KHRT ND News

KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 112320 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health, with support from local public health and the North Dakota National Guard, will roll out free rapid testing for K-12 teachers, staff and administrators this week as part of a pilot project to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases so they can quickly isolate and prevent further spread of the virus.
 
Testing of K-12 teachers, staff and administrators will begin this week in the Fargo and West Fargo school districts. Testing is highly recommended in order to proactively isolate positive cases and keep educational spaces safe for students and staff. Staff members who work closely with students are strongly encouraged to participate weekly. Testing is limited to K-12 personnel; students will not be tested. The plan is to test teachers, staff and administrators weekly until Dec. 31, 2020.
 
“These rapid tests are a new tool in the toolbox that will help us break the chain of transmission by helping to identify the silent epidemic of COVID-positive individuals unknowingly spreading the virus,” said Dr. Joshua Wynne, the state’s chief health strategist and dean of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.
 
“Deploying these rapid tests to K-12 school districts will help to quickly identify and isolate asymptomatic carriers and prevent further spread of the virus to bend the curve in the right direction, while helping schools remain open or return to in-person learning,” said Gov. Doug Burgum, who met three times with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including twice with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield as the rapid testing strategy was developed. “Conducting this testing before and after Thanksgiving will also provide insights and help us fine-tune our strategy for reducing community spread, thereby protecting our health care capacity.”
 
“We know most students are best served by in-person learning where they receive critical academic, social, nutrition, and physical safety supports to help them learn and grow,” State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said. “Our schools are implementing and consistently using strong mitigation strategies to keep in-person learning safe and slow community spread of COVID-19. Testing asymptomatic teachers, staff, and administrators will rapidly isolate positive cases which adds an additional layer to the foundation of consistent and strong mitigation strategies.”
 
The weekly testing will use Abbott BinaxNOW point-of-care antigen tests, which can diagnose a coronavirus infection in as little as 15 minutes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is allocating 220,000 BinaxNOW tests to North Dakota by the end of the year as part of 150 million units purchased by the federal government in August.
 
The North Dakota Department of Health is working with local public health units and school districts to coordinate the testing. It’s anticipated that weekly rapid testing for teachers, staff and administrators will be rolled out to additional school districts in the coming days and weeks.
 
Rapid testing isn’t a substitute for basic measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including physical distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands and avoiding crowded indoor spaces.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota health officials on Sunday reported 19 new hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, putting the number of patients requiring treatment in medical facilities back over the 300 mark. The update showed 1,150 positive COVID-19 tests in the last day, for a total of 72,683 cases since the start of the pandemic. Cass County recorded 183 new cases, followed by Burleigh County with 159 and Ward County with 127. There are 315 people hospitalized due to complications from the virus. Data released by state officials Saturday showed 22 staffed intensive care unit beds and 229 staffed inpatient beds available statewide.
 
There were about 2,412 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks first in the country for new cases per capita, according to figures compiled Saturday by The COVID Tracking Project. One in every 88 people in North Dakota tested positive in the past week.
 
November is on track to become North Dakota’s deadliest month from COVID-19, as the number of cases continue to surge in the state that has become among the nation’s hotspots for coronavirus spread. State officials confirmed six deaths in the last day, for a total of 840 fatalities. Data show 274 of the deaths have occurred so far in November, just under the October tally of 285. More than half of the statewide deaths have occurred in the past few weeks.
 
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
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BISMARCK, ND – During this unprecedented time, it is expected that more holiday gifts and greetings will be sent through the mail than ever before, as families and friends will hold virtual celebrations instead of opening gifts in person. The Postal Service always encourages customers to send their holiday gifts and cards early. This year is no different.
 
The Postal Service begins planning for peak holiday season every January. To help handle the expected volume increase, the Postal Service has the ability to flex their network to meet the significant volume increases expected this year. This includes making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver the expected mail and package volumes. They also have 644,000 employees dedicated to ensuring gifts and greetings are delivered in time for the holidays.
 
Seasonal workers are hired when and where needed, and technology has been expanded to enhance package tracking throughout the USPS processing and transportation networks. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 29 to locations with high package volumes. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.
 
The busiest time of the season peaks two weeks before Christmas, when much of the last-minute shopping starts. Customer traffic is expected to increase beginning Dec. 7, with the week of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week.
Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages. In these socially distant times, they can simply visit usps.com or use the Click-N-Ship feature for help shipping that holiday gift, ordering free Priority Mail boxes, printing shipping labels, purchasing postage and even requesting free next-day Package Pickup. And usps.com is always open.
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses*:
 
· Dec. 9 – APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
· Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
· Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground service
· Dec. 18 – APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service
· Dec. 18 – First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
· Dec. 18 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
· Dec. 19 – Priority Mail service
· Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express* service
 
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – SATURDAY – 112120 – 0700
 
 
MINOT, ND – The Minot City Council officially hired Harold Stewart II as the next city manager after approving a contract during a special meeting on Friday. Stewart comes to Minot from Warrensburg, Mo., where he has been the city manager.
 
He was chosen from an original pool of 50 applicants, which was narrowed to three finalists. The finalists were interviewed by the City Council and a separate panel of department heads and community stakeholders.
 
“My family and I are very excited to become part of the Minot community. I strongly believe Minot has all the necessary components in place to forge a sustainable future,” Stewart said. “I look forward to working together with the Mayor, Council, City staff, community leadership, businesses, and citizens. I recognize it will take all of us to make Minot what we dream it could be.”
 
Stewart is scheduled to begin working in Minot on Dec. 28. He’s familiar with Minot, having been a finalist for the Minot City Manager job in 2014.
 
“We’re pleased to have Harold join us as our community continues to move forward,” Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma said. “The next few years are critical to Minot’s success, and the City Manager will play a key role in our development. We look forward to Harold joining our team.”
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday asked North Dakotans to stay home on Thanksgiving and to not celebrate the holiday with people outside of their households to help slow the rampant spread of the coronavirus and preserve the state’s hospital capacity. Burgum’s request mirrors a Thanksgiving warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging Americans not to travel and instead to celebrate the holiday only with immediate family.
 
“These gathering can be dangerous, if not deadly, for those who are vulnerable,” Burgum said during his weekly COVID-19 update at the state Capitol.
 
