The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says that more than half of those who were not wearing their seat belts when they were killed in car crashes ended up being ejected from their vehicles.
The DPS's Office of Traffic Safety says that from 2010 through 2012, 189 of the 361 people killed while unbelted were thrown from the vehicle they were in. Sixty-one of those who died after being ejected were between the ages of 15 and 24.
Officials say the data reinforce the importance of wearing a seat belt.
Authorities are heading into the final weekend of the statewide Click It Or Ticket campaign. Since the campaign started May 20, more than 4,000 motorists have been cited for not wearing seat belts.
Minnesota health officials say the wet weather and anticipated warm-up means outdoor enthusiasts are at high risk for ticks.
State epidemiologist Dave Neitzel says the tick season was delayed by a prolonged winter, but is now upon us. He says ticks are so small they can go unnoticed on people and pets. Neitzel says he was hiking just north of the Twin Cities recently and found some ticks.
A television report from the Twin Cities says the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows nearly 15,000 cases of tick-borne diseases were reported from 1986 to 2010. The majority of the cases were Lyme disease.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's putting a shout out to North Dakota
farmers about two important surveys to be done, starting next week.
They are the June Area Survey and the June Agricultural Survey.
For the June Area Survey, National Agricultural Statistics Service
representatives will visit randomly selected tracts of land and interview the
farmers or ranchers on that land. The questions to be asked include crop
acreage, grain stocks, livestock, cash rents, land values, and value of sales.
The June Agricultural Survey is done online, by mail, or by phone.
The information collected is a critical component of several important
national reports, including the annual Acreage report and the quarterly Grain
Stocks report. Both of those will be released June 28th.
Officials say North Dakota's uncongested airspace and unpredictable weather make the state an ideal spot for an unmanned aerial systems test site.
The state has committed $1 million in promotional costs and $4 million in operational costs in an effort to become one of six operations throughout the country to test civilian drones — in good weather and bad.
North Dakota Department of Commerce spokesman Brian Opp says the airspace in northeastern North Dakota is already designated for drone use by the University of North Dakota, so it would be a smooth transition.
Opp says two of the primary uses for drones are agriculture and energy, which also makes the state a good fit for the test center.
Further west of O'Toole, Curtis Olafson of rural Mountain was at the
intersection of Highways 32 and 66, giving KXPO/KNDK/Maverick 105 a
birdseye view. Olafson says there's water flowing over ND Highway 32.
It's about a 100-foot span. He says there's a lot of water coming off the
Olafson's been farming there all his life and he'll be 60 in December.
Olafson says he's never seen water going over Highway 32, ever. Olafson
saw a chunk of asphalt from the side of 32 was washing out. The erosion's
Olafson's farm is one-and-a-half-miles east of there.
He raises a lot of cattle and says they're fine but the sump pumps
are running and he's babysitting them.
(We talked to Olafson Monday afternoon. He was kind enough to
go there and describe the scene).
65-percent of North Dakota's traffic fatalities involve someone who's not
wearing a seatbelt. And while six-percent of North Dakota's driving population is in
the age group 14-19, that age group's involved in 20-percent of North Dakota's
Safety Director Mark Nelson of the state Department of Transportation says
motorists ought to wear their seatbelts to protect themselves and their occupants.
Nelson tells KXPO a vehicle's safety features are designed to keep you inside. If
you don't buckle up, all those safety features are ineffective. Once you don't wear
the seatbelt, you're at the mercy of going out the window, being ejected. Buckling
up is the safest thing you can do on the road.
Nelson says the unbuckled person becomes a projectile in a crash.
He says that is a "grim reality." Neelson says it's true that you have no control over
where you're going when you roll. You'll go the direction the momentum carries you.
Nelson supports making an unbuckled driver a primary offense. That means
an officer can stop someone who's unbuckled if the officer sees it. But Nelson says he
prefers we buckle our seatbelts every trip, every time because it's simply common sense.
Grafton School Superintendent Jack Maus says a proposal is going
to be made to start a "super-regional" tournament in 2014-2015.
Maus says the Grafton School Board has approved the "super-regional"
concept. Maus says the "super-regional" would do away with the district
tournaments and let each team have two more games, one home, one away.
He says it's a big improvement. It'd be to get the 12 or 13 teams down to
eight and have a regional tournament instead of two district tournaments.
Maus tells KXPO a committee of District Three and District Four
representatives has been formed. That committee took a straw vote and
approved the super-regional.
So Maus says the intention is to draw up a super-regional proposal to
send to the North Dakota High School Activities Association. The super-regional
proposal would be for volleyball, and boys and girls basketball, starting in the
2014-2015 school year.
North Dakota's 2013 deer hunting season is set.
There are 59-thousand-500-licenses available this coming fall. That's
58-hundred fewer than last year and the lowest number available since 1983.
Wildlife Chief Randy Kreil says deer populations are still below management
goals in most North Dakota hunting units. The 2012 hunting success rate was 63
percent. That's nine-points higher than in two-thousand-eleven.
Winter surveys show deer numbers down from two-thousand-eleven levels
in northern and eastern North Dakota hunting units.
This past winter was rough on deer and high-quality deer habitat continues
to be lost statewide. That will also limit deer population recovery.
North Dakota's 2013 deer-gun hunting season will start November eighth at
noon. It ends November 24th.
Online applications will be available May 13th at the North Dakota Game and
Fish website. The application deadline is June fifth.
Just halfway into May, nine accidents involving farm equipment and utility poles have been reported to the Dakota Valley and Northern Plains Electric Cooperatives so far this month.
Cooperatives operations manager Craig Rysavy says no one has been injured in the crashes and no farm equipment was damaged. But a published report says the sheer number of wrecks has officials concerned.
The crashes also cause major problems for utility crews. Rysavy says up to 150 people could be out of power as a result of damage to utility equipment.
Officials remind people to keep watch for overhead power lines and to report any potential power line hazards.
Those state and federal preliminary damage assessment teams are in this
area to get an initial view of this spring's flood.
That's according to FEMA Spokesman Brian Hvinden. Hvinden says
the teams are scheduled to be in Pembina County Tuesday and Walsh County
Hvinden says the obvious focus will be on infrastructure damage, to roads,
bridges, culverts. That's what the teams have been seeing so far elsewhere.
Hvinden says the teams are seeing a lot of overland flooding. There are gravel
road washouts, culvert washouts, and a lot of emergency protective measures
cities and counties took to prevent extensive flood damage.
Hvinden tells KXPO a lot of the flooding happened on smaller streams that
weren't big enough to handle the fast snowmelt. So, some areas have flooded that
haven't flooded before.
The preliminary damage assessment information will be submitted to the
State of North Dakota. Governor Jack Dalrymple will decide whether to formally
request federal help.