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General News

121 new residents test positive for coronavirus

Mar 18, 2021

According to the state health department’s coronavirus dashboard, 121 new individuals from 22 counties have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the new statewide positive total to 101,403.

 

These results were from a pool of 6,178 tests for a daily positive rate of 2.71 percent.

 

78 of those positives were PCR tests, and 43 were antigen tests.

 

The cases broken down by county are:

 

 

 

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved Otter Tail Power Company’s 2021 Renewable Resource cost recovery rider.

That means Otter Tail customers will see an extra $4.24 per month on their bills.

A year ago, the PSC approved a $4 monthly charge for the rider. It takes into account the Merricourt Wind Farm’s production tax credit.

PSC: Seven digit local dialing preserved in ND

Mar 18, 2021
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota telephone users will be able to continue using seven-digit dialing for local calls, even after the new national “988” code goes into effect.

“988” is becoming a connection to the National Suicide Hotline.

There were some local exchanges that had “988” prefixes. And the state was told it would soon have to go to ten digit dialing for local exchanges. That would mean dialing a “1” and the area code “701.”

But the Public Service Commission worked with local telephone companies, who then gave up the “988” prefixes.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A group of Mandan High School students went to a local liquor store Wednesday morning.

They were there as part of a project to reduce underage drinking, and to help remind the stores not to sell liquor to minors.

It’s called “Operation Sticker Shock.” And it includes the students, Mandan Police, the Morton County Sheriff’s office, Custer Health and local liquor dealers.

State confirms 134 new COVID-19 cases; 1 more death

Mar 17, 2021

The state health department has confirmed one more death related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,459.

 

The patient was a woman in her 70s from Emmons County. 

 

Deaths are reported to the state health department by facilities or by official death record, and can take up to ten days to be confirmed. 

 

Senate committee studying transgender athlete bill

Mar 17, 2021

Supporters say it will protect high school girls’ sports.

Opponents say it’s a solution in search of a problem.

The bill is HB 1298. It would restrict transgender high school students from competing on teams that are exclusively for the opposite sex. It passed the House, and is now in a Senate committee.

The supporters say it upholds Title IX – a federal law that protects people from discrimination on the basis of sex in school programs and activities that receive federal funds.

Daylight Savings Time bill passes in ND Senate

Mar 17, 2021

The state Senate has approved a measure to put all of North Dakota on year-round Daylight Savings Time.

That can only happen if Congress agrees. And the measure – HB 1371 – was amended, so that the surrounding states of Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana also have to adopt year-round daylight savings time before this can take effect in North Dakota.

Sen. Jason Heitkamp (R-Wahpeton) introduced a similar bill, that failed earlier in the Senate.

1 death confirmed, 149 new cases of coronavirus

Mar 16, 2021

The state health department has confirmed one more death related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,458.

 

The patient was a woman in her 80s from Ward County. 

 

Deaths are reported to the state health department by facilities or by official death record, and can take up to ten days to be confirmed. 

 

A Senate committee is looking at a measure to allow adults to buy and use small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes.

The legal limit would be one ounce of marijuana.

The bill has already passed the House. The sponsor – Rep. Jason Dockter (R-Bismarck) – told the Senate Human Services Committee he did it to head off a potential initiated measure.

"A lot of time, we're reactive in government," Dockter said. "I wanted to do something proactive."

Dockter said like alcohol, the state has issues with all types of drugs, including marijuana.

Legislative leaders are working to save some days, as lawmakers will have to come back late this year for a redistricting session.

The Constitution limits the Legislature to 80 days over a two-year period.

Lawmakers have talked about finishing in 72 days. That would be April 22nd. It would leave up to 8 days for redistricting.

"I would like to be out of here sooner, but that's not going to happen, with the workload we have," House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) said. "Seventy-two is a nice target, so we'll see what happens."

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