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JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Economic development officials are looking at the newly announced Opportunity Zones as a chance for people to invest in local communities and shelter some income from capital gains tax. Gov. Doug Burgum announced Friday, April 20, the designation of 25 zones in 15 counties in North Dakota. The Opportunity Zone program was part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act approved by Congress and signed by the president. All the states were allowed to specify areas that would participate in the program.
A change in Medicare cards is resulting in an opportunity for scam artists, according to Josh Askvig, AARP state director for North Dakota. The new cards look similar to the old version but do not include the recipient's Social Security number. Removing the Social Security number is intended to reduce the risk of identity theft, Askvig said.
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—The dangers of electronic nicotine delivery systems, more commonly called vaping systems or e-cigarettes, became acutely obvious to John Conway, assistant principal of Jamestown High School, two weeks ago. The situation started when some students reported other students were vaping in a restroom at the high school. This was confirmed by a custodian who said he smelled a sweet scent in the bathroom. Many of the liquids used in vaping systems are candy or fruit flavored, Conway said.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — A 54-year-old Jamestown man has thrown his hat in the ring for the U.S. House of Representatives. Sen. John Grabinger, D-Jamestown, who is currently serving his second term in the North Dakota Senate, announced he is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for Congress. Grabinger and Ben Hanson will contest for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL nomination during the state convention March 15-18 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
BISMARCK — Influenza cases in North Dakota declined for the third straight week, although flu is still widespread and there is a lot of the flu season left, according to Michelle Feist, program manager for the North Dakota Department of Health. North Dakota reported 609 laboratory confirmed cases of flu during the week that ended Feb. 17. That is down from 673 cases the previous week and a peak of 816 cases the week ending Jan. 27. Nationally, the number of flu cases declined for the first time last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Dr. Robert Badal credits implementing the Journey to Success program in 2007 with helping the University of Jamestown, its students and himself reach the level of achievement they have today. "It is a concept that started to change the way we thought about ourselves," he said. "After developing that idea, and getting it implemented, I started having more fun." The Journey to Success is a self-assessment and mentoring program designed to help the student find his or her "calling" in life, Badal said.
BISMARCK, N.D.—The North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People has terminated its paid staff and closed its state office in Bismarck, N.D., according to Diana Hall, chair of its board of directors. "We've had a number of budget cuts, and unfortunately, we didn't have the money to pay staff," she said. "The members of the board have taken on the duties of lobbying and advocacy, and we're hiring a manager to handle financial responsibilities."
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Systems used at the county and state levels to issue emergency alerts require more steps and more human participation than a system used in Hawaii, according to North Dakota and Stutsman County emergency management officials. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally issued a false alert to the public Saturday, Jan. 13, warning that ballistic missiles were headed toward the state. The emergency alert was retracted 38 minutes later.
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Jamestown and Dickinson are in the center of one of the eight regions where medical marijuana dispensaries could be opened and they are working on accommodating the "comfort care centers." Zoning ordinances will need to be changed for the dispensaries as one of the first steps. Other regions include Fargo, Bismarck/Mandan, Grand Forks, Minot, Williston and Devils Lake. To be considered for a license, proposed dispensaries would have to be within 50 miles of one of the cities listed.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Inconsistencies in ice thickness could pose a danger to ice fishermen heading to the lakes this holiday weekend, according to B.J. Kratz, district fisheries supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Jamestown. Recent above average temperatures have reduced or eliminated ice on some lakes, although cold weather forecast for later this week will begin to make ice. "There is some open water in a lot of lakes," he said. "It is going to take more cold weather to create good ice in open water areas now."