Minnesotans saw several new driving-related laws take effect Thursday, Aug. 1. In addition to the hands-free cellphone driving law, Gov. Tim Walz signed the “left lane” bill into law this year, which requires slower moving vehicles to move over to the right lane. It updates existing language relating to lane usage to ensure drivers in Minnesota are being safe on the roads.
Another new law is the work safety law, which allows work zone flaggers to report drivers for violating directions, speeding or driving unsafely through work zones.
The requirement to move over and allow vehicles to pass in the left lane has been law in the state for many years, but language was modernized to account for today’s traffic. Basically, the left lane law says whenever practicable, drivers need to move out of the left lane so other vehicles may pass.
The law states that drivers who are moving slow enough to create a traffic hazard must move out of the left lane to allow other vehicles to pass. It does not allow drivers to speed.
The law does not apply when a driver is preparing to turn left at an intersection or looking to exit from the left lane of a controlled-access highway, on roads with more than one lane in the same direction.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety advises if a driver in front of you is going as fast as conditions allow, don’t pass them. Weather and road conditions, even darkness, can make it necessary to drive below the speed limit.
The agency says the new law will help reduce driver’s stress on the road by increasing efficiency and can help ward off road rage. Traffic also works best when all drivers are going about the same speed.
Violating the left lane law comes with a $50 fine.
The work zone safety law will permit peace officers to issue citations to drivers if there is probable cause to believe the driver violated work zone safety laws within the previous four hours. The legislation is modeled after a similar law allowing citations for violations of a school bus stop arm, based on a report from a bus driver. Work zone flaggers must complete training in order to be qualified to provide a report.
The law will improve safety for road workers and flaggers within highway work zones.
Each year in the U.S. a work zone crash happens once every 5.4 minutes, according to the Department of Public Safety. In Minnesota, there were 31 fatalities and 123 serious injuries in work zones over the last three years.
Finally, driver and vehicle services fees increased on Aug. 1. All driver’s license fees in Minnesota will go up by $4.50. The fee drops by $.75 on July 1, 2022.
Filing fees for all vehicle registration renewals increased by $1 to $7, and filing fees for all other types of vehicle transactions increase by $1 to $11. License plate fee increases will be implemented in mid-September.
There is also a $2.25 technology surcharge for all driver and vehicle service transactions.
To read more about the laws, visit https://dps.mn.gov/Pages/ default.aspx/.
Aber Days is coming to Abercrombie, North Dakota, from Friday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 4.
It kicks off with a picnic in the park from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday with Steve Worner, the “One Man Band,” performing.
Saturday, Aug. 3 starts early with a 7 a.m. breakfast in the park.
Two 5K events are scheduled for Saturday morning. The first 5K walk/run begins at 8 a.m. and the youth 5K begins at 9:30 a.m.
No Aber Days event would be complete without a parade. The kiddie parade begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by the 11 a.m. full parade.
Afternoon events include a digital scavenger hunt and the little Mr. and Ms. crownings. The Aber Days Rodeo starts at 5 p.m., with tickets costing $12 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger.
The evening comes to a close with a street dance from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. in downtown Abercrombie. Music will be provided by Silverado and tickets are $10 per person. Admission is free for ages 5 and under.
Sunday will include a 10:30 a.m. all faith worship service, followed by a potluck lunch.
Fort Abercrombie Historic Site has events throughout Saturday and Sunday. Faylin Myhre, assistant site supervisor, gave some details.
There will be a tin plate photography booth by Lincoln Nybladh from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
“We have a couple of period costumes people can put on and have their photo taken with him,” Myhre said.
Blacksmith Michael Quade will come and have a demonstration at his booth both days as well.
“We have a tin smith,” Myhre said. “He makes metal items the way they would have, his family dresses in period costume and he sets a booth up out here.”
Karl-Josef Schmidt has an Etsy store called Dakota Tin Works and is an instructor at the North House Folk School.
Historical authors Mattie Richardson, Jan Smith and Candace Simar will all be on site from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. They will sell and sign books.
“Candace Simar has written a series called ‘Abercrombie Trail,’” Myhre said. “The first one in that series has to do with the stage coach that comes into Fort Abercrombie and is based on her great-grandfather’s diaries.”
Carrie Newman will have Civil War Sewing Demonstrations from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. both days.
On Saturday only, there will be a 5th Minnesota Infantry Civil War Encampment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“They’ll do drills and kids and adults can join in and do the drill with the soldiers if they want,” Myhre said. “They have their tents set up and you can ask all the questions you can think of.”
Starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, there will be a history program with several guests speakers including Tamara St. John, Candace Simar, Carrie Newman, Jan Smith and Lincoln Nybladh. Mattie Richardson will provide special music.
Standard history tours of Fort Abercrombie are available, $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-15, Myhre said.
