Grafton Fire Department, EMS and volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to a home fire on the 500 block of Western Avenue in Grafton early Sunday. The Red Cross arrived to assist a family displaced. The home is destroyed.
The Red Cross is assisting three adults, two small children and an infant (6 months) with financial assistance for immediate needs that can include food, clothing and lodging. They have also been provided toiletry items, blankets and stuffed animals. A Red Cross health services volunteer is also working to replace prescription medications, dentures and eyeglasses as well.
SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. Put a smoke alarm inside every bedroom. Because smoke rises, put the alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall. Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year. Get new smoke alarms every ten years.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded North Dakota $1.2 million through its Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). The funds are available on a reimbursement basis to fuel retailers for biofuels infrastructure, including blender dispensers, dedicated E85 dispensers and tanks. The funds are expected to establish 90 additional dispensers for higher-level ethanol blends and 12 tanks at 12 fuel retail locations across the state. "This program will be very beneficial in establishing additional infrastructure capable of handling higher-level ethanol blends, such as E15, E30 and E85. Ultimately, this will benefit the consumer through additional high-performance, lower-cost options at the pump," says Jeff Zueger, North Dakota Ethanol Council chairman. The program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Retailers can apply for reimbursement of $10,000 per blender or E85 dispenser and $25,000 per tank. The maximum reimbursement per retail location is $100,000. Awardees must complete the projects and request reimbursement by Dec. 30, 2016. The continued sale of ethanol blends is required through Dec. 30, 2021. "This is an opportunity for retailers to cost-effectively update their infrastructure while gaining a competitive advantage by providing an economical choice for consumers at the pump," says Zueger. E15 is currently offered at 17 retail locations across the state. Zueger is optimistic the program will lead to increased offerings of E15, as well as higher-level ethanol blends, such as E30 and E85.
The Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce held its 57th Annual Awards Banquet last night (Monday). The event's speakers included Grafton School Superintendent Jack Maus, Mayor Chris West and District 19 state Senator Tom Campbell. The evening also included the Chamber Awards presentation which recognizes outstanding organizations and people that make Grafton a better place to live. This year's Kiwanis teacher of the year award was presented to 6th grade Language Teacher Rose Carlson. Kari Pastorek and Beth Wharam, owners of Grafton Drug received the award for boss of the year, while this year's new award for small business of the year was given to Dave and Kelly Moe from the Country Smokehouse. Freddy Narro, Founder of Golden Gloves Boxing won the award for Outstanding Citizen for his work with area youth.
In the Northern Plains Region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) there were 37,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of July 12-18, 2015, up 3 percent from the July 2014 reference week, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Workers numbered 40,000 during the week of October11-17, 2015, up 11 percent from the October 2014 reference week. Farm operators in the Northern Plains Region paid their hired workers an average wage of $13.96 per hour during the July 2015 reference week, down 1 percent from the July 2014 reference week. Field workers received an average of $13.66 per hour, down 43 cents. Livestock workers earned $13.31 per hour, up 32 cents. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate at $13.50, was down 15 cents from the 2014 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 39.6 hours during the July 2015 reference week, compared with 40.9 hours worked during the July 2014 reference week. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $14.72 per hour during the October 2015 reference week, up 1 percent from the October 2014 reference week. Field workers received an average of $14.59 per hour, up 4 cents. Livestock workers earned $13.86 per hour compared with $13.17 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $14.30, was up 25 cents from the October 2014 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 41.0 hours during the October 2015 reference week, compared with 43.5 hours worked during the October 2014 reference week.
Former District 10 State Senator Curtis Olafson has announced that he will be seeking the endorsement of the District 10 Republican Party for the State Senate in the 2016 election. Senator Olafson served in the North Dakota Senate from 2006 to 2012, and served as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Political Subdivisions Committee. . Olafson, a lifelong resident of District 10 and is a partner in a family business with interests in tillable farming, cattle breeding, and earthmoving construction. He is a graduate of NDSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Olafson says , “The major decline in the price of agricultural commodities and crude oil is going to present many significant financial challenges for the State of North Dakota in the coming years and It will be critical to have people serving in the Legislature who have a broad range of experience on a multitude of issues. Olafson says that he's always felt a calling to public service. He says it was an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of District 10 during his time in the Senate and he hopes to have that opportunity once again.
