New federal requirement for covered farm vehicles with regular ND license plates goes into effect August 1 Beginning August 1, 2015, a covered farm vehicle with a regular license plate will need to have a designation form inside the vehicle when transporting farm or ranch products. This federal exemption allows regularly plated North Dakota vehicles, not falling into the farm plate category, to move their own agriculture products and still qualify for relief from certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations. This requirement does not affect current farm exemptions for vehicles which have farm plates. For questions about the new regulation, please call the Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Division at 701-328-5128.
The new designation form may be obtained from the NDDOT website at http://www.dot.nd.gov/forms/sfn60860.pdf or by calling the NDDOT Drivers License Division at 701-328-2601.
A covered farm vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that:
a. Is operated by a farm or ranch owner or operator; or an employee or family member of the farm or ranch owner or operator;
b. Is being used to transport to or from a farm or ranch: 1. Agricultural commodities 2. Livestock 3. Machinery or supplies;
c. Displays a special license plate or other designation which helps enforcement personnel identify it as a covered farm vehicle; and
d. Has a gross vehicle weight of: 1. 26,001 pounds or less and is traveling anywhere in the United States; or
2. is greater 26,001 pounds and traveling anywhere within the State in which it is registered; or
3. When crossing state lines, is greater than 26,001 pounds and operated within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch. A covered farm vehicle does not include a vehicle that is operated by a for-hire carrier or a vehicle transporting hazardous materials in a quantity that requires the vehicle to display placards.
North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers will conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday at a pre-determined location in north central Walsh County/southern Pembina County from 8-10 p.m. For sober drivers passing through the checkpoint, the delay should be minimal. Alcohol saturation patrols will follow the checkpoint. Officers from the Walsh County Sheriff’s Office and Pembina County Sheriff’s Office are partnering in this DUI prevention effort. Advanced notification of the checkpoint, including date, time, general location, and duration, is provided to the public to enhance the deterrent effect. Results will be provided after the checkpoint’s completion. The HP says approximately half of all fatal crashes in the state each year are alcohol-related. So far this year, about 33 percent of all fatal crashes were alcohol-related.
A proposal to lift the ban on crude oil exports will have a hearing today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., a member of the committee who introduced legislation to repeal the ban, said the proposal is gaining momentum.
“I think right now we’re at that spot where there may be an opportunity to move this forward in Congress,” Heitkamp said Monday. “Having a hearing is a first step.”
Heitkamp has been working with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, to build bipartisan support for two bills -- one introduced by Murkowski and the other by Heitkamp -- that seek to end the ban. The intent is to later merge the two bills, Heitkamp said.
The bill introduced by Heitkamp that will be heard today goes line by line through federal law to strike any reference to the ban. It also would define the president’s authority to limit future crude exports and ensure that lifting the ban would not hurt domestic interests.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., who co-sponsored Murkowski’s bill, also will participate in today’s hearing.
"Lifting the decades-old law banning U.S. producers from selling their product on the world market will help produce more energy, grow our economy and create more jobs, both in North Dakota and across the nation," Hoeven said when the legislation was introduced.
Among the witnesses expected to testify today is Rick Muncrief, president and CEO of WPX Energy, a major Bakken oil producer.
“Lifting the oil export ban would create new markets for producers and unleash a new engine of growth so that our company – and other companies like ours – can continue to ramp up investment and create new jobs,” Muncrief said in a statement. “This is a critical hour where we have the opportunity to change the policy so that it matches America’s power, capacity, and capability to produce record-setting levels of energy.”
Other witnesses are Murkowski, Michele Flournoy, CEO of Center for a New American Security, Benjamin Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute and Leo Gerard, international president for United Steelworkers.
In prepared testimony, Gerard opposes lifting the ban, arguing that it would hurt workers and consumers.
Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $621,763 to counties in North Dakota through FEMA’s Operation Stonegarden Grant (OPSG) program. The funds will be used to help secure the United States’ border with Canada while enhancing cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border.
The grant awards are as follows:
· Cavalier County $85,000
· Pembina County $85,000
· Bottineau County $81,763
· Burke County $80,000
· Divide County $80,000
· Renville County $70,000
· Rolette County $70,000
· Towner County $70,000
“Securing our border keeps individuals safe and helps businesses operate securely,” Hoeven said. “This FEMA funding will help local law enforcement in North Dakota’s border counties coordinate with law enforcement in Canada. This coordination not only helps secure our border, it helps protect individuals living near the border by improving communication and law enforcement’s ability to respond.”
Senator Hoeven announced earlier this year that FEMA awarded more than $3.7 million to the State of North Dakota through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) to help the state prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from catastrophic events. Both the SHSGP and today’s OPSG grants are under the purview of Senator Hoeven, who is Chairman of the Senate Appropriation DHS Subcommittee. FEMA is a DHS agency.