Like many states in the Upper Midwest, North Dakota is in the grips of a severe outbreak of COVID-19, logging another 1,408 confirmed cases and 23 more deaths from the disease on Friday, according to the state’s health department. That brought it’s totals since the pandemic began to more than 70,000 cases and 818 deaths. There are 9,915 active cases statewide.
 
Burgum was joined at the briefing by doctors who warned that the holiday weekend could lead to more infections if precautions are ignored. “Please sacrifice this holiday season so you can hold future holiday seasons with your family,” said Joshua Ranum, a Hettinger physician and vice president of the North Dakota Medical Association.
 
The health department reported Friday that there were 289 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, which was a net gain of 13 since Thursday. There were seven staffed Intensive Care Unit beds and 187 inpatient beds available at hospitals in the state. Sanford Health Bismarck had only one staffed ICU bed and eight staffed inpatient beds available. CHI St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck had no staffed ICU beds and eight inpatient beds available.
 
North Dakota continued to rank first in the country for new cases per capita in the last two weeks. One out of every 81 people in the state tested positive in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s Constitution gives Gov. Doug Burgum the right to appoint someone to a state House seat won by a Republican candidate who died before the election, his lawyer argued Friday as the state Supreme Court waded into what attorneys called an unprecedented case. There also is not an applicable law that allows the Legislature to fill the seat, said Robert Pathroff, a Bismarck attorney representing the Republican governor.
 
Lawyers argued during the livestreamed hearing about who has the authority to fill the District 8 seat that was won Nov. 3 by David Andahl even though he died Oct. 5 from coronavirus complications. The House district represents a sprawling rural area north of Bismarck.
 
The struggle over the seat has laid bare the divisions between Burgum, a former Microsoft executive who last month won his second term, and legislative leaders in his own party who have often clashed with him on policy. Burgum spent heavily to help defeat the last holder of the seat, fellow Republican Jeff Delzer, over Delzer’s opposition to him on budgeting matters. A day after the election, Burgum appointed Washburn coal executive Wade Boeshans to the seat. And he sued the Legislature, secretary of state, and Democratic and Republican activists to bring the issue to the high court.
 
Legislators argue that they, not Burgum, have the power to fill the seat. And this week they chose Delzer, a farmer with a reputation for tight-fisted budgeting, to do it.
 
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem told justices Friday that Burgum’s appointment was executive branch overreach and violated separation of powers. A governor may not “impose a legislator on a district they neither asked for or was involved with,” Stenehjem argued.
 
Burgum gave more than $3.1 million to a political action committee that largely targeted Delzer. Backed by Burgum’s campaign cash, Andahl and Dave Nehring won the Republicans’ endorsements and voters’ nominations in the June primary. GOP activists in the district endorsed Delzer 17-1, with Nehring, a member of the party’s executive committee, casting the dissenting vote.
 
Democrats also argue that Burgum has no authority to fill the seat. Attorney David Thomson told justices that Democrat Kathrin Volochenko should be the district’s next representative because she got the next-highest number of votes. The attorney general and Pathroff both dismissed that argument. There’s no time frame for a ruling by the court.
 
Pathroff also denied that the governor’s appointment would disenfranchise the district’s voters, citing their rejection of Delzer in the June primary. “Voters of District 8 expressly communicated their protest to the nomination of the very individual District 8 has now deemed to appoint to the Legislature,” Pathroff said.
 
The high court will rule on the case later. North Dakota legislators take office on Dec. 1.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The COVID-19 pandemic has created routine disruption, disappointment due to cancelled events and stress for many people, including children and teens. The recent increasing number of cases in the state has resulted in academic challenges for many and modified extracurricular activities. Parents and children may feel disappointment or sadness that the school year and activities are not happening as they had planned.
 
Parents Lead offers tips and resources for parents during this time. It is important to acknowledge that both parents and their children may be grieving. Recognizing that grief can be like a roller coaster with good days, bad days and in-between days is a great first step. There are many ways to support children and teens by empathizing with their loss, spending time together and identifying creative ways they can continue to engage in their favorite activity or sport.
 
“As parents and trusted adults, we can model for our children how to deal with disappointment, practice gratitude and how our behavior has an ability to positively impact others,” said Laura Anderson, the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division Assistant Director.
 
Some additional ways parents can support their children and teens include:
 
– Encourage them to connect with teammates and friends virtually to socialize, practice their activity or do a virtual group workout session.
 
– Help them identify things they can do at home to improve their skills, like reading books, watching videos of professionals or practicing at home.
 
– Empower them to check in with their coach or activity lead to identify ways to stay involved or connected. They may have ideas of routines for skill development drills and activities to do at home.
 
“We are all being impacted by COVID-19 and this shared experience is something that connects us all,” said Anderson. “What our children remember isn’t predetermined and we can help them form positive memories while also learning how to cope with disappointment.”
 
The Behavioral Health Division continues to develop new resources not only for parents, but also for community members and professionals. Individuals are encouraged to check the Parents Lead website regularly for new resources, links to helpful information and for updates on supporting families during these times.
 
The primary goal of Parents Lead is to provide parents and caregivers with tools and resources to support them in promoting the behavioral health and well-being of their children. Interested individuals can also follow Parents Lead on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The head of one of the largest health systems in the Midwest has told employees he’s recovered from COVID-19 and is back in the office, without a mask. Sanford Health’s CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft, said in an email Wednesday that he believes he’s now immune for “at least seven months.” And he says he isn’t a threat to transmit it, so wearing a mask would be merely for show. Krabbenhoft’s email comes as hospitals throughout the region are struggling. Other Sanford Health executives tried to walk his statement back, saying in an email Friday that his words don’t reflect the views of the system as a whole.
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UNDATED (AP) – Republican governors in some hard-hit states are refusing to ask families to limit Thanksgiving celebrations despite warnings from federal health officials that gatherings could worsen a coronavirus surge that’s already spinning out of control. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says her administration “won’t stop or discourage you from thanking God and spending time together this Thanksgiving.” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says people “should be with their loved ones over Thanksgiving” and that he will also attend a football game this weekend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pleading with Americans to gather only with people in their immediate households as infections overwhelm hospitals in many states.
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Native Americans are urging President-elect Joe Biden to make history by selecting one of their own to lead the Interior Department, which oversees the nation’s tribes. The push is setting up one of several looming tests of Biden’s pledge to have a Cabinet representative of Americans. African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and other people of color see themselves as crucial to Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump. In return, they say they want attention on problems affecting their communities – and want to see more people who look like them in positions of power.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 112020 – 1200
 
 
BISMARCK, ND – The death toll in North Dakota among those who have tested positive for COVID-19 has surpassed 800. 23 deaths are listed in today’s report from the Department of Health bringing the total to 818. They include 5 from Ward County; 4 from Grand Forks; 3 each from Barnes and Stutsman; 2 each from Cass and Ramsey; and one each from Hettinger, McLean, Richland, and Stark counties.
 
