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Live Updates: Coronavirus in North Dakota

This page will be updated frequently with news and updates related to COVID-19 in North Dakota.

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Dave Thompson is investigating the issues surrounding hundreds of North Dakota oil wells that are being plugged and returned to agricultural land.

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797 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in ND

4 hours ago

The state health department has confirmed five more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 902.

The patients were:

* Man in his 50s from Cass County.
* Woman in her 80s from Foster County.
* Woman in her 80s from Foster County.
* Woman in her 80s from Stutsman County.
* Woman in her 90s from Walsh County.  

797 new individuals from 46 counties have also tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the new statewide positive total to 77,232.

Ten dead, 952 new COVID-19 cases

Nov 26, 2020

The state health department has confirmed ten more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 897.

The patients were:

* Woman in her 80s from Burleigh County.
* Man in his 90s from Burleigh County.
* Woman in her 70s from Cass County.
* Woman in her 80s from Cass County.
* Woman in her 90s from Dickey County.
* Man in his 60s from Dickey County.
* Woman in her 80s from Foster County.
* Man in his 40s from McHenry County.
* Man in his 80s from McKenzie County.
* Man in his 80s from Ward County. 

The state Industrial Commission’s Outdoor Heritage Fund has awarded $7 million to Audubon Dakota.

The money is to initiate the North Dakota Conservation Forage Program.

"The chief question is: How do we get more habitat on the landcape, but keep land working and producing food," said Audubon Dakota executive director Marshall Johnson.

Johnson said the plan is to enroll up to 30,000 acres of marginal cropland, to restore forage based cover.

Six more dead; 1,096 new coronavirus infections statewide

Nov 25, 2020

The state health department has confirmed six more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 887.

The patients were:

* Man in his 70s from Cass County.
* Woman in her 70s from Cass County.
* Man in his 60s from Richland County.
* Woman in her 50s from Ward County. 
* Man in his 90s from Ward County.
* Man in his 70s from Williams County.

1,096 new individuals from 44 counties have also tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the new statewide positive total to 75,478.

Cities will get first 'Operation Prairie Dog" money

Nov 25, 2020

Cities in North Dakota will be receiving money from the so-called “Operation Prairie Dog.”

That program allocates money from oil taxes. The money is to be used for infrastructure spending.

"Based on the oil forecast for the rest of this biennium, we would expect that only the very first bucket in the operation would be filled," said state Budget Director Joe Morrissette. "That bucket did fill up in the month of November."

October state revenue report 'a mixed bag'

Nov 24, 2020

The October state revenue report was a mixed bag.

"We fell short of the original Legislative forecast by about 25 percent," said state Office of Management and Budget director Joe Morrissette.

However, Morrissette said it falls in line with the newer state revenue forecast, issued in September.

"And that forecast shows we'll be able to make it through this biennium, despite the shortfall, without having to call for an across-the-board state budeg reduction," Morrissette said.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that Governor Burgum does not have the authority to appoint a replacement state House member in District 8.

Instead, the Court says current state law gives the local GOP District Committee the authority to make that appointment.

One of the candidates – Republican David Andahl – died in October, from COVID. It was too late to get him off the ballot, and he won a seat.  The Committee appointed Rep. Jeff Delzer, who had been defeated in the primary.

Burgum had appointed a coal industry executive –Wade Boeshans.

37 confirmed deaths; 1,019 new COVID-19 cases

Nov 24, 2020

The state health department has confirmed 37 more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 883.

The patients were:

A program to plug and reclaim orphaned oil wells, using federal coronavirus relief funds, will continue through the end of the year.

The program uses money from the “Cares Act,” to employ crews who do the plugging and the reclamation of the land.  It was designed to keep some oilfield workers employed – so they could stay in North Dakota.

"We have employed people for over 105,000 man-hours of work," state mineral resources director Lynn Helms told the state Industrial Commission. "We spent $32.5 million on plugging and reclamation."

Minot moving its city hall

Nov 24, 2020

Minot will be moving its city hall.

The current city hall is close to the Souris River – and has been affected by floods.

Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma says in 2005, the city applied to the National Disaster Resiliency Grant Progarm for funding to relocate City Hall. And the city council has chosen the old Wells Fargo bank building in downtown Minot. Sipma says the purchase price for the building is $2.6 million. He says the project will cost around $10 million, for remodeling.

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Main Street

News Chat ~ Poetry from Studio 47 ~ Eliza Blue Postcard ~ Matt Reviews 2 Movies ~ Sue Balcom

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - Dave Thompson joins us for his weekly news chat, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday. ~~~ Poetry from Studio 47 ~~~ A Postcard from the Prairie with Eliza Blue. ~~~ Matt Olien reviews two films today, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” and “The Princess Switch: Switched Again.” ~~~ Sue Balcom is here for Main Street Eats, with an obvious topic: Thanksgiving.

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