
KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 041621 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The winter storms that paralyzed Texas and other south-central states and resulted in rolling power blackouts elsewhere caused North Dakota’s oil and gas production to fall more than expected in February. The blackouts temporarily shut down production in North Dakota, the nation’s second-largest oil-producing state. The state produced about one million barrels of crude per day in February, down nearly 6% from the previous month, according to state data released Thursday. Natural gas production fell 5% from January.
 
“All in all, it was not a great month, not terrible, but not good,” said Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota’s Mineral Resources Department. The storms caused rolling blackouts within the Southwest Power Pool, a regional grid extending north from the Texas Panhandle to North Dakota, the Star Tribune reported. The Western Area Power Administration, which is part of the Southwest Power Pool, instituted blackouts for two days that affected three North Dakota oil counties. Some producers were left without electricity for their operations.
 
Helms said he had been expecting a 2% to 3% decline in oil production in February before the blackouts. “It doubled what we had anticipated in terms of production decline,” he said. There have been some good signs since then in North Dakota, Helms said.
The drilling-rig count, an indicator of new production, currently stands at 17, up from 15 in February and 12 in January.
——————————————————————————
 
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) – A driver is accused of striking an unoccupied police squad car in Grand Forks and leading officers on a chase before crashing her vehicle. Police say the 35-year-old Buxton woman hit the squad car at the Ambassador Motel about 9 p.m. Thursday and fled the scene. Officers began pursuing the driver, but terminated the chase because of its high speed. Authorities say a short time later, the woman was involved in a rollover crash. She was the only one in the vehicle and was taken to Altru hospital with unknown injuries.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, ND – Officials with the North Dakota Department of Health are reporting three more people who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. It includes a man in his 70’s from Burleigh County; a woman in her 70’s from Cass County; and a man in his 90’s from Mercer County. It brings the total deaths in the state since the pandemic began to 1,478.
 
Today’s daily positive rate is 3.75% as 179 positives come from 6,570 tests processed. Active cases are up 9 to 1,183. Cass County has 424 of those active, Burleigh at 159, and Grand Forks with 152. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are unchanged today at 31.
 
Those fully vaccinated against the virus stands at 36.8% of residents (215,179), while those having received at least one dose is 45.7% (267,570).
——————————————————————————
 
MINOT, ND – The City of Minot Sanitation Department offers a clean up week twice per year for its patrons. The city will be divided up into four sections during the week with crews focusing on curbside pick up in one section each day. Spring Clean Up Week will be May 3rd – 7th. The Minot Landfill will also accept waste at no charge for City of Minot garbage collection customers during the clean-up week. Participants must bring a copy of their water bill. Household quantities of bulky and household items – items at the end of their useful life, such as appliances, furniture, junk, etc will be picked up curbside.
 
Items considered Household Hazardous Waste will not be collected curbside. This includes paint cans, oil containers, stains, varnishes, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, or car care products. An annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection is scheduled for May 7th – 8th for City of Minot Sanitation customers.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
 
KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 041621 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, ND – The latest Drought Briefing says extreme drought extends across most of North Dakota, with around 76% of the state designated as being in extreme drought. Widespread precipitation during the past week has helped slow down degradation, and improved drought in parts of eastern North Dakota. Drought is likely to persist or worsen through the rest of spring and into the summer. North Dakota has received widespread precipitation across the state over the past 14 days, with most of it received over the past week. Highest amounts were in the southeast, where drought conditions have improved. Even with recent rain and snow across the state, soil moisture is still well below average across almost all of North Dakota, except for the southeast.
——————————————————————————-
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Legislature will decide if a last-minute proposal for a state-financed amusement and theme park along a major interstate would be an economic boon for the area, or if it would take taxpayers for a ride. The idea that’s been quietly tucked into the state Commerce Department’s budget in the waning weeks of the legislative session would provide $65 million in loans and grants for the proposed facility on state-owned land adjacent to Interstate 94 in Jamestown, which is about midway between Fargo and Bismarck. Lawmakers pushing the project say they’re already being mocked by some of their colleagues for bringing up the proposal.
——————————————————————————
 
