The North Dakota Department of Health is stressing the importance of influenza vaccination after tests show a common treatment is no longer working on certain kinds of the flu. Tests completed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that a common strain of the flu, known as type A H1N1, is becoming resistant to a common treatment. Data shows that of the 50 flu viruses tested, 49 (98 percent), could not be treated with the antiviral Tamiflu. "Influenza can be very serious, causing extended periods of missed work or school and hospitalizations. Sometimes it can be serious enough to cause death," said Abbi Pierce, Immunization Surveillance coordinator for the Department of Health. "This year we will have even fewer options to treat influenza, so it's that much more important to prevent it and get vaccinated now."
The drought, which lasted the better part of the last three years, hammered agricultural producers across Mercer County. Dugouts went dry while hay and commodity crops crumbled into dust. It was no different at Jim Kusler's farm and ranch operation south of Beulah.
The North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission encourages consumers to keep safety in mind when choosing toys for young children this holiday season, according to Diana Read, Injury and Violence Prevention Program director for the North Dakota Department of Health. In 2007, about 170,000 toy-related injuries to children were treated in a hospital emergency room and about 18 children died as a result of accidents involving toys. Most of the deaths were associated with airway obstruction from small toys, drowning or motor vehicle accidents during play. Most of the injuries were cuts, bruises and abrasions. Injuries most commonly occurred on the head and face.
In rural North Dakota, at times it may seem you're in the middle of nowhere. In Mercer County, new reflective address signs may ensure that in the event of an emergency, you'll never be in the middle of nowhere. At last Wednesday's meeting of the Mercer County Commission, Commissioner Frank Bitterman reported he has been in contact with an Ohio company about obtaining reflective signs that clearly display 911 addresses along major roadways. County 911 Coordinator Carmen Reed will be contacting mail carriers to get addresses of each county resident outside city limits, Bitterman said.
David Schoenrock will be there, directing the Knife River Chorale through Christmas carols at the beginning of Saturday and Sunday's concerts in his passionate, energetic trademark style that area music lovers have appreciated for over a half-century. Then, he will hand the baton to Brad Heinzer - a ceremonial end to Schoenrock's 52 years on the podium.
Several Hazen residents are gauging community interest in the idea of beginning a Christian school in Mercer County, most likely in Hazen or Beulah. Last Thursday, Shiloh-Christian School Administrator Dr. Ross Reinhiller, Bismarck, stopped at Hazen City Hall to provide interested residents the ins and outs of operating a private Christian school in Mercer County.
The Hazen City Commission took one small step toward turning the potential for natural gas service to reality - agreeing Monday evening to an exclusivity agreement with Michigan companies Major Pipelines LLC and Porter Survey PC. Now, they will poll the public to get their thoughts. About one week ago, Hazen City Planner Steve Frovarp met with Gerald Rushmore, Major Pipelines primary contractor and their company's attorney to discuss an exclusivity agreement, which would prevent the city of Hazen from dealing with any other contractors until after 2013.