1. North Dakota not following its own criteria for COVID-19 risk levels as ‘painful week’ continues
As North Dakota suffers through the harshest days of the pandemic to date, Gov. Doug Burgum again declined on Thursday, Oct. 8, to bump up the COVID-19 risk level for a handful of counties with high infection rates and case counts.
The lack of movement on risk levels defies the Burgum administration’s own criteria, and critics are calling the governor’s color-coded system “unscientific” and “totally arbitrary.”
Five rural counties currently in the “yellow” risk level — Emmons, Dickey, Golden Valley, Grant and McHenry — meet or exceed two of the three main criteria of the “critical” risk level, which comes with a stay-at-home order if implemented.
Read more from Forum News Service’s Jeremy Turley
2. North Dakota records its youngest COVID-19 death — a 17-year-old high school senior
Elvia “Rose” Ramirez (back center) died from COVID-19 on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The 17-year-old is the youngest person to die from COVID-19 so far in North Dakota. Special to The Forum
Seventeen-year-old Elvia “Rose” Ramirez wanted to be two things when she grew up: an artist and a cat mom.
After completing her senior year at Parshall High School on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the spring of 2021, she planned to marry her boyfriend of four years and possibly go to college.
But COVID-19 cut Ramirez’s life short.
She died on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo. She is the youngest person to die from COVID-19 so far in North Dakota.
Read more from The Forum’s Michelle Griffith
3. 10 residents and one staff member die in one long term care facility, 28 more positive cases
Good Samaritan Society in Bottineau, N.D.Good Samaritan Society
There have been 11 deaths and another 28 cases at Good Samaritan Society, a long term care facility in Bottineau, N.D.
Many of those deaths have occurred during the last two weeks.
Staff at the long-term care facility said it is working closely with the North Dakota Department of Health to implement vigorous infection control measures.
Staff at First District Public Health Unit said tragedies like these are the reason COVID fatigue can’t set in now.
Watch the story from WDAY’s Grace O’Neil
4. North Dakota’s proposed pilot program for longer semis draws opposition from local groups
This three-trailer road train in Australia is similar to rigs that would be part of a proposed pilot program on North Dakota’s highways. Wikimedia Commons / Special to The Forum
North Dakota lawmakers fielded several opposition letters this week in response to a proposed pilot program for lengthy semi-trailer trucks known as “road trains.” Still, they overwhelmingly endorsed a bill on the program, arguing that its critics have misleading information.
Lawmakers on the state’s Agriculture and Transportation Committee voted 12-1 on Thursday, Oct. 8, in support of the road train pilot bill, providing their stamp of approval ahead of the upcoming legislative session and marking a small step forward for the implementation of the multi-trailer truck platoons in North Dakota.
But Thursday’s committee vote also provided a window for opponents of the program to air their concerns.
Read more from The Forum’s Adam Willis
5. Jamestown brothers’ ‘magnet fishing’ catches trash, treasures and YouTube views
Brothers Brandon and Austin Kinzler lifting a magnet out of the James River. The two make YouTube videos of their adventures magnet fishing. Andrew Nelson / WDAY.
When Jamestown residents Brandon and Austin Kinzler head out to the river for a day of fishing, they don’t buy bait or pack lures; they bring magnets and grappling hooks.
Standing on a bridge over the James River, the brothers prepare for episode 55 of their YouTube show featuring their magnet fishing.
“We enjoy doing this together, cleaning the river and see what you might pull up,” Austin Kinzler said.
A few thousand followers tune in regularly to watch their videos of dropping powerful magnets into bodies of water. Viewers get to share the excitement of what the brothers pull from the depths.
Watch the story from WDAY’s Kevin Wallevand