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new survey of bankers suggests strong economic growth continues in rural parts of 10 Western and Plains states even though business continues to lag behind the level it was at before the coronavirus pandemic began. The overall index for the region declined slightly from March’s 71.9 but remained at a strong level of 69. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said improving grain prices, continued low interest rates and growing exports have all helped the economy in rural areas. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, ND – The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in North Dakota is nearing one half-million. The Department of Health lists 492,026 total doses given. Of those 265,416 (45.5%) have received at least one dose. There are 168 more positive cases reported Thursday. Hospitalizations due to the virus rise by 3 to 31. Active cases are up 19 to 1,174. Total deaths among those who tested positive rises by one to 1,475.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
 
KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 041521 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota House has passed a bill that supporters say ensures fairness in girls sports and sent the legislation to the Senate. The bill passed Wednesday prohibits K-12 schools from “knowingly” allowing a student to join an athletic team exclusively for their opposite gender, but does allow girls to play on boys teams, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
 
The legislation, passed by a House-Senate conference committee earlier this week, includes an optional interim study of the impact of the bill on student athletic events. Any recommendations would be forwarded to the 2023 Legislature.
 
Opponents say the bill discriminates against transgender youth and risks possible legal action. Democratic Rep. Mary Schneider called the bill unkind, un-Christian, unjustified, unnecessary and unconstitutional.
 
Republican Rep. Kathy Skroch called it “a good compromise agreement between the House and the Senate.” “This is a bill in good form, which is important in protecting female athletes of North Dakota,” Skroch said.
 
If the Senate approves the bill, it goes to Gov. Doug Burgum, who has not stated his position on the issue. The North Dakota High School Activities Association opposes the bill.
——————————————————————————
 
MANDAN, ND – The Morton County Sheriff’s Office has identified the body of a man found in the Missouri River Sunday morning. 45-year old Carlo Touchine was found near a private dock south of the Expressway Bridge in Mandan around 9:00 a.m. on April 11 when the owner of the property discovered the body. An autopsy was conducted by a North Dakota State Forensic Examiner. Touchine’s last known address was in Dickinson. The cause of death is still under investigation but there are no injuries to indicate foul play.
——————————————————————————-
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A tattoo artist accused of spray painting his logo on some businesses in Bismarck has been acquitted of felony criminal mischief. The prosecutor who handled the case against 33-year-old Richard Hudson who had been scolded by the judge during the trial was fired before hearing the verdict Wednesday.
 
Hudson was accused of painting the word CRAN, which is his tag or logo, on a number of businesses and a railroad bridge causing about $18,000 in damage. A jury deliberated for just 10 minutes before finding Hudson not guilty.
 
South Central District Judge John Grinsteiner earlier Wednesday raised his voice at Assistant Burleigh County State’s Attorney Scott Miller for mishandling prosecution exhibits, not properly preparing witnesses and ignoring an order the judge had issued, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Defense attorney Lloyd Suhr argued that Miller’s questioning of witnesses at times was attempting to sway the jury by branching out to businesses that weren’t included in the case. “You should be embarrassed,” Grinsteiner told Miller.
 
Before closing arguments, Grinsteiner granted Suhr’s motion for a mistrial. The defense attorney later withdrew his motion because Grinsteiner made it without prejudice, giving prosecutors the option to retry the case. Burleigh County State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer appeared in the courtroom for the jury’s decision and confirmed Miller had been fired.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, ND – The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in North Dakota is nearing one half-million. Today’s report from the Department of Health lists 492,026 total doses given. Of those 265,416 (45.5%) have received at least one dose. There are 168 more positive cases reported today from 5,952 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 4.02%. Hospitalizations due to the virus rise by 3 to 31. Active cases are up 19 to 1,174. Total deaths among those who tested positive rises by one to 1,475.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
 
