North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed October 29 through November 2, Severe Winter Weather Awareness Week, reminding people to prepare for inclement weather to assure everyone remains safe during the coming winter months. The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) wants you to be prepared for travel this season by checking road conditions before you go. NDDOT currently offers two easy ways to find the latest road conditions; calling 511 from any phone and by checking the Travel Information Map at www.dot.nd.gov.
“The Travel Information Map and 511 system are the best place to access road condition information across the state,” said Brandon Beise, NDDOT Maintenance Division. “We have added more cameras and streaming video to the Travel Map to allow you see the actual weather and road conditions.”
Motorists calling into 511 can simply choose their route, location and direction of the desired roadway segment through touch-tone or voice activation. With frequently changing weather, motorists need to check conditions often and pay special attention to ensure safe travel. To arrive at your destination safely, motorists should follow some basic safety tips while behind the wheel:
· Slow down and drive according to the conditions
· Never use cruise control on wet or icy roadways
· Keep a safe distance from snowplows and other vehicles
· Turn on your head lights. Remove snow from your vehicle that could cover your tail lights
Sharing the road with snowplows is also an important factor for motorists to remember this winter. By following a few basic tips, you and your passengers can reach your destination safely:
· Stay back. Sometimes snowplows have to stop and back up and they often spread sanding material.
· Know where the plow is on multi-lane roadways. The plow could be in either lane or on the shoulder.
· Be extremely cautious when passing a snowplow. They can be moved sideways by snow drifts and hard snow pack.
· Never drive through “white-outs” caused by cross winds or plowing light snow. Be patient and wait until you can see. Snowplows pull over and stop to allow traffic to pass when it is safe to do so.
· Motorists should be aware of the “Move over Law.” If you approach a snow plow or other NDDOT maintenance vehicle with flashing lights that is stopped on the shoulder of a multi-lane road, you must move over to the lane that is not next to the snow plow or vehicle, if it is safe to change lanes.
The NDDOT also releases information to the public about road conditions on state highways. There are three categories you should familiarize yourself with:
· Roads are closed- Motorists are not allowed to travel on a closed road due to life threatening conditions. The road may be impassible or blocked. Motorists who drive past a road closure device may be fined.
· No Travel Advisories- Motorists should not travel due to hazardous conditions which may make it unsafe to travel. Snow plows may be pulled from the roads during severe conditions. Motorists should take NO TRAVEL ADVISED seriously as those motorists who choose to travel at their own risk may become stranded and emergency responders may not be able to reach them safely. A NO TRAVEL ADVISED has the potential to change to a ROAD CLOSED OR BLOCKED if conditions deteriorate.
· Travel Alerts – Motorists can still travel but may encounter areas of challenging winter weather driving conditions on roadways. Motorists should allow extra time to reach their destination and be alert to conditions that may make travel difficult, change rapidly, or cause travel delays. A TRAVEL ALERT has the potential to change to a NO TRAVEL ADVISED if conditions deteriorate.
Remember, to be prepared this winter, know before you go. Check weather and road conditions before traveling. The best place to access current road conditions is by calling 511 or going to the NDDOT’s Travel Information Map at www.dot.nd.gov.
A Walhalla man has been charged with sexual assault.
Ian Lavaty made a first appearance on the felony charge Monday morning.
Authorities accuse Lavaty of having sexual contact with a minor, between
June first of this year and July 30th. It happened in Walhalla and authorities allege
the sexual contact happened on three or four occasions.
The charge is a Class C felony, punishable to a maximum of five years in
prison and a five-thousand-dollar fine.
Lavaty's scheduled to have a preliminary hearing December 17th.
Bond is set at 50-thousand-dollars for a Cavalier man charged with
possession of child pornography. Douglas L. Swanson's bond hearing and
initial appearance were late Monday afternoon in Northeast District Court in
Cavalier. Swanson's charged with 17-counts of unlawful possession of images
of sexual conduct by a minor. Each count is a felony.
Swanson can post ten-percent of the 50-thousand dollars and
bond out but as of Monday evening Swanson was still in the Pembina
County Jail in Cavalier. Judge Laurie Fontaine set conditions on bond if
Swanson posts it. They include no internet, no contact with minor children
without an adult being present, no firearms, and travel restricted within
Swanson's home in Cavalier was searched last week and he
was arrested and charged with 17-counts of unlawful possession of images
of sexual conduct by a minor. Each count is punishable to a maximum of
five-years in prison and a five-thousand-dollar fine if convicted.
Swanson's next hearing is November 26th.
It's that time of year for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to
give these admonitions to you and me.
First, report all poachers. Fishermen, hunters, and landowners who spot
a fish or wildlife violation should report it to the Report All Poachers line (RAP line),
toll-free, 800-472-2121. You could get 100 to one-thousand-dollars reward, depending
on the seriousness of the violation. Report the vehicle, license number, and violator
if you can get it.
North Dakota's deer-gun hunting season is November ninth through the sundown
November 25th. So, if you've received your license already, verify it to make sure it's
accurate, to include the hunting unit and species you want. If not, call ND Game and
Fish to get a duplicate, or download it Game and Fish's website.