1,408 positives come from 10,185 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 14.99%. Active cases are down 216 to 9,915. Hospitalizations are up 13 to 289.
 
New positives today include:
 
Ward County – 240
Cass County – 219
Burleigh County – 185
Grand Forks County – 153
Morton County – 56
Stark County – 52
Stutsman County – 43
Mercer County – 36
Williams County – 36
Walsh County – 35
Mountrail County – 34
Ramsey County – 33
Rolette County – 31
Barnes County – 23
Richland County – 17
Traill County – 16
Renville County – 15
McLean County – 13
McHenry County – 12
McKenzie County – 12
Hettinger County – 11
Benson County – 10
Bottineau County – 9
Nelson County – 9
Sargent County – 9
Sioux County – 9
Burke County – 7
Dunn County – 7
Grant County – 7
LaMoure County – 7
McIntosh County – 6
Pembina County – 6
Foster County – 5
Oliver County – 5
Steele County – 5
Eddy County – 4
Adams County – 3
Bowman County – 3
Griggs County – 3
Pierce County – 3
Wells County – 3
Cavalier County – 2
Golden Valley County – 2
Kidder County – 2
Logan County – 2
Ransom County – 2
Towner County – 2
Billings County – 1
Dickey County – 1
Emmons County – 1
Sheridan County – 1
 
Cass County leads the active case count at 1,582; Burleigh County has 1,391; Ward County has 1,178; and Grand Forks at 1,107.
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Police say a man has life-threatening injuries after being shot in Fargo. Authorities provided few other details about the shooting which happened just after 1 a.m. Friday But, police did say they have detained everyone they believe was involved in the shooting. Officials say they will provide more information later Friday.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – An online news organization is suing North Dakota regulators over documents the state holds related to the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the company that handled security during construction. The lawsuit filed this week by First Look Media Works, Inc., the nonprofit publisher of The Intercept, is the second legal action over the documents.
 
Pipeline developer Energy Transfer and its subsidiary Dakota Access LLC sued the board last month, seeking the return of some 16,000 documents that it said are “confidential, proprietary, and privileged documents.” The lawsuit said the disclosure of the records could present a security risk.
 
The most recent lawsuit accuses the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board of violating state law and both the North Dakota and U.S. constitutions in refusing to release documents sought by reporter Alleen Brown, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
 
The security company TigerSwan gave the documents to the state during a two-year-long battle over whether the company operated illegally in North Dakota while the pipeline was under construction in the state in 2016 and 2017. The company agreed to settle the matter for $175,000, but did not admit to any wrongdoing.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division has launched a new program to help eligible North Dakotans access community-based substance use disorder treatment services and care coordination services.
 
The Community-Based Behavioral Health Program complements the services and supports available through the department’s Substance Use Disorder Voucher Program and the Free Through Recovery Program. The program focuses on serving individuals with behavioral health needs in their homes and communities with the goal of reducing the need for treatment in congregate settings, like residential treatment facilities, inpatient hospitalizations and emergency medical interventions.
 
Last month, the North Dakota Emergency Commission and Budget Section approved the department’s request for $1.7 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for the program.
 
“The COVID-19 pandemic impacts have been significant for many North Dakotans and this program is another way to improve access to
quality services and allow for individual choice for people in recovery,” said Behavioral Health Division Assistant Director Laura Anderson.
The Community-Based Behavioral Health Program will provide screenings and assessments, individual, group and family therapies; peer support; transportation and other services that are provided in a community-based setting. Individuals must be at least 14 years of age, live in North Dakota and meet certain income guidelines to be eligible for the program.
 
Individuals interested in learning more about the Community-Based Behavioral Health Program can contact the department’s Behavioral Health Division at dhsbhdnd.gov, 711 (TTY) or 701-328-8920.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – FRIDAY – 112020 – 0700
 
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota will receive approximately 60 U.S. Air Force medical personnel to assist in the state’s COVID-19 response after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted the state’s request for federal assistance, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Thursday.
 
The personnel, part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 response operation, are primarily nurses, including critical care nurses. They will split up into multiple specialty teams to support at least six hospitals in four cities: Trinity Hospital in Minot, CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, Essential Health in Fargo, Sanford Medical Center in Fargo and Altru Health System in Grand Forks.
 
The teams will deploy Saturday and are expected to start work at the hospitals next week in coordination with the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH). The Air Force nurses will join the 167 nurses who are part of the NDDoH COVID Response Team.
 
“These dedicated Air Force personnel will help relieve the stress on North Dakota’s more than 20,000 nurses who continue to work tirelessly to provide exceptional care for patients under incredibly challenging conditions,” Burgum said. “With hospitals projecting a surge in COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks, we’re deeply grateful to the Department of Defense and FEMA for granting our request for additional resources to help save lives and alleviate the immense pressure on North Dakota’s hospitals and long-term care facilities.”
 
The medical personnel come from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; and elsewhere.
 
U.S. Army North (ARNORTH), U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command (JFLCC), will oversee the military operation in support of federal efforts and the state.
 
“Our actions demonstrate our steadfast commitment to help communities in need as part of the whole-of-America response to the COVID-19 pandemic in support of FEMA,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH and JFLCC commander. “North Dakotans can expect the same high-quality care we’ve provided in other cities across the U.S. as we continue to coordinate alongside our local, state, and federal partners to respond to the pandemic and help save lives.”
 
“We appreciate the support from U.S. Army North and the Department of Defense in filling this FEMA mission assignment in support of the state of North Dakota,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard and director of the state Department of Emergency Services.
 
