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In case you missed it in The Jamestown Sun the week of May 2

Stories from the previous week that appeared on jamestownsun.com and The Jamestown Sun.

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North Dakota poet laureate dies

North Dakota poet laureate Larry Woiwode passed away on Thursday, April 28.

Woiwode was the recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award in 1992, which is the state's highest citizen honor.

Woiwode was born in 1941 in Carrington, North Dakota, near his hometown in Sykeston.

He began his writing career in New York city and published stories and poetry in The New Yorker by 1966. His work also appeared in The Atlantic, Esquire, Harper's and The Paris Review. He wrote novels, poetry and nonfiction. His work appeared in four volumes of Best American Short Stories.

Mayor criticizes investigation

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said the false claim of sexual assault made against him was planned over dissatisfaction of a Jamestown City Council decision involving a liquor violation.

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Heinrich read a statement in his mayor's report on Monday, May 2, at the City Council meeting saying the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the state Attorney General's Office made a decision to do "half the job" to investigate an allegation against him.

Heinrich said Stutsman County State's Attorney Fritz Fremgen released a report that used the language "insufficient evidence" instead of writing that there was no assault. He said he reached out to Attorney General Drew Wrigley to determine the status of the rest of the investigation and was told it would be an inappropriate use of state funds to investigate the mayor's belief that he was targeted and the incident was staged to retaliate against him for a previous City Council action.

Pursuit suspect found dead days later

A 36-year-old man who was involved in a pursuit and fled on foot from law enforcement southwest of Eldridge, North Dakota was found dead Friday, April 29, after an acquaintance reported him missing, according to Chief Deputy Jason Falk, detective with the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office.

Jesse Leppert was found in the area of the pursuit on Friday, April 29. The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the cause of death.

A playset for Connor

Make-A-Wish North Dakota made Connor George's wish of getting a playset become a reality. His wish was all about his siblings as he wanted something to do with his brother and sisters.

Connor was diagnosed with medulloblastoma and had a large cancerous brain tumor that was blocking the spinal fluid from draining out of his brain down to his spinal canal, which led to a buildup of fluid in his head. Doctors did tumor resection in Fargo, and Connor went to Memphis to have surgery for a residual tumor and chemotherapy, which would last for months. Connor eventually returned to Memphis where he had surgery to remove two new brain tumors that was followed by proton therapy radiation.

Connor's mother, Brooke George, said his medical tests in February were good and he is doing "great."

Releases increase at reservoirs

Combined releases at Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs increased to 750 cubic feet per second this week after the area received precipitation over the weekend.

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Releases at Pipestem Reservoir increased to 250 cfs Wednesday, May 4, and releases at Jamestown Reservoir increased from 400 cfs to 500 cfs on Thursday, May 5.

As of Tuesday morning, May 3, the water level at Pipestem Reservoir was at 1,467 feet above mean sea level, which was an increase of 7 feet since the previous week. Jamestown Reservoir was 6 feet into the flood storage at 1,437 feet above mean sea level.

City Council candidates answer questions

Incumbent David Steele and challenger Josh Meade answered five written questions from The Jamestown Sun.

The two candidates were limited to 175 words per answer for each question. No changes were made to their answers.

Jamestown residents will choose one person in this year's June 14 primary election to serve a four-year term on the Jamestown City Council.

Airport to create draft of proposal for temporary reduction of flights

The Jamestown Regional Airport will create a draft of a letter of proposal to SkyWest Airlines that includes reducing the number of round trips per week for July and August only.

SkyWest and the U.S. Department of Transportation are working on how to formally rescind the airline’s 90-day termination notice to stop providing essential air service to 29 airports. The USDOT and SkyWest have not formally decided what the process will look like.

Katie Hemmer, airport director, said Jamestown Regional Airport can create a draft of a letter that includes reducing the number of round trips from 12 to seven per week and increasing jet bridge and landing fees to cover the loss of revenue if the number of flights per week is reduced by 40%.

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If the airport gets 10,000 paid passenger boardings, it will qualify for $1 million in entitlement funds from the federal Airport Improvement Program.

If the airport lost entitlement funding, it would not do infrastructure projects, Hemmer said. She said the airport might be able to request waivers for the entitlement funding to the Federal Aviation Administration because reducing the number of flights could impact the passenger boarding numbers.

Commission approves advertising NDSU Extension Service position

The Stutsman County Commission unanimously approved allowing the North Dakota State University Extension’s Central District Director Dena Kemmet to advertise for the county’s agriculture and natural resources position.

Alicia Harstad vacated the position in Stutsman County. Kemmet said she had to get approval from the county commission to advertise for the position before she can go to the Extension Service’s upper management.

NDSU Extension Service will pay 50% of the salary for the position and all the fringe benefits. Stutsman County pays for the other 50% of the salary.

Burgum touts Applied Blockchain's facility

A celebration of a project like Applied Blockchain Inc’s state-of-the-art hosting facility does not happen unless there are entrepreneurs and risk takers willing to get the capital together to execute a plan and collaboration among many entities and partners, according to Gov. Doug Burgum.

Applied Blockchain hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, May 5, for its hosting facility that is located about 7 miles north of Jamestown near the substation owned by Otter Tail Power Co. The hosting facility is co-located with the substation.

Applied Blockchain, which is headquartered in Dallas, is a publicly-traded builder and operator of next-generation data centers across North America, which provide substantial compute power to blockchain infrastructure and support Bitcoin mining, according to the company’s website. Applied Blockchain,’s hosting facility mines Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency assets.

The facility includes eight buildings with a total square footage of about 65,000 square feet. Each of the first four buildings is about 33 feet by 280 feet and each of the second set of four buildings is about 33 feet by 205 feet. The eight buildings will host anywhere between 30,000 to 35,000 mining machines.

Applied Blockchain, Bitmain contribute $50,000 for complex

Applied Blockchain Inc. and Bitmain donated $50,000 to the Two Rivers Activity Center’s “Building Community” campaign to construct a pickleball, sand volleyball and bocce courts near Meidinger Splash Park.

Applied Blockchain and Bitmain’s contribution was directed toward the pickleball complex that includes six courts

Applied Blockchain and Bitmain’s contribution was directed toward the pickleball complex that includes six courts.

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