It's also time for motorists to be aware of deer moving across roads. October
through December if the peak time for deer-vehicle accidents.. Most of those collisions
occur at dawn and dusk when deer move. If you see one deer crossing the road, chances
are others will follow. Be very careful on roads with deer crossing signs. They're there for a
reason. If you hit a deer, call law enforcement.
Here are some more tips. Always wear your seatbelt. Stay on the road. Don't swerve
or hit the ditch. Chances are you'll have less injury if you hit the deer. If you see a deer on the
road, slow down, honk your horn.
A Warren, Minnesota man is in trouble with the law.
22-year-old Shawn A. Lossing is charged with attempted murder,
attempted manslaughter, assault, reckless discharge, domestic assault,
The Marshall County Sheriff's Office says all this started last
Tuesday in Warren. Deputies reported to a call where a person was drunk
and destructive. Authorities say Lossing pointed a shotgun at one of the
deputies. The deputy grabbed the barrel and pointed it away as the weapon
Lossing's in the Marshall County Jail in Warren and he's scheduled
for a hearing Tuesday.
MINN-DAK FARMERS CO-OP IN WAHPETON HAS PAID A $70,000 FINE FOR WATERSHED DISCHARGES AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS IN MINNESOTA.
THE MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY STARTED INVESTIGATING AFTER A COMPLAINT OF SMELLY, POLLUTED WATERS IN THE RABBIT RIVER WATERSHED DRAINAGE SYSTEM IN WILKIN COUNTY. THE MPCA TRACED THE PROBLEM TO RUNOFF DISCHARGES AT 3 OF THE CO-OP'S SUGAR BEET STORAGE LOCATIONS. THE COOPERATIVE WAS CITED FOR THESE DISCHARGES AS WELL AS FOR FAILING TO IMMEDIATELY REPORT THEM AND TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO CORRECT THE PROBLEMS.
MINN-DAK WAS ONE OF 78 BUSINESSES STATE-WIDE CITED BY THE MPCA FOR POLLUTION VIOLATIONS IN THE PAST 3 MONTHS.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple is scheduled to be here in Grafton
Dalrymple's agreed to speak at the ribbon-cutting of "DiverCity." That's the
name given to the group of ten duplexes on the north side of Grafton that are being
remodeled. The remodeling is being done by Diverse Energy Systems. The purpose
is to provide temporary housing for Diverse Energy employees until they can find more
permanent housing here. Those employees will be working for Diverse Energy Systems,
which makes oil tanks and other infrastructure-related items used in the oil industry in
western North Dakota.
Those duplexes formerly provided housing for migrant workers and their families.
The ribbon cutting is Monday, October 29th about three-30 or four-pm.
There's been a sharp increase in highway deaths in North Dakota.
State Transportation Director Francis Ziegler says 125 people have
died so far this year on North Dakota roads. There have been 110 fatal
crashes so far. Ziegler says the key issues are still seatbelt use. Of those
fatalities where seatbelts could've been beneficial, 70-percent of motorists
were not using them. And alcohol use. 50-percent of North Dakota's traffic
fatalities are caused by drinking and driving.
Ziegler says the North Dakota Highway Patrol's doing what it can to
help with enforcement. Ziegler also says the Department of Transportation is
doing what it can to make roads safer. Ziegler says one initiative was
installation of more "rumble strips" along the centerline and highway shoulders.
Ziegler says people like the idea that before you cross over into the opposite
lane, you have a rumble strip to wake you up, get you off the cell phone, or
stop texting or looking at your email.
Ziegler says nationally, statistics show rumble strips reduce traffic
fatals about 40-percent.
In the Northeastern Region of North Dakota, so far this year there have
been 23 fatal crashes and 26-people have died.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol emailed statistics to KXPO. The
numbers show there have been 13 alcohol-related crashes and 15 alcohol-related
deaths so far this year in northeastern North Dakota. 18 were not wearing seatbelts.
In Walsh County, there have been four fatal crashes and four-people have
died. Cavalier County has had two fatal crashes so far this year and two people have
died. Towner County has had one fatal crash and one person killed, Rolette County,
two fatal crashes, two people dead, Ramsey County has had one fatal crash so far
this year and two people have died. Nelson County's had two fatal crashes and two
people have died, and in Grand Forks County, so far this year, there have been three
fatal crashes so far this year, and three people have died.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation has started a new
safety program focused on teenaged drivers. It's called "Think About It."
N-DOT Traffic Safety Manager Karen Mongeon(MOH-zhahn) says the "Think
About It" initiative is a teen peer-to-peer program to promote traffic safety to
young people. Mongeon says the program delivers peer-to-peer traffic
safety interventions. It enables and empowers teens to speak up when
they see someone driving unsafely in a vehicle they occupy.
Mongeon(MOH-zhahn) says Tyler Presnell is a nationwide speaker who
was permanently injured in a car crash at age 14. Presnell will speak in person
at schools throughout North Dakota, starting this week. Presnell is scheduled to
be at Minto High School, Tuesday, October 23rd, at nine-am, according to
Mongeon. Presnell helps teens develop skills to say to peers they're driving
Mongeon says in North Dakota, teenagers comprise less than seven-percent
of all licensed drivers. But they account for 20-percent of all traffic crashes, and almost
15-percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.