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New England's Slope Electric Cooperative will receive a $12.5 million federal loan for improvements to its infrastructure across Adams, Bowman, Hettinger and Slope counties. The funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development's Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. "We applied for it and did receive the notification that the loan has been approved," Travis Kupper, CEO and co-general manager, said. "That will go to our overhead and underground projects, and to improve substations."
Dickinson's Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center is nearing completion on a new shelter for its clients, and Rhonda Dukart, DVRCC board president, expects the nonprofit to take possession of the house in August. "We started three years ago working on getting a new shelter built and raising the funds and getting all of the processes organized that needed to take place," Dukart said. "It's taken a long time, but ... the walls are up, the roof is on and we are back on track."
There are no boundaries for SM Fencing & Energy Services. The Dickinson business, started in 2006, continues to grow, recently opening a new division in the Williston area. "Through the years, our workload became more and more prevalent in that area," Owner Seth Murphy said. "Recently we actually onboarded a few quality individuals in that area, and that basically was the catalyst to us opening that division and the division being so successful."
Stark County Commissioners Friday had their first meeting in the newly constructed Stark County Courthouse addition and their new commissioner's room. Commissioner Ken Zander applauded the completed effort. "We have something here all of Stark County should be proud of," he said. Zander proudly noted that the entire project was "paid in cash." Sheriff Terry Oestreich reported the new courthouse security designs were functioning as intended.
Children's author Michael Dahl visited Dickinson elementary schools this week, encouraging children to use their imaginations. Dahl writes preschool-level superhero books such as "Bedtime for Batman" and "Be a Star, Wonder Woman," as well as middle-grade level horror and mystery titles. "The cool thing about being a writer is, you get to decide what to write about," Dahl said. Dahl has been writing since he was a child, already knowing by fifth grade he wanted to be an author, he told Lincoln Elementary students Wednesday, March 7.
The campaign to bring the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum to Dickinson continues. City Commissioners Wednesday, March 7, approved a resolution committing hospitality tax and sales tax dollars to the proposed presidential library project. A letter of support, though, makes it clear financial support will only be given if the project is constructed in Dickinson, as reflected in previous city resolutions. The Library Foundation board restarted discussions recently on where the library should be constructed, with Medora now considered a potential site.
HETTINGER—For 64 years, the people of Hettinger have been tuning in to their local radio station, KNDC. "Along with national and local news, we bring the markets to the farmers," Manager Nolan Dix explained. "We have an AgriTalk program we run in the afternoons, after the bell. That's a new program we started up." In addition to being station manager, Dix is also KNDC sports director.
SCRANTON—Travelers on east-west Highway 12 and north-south Highway 22 will find little in terms of essential automotive services. In such an emergency, Scranton's Cenex station exists as an oasis for drivers. For the people of the small community, with a population of about 300, it is a warm place to gather. Located on Hamilton Street and Highway 67, the Cenex station is owned by Scranton Equity, which has nearly 70 employees.
New England's sewer replacement project, started in 2014, is entering its third phase and nearing completion. Bids for the upcoming phase, estimated to cost about $5 million, will be approved by New England's City Council Monday. The overall cost of the project will be roughly $17 million, Mayor Marty Opdahl said. "We divided it up, the whole project, into four phases, mostly to maximize our grant/loan combination," Opdahl said. "Typically when you go through the USDA you can get up to $5 million and it runs about 65/35 loan-to-grant."
Democrat Ben Hanson is ready to face Republican Kelly Armstrong in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives. "It doesn't change much for us," Hanson said. "We're still traveling all over the state here. We just wrapped up with district conventions." Hanson, a Fargo native who has served in the North Dakota House of Representatives for four years, has been traveling the state in hopes of earning the Democratic-NPL Party nomination. A priority for Hanson, he said, will be prioritizing North Dakota issues in Congress.