 
KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 041521 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota health officials say the number of confirmed variant cases of the coronavirus has doubled this month and are warning about the possibility of another wave of infections. The state lab has identified 79 total cases of four variants, said Kirby Kruger, director of the Health Department’s Disease Control Division. The includes 50 of the one first identified in the United Kingdom, 28 of the two California variants and one of the South African variant. Total active cases of COVID-19 have nearly doubled in North Dakota and Kruger cites variants as a key factor. The North Dakota Department of Health reports that 45.1% of residents (263,317) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 35.4% (206,645) are fully vaccinated.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Owners of the Dakota Access pipeline have asked the full Washington D.C. circuit court to review a panel’s decision that essentially said the North Dakota project is operating without a key permit. The appeal filed Monday calls for a rehearing on a ruling by the three-judge panel affirming U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s opinion that the pipeline is operating without a federal permit granting easement to cross beneath a reservoir along the Missouri River. Opponents want the pipeline shut down while the U.S. Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review, a decision that will likely fall to Boasberg.The chances of a full review by the D.C. Court are unlikely and lawyers for the pipeline opponents aren’t required to file a response unless requested by the court.
—————————————————————————–
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Fairmount Republican Larry Luick has been chosen as the North Dakota Senate’s new president pro tempore (pro TEM’-por-ay). The job involves presiding over Senate sessions when the lieutenant governor is absent. Luick replaces Minot Sen. Randy Burckhard. Luick will have the job until the next regular session of the Legislature begins in January 2023. The GOP has the majority in the North Dakota Senate, and Luick defeated Fargo Democrat Tim Mathern Wednesday to win the job. The 62-year-old farmer and excavation contractor was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and represents District 25, in the state’s southeastern corner.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – This spring, the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Economic Assistance Division is partnering with the Office of Family Assistance Peer Technical Assistance (OFA Peer TA) Network to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
 
TANF provides temporary financial assistance, averaging $297 a month, and work readiness, training and job placement services and support to about 950 qualifying low-income families per month in North Dakota. Qualifying families include children who are deprived of support or care by at least one parent. Eight out of 10 TANF recipients are children. The TANF program was created during welfare reform in the late 1990s and includes a 60-month lifetime limit on participation.
 
“We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to take a closer look at TANF services to best support stability for North Dakota children and families,” said Jessica Thomasson, the department’s executive policy director for family stability.
 
The technical assistance will examine the current service delivery system, policy and administration of TANF services. The department will engage with key stakeholder groups including human service zones, tribal entities, various state agencies, contractors, community partners and individuals receiving services to gather program data and feedback. The information learned through this process will be shared later this fall and used for planning and future decision making.
 
“Training and technical assistance will assist us with creating a strategy,” said Michele Gee, the department’s economic assistance division director. “Our goal is to learn how we can implement innovative ways to improve the well-being of children and families we serve.”
OFA Peer TA is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration of Children and Families and the Office of Family Assistance. Technical assistance is awarded to states looking to achieve an innovative approach to operating its TANF programs. Some technical assistance methods that will be used include peer-to-peer roundtables, site visits, workshops, moderated teleconferences, environmental scans, annotated bibliographies and literature reviews.
Individuals with questions or who would like to learn more can call 701-328-2332, toll-free 800-755-2716, 711 (TTY) or email dhseapnd.gov.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
 
KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 041421 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A Cannon Ball man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for driving drunk and causing a crash that killed two people on the Standing Rock Reservation. Thirty-seven-year-old Matthew Wood pleaded guilty last December to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of 83-year-old Arlene Hodgkiss and 57-year-old William Left Hand in 2019. A third person, Jody Black Moon, suffered serious injuries. U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor also ordered Wood on Monday to pay more than $640,000 in restitution and spend three years on supervised release.
—————————————————————————–
 
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Department of Health reports today that 45.1% of residents (263,317) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 35.4% (206,645) are fully vaccinated. Today’s daily positive rate is 3.54% as 177 positives come from 7,041 tests processed. Active cases rise by 36 to 1,155. Hospitalizations due to the coronavirus are up one to 28. There was one more death among those who tested positive bringing that total to 1,474.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Game and Fish officials say a 16-pound, 6-ounce walleye caught March 13 by Dickinson angler Jared Shypkoski is the new state record. Shypkoski reeled in the 33-inch fish in the Eckroth Bottoms area of upper Lake Oahe. The previous record of 15 pounds, 13 ounces was taken in 2018 by Neal Leier of Bismarck, approximately 30 miles upstream on the Missouri River near the Fox Island boat ramp.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota’s moose and elk lotteries have been held, and individual results are available by visiting the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. A total of 19,126 applications were received for bighorn sheep, 23,023 for elk and 26,035 for moose. The bighorn sheep lottery is scheduled in September, after summer population surveys are completed and total licenses are determined. Once the lottery is held, successful applicants will be contacted to select a hunting unit.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
 
 
 
KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 041421 – 0700
 
 
MINOT, N.D. (AP) – Authorities say several people were injured when an SUV rear-ended a South Prairie school bus five miles south of Minot. The North Dakota Highway Patrol said the school bus had slowed down to turn left on U.S. Highway 83 Tuesday afternoon when the collision occurred. Patrol Sgt. Kevin Huston says three people in the SUV were injured and at least two people on the bus were hurt. The extent of their injuries was not known. A spare bus was brought in to take some of the students home and others were picked up by their parents.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A group has submitted a proposed ballot measure that aims to raise the approval threshold for changing the North Dakota Constitution through the state’s citizen-initiative process. The group wants to change voter approval of constitutional amendment from a simple majority to 60%. The petition also seeks to limit ballot measures to a single issue. Retired Maj. Gen. Michael Haugen is co-chairman of the group. He says constitutional amendments have been put before voters in every election cycle for more than a decade. Haugen says they are often backed by out-of-state interests.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is strongly urging that vaccine providers in the state pause use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine following a joint statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued on Tuesday. The statement says a rare type of blood clot has been reported in six people who received the vaccine in the United States. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.
 
“While Janssen use is paused, individuals seeking COVID-19 vaccination should receive Pfizer or Moderna,” said Molly Howell, MPH, NDDoH Immunization Program Director. “Over 180 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered in the United States and the only safety concern that has been identified is anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), which is very rare and manageable with immediate treatment. No other concerning safety signals have been associated with either of the mRNA vaccines; vaccination against COVID-19 continues to be safer than risking the disease.”
 
There are currently no known cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis among Janssen COVID-19 vaccine recipients in North Dakota.
—————————————————————————–
 
MINOT, ND – Some much needed precipitation has come in the form of snow this week. Just south of Minot a total of 8.5 inches was reported which melted down to just under one inch. Up until now Minot had received only .22 of an inch of precipitation since January 1. In northwest North Dakota near Noonan and Crosby 9.5 inches of snow was reported.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
 
KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 041321 – 1200
 
 
BISMARCK, ND – A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect through the afternoon for the northern half of North Dakota. Forecasters with the National Weather Service office in Bismarck say we could see additional wet snow accumulations up to two inches and winds gusting as high as 40 mph. Plan on slippery road conditions due to falling snow and areas of drifting snow across roadways in northwest and north central North Dakota, mainly along and north of Highway 200. Generally one to two inches of snow has been recorded across the central part of the state. North of Watford City there was a report of 4 inches and at Crosby 5 inches of snow was reported last night.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Health Department is reporting another 234 cases of COVID-19 today. Those positives come from 4,527 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 6.70%. Cass County tallied 101 of those new positives. The 14-day rolling positivity rate is at 4.8%. Two deaths among those who tested positive brings the total to 1,471. Active cases rise by 44 today to 1,119. Those hospitalized due to the virus is down 8 to 27. Health officials report a total of 478,083 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in North Dakota. 202,215 (34.6%) are fully vaccinated with 261,884 (44.9%) have received at least on dose.
——————————————————————————
 
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects. Here in North Dakota 21,157 Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered. A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – LaDonna Allard, a woman considered a matriarch in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, has died at age 64. An online obituary says Allard died April 10 in Fort Yates where she lived. Allard founded the first Dakota Access pipeline protest camp in March 2016. It grew in size over the next few months and inspired others to set up camps where the Cannonball and Missouri rivers meet. Thousands of people from around the world soon arrived to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its fight against the pipeline.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
 
 
 
KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 041321 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) – Those calling for sweeping action to reduce prescription-drug prices in North Dakota saw mixed results this legislative session. One proposal was a price transparency bill. When a planned price hike exceeds 10% over one year or 40% over five years, the drug manufacturer would be required to explain why. The bill has cleared hurdles in both chambers and is expected to go to the governor.
 
Josh Askvig, state director for AARP North Dakota, testified in support of the measure, saying it puts the issue out in the open. “I think that could potentially put some pressure on them to not raise that by those percentages and prices,” Askvig contended.
 
Another plan advanced calls for a study of prescription-drug costs and the implications of importing more affordable medications from Canada. Separate legislation surrounding a wholesale-importation program did not advance. The bills saw opposition from groups such as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which cited drug-safety concerns.
 
