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JAMESTOWN, N.D.-- Even after a few days of mild weather, officials are still looking for all the information they can gather about the amount of moisture in the snow and the possibilities of flooding this spring in the Jamestown area, according to Allen Schlag, hydrologist with the National Weather Service at Bismarck. "We take any information we can get our hands on," he said. "It all has an effect on the water levels at some time." Schlag expects the new flood forecasts to reduce the chance of flooding.
BISMARCK — Efforts to create a statewide interoperability radio network fund have generated at least two bills in the North Dakota Legislature. House Bill 1178 allows counties to raise the tax on phone services, including cellphones, from $1.50 to $2 per month with the increase dedicated to funding the statewide interoperability radio network. The current tax is used to fund 911 service and local dispatch centers. Senate Bill 2204 places a surcharge on traffic fines and dedicates the extra money to the planned radio network.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — A change in who receives taxes from wind farms is being called an attack on the wind energy industry by one North Dakota legislator. Senate Bill 2209, as introduced, would take 70 percent of the taxes paid by wind farms and deposit it into the state's general fund. The remaining portion of the taxes would be paid to the local governments where the wind farm is located.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — The weather conditions between now and March will determine any possible flood conditions in the area, according to Allen Schlag, hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck. "There are six to 10 weeks left in the snow accumulation season," he said. "If we start putting snow on like we did from November through Christmas, it will not be a fun spring." The moisture content of the snow on the ground now is consistent with years like 2009 and 2010 when flooding occurred along the James River.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Officials with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department anticipate weather-related wildlife deaths this winter. "This will be one of those winters you'll remember," said Kevin Kading, private lands section leader for the department. "In a winter like this, there will be losses."
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Early signs indicate a chance for flooding this spring along the James River, according to Daryl Ritchison, extension meteorologist for North Dakota State University. "We're on pace to set a snow record or match the bad winters of 1996 and 1997 and 2009 through 2011," he said. "Right now we're equal to or within an inch of where we were in 2009." Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager, said Jamestown received about 100 inches of snow in the 1996 to 1997 winter.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued a permit that has downsized what had been planned as the largest wind farm in North Dakota. Glacier Ridge Wind Farm had been planned as a 300-megawatt, 88 turbine wind farm in Barnes County. The PSC approved a phase 1 site plan Dec. 7 on a 2-1 vote with Commissioner Randy Christmann dissenting. Any site plan for a second phase of the project would be considered separately by the PSC.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Even as they attempt to sort through all the ramifications of Marsy's Law, prosecutors are sure of one thing, according to Fritz Fremgen, Stutsman County state's attorney. "It means more notices to victims," he said. "The class of victim that will get the level of treatment that previously went to the victims of personal crime will be expanded."
SPIRITWOOD, N.D.—Planning is continuing for construction of a soybean crushing plant at Spiritwood, according to information in a grant application made by North Dakota Soybean Processors to the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission. A copy of the application, which was submitted to APUC in June, was received after an open records request was submitted. According to the application, North Dakota Soybean Processors is a subsidiary of Minnesota Soybean Processors. Minnesota Soybean Processors operates a soybean crushing plant at Brewster, Minn.
JAMESTOWN — Old age took the life of White Cloud, the iconic albino bison that drew visitors to Jamestown over her 20-year life span, died at her owner's ranch Monday. "It was expected it would happen sometime," said Ilana Xinos, director of the National Buffalo Museum, Monday. "It was not expected today." During her time in Jamestown, White Cloud was the most notable member of her species residing in Jamestown, a city that has billed itself as "the Buffalo City" since the 1950s.