5 things to know today: Oversight board, Improvement plan, Insufficient evidence, Spring storm, Avian flu
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
1. As inaugural meeting nears, Fargo Police Advisory and Oversight Board members in learning mode
The seven members of Fargo's newly formed Police Advisory and Oversight Board recently spent several days training at the Fargo Police Department, where they took part in classroom sessions and rode along with officers patrolling the city's streets.
As the board's inaugural meeting on Thursday, April 14, approached, members shared their thoughts on why they chose to seek a spot on the new board, as well as their hopes that positive things will come from serving on it.
2. Two meetings planned for residents to discuss West Fargo's capital improvement plan
West Fargo will host two town hall forums on the city’s capital improvement plan Tuesday, April 26.
The meetings will be held at noon and 6:30 p.m. at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E.
During the event, a panel of City officials will provide a short presentation and then attendees can interact with panelists during a moderated question-and-answer session. The meeting will be recorded and available on the West Fargo’s YouTube channel and online agenda center .
Last month, the West Fargo City Commission held off on approving its five-year plan for infrastructure projects until it can receive input from the public. The city is considering investing more than $180 million over the next five years into the city's infrastructure, which includes the lagoon decomissioning project, repaving and street repairs, as well as a potential new city hall building.
The commission was presented the plan during a public meeting on March 10 and were expected to vote on the plan at its March 21 meeting before tabling it.
3. Insufficient evidence found on sexual assault claim against Jamestown mayor
An investigation of a claim of sexual assault made against Mayor Dwaine Heinrich found insufficient evidence to initiate a criminal prosecution.
The alleged incident at the Office Bar on Jan. 29 was reported to the Jamestown Police Department and turned over to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate the allegation reported as inappropriate touching.
In a report released by Stutsman County State’s Attorney Fritz Fremgen on Wednesday, April 13, the accuser, who is referred to as the “Caller,” told Shawn Banet, special agent with the BCI, any touching of her breast was inadvertent and there was no touching for sexual gratification.
A call was made to the Jamestown Police Department on the evening of Jan. 29 from the Office Bar. The call log said, “reports there is a male that touched her in appropriately.” The call was classified as “disorderly conduct” for the type of activity on the call log.
4. I-94 partially closed in North Dakota as blizzard rages, with up to 2 feet expected in some spots
Interstate 94 remained closed from Jamestown to the Montana border as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, after North Dakota transportation officials shut down sections of the road Tuesday evening, as a spring storm unleashed dangerous driving conditions on the region.
All of Interstate 29 through North Dakota was open. However, a no travel advisory was in place for much of the state, except for the eastern edge, including the Fargo area.
"Motorists are encouraged to stay in place and if you must travel, slow down and drive for the conditions," the North Dakota Department of Transportation said in a statement. "Motorists are not allowed to travel on a closed road due to life-threatening conditions caused by blowing snow and near-zero visibility."
Snowfall totals were piling up across the state, with some areas likely to receive 16 to 24 inches such as in Carrington, Minot and Bismarck, according to WDAY Stormtracker Meteorologist John Wheeler.
5. Avian flu confirmed in 34 Minnesota sites
New confirmations of avian flu in Minnesota bring the number of infection sites to 34.
According to the state Board of Animal Health, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed Tuesday and announced Wednesday in five additional commercial poultry operations, and one backyard producer of 126 birds in Benton County.
Three of the additional sites are in Morrison County: a flock of 45,000 meat turkeys, a flock of 43,286 broiler chickens and a flock of 214,277 table egg layers. That county now has seven sites of infection and more than half a million birds affected.
Yellow Medicine County's first infection site is listed as 50,000 birds at a poultry slaughter operation.
The newest Kandiyohi County site is 38,000 meat turkeys. All six sites reported in Kandiyohi County have been commercial operations of either meat turkeys or breeder hens, totaling more than 200,000 birds affected.