The NDDoH also has contracted with a temporary staffing agency to provide an additional 60 nursing staff for hospitals and nursing homes. The nurses will begin arriving as early as this weekend. The response is funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota National Guard reached a new milestone in their domestic support operations yesterday when COVID-19 support exceeded the efforts of their 2011 state-wide flood support mission. On Thursday, Nov. 19, the North Dakota National Guard assessed 67,495 personnel-days surpassing the record 67,264 personnel-days worked in response to 2011 flood. The COVID-19 support mission is now the largest and longest state mobilization in the history of the North Dakota National Guard.
 
“The North Dakota National Guard has been instrumental in our whole-of-government response to this pandemic,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. “We are all deeply grateful for their incredible commitment and tireless efforts to save lives and livelihoods and protect our most vulnerable citizens from this unprecedented threat to public health.”
 
The North Dakota National Guard saw their first activation on March 16 and has conducted support operations for 248 consecutive days. The 2011 flood response saw Guard members on duty for 142 days. Today, about 270 soldiers and airmen remain on COVID-19 duty.
“Our Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees have performed exceptionally well during this emergency response in a multitude of tasks”, said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. “I am proud of their efforts in this battle to contain this virus in support of the citizens of North Dakota while continuing to conduct much of their normal duties, supporting our federal missions and maintaining readiness.”
 
North Dakota Guardsmen have supported, and will continue to support the response to this pandemic with a myriad of tasks. These include administering COVID-19 tests, strategic response planning, deep cleaning at long-term and congregate living facilities. Guard members have also aided in the transportation of test specimens and provided other support to the state laboratory in Bismarck. In total, over 680 North Dakota Soldiers and Airmen have performed COVID-19 response duty.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – As the Thanksgiving holiday break approaches, North Dakota University System is working in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Health to increase student testing of COVID-19. NDUS is asking students to minimize their activities prior to leaving campus if they plan to visit loved ones outside of their normal social circle. If students choose to leave campus, they are encouraged to get a test prior to leaving campus and then once again when they return. While the additional testing may increase the number of reported positive COVID cases, the goal of these efforts is to identify positive cases, thus minimizing the risk of spread to families and communities.
 
“Identifying these positive COVID cases is a good thing, as these results will increase our knowledge campus members who are positive, and in finding these positives and isolating them, we will decrease the spread of the disease,” said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott. “Our ultimate goal is to keep our families and communities as safe as possible. Finding the positive COVID cases is a way to keep our campuses open and our communities as safe as possible.”
 
Students may be at lower risk when they are on campus, as opposed to elsewhere, due to the high mask use and social distancing on campus. Many campuses encourage students to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying on campus during the Thanksgiving holiday break and are offering flexibility with class delivery methods as the semester continues.
 
NDUS campuses and area communities will have testing events before and after the Thanksgiving holiday break, and students are encouraged to participate in the available testing. Students are also encouraged to continue being diligent about practicing mitigation strategies which include masks, social distancing, hand hygiene and other practices. Several institutions are planning special events and observances for students who choose to stay on campus during the holiday break. Students should check with their individual campuses for special arrangements and activities that may be planned during the holiday break.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum will hold a press briefing with the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) at Noon today to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in North Dakota. House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner will be among the guest speakers. Live coverage can be heard on 106.9 K-Heart and 1320 KHRT.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 111920 – 1200
 
 
BISMARCK, ND – Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are down for a third day in a row in North Dakota. Today’s report from the Department of Health lists 276 currently hospitalized, down 21 from yesterday’s tally.
 
Today’s daily positive rate is 14.59% as 1,386 positives come from 10,325 tests processed. Active cases are up 154 to 10,131. There are 10 more deaths reported pushing the total to 795. They include two each from Burleigh and Ward counties; and one each from Bottineau, McIntosh, Mountrail, Pembina, Sioux, and Stutsman counties.
 
New positives today include:
 
Cass County – 302
Grand Forks County – 181
Burleigh County – 140
Stark County – 80
Ward County – 74
Barnes County – 70
Morton County – 60
Rolette County – 46
Foster County – 41
Richland County – 37
Williams County – 37
Stutsman County – 35
Mountrail County – 34
Walsh County – 25
Ransom County – 16
Dickey County – 15
Mercer County – 15
Cavalier County – 12
Ramsey County – 11
Eddy County – 10
Pembina County – 10
Benson County – 9
Bottineau County – 9
Pierce County – 9
Traill County – 9
Griggs County – 8
McHenry County – 8
McLean County – 8
Sargent County – 8
Steele County – 8
Towner County – 7
Dunn County – 6
LaMoure County – 5
Golden Valley County – 4
Adams County – 3
Bowman County – 3
Grant County – 3
Hettinger County – 3
Kidder County – 3
McKenzie County – 3
Sioux County – 3
Wells County – 3
Emmons County – 2
Logan County – 2
Nelson County – 2
Renville County – 2
Sheridan County – 2
Divide County – 1
Oliver County – 1
Slope County – 1
 
The 14-day rolling positive rate is at 15.7% today.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced ND Smart Restart Technical Skills Training Grant award recipients today. “We are happy to support these training providers as they create opportunities to help North Dakotans develop the skills they need to get back to work,” Commerce Workforce Division Director Katie Ralston said. “Expediting workers’ return to employment is a top priority identified by the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board and this grant will help North Dakota achieve that goal.”
 
Commerce was approved $1 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to administer the ND Smart Restart Technical Skills Training Grant, which is designed to support accelerated skills-based and hands-on workforce training programs that prepare displaced workers for full-time employment in North Dakota.
 
Grant recipients in the second round of funding:
 
– Bismarck State College, CDL training, $100,000
 
– Mindshift Data Analytics Training, $94,217
 
– Mindshift Software Development Training, $85,158
 
– Mindshift Sterile Processing Technician Training, $77,450
 
– North Dakota State College of Science – Microsoft IT Training, $50,000
 
A limited amount of funding is available for a third round of applicants. The third round application window is open now through Dec. 4, 2020. Non-degree skilled workforce training programs that began after March 1, 2020, may qualify for this grant to support operating expenses and scholarships for participants.
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FARGO – The Village Family Service Center has been awarded a $48,400 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust, a bank holding company and private charitable trust based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The funds will allow the nonprofit organization to implement new technology in its adoption program and development department. The Village Family Service Center strengthens kids and families across North Dakota and Minnesota through behavioral health services. These include mental health counseling, addiction treatment, in-home family therapy, mentoring, adoption services, pregnancy counseling, truancy intervention, financial counseling, employee assistance programs, and business training.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – A small group of early investors, community leaders and partners from the hunger-relief community joined a large virtual audience recently to celebrate the official grand opening of the Great Plains Food Bank Bismarck Regional Service Center. The celebration marks a significant milestone in the 38-year history of the state’s largest hunger-relief organization.
 