Today is National Rural Health Day and for North Dakota's health-care providers it's a chance to put a spotlight on the state's unique challenges.
About 40 percent of the state's population lives in rural areas. According to Brad Gibbens, deputy director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota, many of those people are facing a different set of health issues than their urban counterparts.
"Rural America tends to be older, it tends to be poorer, it tends to have less health insurance coverage and it also has a higher level of chronic disease," says Gibbens.
According to recent research from the Pew Charitable Trusts, North Dakota is far below the national average when it comes to the number of addiction counselors and the state's suicide rate has jumped more than 70 percent in recent years.
But even in light of those problems, Gibbens says rural North Dakotans also are coming up with unique local solutions to help combat those health problems together.
"We've seen, particularly in the general-wellness area, community working to create bike paths, doing contests in the community where we're going to lose x-amount of pounds for the whole community over the course of a year," says Gibbens.
Still other challenges remain. Like most other predominantly rural states, North Dakota has fewer hospitals and doctors per person than larger urban areas. With more than 55 rural hospitals having closed nationally over the past five years, Gibbens says that problem is becoming more important. That's because hospitals provide not only health services, but jobs.
"A typical rural hospital in North Dakota has an economic impact of roughly $6 million or more," he says. "It typically creates roughly 180 to 220 jobs for that community."
The University of North Dakota has announced that Fighting Hawks will be the
University's new nickname. The results of the nickname runoff vote, held online
November 12-16 for eligible voters, were tallied and provided to UND by Qualtrics,
the third-party voting platform management firm that conducted the voting process.
Final results of the vote were:
Total votes: 27,378
Fighting Hawks: 15,670 votes (57.24 percent)
Roughriders: 11,708 votes (42.76 percent)
As noted in the voting guidelines previously issued by the University, any name
receiving over 50 percent of the runoff vote would be determined to be the
University's new nickname.
Said UND President Robert Kelley, "We are pleased to be able to announce the
selection of a new nickname-Fighting Hawks--and bring this process, in which so many
people have participated, to a successful conclusion. We especially appreciate the
two nickname committees who worked so hard during this past year to make this a
transparent, inclusive process that led to a short list of potential nicknames.
Now, the voters have spoken, and they have told us that Fighting Hawks should be
that new nickname. This is an appropriate choice, as Fighting Hawks symbolizes the
competitive spirit of our athletes, the perseverance of the North Dakota spirit, and
the continual ascendancy of the University and the state."
The nickname vote was launched following a year-long effort by the UND Nickname
Process Recommendation Task Force, and, subsequently, the UND Nickname Committee.
The groups were charged with developing a process for nickname selection, and then
with developing a short list of potential nicknames for a vote. They facilitated
broad public input along the way, including an online survey, a series of regional
town hall meetings, and a 30-day nickname suggestion period.
Now that UND's new nickname has been selected, the University will begin the process
of developing, selecting and implementing a visual identity to accompany the name.
The university will soon issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting professional
marketing firms to submit proposals for development of a graphic identity, including
a logo and style guidelines, to accompany the new nickname. The selected vendor
will work with UND stakeholders to develop potential graphic identities.
In the meantime, the University has adopted transitional
using the new nickname.