Check out the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site’s Facebook page for more information.
Crazy Days, an annual summer event, is getting crazier in 2019.
Organizers announced Crazy Days, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 7, will feature retailers, restaurants and professionals in Wahpeton and Breckenridge, Minnesota. While Wednesday is the kickoff, participants may extend their offers and specials through Sunday, Aug. 11.
“I hope it gives our local businesses a chance to shine and a chance for people to see what they’re all about,” said Mickie Nakonechny, owner of Indigo life + style in Wahpeton.
Nakonechny is one of several business owners who teamed up for Crazy Days. Participants are:
• KrAz Dance
• Drifter Chic Boutique
• Breckenridge Drug
• Wilkin Drink and Eatery
• Dakota Coffee Co.
• The Golden Rule
• The Boiler Room
• Farmers Union Insurance
• Total Personality
• Gripper’s Sports
• Hairetage Hallmark
• Indigo life + style
• Snap Fitness
• Wahpeton Drug and Gift
• Digital Guru
• Red Door Art Gallery
• Action Realtors
• City Brew Hall
• Nails by Vikkie
• Gallery on the Go
• Krupkes Konsignments
Participants are offering “deals, steals, sales and promotions,” according to a Crazy Days poster.
“This is an opportunity for retailers to offer sales on merchandise and for customers to snag some great deals,” said Julie Mears, co-owner of The Golden Rule, Wahpeton.
Nakonechny is especially excited and proud that Crazy Days is extending into Breckenridge.
“We’re really hoping that people will support all the businesses,” she said.
Independently put on, Crazy Days is one piece of what organizers hope will be continued success.
“My goal is always to show off Wahpeton-Breckenridge in the best light,” Nakonechny said. “We want to welcome visitors to town and hopefully bring more business here.”
Look to Daily News for continued coverage of summer events.
1. Raise your glass: International Beer Day, first observed in 2007, is celebrated Friday, Aug. 2.
2. Outdoor events are all over and we’ll have coverage of everything from Aber Days to National Night Out. Keep reading or visit www.wahpetondailynews.com.
3. Volunteering opportunities are available in Wahpeton. Learn more on page A2.
4. Today in Music: In 1962, a 21-year-old folk musician named Robert Zimmerman changed his name. To this day, the Duluth, Minn. native is known as Bob Dylan.
All retailers licensed to sell tobacco products in Richland County, North Dakota, passed a recent compliance test. Testing occurred in Wahpeton and rural Richland County.
Twenty-one total businesses were tested. Compliance tests are a cooperative project of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Wahpeton Police Department and Richland County Health Department.
“Our persistence in having these tobacco compliance checks is paying off now,” said Tessa Johnson, community prevention specialist with the health department. “Retailers all seem to be carding and paying attention. That’s good news.”
Teams of underage youth are trained to conduct compliance tests. They visited the 21 retail outlets under supervision of the partnering departments.
At each location, the youth compliance testers asked to buy e-cigarettes, cigarettes or chewing tobacco. It is illegal to tell tobacco products in North Dakota to anyone younger than 18.
“Sellers receive a $100 fine. Additional penalties may apply is businesses have additional violations within a 24-month period,” the health department stated.
Businesses in Wahpeton where retail clerks refused to sell to minors were Casey’s General Store, Walmart, Northside Tesoro, Simonson’s, M&H, Econofoods, Cenex, Family Dollar, Petro Serve USA and the Dakota Smoke Shop.
Richland County businesses where retail clerks refused to sell to minors were the Abercrombie Store in Abercrombie, North Dakota; Colfax Express in Colfax, North Dakota; Cenex in Fairmount, North Dakota; Dollar General, Miller’s Fresh Foods, J Starr and the Lovdokken C store in Hankinson, North Dakota; Diamond 1 Stop and Dakota Plains Coop in Lidgerwood, North Dakota; Cenex in Mooreton, North Dakota and Dollar General in Wyndmere, North Dakota.
Nearly 90 percent of smokers begin smoking by their 18th birthday, according to the Richland County Health Department. Youth who remain smoke-free in high school and college are more likely to remain smoke-free for life.
If youth smoking continues at the current rate, the health department stated, 5.6 million of today’s American youth under age 18 will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.
“That’s about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger alive today,” Johnson said.
In April, the health department reported four retailers had failed the compliance test.
“We’re increasing our frequency of tests,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to conduct them three times a year.”
Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development, the health department previously stated. Brain development continues until approximately age 25. Youth may have low awareness of the addictive potential of nicotine and tobacco.
“The use of nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe for young people,” the health department continued.
The Richland County Health Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Office and Wahpeton Police Department provide retail education on tobacco sales laws. Interested retail clerks and managers can contact the health department at 701-642-7735.