The regional service center is located at 1315 South 20th Street in Bismarck and is expected to support the rescue and distribution of 1.5 million pounds surplus food providing for a projected 1.25 million meals in its first year of operation. This food will be distributed through the Great Plains Food Bank’s innovative programs designed to meet the hunger needs of children, seniors and families, as well as through its partner network of 87 food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens operating throughout central and western North Dakota.
 
“Today we take our next bold step in the fight to end hunger,” Great Plains Food Bank CEO Steve Sellent said. “We distribute food for 14.4 million meals annually to all 53 counties statewide from our distribution center in Fargo. Having this facility centrally located in Bismarck will lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness of our organization and is critical to meeting our vision of a hunger-free North Dakota. This certainly is an exciting day for the Great Plains Food Bank and the people we serve, and it wouldn’t be possible without the generous support from so many donors who share our vision.”
 
The Great Plains Food Bank Regional Service Center was one of three objectives of the organization’s Feed the Future campaign. In addition to a regional service center, Feed the Future supports the statewide expansion of the Great Plains Food Bank’s childhood, senior and rural hunger relief programs and increased freezer and volunteer engagement capacity at its statewide distribution center in Fargo, which is set to open later this year.
 
“Soon racks and the freezer and cooler inside this building will be filled with surplus perishable and shelf-stable food donated by our food industry partners, thousands of volunteers will be generously sharing their time, and a variety of community partners will come together to join us in our work to end hunger for those experiencing it today, and address its root causes to reduce the line tomorrow,” Great Plains Food Bank President Melissa Sobolik said. “And this is just the tip of the hunger-relief iceberg of what we can now accomplish. This center is more than a building. It provides hope to working families, nourishment for hungry children and the nutrition necessary for seniors to thrive.”
 
Renovations to the regional service center have been happening throughout 2020, which included installation of a freezer/cooler, racking installed for donated food products, the addition of a loading bay and community room, and improvements to the office and reception area.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to build upon existing, and forge new relationships with individuals, businesses, churches, foundations, and charitable feeding programs as we set out to bolster our mission to end hunger through community partnerships,” said Kathy Schneider, member of the Great Plains Food Bank Board of Directors. “This regional service center will serve as a cornerstone in our expanded service delivery to fill unmet needs and underserved communities.”
 
The Great Plains Food Bank Regional Service Center will operate in addition to the current Great Plains Food Bank statewide distribution center in Fargo.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – THURSDAY – 111920 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A powerful Republican lawmaker who lost his seat after being targeted by Gov. Doug Burgum has been chosen by party activists to return to his old seat to replace a candidate who died before the election. Rep. Jeff Delzer was named by Republican district leaders at a nominating convention Wednesday night to succeed David Andahl, who died Oct. 5 from coronavirus complications. District 8 GOP Chairman Loren DeWitz said Delzer was the only person nominated, and was approved 17-1 by the district’s executive committee. Delzer did not immediately return telephone calls Wednesday night.
 
Exactly who takes Andahl’s seat is now the focus of a legal battle. Burgum, a Republican, appointed coal company executive Wade Boeshans to the seat. The state Supreme Court on Friday will hear arguments in the lawsuit filed by the governor.
 
Delzer is a bachelor farmer with a reputation for tight-fisted budgeting. He had served in the Legislature for parts of four decades from a sprawling rural district north Bismarck. But Delzer had clashed with Burgum over policy and spending priorities throughout the governor’s first term. Burgum gave more than $3.1 million to a political action committee that targeted Delzer. Backed by Burgum’s campaign cash, Andahl and Dave Nehring won the Republicans’ endorsements and voters’ nominations in the June primary. Nehring and Andahl were top vote-getters in the election this month for the two open over a pair of Democratic candidates.
 
A day after the election, Burgum appointed Boeshans to the open seat. Republican lawmakers and GOP Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem contend only the legislative branch has the authority to fill the vacancy.
 
Democrats also agree that Burgum has no authority to fill the seat. They are set to argue in the state’s high court that their candidate, Kathrin Volochenko, should be the next representative for the district because she got the next-highest number of votes in the race.
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FARGO, N.D. (AP) – About 70 drivers and warehouse workers at a Fargo food distributor have gone on strike because they don’t believe the company is doing enough to protect them from exposure to COVID-19. Members of Teamsters Local 120 walked a picket line Wednesday at Cash-Wa Distributing, formerly Food Services of America, KFGO radio reported.
 
Teamsters spokesman Brian Nowak says people coming into the plant aren’t being temperature-screened and workers haven’t been properly trained on how to clean equipment. “We want them to advise our employees, give them proper instruction on how to handle this COVID virus” Nowak said. “We don’t want this stuff going into restaurants and other facilities. We know that North Dakota is a hot spot right now, and it’s only going to get worse.”
 
Employees have been working under a collective bargaining agreement that expired in August, Nowak said. He sayid the union hopes the company will return to the bargaining table and “negotiate a fair contract.” Company officials declined to comment.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said six North Dakotans have applied for an open seat on the Board of Higher Education, which oversees the state’s 11 public colleges and universities. The board, which has eight voting members, has had an opening since the Aug. 20 resignation of Fargo attorney Joseph A. Wetch Jr. Baesler is chair of a nominating committee that will recommend three potential successors to Gov. Doug Burgum. The committee is holding a virtual meeting at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, to make its choices.
 
The applicants are:
 
– Matthew Dunlevy, Grand Forks, chairman and chief executive officer of SkyScopes, which offers drone services for inspections, videography, and other tasks;
 
– Bruce Gjovig, Grand Forks, retired founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota;
 
– Perry Lubbers, Casselton, a retired executive for Trail King Industries, a manufacturer of truck trailers, and member of the state Workforce Development Council;
 
– Jeremy Neuharth, Fargo, co-founder and chief executive officer of Sycorr, a software provider for financial institutions;
 
– Mark Nygard, Hazen, a retired construction and project manager for Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck; and
 
– John Warford, Bismarck, an orthodontist, former mayor of Bismarck, and former dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at Bismarck’s University of Mary.
 