Growing up I always had a strong fascination with politics. I remember, surprisingly well, Ronald Reagan as president even though I was born in 1983. His influence on me at a young age inspired me to pay attention. In addition, I am well known to have an opinion that is often freely expressed. Those are parts of the reasons why I ran for the Senate in the first place. It is the place to go if you have an opinion and want to, so to speak, "change" things. Changing anything is a tall order as it requires convincing others that you have the right idea. I have spent 7 years in the arena of politics as a Senator and feel good about the modest changes I have worked to effect. I worked with a group of legislators it reform our agriculture drainage laws to promote easier process to install field tile. More needs to be done to not only benefit agriculture but also provide flood control and cleaner waters for our city dwelling friends. Since its inception in 2011, the bank of North Dakotas Ag Pace loan program for drain tile has exceeded 34 million dollars in projects. This demonstrates the great need for cooperation by farmer, banker and government. Last session we passed a reform to the allowed farm business structure for dairies and pork producers. This reform allows for dairy and pork farms to organize in a corporate structure with nonfamily members. It is a needed change in order to bring more dairy and pork farms to North Dakota. More dairy and pork means more local markets for our crops. Unfortunately, misguided organizations referred the reform to the ballot, delaying its implementation. It is my hope the people preserve the necessary reforms made to preserve the dairy and pork industry and vote to support the measure. I worked with a group of legislators and a large coalition of people to pass a series of bills aimed at reducing abortion in North Dakota. I am pleased that we took the initiative and worked to create a broad discussion. It is no doubt in my mind that it has had the intended effect. I am particularly pleased that the bill I sponsored banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation has enjoyed wide support. Since taking office I have championed tax cuts, reformed laws affecting agriculture, led on prolife issues and worked to be a watchman for government waste. I feel good about my contribution to government policy. Even though there is more to do, my contribution at this time is fulfilled. One issue that legislative leaders need to work on is to expedite and prioritize the legislative agenda during sessions. The growing length of time used for the legislature to complete its business is wearing away its ability to continue as a citizen legislature. Even as a farmer it is becoming far too difficult to be involved when sessions are stretching into May. As I move on in life I am thankful for my past. All has made me a better and stronger person. I will need that strength as my wife and I continue to grow our family and farm. It is my hope that the Lord will continue to bless us with more children and will become a greater and closer companion with me on my life journey. It has been a great honor to have had the privilege to represent my neighbors in the North Dakota Senate; however, I will not be seeking a third term of office.
Delvin Owen, WWII Navy pilot from Park River, attended the North Dakota WWII Victory Program & Dance on October 10th in Bismarck. The day was filled with nostalgic entertainment, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer spoke at the event. The celebration featured the 188th Army Band, Fargo, which played both patriotic concert and big band music. Delvin and daughter Karen Tescher, Bismarck, joined fellow sailor Harlan Hanson and wife Gladys from Milton to demonstrate dance moves from the 1940's as the band played Glenn Miller's "In the Mood". A short YouTube video of the dance is available courtesy of the Bismarck Tribune at http://youtu.be/qQxukJyGfKo Lieutenant Junior Grade Delvin Owen flew PBY and PBM (patrol bomber) seaplanes in the Pacific Theater, and tested various fighter planes such as the F6F. He celebrated his 92nd birthday on Veterans Day in Bismarck, where he attended the annual 11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour event at the ND Heritage Center and All Veterans Memorial. Owen is also enrolled in the Victory Roll Call, which is an attempt to locate and thank all World War II veterans who are currently living in North Dakota, as well as those who entered service from North Dakota and are now living elsewhere, on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of their Victory in WWII. There are an estimated 1,869 WWII veterans in ND, according to Veterans Administration records. According to further calculations by the ND Census Office, there may be as many as 50 WWII veterans residing in Walsh County. Only 13 have registered for the Victory Roll Call. Frank Votava, Grafton, served in Company C, 164th Infantry Regiment, ND National Guard. The Regiment was the first US Army unit to offensively engage the enemy (in either theater) when they reinforced the 1st Marines at Guadalcanal in October, 1942.
Floyd Gemmill, Fordville, served in the US Coast Guard on the USS Grand Forks, a frigate that patrolled off the coast of California from 1944-1946, guarding the coastline on the alert for enemy aircraft and ships. Joe Holm, rural Edinburg, served with the 1st Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Infantry Division in 1945 in the Philippines and Army of Occupation in Korea. James Haug, Edinburg, served as a Merchant Marines engine room maintenance man in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1944-45. Merlyn “Murphy” Callahan, Grafton, served on the fleet oiler USS Ashtabula and aircraft carrier USS Monterey in the Pacific. Charles Hoenke, Grafton, served from 1944-46 in the 6th Marine Division on Okinawa, Guam, and 6 months in China after the war. Leonard Misialek, Grafton, served as an oil man on the heavy cruiser USS Louisville in the Battle of Surigao Straight, Leyte, Philippines, and Okinawa in 1944-1945. Laddie Bata, Park River, served as a US Army machinegunner in the 2nd Infantry Division during the Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns and Army of Occupation, 1944-1946. Anselma Rose Clemetson, Park River, served in the US Navy in at the Naval Department, Washington, D.C, from 1942-1945. Joseph Espelien, Park River, “built bridges and destroyed bridges” with the US Army’s 165th Combat Engineer Battalion which landed on Omaha Beach and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Roy Myhre, Park River, served in the 335th Bombardment Squadron, US Army Air Force, in Europe through 1945.