Askvig noted they were disappointed those measures didn’t pass, but added with the mandatory study, they’re hopeful enough awareness will be raised about the rising costs of medication and the difficult choices seniors are making. “‘Do I make a rent payment, or do I pay for my medicine?'” Askvig asked. “And that shouldn’t be the case.”
 
In the meantime, he and other advocates urged those on tight budgets to have conversations with their doctors about the effectiveness of medication and what is needed for their situation. The North Dakota Insurance Department has a program called Prescription Connection, which addresses access issues for individuals.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about nine million individuals in the U.S. are blind or have a significant vision impairment. North Dakota is making a difference in the lives of individuals impacted by blindness or low vision with its specially-trained vision rehabilitation specialists who helped over 600 North Dakotans maintain a high level of independence last year.
 
The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation wants to celebrate and remind residents during Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Week, April 11-17, that experts and services are available. This week of appreciation is to honor the work of Anne Sullivan, the teacher and advocate who worked with Helen Keller.
 
The seven vision rehabilitation specialists employed by VR work to increase the independence of individuals with vision impairments. They work with the Older Individuals who are Blind program to serve people age 55 and older who have serious vision loss or blindness. They provide services, equipment and training to help people read mail, medication labels, recipes and other materials. Vision rehabilitation specialists also teach people adaptive ways to prepare meals, do laundry, identify money, use the phone, handle writing tasks, complete work tasks, and identify safe routes to exit a home in an emergency.
 
The Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center just released a new campaign, Time To Be Bold, to increase awareness about free and low-cost services to those 55 and older who have a vision impairment that impacts daily life and independence. To learn more, visit www.TimeToBeBold.org.
 
For individuals who are involved in the VR employment program, a VR counselor works with a vision rehabilitation specialist to help the individual achieve their employment goals and recommends appropriate assistive technology, lighting and other accommodations to a workplace, school, home, or community setting.
 
“Our goal is to ensure North Dakotans have quality services by partnering with other agencies and organizations to help better the lives of individuals affected by blindness or low vision,” said Damian Schlinger, director of the DVR.
 
Individuals with serious vision loss affecting their independence or job can access vision rehabilitation therapy services and vocational rehabilitation services by contacting Vision Services and Independent Living Program Administrator Aimee Volk at 701-328-8954, toll free at 1-800-755-2745, 711 (TTY) or alvolknd.gov.
 
Information about the department’s VR services for individuals, including Older Blind Program Services, is online at www.nd.gov/dhs/dvr/individual/older-blind.html.
 
North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind information is on the Web at http://www.ndvisionservices.com/.
—————————————————————————–
 
WATFORD CITY, ND – Wintery weather conditions that developed over this weekend are a welcome sight to the firefighters that have been working the Horse Pasture Fire for the past week. The fire, currently mapped at 5,000 acres, is now 95% contained.
 
Lucas Graf, District Ranger for the McKenzie Ranger District of the Little Missouri National Grassland says the cold and wet weather is increasing their confidence in the containment lines established over the past week. He says they are also grateful for all the food and medical supply donations that have been received from the community.
 
Firefighters from local, state, and federal agencies have been battling the Horse Pasture Fire since it was reported on the afternoon of April 3rd on the Little Missouri National Grassland, near the Horse Pasture Dams, located just north of Theodore Roosevelt National Park – North Unit. The fire burned lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, State of North Dakota, and some private lands. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Gov. Doug Burgum will be faced with some politically tricky legislation once lawmakers finish their work on several unsettled measures and budget bills as the Legislature enters its final weeks. Conference committees rule at the North Dakota state Capitol this week, as legislators work to reconcile differing versions of bills endorsed in both chambers. Some of the issues still in play include bills such as a measure to allow the Ten Commandments to be posted in schools and anti-mask legislation that Burgum will no doubt see as an encroachment on his executive authority.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
 
KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 041221 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, ND – Over one third of North Dakota residents have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The Department of Health reports that 199,977 (34.2%) have received both doses of vaccine, while 260,969 (44.7%) have received at least one dose. The daily positive rate is 5.78% as 64 positive come from 1,358 tests processed. Total positives since the pandemic began in North Dakota is 104,808. Active cases drop by 36 to 1,075 today. Those currently hospitalized due to the virus remains unchanged at 35. Health officials report one death since Friday among those who tested positive bringing the total to 1,471.
——————————————————————————
 