The nominating committee is also seeking applications for two Board of Higher Education positions that will come open on July 1, 2021. The application deadline for those spots is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31. The seats are now held by Kathleen Neset, a geologist and consultant to the oil industry, and Dr. Casey Ryan, a Grand Forks physician and former hospital administrator. Ryan is eligible for a second four-year term on the board. Neset is finishing her second and final term.
 
The governor appoints the voting members of the Board of Higher Education. Voting members who are eligible for four-year terms are subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate.
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MANDAN, N.D. (AP) – A former Mandan police officer has been charged with three sex crimes, according to court records posted Wednesday. Scott Warzecha is charged in Morton County with one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance and two counts of surreptitious intrusion. Court documents do not list an attorney for Warzecha. Deputy Chief Lori Flaten said Wednesday that Warzecha was fired after an internal investigation. Warzecha was placed on administrative leave earlier this week. Warzecha was a 13-year police veteran and the handler of the Mandan department’s first K-9, Kupper. The dog joined the department in August 2019, The Bismarck Tribune reported.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 111820 – 1200
 
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s oil production increased slightly in September from the month prior, regulators said Tuesday. The Department of Mineral Resources says the state produced an average of 1.22 million barrels of oil daily in September. That’s up from 1.16 million barrels a day in August. North Dakota also produced 2.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in August, up from 2.6 billion cubic feet in July. There were 15,377 wells producing in September, up from 15,149 in August. The September tallies are the latest figures available. There were 14 drill rigs operating Tuesday, an increase of five from the September average. North Dakota is the nation’s No. 2 oil producer behind Texas.
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BISMARCK, ND – Active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota have dropped for a fourth day in a row. Today’s report from the Department of Health lists 9,977 active cases, a drop of 1,334 over the last four day. Hospitalizations are down for a second day in a row to 297, a drop of 35 in the past two days.
 
Unfortunately, deaths continue to rise. 16 more in today’s report bring the total to 785. They include three each from Burleigh, Cass, and Stutsman counties; two each from Grand Forks and Walsh counties; and one each from Morton, Nelson, and Pierce counties.
 
Today’s daily positive rate is 16.45% as 1,275 positives come from 8,488 tests processed. The 14-day rolling positive rate is 15.9%.
 
New positives today include:
 
Cass County – 330
Burleigh County – 191
Stutsman County – 134
Ward County – 132
Grand Forks County – 95
Morton County – 68
Williams County – 40
Rolette County – 38
Walsh County – 29
Richland County – 20
Stark County – 18
Mountrail County – 17
McKenzie County – 15
Barnes County – 11
Traill County – 11
Dickey County – 10
Pembina County – 10
Bottineau County – 9
Adams County – 8
Ramsey County – 8
McLean County – 7
Sargent County – 6
Towner County – 6
Divide County – 5
Benson County – 4
Eddy County – 4
Grant County – 4
LaMoure County – 4
Mercer County – 4
Ransom County – 4
Burke County – 3
Dunn County – 3
Foster County – 3
Griggs County – 3
Pierce County – 3
Kidder County – 2
McHenry County – 2
McIntosh County – 2
Sioux County – 2
Bowman County – 1
Cavalier County – 1
Emmons County – 1
Golden Valley County – 1
Logan County – 1
Nelson County – 1
Oliver County – 1
Renville County – 1
Steele County – 1
Wells County – 1
 
Cass County still lead the active case count at 1,608; Burleigh has 1,466; Ward with 1,213; and Grand Forks at 1,051.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Sanford Health is opening a new coronavirus care unit in Bismarck. The 20-bed unit at the former Bismarck Surgical Associates building is expected to open next week, according to the health care system. President Michael LeBeau says the $1 million facility is part of Sanford’s ‘surge’ plan. “It is a wake-up call for us, and I think it should be a wake-up call for the community that the delivery of care is starting to get outside the norm,” LeBeau told the Bismarck Tribune. In recent weeks, North Dakota has seen record numbers of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
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MINOT, N.D. – In response to colder winter weather and growing needs during the holiday season, AT&T* donated $5,500 to YWCA Minot through the St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation’s 4th annual Twice Blessed giving program. The contribution will be matched in a doubling of support to the YWCA Minot to help stock its community closet and diaper supply and maintain the Emergency Shelter.
 
“We’re grateful for AT&T and its support for the mission of empowering women in the Minot area,” said Shelbi Waters, President, YWCA Board of Directors. “We’re especially touched by AT&T’s contribution to the Twice Blessed campaign to get those dollars matched and help even more women and children feel safe and loved during this critical season.”
 
The YWCA Minot is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. They work to empower women to transform their lives through employment resources, childcare, education and more. The Emergency Shelter provides a safe place to sleep for both women and children in the Minot area.
 
“2020 has been a challenging year on so many levels and AT&T continues to look for investments to help fill the greatest needs in our communities,” said Cheryl Riley, President, AT&T Northern Plains. “We are proud of the work YWCA Minot does to end racism and empower women and pleased we could support through a matching program to leverage even more funding for the services they provide.”
 
The Twice Blessed campaign continues from November 15th through December 31st, 2020.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – WEDNESDAY – 111820 – 0700
 
MINOT, ND – A Florida woman is jailed in Minot on several charges. Minot Central Dispatch received multiple reports of a reckless Dodge pickup traveling east bound into Minot on Hwy 2/52 at around 8:30 AM on Tuesday. While several law enforcement agencies were responding to the call, the vehicle reportedly crashed into Longhorn Steakhouse causing significant damage to the business.
 
The vehicle was then observed driving away from the crash scene before it was found abandoned near 54th Ave and 16th Street SW. The driver was located and identified as 38-year old Kanitha Jones. The investigation revealed that the pickup was stolen out of Mountrail County earlier in the morning.
 