First Lieutenant Apalona T. Schaetzel Kiser, Park River, served as in the US Army Nurse Corps on Okinawa and Korea from April 1945 to August 1946. The goal for North Dakota’s 70th anniversary observance is to locate and thank all living WWII veterans in the state. The historic roster will include WWII veterans from the Army, Army Air Corps, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as those who served in the Merchant Marines, Nurse Cadet Corps, and anyone who participated in home front activities such as “Rosies” or those who supervised bond sales, recycling centers or civil defense. The Victory Roll Call roster will become an historic document on file at the ND Historical Society archives. Written stories or journals are welcome. All who register will receive a letter of appreciation from Governor Dalrymple. “It has been said that a single generation of ‘men’ determined the fate of all mankind,” said organizer Shirley Olgeirson. “Just think about that for a minute.” “Each and every one of our WWII heroes deserves our undying gratitude. The 70th anniversary of their victory is a great time to say ‘Thanks’.”
The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) began issuing the new
flat plate called the Sunrise License Plate. The new flat plate replaces the current
embossed Buffalo plate which has been in circulation for 23 years and Lewis and
"After 23 years some vehicles have deteriorated plates that are losing their
reflectivity. In 2013, the state legislature recognized the need and provided the
resources to replace the general issue plate. They also indicated it should be a
flat plate design," said NDDOT Director Grant Levi.
The NDDOT worked with Tourism, Highway Patrol and Roughrider Industry to design the
new plate, while taking the history and tradition of North Dakota into
consideration. In 2014, the North Dakota Legislative and Budget Committee approved a
design which features:
* Actual photographs of the beautiful sunrise in the North Dakota skyline with
* The ND tourism slogan Legendary, along with the official nickname Peace
* North Dakota's number one crop - wheat
The new flat plate will be distributed to vehicle owners through the regular license
plate renewal process. Once a motorist pays their motor vehicle registration fees
they will receive the new flat plate in the mail.
"This is a momentous event as we begin the process of replacing the North Dakota
license plate with a newly designed plate," stated Mark Nelson, NDDOT Deputy
Director for Driver and Vehicles Services. "We issue over one million motor vehicle
registrations a year, it will take time to replace plates on nearly every vehicle
across the state and we ask everyone to be patient as we work through this new
The new plates are being mailed to residents who recently renewed online and have
also been distributed to all motor vehicle branch offices statewide. The
distribution of the new plate will occur in phases:
? In this first phase the standard 6 X 12 plate that is used on most vehicles and
standard trailers will be replaced.
? During the second phase, which takes place in 2016, the smaller 4 X 7 plate that
is on motorcycles and small trailers will be replaced.
"As required in state statute, all of the new flat plates will be distributed by
June 30, 2017," said Nelson.
Over the past two years Roughrider Industries of the state penitentiary procured the
necessary equipment and trained staff on manufacturing the new flat plates.
"Roughrider has worked hard to ensure there is a sufficient inventory of plates
ready for distribution," said Rick Gardner, Director of Rough Rider Industries.
There is no additional charge for the new plates, but normal registration fees will
apply as residents renew their vehicle registrations. Motorists can renew their
vehicle registration through the mail, online at dot.nd.gov, through the smartphone
app NDRenewals or at any Motor Vehicle Branch Office throughout the state.
Vehicle owners are encouraged to recycle old plates at their local recycling
facility or they can bring the old plates to their nearest motor vehicle office and
deposit in the recycling bins. It is recommended that they bend or cut the plate in
half before recycling.