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Farm Bill biologist to serve Oliver, Mercer counties

Landowners have a new resource for wildlife habitat questions, technical assistance, and possibly even help locating funding sources for habitat development. Justin Edwards is the Pheasants Forever Farm Bill biologist serving Oliver, Mercer and Morton counties through a partnership between Pheasants Forever, the USDA National Resource Conservation Service and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Edwards will also work cooperatively with the Oliver Soil Conservation District. “I’ll be working with the Farm Bill programs, particularly CRP and some EQIP,” Edwards said. The CRP, or Conservation Reserve Program, is a Farm Service Agency land conservation program intended to re-establish land cover in order to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Farmers enrolled in CRP agree to take environmentally sensitive land out of production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality in exchange for a yearly rental payment.

Posted 4/02/14 (Wed) read more »

Foster is new Soil Conservationist at NRCS office

There’s a new face in the Natural Resource Conservation Service field office in Center.

Posted 3/26/14 (Wed) read more »

Ruds guests on Hannity national radio show

North Dakota jobs continue to outpace available employees, even in the City of Center.

Posted 3/26/14 (Wed) read more »

City looking at Home Rule Charter options

The city council has formed a committee to look into adoption of a home rule charter. Home rule is a granting of certain powers to cities by a state legislature to allow the cities more opportunities to make decisions about the issues that affect them. The committee will look at the powers available to the City of Center, determine which should be included in the home rule charter, and then submit the proposed charter to the voters for approval in an election. Committee chair J.D. Hanson and member John Green appeared before the council to report on the committee’s progress. Hanson told council members that the committee had met, and its members are reviewing background information, process and procedures for implementing home rule, and sample charters. He also provided a list of information the committee needs in order to begin drafting a proposed charter. The proposed charter will be presented at a public hearing for comment and discussion.

Posted 3/19/14 (Wed) read more »

OCAS gets lift device demonstration

People come in all shapes and sizes. Children and small adults can, for the most part, be easily transported by ambulance service volunteers. But what happens when the patient is more than the crew can safely handle? More than a dozen Oliver County Ambulance Service squad members watched a potential solution in action Monday evening as Bill Kolb, territory manager for Stryker EMS Equipment, demonstrated the Power-Load system. The system supports the cot while it’s lifted into or lowered out of an ambulance.

Posted 3/19/14 (Wed) read more »

Commission reviews data storage needs, roads

County Auditor Judith Hintz presented the information requested last month by the commissioners to follow-up on discussion about the need for and costs to purchase a new server to increase data storage capabilities. The current server works well for the recorder/clerk of courts office, but is not sufficient for the storage needs of the tax director, treasurer, and auditor. Adding a server will ensure all offices’ storage requirements are addressed. “You have to make sure you’re getting what you need,” Commission Chairman Lee Husfloen said, indicating future needs are to be considered during the decision-making process to ensure sufficient capacity is purchased. County Treasurer Lee Benjamin researched the storage issue and concurred that a second server is needed. According to quotes received by Benjamin, total cost will be about $20,000, which includes $9,650 for the main server hardware, plus software and additional materials needed for installation. “The intent is to purchase a server that is capable of handling future needs,” Benjamin said. “This is a good-sized server, probably about twice the size of what we have.” “My thoughts are that we’re going to need it,” Commissioner Darrell Berger said. “I don’t see any other way around it.”

Posted 3/12/14 (Wed) read more »

Preschoolers get hands-on roping instruction

Laurie Thompson’s Center-Stanton afternoon preschool class got some hands-on roping experience last week during Western Day. Drew Erhardt told the class about the ropes cowboys use and why they rope cattle, demonstrated how to rope a calf, and then gave students a chance to try their hands at roping Buford the practice steer. “I liked it when I caught the horn,” Auslyn Manifold said. “It was so much fun!” Western Day was part of a week spent learning about the letter “w.” Preschool students wore cowboy hats to school, beaded western necklaces, and used candies shaped like cowboy hats, cowboy boots, spurs and horseshoes to do a math lesson about graphing.

Posted 3/12/14 (Wed) read more »

Minnkota transmission line work progressing

Assembly of the final transmission line structures in Oliver County for Minnkota Power’s Center to Grand Forks Project transmission line will soon be complete. The foundations are complete and tower bases have been erected; construction contractor Michels Corporation is working to finish placing the top sections of the towers. The structures are assembled in three parts—bases, mid-sections and tops, which are hoisted in place using track cranes. Once the structures are in place, the transmission line is strung. The mid and top sections of the remaining structures have been hauled to their locations and framed, which includes mounting the tower arms and hanging the insulators before the structures are set. The mid and top sections are bolted together and set on the bases in one operation.

Posted 3/05/14 (Wed) read more »

ND First Lady, CSPS meet to discuss Imagination Library

North Dakota’s First Lady, Betsy Dalrymple, was at Center-Stanton Public Schools last week to provide information about a cause that’s near and dear to her heart: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The program provides free books to children from birth until their fifth birthday. “It’s the perfect program, I think, to get young people excited about books,” Dalrymple said. Dalrymple met with CSPS Superintendent Curt Pierce, Deb Clarys of Security First Bank, and Elementary Principal Kathy Bullinger to discuss the possibility of starting an Imagination Library program in Oliver County. Imagination Library requires a non-profit organization to become the “local champion”; the local champion then works with partners in the community to publicize the program, register children, and raise funds to pay the monthly costs for books, postage and mailing.

Posted 2/26/14 (Wed) read more »

Washouts, zoning top county agenda

Scott Hopfauf and Paul Mahlen of Minnkota Power appeared before the Oliver County Commission at its regular meeting Feb. 13 to provide an update on the low water crossing washouts. After discussion at the January commission meeting, Mahlen checked back in Minnkota’s records but was not able to locate any reference to taking care of anything below the dam. He asked if the county might have background information. County Roads Superintendent Bruce Nelson reported that he had checked county records, including minutes from commission meetings, but did not discover an agreement or discussion on the subject. Discussion ensued as to the number of crossings that have been washed out due to high discharges from the dam, and noted that Lee Orgaard and Allan Jacobsen’s properties have been affected.

Posted 2/26/14 (Wed) read more »