Jones was charged with possession of stolen property-motor vehicle, driving under suspension, leaving the scene of a property damage accident with fixed object, and reckless driving. Jones was transported to Ward County Jail. No injuries were reported at the business. The incident remains under investigation.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – Throughout the pandemic, qualified service providers (QSPs) in North Dakota have continued to provide important personal care services, meal preparation help and related support so that older adults and individuals with disabilities can continue living in their homes and communities. The in-home services these caregivers provide make it possible for about 2,500 North Dakotans to live at home even though many qualify for nursing home care.
 
The North Dakota Department of Human Services and the North Dakota Association of Community Providers (NDACP) have been working together since late spring to provide personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, to qualified service providers in North Dakota at no cost.
 
“While businesses are responsible for securing their own supplies, we realized many agency and independent qualified service providers were facing challenges. Supplies were scarce and sources ever changing,” said Nancy Nikolas Maier, Aging Services Division director.
To date, funds from the CARES Act, North Dakota’s Money Follows the Person program, which supports home and community-based services, and a small grant from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities have been used to provide PPE to 220 agency and individual QSPs.
 
PPE kits have been distributed directly to providers and indirectly through the department’s Aging Services regional administrators and home and community-based services case managers who live and work in local communities across the state.
 
“Whether QSPs work for a caregiver agency or are independently employed, they are impacted by the cost of masks, gloves, face shields and other protective equipment needed to keep clients and themselves healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Bruce Murry, director of NDACP. “We are pleased to help distribute needed equipment and supplies.”
 
PPE will be available at no cost to North Dakota QSPs through Dec. 31, 2020, or until supplies and funding are no longer available, whichever occurs earlier. Interested QSPs should contact NDACP at ppe.ndacpgmail.com and 701-620-2933, 711 (TTY).
 
There are about 1,132 individual QSPs and 126 agency QSPs approved to provide services to North Dakotans receiving home and community-based services through department programs.
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MINOT, ND – Evelyn Hildebrand of Minot is the recipient of the 2020 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service – AARP’s most prestigious volunteer award. The award recognizes outstanding community service and symbolizes that individuals have the power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others. The award is given to one North Dakotan annually. Because of the pandemic, Hildebrand will receive the award during a virtual event on Nov. 24.
 
Hildebrand volunteers for many organizations and events, including the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. She is a client facilitator and assists people with setting up appointments. She volunteers in a number of other ways including delivering meals to shut-ins for her church, and is a hospital volunteer.
 
“It means I get to visit with and talk to and be with people that are real and have very busy lives whether they are shut in now because of COVID or because of a health condition. I become a richer person by becoming involved with them. I still have my (car) keys and air in the tires, and I have the urge and the willingness to get out and do it!”, Hildebrand said.
 
As the award recipient, Hildebrand has chosen the Ward County Historical Society to receive a $500 contribution from AARP in her name to go towards completion of the church at the Pioneer Village Historical Museum.
 
A panel of previous award recipients and AARP North Dakota volunteer leaders selected Hildebrand from among 11 nominations. Others who were nominated for the 2020 Andrus Award are Keary Brager, David and Dorothy Green, Ray Perhus, Harold VanderBush, Bryan Hagen, and Michael and Marilyn Worner of Fargo; Marge Conley of Wilton; Diane Haugen of Hannaford; Madeline Heer of Bismarck; Dwight and DeeOn Mack of Mandan.
 
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 111720 – 1200
 
MANDAN, N.D. (AP) – Police have made an arrest in the death of a man who was struck and killed standing next to his parked vehicle in Mandan this morning, according to officials. The 42-year-old victim from Bismarck was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver who struck the man is a 19-year-old Mandan man. Police say the driver is in the Burleigh Morton Detention Center on a probable charge of criminal vehicular homicide. The North Dakota Highway Patrol assisted the Mandan Police Department with the investigation.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Violations of North Dakota’s mask mandate carry a possible fine of up to $1,000. But many law enforcement leaders say issuing a citation for failing to wear a face covering is a last resort and that education is the priority.
 
Gov. Doug Burgum encouraged law enforcement to prioritize education when he imposed the mandate Friday after months of refraining from an order. He also issued an executive order limiting capacity for bars, restaurants and event venues, and suspended prep sports and extracurricular activities. Burgum directed all local, county and state law enforcement to enforce his executive order.
 
Bismarck Police Chief Dave Draovitch said officers will respond to calls about violations, but won’t actively be looking for people or businesses that have not complied with the mandate. A citation would be the last resort, Draovitch said. “I understand that some do not agree with this executive order, and others are grateful for it,” Draovitch said, adding that people need “to respect others and their viewpoints.”
 
Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben has directed his deputies to “use good judgment and discretion” when dealing with violators, the Bismarck Tribune reported. “We try to resolve every situation but at some point enforcement may become necessary,” Leben said.
 
Mandan Deputy Chief Lori Flaten said if the department receives a complaint about noncompliance “we’re just basically educating people on the order.” “We’re not going to go out hunting people,” Flaten said. “I don’t think that’s the intent of this, either. The intent is to get people more aware.”
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BISMARCK, ND – A mixture of good and bad news in today’s COVID-19 report from the North Dakota Department of Health. The good news is that active cases are down for the second day in a row to 10,022. Hospitalizations are also down by 28 today to 304. There were 1,091 positives from 8,749 tests processed for a daily positive rate of 13.66%.
 
The bad news is there were 26 deaths pushing the total to 769. Eight of those deaths were from Ward County; four from Burleigh; three from Cass; two each from Morton, Richland, and Stutsman; and one each from Grant, Logan, Pembina, Rolette, and Stark counties.
 
New positives today included:
 
Cass County – 205
Ward County – 145
Burleigh County – 131
Grand Forks County – 117
Stutsman County – 65
Morton County – 49
Williams County – 43
Rolette County – 40
Walsh County – 37
Ramsey County – 30
Stark County – 24
Richland County – 17
Mountrail County – 13
Pembina County – 13
McHenry County – 11
Barnes County – 9
Bottineau County – 9
Foster County – 9
McKenzie County – 9
McLean County – 9
Mercer County – 8
Ransom County – 8
Burke County – 7
Cavalier County – 7
Eddy County – 7
Nelson County – 6
Sargent County – 6
Sioux County – 6
Hettinger County – 5
Kidder County – 5
Benson County – 4
Emmons County – 4
Griggs County – 4
Adams County – 3
Divide County – 3
Grant County – 3
Pierce County – 3
Renville County – 3
Towner County – 3
Dunn County – 2
LaMoure County – 2
Traill County – 2
Wells County – 2
McIntosh County – 1
Oliver County – 1
Sheridan County – 1
 
Cass County leads the active case count with 1,524; Burleigh has 1,475; Ward with 1,243; and Grand Forks at 1,103.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce today announced that the Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant (HERG) application will begin on Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. CST and will close on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. CST.
 
