The American Red Cross has sent 4,300 bottles of water to the Spirit Lake Reservation after complaints about the drinking water there. Tribal water official Robert Thompson says the reservation changed its water treatment system in June to meet federal standards for arsenic levels. He says the water is cleaner than before, but there's a sheen on it as manganese is cleaned out of the pipes and it likely will be that way for at least six months. Tribal officials say the water is safe to drink, but they've been fielding complaints about the water from people across the reservation. Emergency Manager Michael Alex says the tribe sought donations of bottled water to appease those who don't like the taste, smell and look of the newrunning water.
North Dakota State University Extension Service soil health specialists will test producers' soil for salinity on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Big Iron farm show at the West Fargo Fairgrounds. Producers can bring a soil sample to the NDSU Extension table for the free test. "Salts are native to North Dakota's glaciated mineralogy," says Chris Augustin, area Extension soil health specialist at NDSU's North Central Research Extension Center near Minot. "The past 20 or so wet years have moved these minerals to the topsoil. Water then evaporates, leaves salts behind and creates the white spots that reduce crop yields. To provide soil for the test, take samples from a handful of spots in a field, mix the soil and take a sample of the mixture. That sample should contain about a cup of soil. Place the sample in a small dish on a sunny windowsill for a few days to allow the sample to dry. Then place the sample in a zip-top plastic bag and bring it to Big Iron. The test should only take a few minutes.
Originally Posted in the Winkler Times
Despite tornado watches, Southern Emergency Response Committee (SERC) hasn’t needed to use the newly installed siren system in Winkler. “We’ve had a quiet summer,” SERC Emergency Coordinator Chris Kalansky said.
The early warning sirens were briefly tested on Wednesday Aug. 14, running at 130 decibels to ensure functionality and communication systems with the Winkler Fire Hall where they can be remotely activated. “They work just fine,” Kalansky said, though if you were indoors and didn’t hear them that’s normal.
Kalansky explained the sirens were not designed to penetrate buildings, but rather give residents outside an advanced warning to seek shelter immediately in case of a natural or man-made disaster. The sirens were first heard in May as crews tested the coverage radius. The two rotating sirens, one at the Winkler arena and a second in Scotia Park, cover roughly 90 percent of the community, though people reported hearing the sirens from well outside the city.
The $100,000 sirens were purchased with the help of a $10,000 donation from Enbridge.
A group planning a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in northeastern North Dakota is in the process of buying a site. Northern Plains Nitrogen Chairman Darin Anderson says the company is buying land next to Grand Forks' municipal sewage lagoons north of the city and east of Interstate 29. Anderson says the project also has secured a supply of natural gas, which will be converted into farm fertilizer products such as anhydrous ammonia and urea. CEO Don Pottinger says financing must still be arranged before construction can begin. The hope is to start building the plant in 2015 and have it operating in two years.
A joint House-Senate committee is beginning the work of developing a storm disaster aid package that Minnesota lawmakers will consider in an emergency session next month. A working group for the Legislature was convening Wednesday night. It will help shape the proposal that is the only agenda item for a Sept. 9 special session. Legislators are pulling together a state match for federal disaster assistance. Eighteen counties could be in line for aid to recover from severe storms in June that caused widespread damage to infrastructure, homes and property. Two other counties could get state help paying bills from weather emergencies last winter. The working group includes top finance committee lawmakers from the House and Senate
Reprinted from the Winkler Times
More than 60 people packed City Council chambers during a meeting last week to continue the debate on the proposed multi-family and commercial developments on the corner of 15th Street and Highway 14. Council passed the re-zoning with a 5-1 vote changing the community reserve and single family residential land to multi-family dwelling and commercial residential during its second reading. However, due to its opposition the development plan for eight condominiums and a proposed 22,500 sq. ft. of retail space on the corner will go to the MSTW (Morden Stanley Thompson Winkler) Planning District board for another public hearing. Residents opposing the development sited issues of increased traffic congestion and safety concerns for pedestrians crossing on 15th Street, as well as objections to multi-family housing on the property. Mayor Martin Harder explained while there are no plans at the moment, four-laning or even adding a third lane on 15th Street is an option. The City also continues to lobby the Province for traffic lights at the corner of 15th Street and Highway 32.
