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KHRT ND News - Tuesday - 03/12/19 - Morning Edition

The recent frigid weather continues to impact infrastructure in Minot, with numerous water service lines to businesses and residents reported frozen in the past few days.....

     MINOT, ND - The recent frigid weather continues to impact infrastructure in Minot, with numerous water service lines to businesses and residents reported frozen in the past few days.

    City of Minot Public Works Director Dan Jonasson said Monday that approximately 16 new calls have recently been received by the City about frozen water lines. Jonasson advised residents to check the flow of water from their faucets, and to check the temperature of the water.

    "Let your water run for five minutes, and then check the water temperature. If it's below 40 degrees, you could be in danger of having the service line coming into your house or business freeze," Jonasson said. "Letting a faucet run slowly can help prevent your service line from freezing."

    Jonasson said the City has been using equipment called a pulse unit to thaw water lines, but the process can take up to a day to alleviate the problem. The pulse unit pumps water into the service line to break up the frozen area.

    "The lack of snow cover allowed the frost to go deep into the ground this year in locations where we have not previously experienced freezing problems," Jonasson said. "Snow provides an insulation factor, but the late snowfall and extremely cold temperatures in January and February have made the frost issues worse."

    Residents are urged to call 701-852-0111 after 4:30 p.m. for water service emergencies. During regular business hours, please call 857-4150.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A newly updated revenue forecast shows North Dakota's treasury expects to collect about $1 billion more in state tax collections for the next two-year budget cycle than what lawmakers had adopted just two months ago. The forecast presented Monday to the Legislature's Budget Section predicted higher oil prices and production than what was set by lawmakers in January as a budgetary starting point.

    Republican leaders expressed caution at the numbers that were based on input from state budget analysts and Moody's Analytics. The Legislature's own budget consultancy, IHS Markit, will present its prediction today. Lawmakers will consider both forecasts to set the final numbers Thursday when they begin finishing their work on the state's 2019-2021 spending plan. The Legislature has idled major spending bills until that happens.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Land Board led by Republican Gov. Doug Burgum believes $137 million has not been properly deposited in two constitutional funds that benefit schools over the past decade.

    The board directed Land Commissioner Jodi Smith on Monday to testify to legislators that the money should be replenished in the common schools trust fund and the foundation aid stabilization fund. Smith believes the state's share of revenue from the oil-rich Fort Berthold reservation should have gone
in the funds.

    GOP leaders believe the money was correctly distributed by Republican state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, based on guidance from the attorney general's office in 2012. They have introduced legislation that would steer some oil tax money into school funds going forward, but their bill is not retroactive.

    A hearing on the legislation is scheduled Wednesday.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Senate doesn't believe that aesthetics of a sports car are ruined by a front license plate. The Senate killed the House bill 30-15 on Monday. It would have exempted such vehicles from displaying a front license plate. The bill defines a "sports car" as an "aerodynamically designed motor vehicle built to seat no more than two individuals." Proponents say that some sports cars aren't designed for a front license plate. They argue North Dakota should join the approximately 20 other states don't require them.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Legislature has approved a bill that would allow American Indian students to wear eagle feathers or plumes at school graduations. The Senate passed the House bill 45-0 on Monday. Fargo Democratic Rep. Ruth Buffalo, the bill sponsor, says American Indians view the eagle feather and plumes as a symbol of honor and pride. The North Dakota School Boards Association supports the legislation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates the National Eagle Repository to provide Native Americans with eagle carcasses, parts and feathers.




   (Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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