“As we continue to navigate and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of North Dakota remains committed to finding solutions to help alleviate the impacts on businesses while mitigating the spread of disease,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “We are grateful to have the ability to offer the HERG to businesses that are vital to employment, tourism and the quality of life for our residents and guests.”
 
Due to the continuing need of assistance, Commerce created the HERG focus on reimbursing hospitality businesses that were directly impacted by Executive Order 2020-06. This includes all restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes and similar on-site dining establishments. Eligible entities also include theaters, drama, music and entertainment venues, as well as professional production companies who support major venues, meetings and events. Hotels with restaurants, bars, coffee shops and or banquets/meeting space may apply for a grant using the operational expenses from those specific operations. The receipts must clearly show this connection such as food costs or staffing.
 
Funds must be used to reimburse eligible entities for costs in operations, like payroll, rent, utilities, and other expenses that comply with CARES Act federal and/or CDC guidelines that have resulted due to the closures and lack of consumer confidence to return to the marketplace. Eligible expenses must have been incurred on or after March 27, 2020, and no later than date of application.
 
“The Commerce team is honored to have the opportunity to continue leading efforts to promote resiliency among North Dakota’s hospitality community,” Interim Commerce Commissioner Shawn Kessel said. “We hope this grant ensures these businesses remain open and continue to be strong pillars for our communities.”
 
Commerce was approved by the Emergency Commission to use the remaining ERG funds estimated to be approximately $25 million and an additional $29 million for the HERG to support more than 3,000 food service, drinking establishment, entertainment venues and professional production companies operating in North Dakota.
 
Applicants may receive up to $25,000 and eligible entities with multiple locations may receive up to $75,000. A max of $25,000 will be allowed per location. Grant recipients are required to comply with ND Smart Restart protocols.
 
Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding will be approved if the application meets all criteria and funding is available. Additional information is available at https://belegendary.link/HERG.
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 111720 – 0700
 
FARGO, ND – United States Attorney Drew Wrigley announced that a federal grand jury has indicted 30-year old Aaron Kenneth Smith of Grand Forks for being a felon illegally in possession of a firearm.
 
Smith had an active arrest warrant and was being stopped for a city ordinance violation, when he allegedly resisted arrest, fought with a Grand Forks police officer and attempted to retrieve something from his own front pants pocket. Officers were able to subdue Smith and discovered a handgun and two loaded magazines in the pocket. Smith has several prior felony/domestic violence convictions in North Dakota and Minnesota, legally precluding him from possessing a firearm.
 
“The defendant’s prior convictions for violent offenses in North Dakota and Minnesota elevate this to a priority matter as we continue our anti-violence efforts,” said US Attorney Drew Wrigley, “thankfully the bravery and professionalism of these officers carried the day.”
The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and Grand Forks Police Department, and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, with Assistant United States Attorney Richard Lee assigned to the case.
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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced that round two of the Main Street Initiative (MSI) Vibrancy Grant program began Monday. Commerce will accept applications for round two from Nov. 16 through Jan. 4, 2021.
Main Street Initiative Vibrancy Grants support nonprofit organizations and/or local governments in vibrancy projects, including public events, public art, cultural celebrations, activating underutilized space, community gathering spaces, promoting active transportation, mitigating impacts of vacant or deteriorated infrastructure and more.
 
The program seeks to assist in adding a spark of activity and energy to communities across North Dakota. The program helps provide small investments that encourage public art, activate underutilized space or promote walking and biking. By starting small and supporting an initial community vibrancy project, the grant program inspires others to engage and contribute to improving quality of life for visitors and residents.
 
“This grant opportunity provides tangible results for enhancing and improving community vibrancy, either by bringing people together for a common cause or by inspiring a sense of community investment that leads to bigger and more comprehensive improvements needed to enhance quality of life and livability,” Interim Commerce Commissioner Shawn Kessel said.
 
The first round of the MSI Vibrancy Grant began on Jan. 29, 2020, and closed July 31, 2020. A total of nine applicants were recommended to receive grant funding totaling $13,500.
 
Additional details about the MSI Vibrancy Grant program can be found at https://belegendary.link/MainStreetVibrancyGrant
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MINOT, ND – Shawn Danielson of the City of Minot’s sanitation department has been named Public Safety Hero of the Year by Safe Fleet/Fleetmind, an organization that promotes safe driving behavior across North America. Danielson has worked in the City’s sanitation department for six years, and has an impeccable safety record, according to City of Minot Sanitation Superintendent Josh Kraft.
 
“Shawn is an exceptional driver who takes great pride in doing his job in the safest, most efficient ways possible,” Kraft said. “He’s earned this recognition through hard work, and we thank him for his continued dedication to the residents of Minot.”
 
Fleet Safe awards only one Public Safety Hero of the Year annually. Danielson will receive a $1,000 check for winning the award. He was formally recognized by Mayor Shaun Sipma during the City Council meeting on Monday.
 
As part of selecting its annual grand prize winner, Safe Fleet officials analyzed data from the City’s automated sanitation truck driven by Danielson, which records many types of driving data, including any time the truck may have experienced harsh braking, speeding, tailgating, or other data points. That information is part of the process in naming its Public Safety Hero of the Year.
 
“Shawn is recognized for demonstrating exceptional road awareness and safe driving habits,” according to information from Safe Fleet. “With a proven history of the longest and most consistent safety driving record in the City of Minot, we are proud to reward him as the 2020 grand prize winner.”
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota health officials are reporting a new high in the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, following a weekend in which the state enacted new measures in an effort to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum late Friday announced the restrictions, including ordering the use of face coverings, that went into effect Saturday and are set to remain in place until Dec. 13. Meanwhile, the number of virus patients in medical facilities rose by 10 on Monday, to 332. North Dakota has continued to rank first in the country for new cases per capita in the last two weeks. One in every 80 people in the state tested positive in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.
 
 
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)