MINOT, ND – Residents should be wary of two men alleging to be employees with the City of Minot’s water and sewer department who say they need to enter homes to check water meters. If residents suspect the visit is a scam, they should call the Minot Police Department at 852-0111 to report the incident. Any information residents can provide, such as a vehicle license plate number or description of the visitors, would be helpful to police.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A new survey of the bighorns herd in western North Dakota shows it has rebounded from an outbreak of bacterial pneumonia seven years ago to reach record numbers. The state Game and Fish Department’s survey says the herd south of Interstate 94, however, continues to struggle and and is at its smallest size in about two decades, the survey showed. The count shows 322 bighorns, up 11% from 2019 and 13% above the five-year average. About 40 bighorns in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and sheep recently introduced to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation aren’t included in the count.
——————————————————————————
 
FARGO, N.D. – Brig. Gen. Darrin K. Anderson became the newest North Dakota National Guard general officer Saturday during a promotion ceremony at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo. With this promotion to general officer, Anderson assumes the duties of the North Dakota National Guard assistant adjutant general for Air from Brig. Gen. Todd M. Branden, who is retiring. Anderson previously served as the commander of the 119th Wing, nicknamed the “Happy Hooligans” from August 2018 to March 2021, while Branden has been the assistant adjutant general for Air since October 2017. After the promotion ceremony, the audience members bid farewell to Branden during a retirement ceremony paying tribute to his 42 years of service to the North Dakota National Guard.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
 
 
 
KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 041221 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – Residents should be wary of two men alleging to be employees with the City of Minot’s water and sewer department who say they need to enter homes to check water meters. “We don’t typically show up unannounced. Something like could happen in an emergency, like when there’s a water main break in the area, but even that would be very unusual,” said John Reynolds, superintendent of the City’s water and sewer department.
 
If City of Minot employees come to a home or business, they will be wearing City of Minot apparel like a yellow vest with the City logo, and will be driving a City of Minot vehicle with the City’s official logo on the side. “Typically, residents start the process themselves by calling us to report a problem with their meter,” said Reynolds. “When they call us, we’ll set up an appointment and send a crew out at that time. We don’t go around changing or checking water meters for no reason.”
 
If a resident feels at all uncomfortable, they should ask the visitors for identification, or ask for the phone number of the Water Department (857-4150), then call the department to verify the visitor’s name. If a resident still feels uncomfortable, they should not let the visitors into their home or business. Reynolds said crews do not need to enter a home to read the meter; that process can be done electronically from outside the home.
 
If residents suspect the visit is a scam, they should call the Minot Police Department at 852-0111 to report the incident. Any information residents can provide, such as a vehicle license plate number or description of the visitors, would be helpful to police.
——————————————————————————
 
MINOT, ND – A Minot was injured when he lost control of his motorcycle. Minot Police say they received a call about at single motorcycle crash in the 1900 block of Burdick Expressway East around 6:20 pm on Saturday. Officers say the driver of the motorcycle, 41-year old James Robert Crawford of Minot, was traveling west on the Expressway when he lost control of his motorcycle, struck the guardrail, and was ejected onto the north side of the roadway. Crawford sustained multiple injuries and was initially transported by Community Ambulance to Trinity ER. Since then, he has been transported out of state for medical treatment. Investigation into the accident is ongoing.
—————————————————————————–
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A motorcyclist has been killed after colliding with a car near Mandan, North Dakota. A man driving a Ford Taurus was turning left and crossing the motorcycle’s lane of traffic on the Memorial Highway, where the collision occurred on Friday. The motorcyclist, Theodore Heidrich, was transported to a Bismarck Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Ford Taurus, Ronald Newman, was not injured. The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
——————————————————————————
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota reports 48 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the statewide total for active cases to 1,111. The average number of cases has been on the rise in recent weeks. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 20%, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 276,426 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine. That’s about 36% of the state’s population.
—————————————————————————–
 
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) – Williston State College has named the finalists in its search for a new president. The Grand Forks Herald reported Saturday that six candidates interviewed for the position earlier this week. The four finalists include Joshua Baker, vice president of instructional services at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Clark Richard Harris, special assistant to the president at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Bernell Hirning, former associate vice president of the northern region at National University in Fresno, California; and Scott Molander, co-founder of Hat World, Inc., in Indianapolis. The State Board of Higher Education will conduct final interviews on the Williston State campus later in April.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)