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Heavy trucks tear up roads

Overweight semi trucks that are tearing up Divide County roads have become a significant concern for Sheriff Lauren Throntveit.

“We weighed 11 gravel trucks in the last couple of months and all 11 were over weight,” Throntveit said.

Worse, he said, is that truckers don’t seem to care. They take the risk because of the business payoff of being able to deliver more payload.

“They know they’re over weight,” the sheriff said. “The gravel operations know about it. The oil companies know about it. No one seems to care. It’s all about the money.”

Throntveit and Divide County roads foreman Brian Haugenoe say the heavy trucks not only tear up roads but also cause major headaches for law enforcement.

— The Journal, Crosby

Hess says parked rail cars are safe

The Hess Corp. has assured Tioga residents that tanker cars parked on rail siding within the city limits are not a safety threat.

Joe Roper, the company’s director of onshore communications from Houston, said the cars are not oil tankers, but “rail cars associated with loading propane, butane and natural gas.”

Roper said Hess leases from BNSF Railway the siding upon which the cars are parked. Several dozen of the cars are parked to the west and east of the railroad’s Main Street crossing.

Once an expansion project is completed at the corporation’s nearby rail loading facility, west of town, “We don’t intend to store any cars there,” he said, but added, “I can’t say never.”

— The Tioga Tribune

Stanley postal problems aired

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., got an earful about postal problems in Stanley during a recent visit.

The senator sits on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which deals with postal issues.

She heard stories of mail dumped in ditches, mail going undelivered for long periods of time and a significant deterioration in quality of service.

Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson shared a story of a vehicle officers brought in that had been used as a mail carrier vehicle and contained unused stamps and other valuable materials.

Halvorson said he has those items in storage because he has been unable to find anyone in the Postal Service to tell him how to return them.

Heitkamp has a link on her congressional website called “Fix My Mail” in which she asks North Dakotans to report postal problems.

— Mountrail County Promoter, Stanley

Washburn has home sales boom

After two extraordinary years, Washburn area real estate sales agents are optimistic that 2014 will be another strong year for home and land sales.

Broker agent Mike Nelson, who’s been selling homes there for 37 years, described 2012 and 2013 as blockbusters.

“These were the best real estate years I’ve seen in the past 37 years,” he said. “It’s just phenomenal.”

While it’s not unusual for January, Nelson said the stock of available housing is in short supply. He said there were not enough homes to meet the demand last year.

Mary Ellen Parker, of Keller Williams Realty, said a lot of people are looking for houses in the Washburn area.

“I expect the market to pick up quite a bit. We’re looking for another good year this year,” she said.

— Leader-News, Washburn

Full-time fire dept. planned

If he wins re-election, Williston Police and Fire Commissioner Tate Cymbaluk plans to put a full-time, paid fire department in place.

By 2015, he says, he will have a full-time department to accommodate the needs of the fast-growing Williston community, along with a new chief ready to take on the challenges of that growth.

“It’s not a matter of if we get a full-time department, it’s a matter of when,” Cymbaluk said. “We have a job to do as a commission, and part of that job is to provide a safety net and lifeline to the community.”

— Williston Herald

(Compiled by Steve Andrist, former publisher of newspapers in Crosby and Tioga.)

Copyright 2014 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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