Extreme cold blankets Dakotas after days of snow
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Some organizations in the Dakotas are canceling holiday events as bitter cold settles over the region.
A "Christmas at the Zoo" fundraising event in the North Dakota city of Minot and "Parade of Lights" events in the South Dakota cities of Yankton and Sturgis were among those being called off Thursday.
The National Weather Service has posted advisories in the two states for wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero. Temperatures that cold can quickly freeze exposed skin and cause hypothermia.
It can lead to other problems as well, like frozen water pipes.
The weather service says it's also keeping an eye on possible rapid rises on the Missouri River caused by ice formation.
The cold comes on the heels of heavy snowfall. Some cities set records Wednesday.
ND launches website to notify public of spills
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Health Department has launched a website that allows the public to monitor oil spills and other hazardous leaks reported in the state.
The new website, WWW DOT NDHealth DOT gov SLASH EHS SLASH Spills, comes after a massive spill from a Tesoro Corporation pipeline that was discovered by a farmer in September.
Officials say the website is slated to be updated weekly and will provide information spills and their potential environmental impacts.
MISTAKEN HEATING OIL DELIVERY
Mistake fills ND family's basement with fuel oil
NORTHWOOD, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota family got an unwelcome surprise when 191 gallons of fuel oil were delivered to their house by mistake.
The oil was supposed to be delivered to a nearby house in Northwood. A bigger problem was that the family's home had a pipe on the outside but no fuel tank on the inside. That meant the fuel oil was pumped Monday into the finished basement of the home of Chad and Ryndee Veer and their three children.
Chad Veer tells the Grand Forks Herald he never expected such an accident because fuel isn't delivered unless it's ordered. He says the fuel supplier has helped by setting his family up with meals at a restaurant and providing other assistance. The family is staying in an apartment.
Fire engulfs Minot apartments under construction
MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Fire has engulfed some apartments under construction in Minot.
The Minot Daily News reports that some inhabited apartments near the site of the Chateau Apartments fire have been evacuated. The Red Cross is helping displaced residents.
A city street also has been closed and city bus routes have been disrupted.
Fire crews are working to ensure nearby businesses are not damaged.
There was no immediate word on a possible cause of the Thursday morning fire.
South Prairie voters overwhelmingly OK high school
MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Voters in the South Prairie School District near Minot have approved a $12 million bond issue to add a high school.
The district currently has grades K through 8. About 81 percent of the 349 people who voted Tuesday favored an expansion.
School officials say taxes shouldn't go up because the district will no longer have to pay tuition to send high school students to other districts.
Construction is to begin in May and the school should be ready for the 2015 to 2016 school year.
Former Grand Forks officer cleared of terrorizing
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A jury has acquitted a former Grand Forks police officer of felony terrorizing and convicted him instead of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jace Prelip was accused of holding an unloaded gun to another man's head during a party in August 2012. He resigned from the police force a few days later.
The Grand Forks Herald reports that jurors deliberated about 1 ½ hours Wednesday before delivering their decision.
Prelip could have faced up to five years in prison had he been convicted of terrorizing.
Officials: Tuberculosis found in ND dairy heifer
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota official says state and federal veterinarians are investigating a case of tuberculosis in a young heifer from an Oliver County dairy herd. The heifer has never produced milk.
State Veterinarian Susan Keller says the case was found when the owner agreed to have the herd tested after an employee tested positive.
Keller says the U.S. Veterinary Service Laboratory in Iowa confirmed the tuberculosis diagnosis in the heifer. She says even if the heifer had produced milk, routine pasteurization would have prevented any contamination of the milk supply.
Tuberculosis can be transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals.
Keller says an investigation is now underway, and further testing will be done to determine the source of the disease and to prevent its spread.
Black widow found in grapes in Bismarck
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Bismarck's Environmental Health Division says a black widow spider has been found in grapes purchased at a store.
The spider was taken to the Burleigh County Extension office where it was identified. Venomous black widows are identified by red, hourglass-shaped markings.
Several states have had recent reports of black widows being found in grocery store grapes.
Bismarck Environmental Health Administrator Anton Sattler recommends that residents be cautious when handling grapes or any other produce. He also suggests washing produce prior to eating.
UND volleyball coach quits amid hit-and-run probe
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - University of North Dakota volleyball coach Ashley Hardee has resigned amid an investigation into an alleged hit-and-run incident at the Big Sky tournament last weekend in Portland, Oregon.
Hardee in a statement apologized for what he called "a serious lapse in judgment." He didn't elaborate.
He's been UND's coach the past five years. He was put on paid administrative leave Monday and resigned Wednesday.
Athletic Director Brian Faison says a search for a new coach will begin immediately.
Portland State spokesman Scott Gallagher says officials are investigating a reported hit-and-run vehicle accident allegedly involving Hardee at the team hotel early Sunday. No one was hurt.
Hardee has a driving offense on his record. The Grand Forks Herald reports he pleaded guilty to drunken driving in June 2012
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