work on budget

Ward County commissioners met with department heads all day Thursday to continue work on this year’s budget.

If commissioners don’t make some of the departmental cuts that were discussed on Thursday, they would have to levy about $5 million to $6 million more in taxes next year, even though property tax valuations have also gone up about 13.45 percent this year, said Ward County Auditor Devra Smestad.

Smestad will present the preliminary budget at the next scheduled commission meeting next month. A public hearing to allow taxpayers to weigh in on the budget will also be scheduled next month. Smestad said the final budget must be approved by early October.

Andrea Johnson

County to close road for bridge


A portion of Ward County Road 1 will be closed beginning Monday for the replacement of the Stony Creek Bridge, located three-quarters of a mile south of Highway 5. The road, northwest of Kenmare, will be closed for four weeks, according to the Ward County Highway Department.

The road will be closed to through traffic between Highway 5 and 95th Street Northwest. A road closure map will be posted in the Highway Department section of the Ward County website at (

Wounded Warrior Project fundraisher

The NoDak Anglers have teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project for a fish fry and pig roast to be held Sunday, Aug. 24, from noon to 4 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds in Minot. The event will be held at the Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park. A free will offering will be accepted. All donations will be given to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Children will have the opportunity to fish for perch and trout at the Skills Park during the event. The NoDak Anglers say their goal is to raise at least $15,000.

Man pleads not guilty in Fargo hospital threats

FARGO (AP) – A Moorhead, Minn., man accused of making threats to a hospital in neighboring Fargo, has pleaded not guilty to terrorizing.

Peter Rovang is accused of making several calls to Sanford Health on July 11 mentioning explosions and shootings.

Defense attorney Mark Beauchene says Rovang deals with alcoholism and a traumatic brain injury, and Beauchene is seeking to have Rovang placed in an alcohol treatment program.

Rovang could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the felony terrorizing charge.

United flights between Williston and Houston begin

WILLISTON (AP) – Flights between the North Dakota oil patch hub of Williston and Houston are now underway.

The first United Airlines flight from Houston landed in Williston on Tuesday afternoon. Passengers embarking at Williston’s Sloulin Field International Airport can now fly to Houston, Minneapolis and Denver.

Williston’s airport has seen a dramatic increase in demand for flights in recent years as western North Dakota’s oil boom has progressed. A number of major oil field companies that operate in the region are based in Houston, and many oil field workers in the state are from Texas.