This summer North Dakota has seen an increase in reported cases of tularemia, an uncommon disease that humans can catch from animals and insects. The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), Animal Health Division, have received reports of two confirmed human cases of tularemia in LaMoure and Burleigh County; one unconfirmed but likely positive human case in Stark County; a case in a squirrel from the Roosevelt Zoo in Minot; and cases in two primates from the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck. The Roosevelt and Dakota Zoos are taking precautions to protect their animals, staff and visitors from the disease. Visiting a zoo does not pose an increased risk to the general public. However, people are advised to follow guidelines against touching animals that are posted by the zoos, and to avoid direct contact with wild animals, such as rabbits and rodents, which are known carriers of tularemia. Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is caused by bacteria that are commonly transmitted to humans and animals by ticks and deer flies. Pets can also become infected if they consume the remains of an infected animal. Other means of infection in humans include skin contact with blood or tissue of infected animals, inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols, and ingestion of contaminated food or water. The symptoms of tularemia in humans vary depending on how the infection was acquired, and generally appear one to 14 days after exposure. “Symptoms of tularemia may include fever, chills, headache, muscle ache, diarrhea, sore throat and cough. When a person is bitten by an infected tick or deer fly or handles an infected animal, an ulcer may appear where the bacteria entered the skin, and lymph nodes may also become swollen and painful,” said Laura Cronquist, epidemiologist with the NDDoH. “If people have symptoms of tularemia, it is important they tell their healthcare provider about any potential exposures, including contact with sick or dead animals and tick or deer fly bites.” -
Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota ® (BBB) is warning consumers and business owners to be on alert for phone calls or even visits from people at their doorstep trying to collect money fraudulently by claiming utility bills are overdue and must be paid immediately. Fraudsters usually claim that unless payment is made, service will be halted immediately. This scheme, called the ‘utility scam,’ has hit our area in the past and though it’s attempted year-round, it tends to heat up in the summertime.
BBB reminds consumers and business owners not to be pressured into making payments on the spot and to contact their utility companies directly if the status of their account is called into question or if they suspect the possibility of fraud.
According to information provided by local utility companies, scammers are trying new tactics in an effort to defraud the public and business community:
To avoid falling victim to this scheme, BBB advises the following:
The mission of Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.
ND Highway 17 bridge maintenance work begins Monday, July 27. Maintenance work will begin on the Highway 17 Bridge that crosses the Red River east of Grafton. Vehicles will take turns using a single lane controlled by a temporary traffic signal while crews complete maintenance work. During Construction: Speeds will be reducedTemporary signal will guide trafficMotorists may experience minor delays This project is expected to be complete by the end of the week. For more information about construction projects and road conditions throughout North Dakota, call 511 from any type of phone or visit the Travel Information Map on the NDDOT website at http://www.dot.nd.gov/travel-info-v2/.
The Grafton Farmer's Market is joining the growing ranks of farmers markets around the country who accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as a form of payment for eligible items. Individuals and families on low-incomes can now use their EBT cards to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, breads and baked goods, eggs, jams, jellies, pickles and salsas that are locally made or grown at Heritage Village on Tuesdays from 5-7 pm. Yesterday was the first day the market offered the service. Last night was considered a "soft open." The program will be in full swing by next Tuesday with credit and debit cards also accepted. Customers who would like to utilize their SNAP benefits or credit and debit cards will be able to purchase tokens from a market organizer on-site. The tokens can be used at participating vendor tables to purchase goods. Currently, there is no fee for using this service. Market organizer Heather Szklarski says they're excited to offer the service to their customers and vendors. She says this will help further their mission of providing access to locally made and grown goods, to promote the local economy and community along with health and wellness.
The UND Nickname Committee, chartered by UND President Robert Kelley in early 2015, has concluded its work and has agreed on a final short list of names to be submitted for a public vote. At its final meeting on Tuesday evening, July 21, the Committee agreed on the following list of potential nicknames to be submitted:
· Fighting Hawks
· North Stars
President Kelley says they appreciate the extraordinary effort the committee has put into the process. He says the committee members developed a thorough public suggestion process that yielded a wide variety of potential nicknames, and in a short period of time narrowed the list to the final five names and fulfilled their charter. Adding that he's confident they have a sound basis of broad public input and careful deliberation as they take the potential nicknames into the next phase of the process. It's anticipated the final voting process will take place after students and faculty have returned to the UND campus, one of several recommendations also submitted by the committee for President Kelley’s consideration. The University will announce the details of the voting process in the near future. The process for developing a potential logo has not yet been determined, and the University is not accepting or retaining any logo submissions at this time.
In accordance with a presidential proclamation, Gov. Jack Dalrymple is directing all government agencies to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff until sunset on Saturday in honor of the service members killed in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week. “The tragedy that occurred in Chattanooga affects all Americans and is an attack on the very principles we hold dear in this country,” Dalrymple said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific tragedy and with their families.”