Take a poll anywhere but the playground, and most will agree snow is a good thing - but only to a certain extent. This winter, record inches of the white stuff has caused travel troubles, schedule shuffling and, in general, one heck of a headache.
Community Education program under the guidance of director Darcy Putnam is quickly taking shape. During a meeting of the Hazen School Board Monday afternoon, the board reviewed a listing of classes that will be available to individuals of all ages, as well as classes waiting in the wings.
Regarding accumulation of the white stuff, it has been a record-setting winter for Hazen and the surrounding area. And the Hazen city street crews are left to deal with the aftermath of each storm. Snowfall after snowfall has at times filled all 40 miles of city streets before Hazen city street personnel have had the chance to clean them all.
A gallon of milk is over $4. The price of flour is skyrocketing. Gasoline? Anybody's guess. But snow removal on your street? Surprisingly affordable. Based on a home value of $150,000, the property owner would pay a total of $2,783 in city property tax. Of that total, the city collects $640. Of that cut, only $13.50 is allocated toward snow removal. If a home were valued at $75,000, the owner would be paying $6.75 for city street snow removal. A home valued at $40,900? Snow removal is costing well under $4.
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.