“We want to find the best solution to traffic congestion on 15th Street,” Councillor Ron Neisteter said, adding the City Transportation Committee will be doing a full review of 15th Street in September.
However, for many it came down to multi-family development objections on the property. “I’m really disappointed,” Reg Derksen said. “We do not want this kind of development. We want single family units.”
Councillor Herb Dyck suggested multi-family housing is simply unavoidable in Winkler. “It’s just what happens when you live in a growing city,” he said.
Harder explained the City has seen tremendous growth in its industrial sectors and is only now catching up with demand for rental housing.
“We have to balance from Council’s perspective, what makes sense, what brings attraction to our community whether it’s a variety of housing and what makes the community look right,” Harder said, adding the hearing is about taking the community’s concerns and working towards a solution.
“Frank came up with some tremendous solutions,” Harder said. “Frank has made adjustments and we appreciate that. The outcome we would like out of this is some understanding of each other and to try and figure out if this is going to work.”
Developer Frank Klassen addressed issues brought up by the public during the rezoning’s first reading at last month July 23 Council Meeting, explaining he believes the plan will be a great addition to the city as an upscale development for young families and residents 55 plus.
While some residents took issue with the possible congestion and lack of green space in the 96 units development plan with a site coverage of 26 per cent, Klassen explained he goes above and beyond the City of Winkler Zoning By-Law which would allow up to 193 units with a site coverage of 60 per cent.
Some who attended were also in favour of the project. “I like the area, but I’m not interested in building a big house and taking care of it,” David Loewen said. Another explained they liked the idea of a convenience store they can walk to, while one resident suggested young people appreciate these types of developments. “I have friends that live in them, take care of them. They look great,” Russ Dueck said. “Frank has taken more than the average steps to make this look good. Not everybody’s going to like it but I just want to make sure that people know there a lot of people that are not opposed to this.”
North Dakota Farmers Union President Woody Barth issued a statement regarding USDA’s Risk Management Agency announcement about a new special provision statement to clarify acreage eligible for prevented planting in the Prairie Pothole National Priority Area that includes North Dakota. Barth says “This was a good clarification and much needed for family farmers and ranchers,”The new provision will require that in order for acreage to be eligible for prevented planting payments, the acreage must have been planted and harvested (or incurred an insurable loss other than for excess moisture) in at least one out of the last four years, regardless of whether any of those years was abnormally dry. The new special provision creates a more objective means for determining acreage eligible for prevented planting than the current rule. The statement was developed by RMA in response to recommendations made by crop insurance companies, the USDA Office of Inspector General, and producers in the Prairie Pothole regions.
The last airplane has left the North Dakota Air National Guard base in Fargo, after more than 65 years of flying missions. The 119th Wing that was founded in 1947 has made the move to unmanned aircraft systems after flying fighter jets for 50 years and most recently transport planes. The airmen for the unit have been known as the Happy Hooligans since the 1950s. Three of Hooligans in F-16 fighter planes patrolled the skies over Washington D.C. after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The last F-16 was flown from Fargo to McChord Air Force Base Museum near Tacoma, Wash., in December 2006, when the base switched to the C-21 Learjet. The lone remaining C-21 left the Fargo base about 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning
Minnesota's students saw a slight setback in standardized test scores in math this year, made small gains on the science test and struggled with a new reading test. The Department of Education is releasing results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests on Tuesday. The tests help determine whether a student is eligible to graduate. On reading tests, just a little more than half of third through eighth and 10th grade students met or exceeded state expectations. The Department of Education attributes that to the new reading test implemented this year, which the agency says is more rigorous and meant to boost student achievement. The department says the drop in math scores is because students in 2012 were allowed three chances on the math test, but only one try in 2013.
Authories have released the name of a 79 year old man who was found dead in his tractor on Monday night 1 mile east of I-29 on county road 15. The Minto fire department, along with valley ambulance, the Walsh County paramedic and the deputy fire marshall responded to a call of a tractor fire at 6:55pm Monday evening. After extinguishing the fire, responses found the driver; 79 year old Charles L. Slominski of Adoch was deceased. Slominski's body has been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Bismark. The investigation continues.