1. This Day in History: In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as his replacement. Read more about that day on Page A3.
2. Light it up: The city of Wahpeton is holding a residential holiday lights contest as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration, to see who’s best at bringing out their inner Griswold. Judging begins Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 13. To be entered, contact Chris DeVries at City Hall.
3. Native American Heritage Program: The public is invited to a free program, “Anishinaabeg: A Historical and Geographical Overview,” by Kade Ferris, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Using colorized historical images, Ferris will bring to life the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Métis.
4. Today’s Birthdays include former First Lady Abigail Adams (1744-1818); comedian Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004); tennis legend Billie Jean King (1943-); Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band (1950-); actress Jamie Lee Curtis (1958-); actor-activist Mark Ruffalo (1967-); and actress Scarlett Johansson (1984-).
Breckenridge Port Authority met Wednesday, Nov. 20 at City Hall to discuss soil boring tests and economic development.
Port Authority is seeking to purchase three land parcels. The group reached out to Terracon and Braun Intertec for quotes on soil boring tests of that land. The test would determine the ability of the soil to support structures and soil permeability.
In Minnesota, when soil boring samples are taken 15 feet or deeper, the samples have to be grouted, according to Public Utilities Director Neil Crocker. Grouting in the soil samples would be an additional expense and so the land samples will be taken at 14-and-a-half feet.
“Let’s do that and it will provide us with a nice cross-area of samples for what we have out there,” Crocker said. “Anyone that is going to want to put a large building that is going to have heavy infrastructure in it, they are going to want to do their own boring samples at 40 to 50 feet. That will be up to the future property owner to do their due diligence on that. For us, 14 and a half feet gives us a good idea for what is under the ground.”
Terracon quoted an amount of $11,500 for five roadway samples and 20 land samples. If Terracon got the bid for the soil boring tests and were to do it all, there would be a reduction of the boring fee sample of $2,500.
Braun Intertec has not supplied a quote for the boring tests. Although, the company has worked with the city before. They have done all the concrete and compaction testing for the water plant, Crocker said. Additionally, they have worked with City Hall according to City Administrator Renae Smith. A quote from Braun Intertec is expected to be provided sometime next week.
In other news, the Port Authority is seeking out a potential business to operate in the old Stop-N-Go gas station along Fifth Street in town. The building will need to be cleaned out, improved through renovations as well remove old fuel tanks. The group discussed whether to sell the building to a business or remain the owner and lease instead, no decision was made. The group expects to advertise the building, price negotiable.
The city will be advertising the building for sale as soon as possible to push for economic development in the city and care for a building that would otherwise continue deteriorating.
There is currently insurance coverage on the building for being a vacant establishment. There are frequent inspections on the building by city employees.
Diana Hermes, advertising manager, Daily News, presented to the group the 2020 Savings and Coupon Book requesting sponsorship of a page. The Daily News was approached by the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to make the savings books for visitors. CVB intends to give away these savings books to visitors in their visitor bags at events. The Daily News plans to produce a total of 2,500 coupon books, with the possibility of more if there is a need.
The savings book will feature savings on home and garden, apparel, dining, entertainment, specialty products and services, gifts, lodging and attractions. The savings book will valid for the entire year of 2020.
The cost of a page for advertisement or a coupon is $250 for a half-page, $500 for a full page and $650 for an inside cover or back page, Hermes said. The group approved a motion to sponsor a full page for $500. Before this approval, the group had a total of $2,700 in its advertising budget for 2019.
The next Port Authority meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Breckenridge City Hall. Soil boring tests and future economic development discussions are expected to be discussed.
With a 4-0 vote, the Richland County Board of Commissioners approved a human service zone agreement.
The agreement was presented by Richland County Social Service Director Kristen Hasbargen during the commissioners’ Tuesday, Nov. 19 meeting.
Human services zones will replace social services agencies, Daily News reported in April 2019. Richland County, North Dakota, will be part of a zone including Ransom and Sargent counties, North Dakota.
Statewide rezoning goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the Jamestown Sun reported. The North Dakota Department of Human Services, according to nd.gov, will shift from nearly 50 primarily single-county units to no more than 19 multi-county units.
Following near-unanimous votes in the North Dakota Legislature, Senate Bill 2124 was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., in April 2019.
“All access points will remain, and in some cases expand to meet clients where they are,” nd.gov stated. “Funding will be more flexible than (a) rate-by-case formula to promote innovation.”
The zonal organization and new funding arrangement is intended to promote collaboration, specialization, utilization of capacity and efficiency, the state government continued.
North Dakota Department of Human Services officials began holding statewide community meetings Wednesday, Nov. 20. The meeting closest to the Twin Towns Area was held that day in Fargo.
“Funding for human services zones will be state funds directed to the zone,” the Department of Human Services stated. “Zones will be able to continue to bill Medicaid for key services which also result in revenue. However, the authority for counties to levy for human services has been removed. This results in permanent property tax relief.”
The commissioners later voted 4-0 to accept two submitted motor grader bids. The bids, presented by Richland County Highway Engineer, are:
• an annual lease payment of $41,263.71 for a five-year lease, from RDO Equipment, Moorhead, Minnesota
• an annual lease payment of $54,507.96 for a five-year lease, from Butler Machinery, Fargo
Commissioner Dan Thompson was absent from the meeting.
The commissioners’ next meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the Richland County Courthouse, 418 Second Ave. N. in Wahpeton.
Tami Sirek’s seed bloomed into a forest.
Nearly 40 individuals, families and businesses in the Twin Towns Area are participating in the second annual Festival of Trees. Sirek, who created the local entertainment-philanthropy event, has been watching with pride as visitors of all ages check out the displays in Heritage Square, Wahpeton.
“The daycares come by to visit,” Sirek said. “Later in the day, people bring their friends and families to see the trees. It’s really something when you drive by at night and can see how the trees are all lit up.”
Festival of Trees displays will share the spotlight with the Wahpeton Christmas Tree, scheduled to be lit at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26. A Santa’s Workshop at Heritage Square opens that afternoon at 4 p.m.
“Register for prizes to be given away after the tree lighting,” states a flyer for the event. “Join us for goodies, giveaways and holiday cheer.”
Trees displayed in the festival will entertain Heritage Square visitors for a few more weeks before being distributed to area families. Without the contribution of festival participants and co-organizers Richland-Wilkin Kinship and Richland County Social Services, the families would not be able to have their own Christmas trees.
“I know families who started buying trees to prepare right after Christmas,” Sirek said. “Through the year, whenever they went shopping, they’d save items they liked. They were collecting all that time for this.”
Participants enjoy the team aspect of decorating trees, as well as providing to area families. This year’s trees are scheduled to be delivered on Sunday, Dec. 15 and Monday, Dec. 16.
Sirek is thankful for the participants, her co-organizers and the support of the Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce. The Festival of Trees might only be in its infancy, but it’s gaining a following.
“We’ve got nearly 40 participants. The festival at the Fargodome has 170 or so. They’ve been doing it for so many years, but I think that we are growing — with a mix of newcomers and returning participants — is wonderful,” Sirek said.
Look to Daily News for coverage of holiday events throughout the Twin Towns Area.