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In case you missed it in The Sun the week of Oct. 31, 2022

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

Baler Fire.jpg
A garbage bale caught on fire due to lithium-based batteries being improperly disposed.
Contributed / Shawn O'Neill
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The following are stories from the previous week that appeared on www.jamestownsun.com and in The Jamestown Sun.

Rechargeable batteries cause fires at baler facility

Rechargeable lithium batteries have caused garbage bales to catch on fire at the city baler in Jamestown three times in the last few months, according to Shawn O’Neill, sanitation foreman.

He said lithium or ion batteries are mostly used in power tools, cellphones, laptops, power banks and toys. He said rechargeable batteries that mostly come from everyday electronics are causing the fires. He said any batteries that are rechargeable are made of nickel-metal hydride, nickel cadmium, lithium ion or small-sealed lead acid. He said rechargeable vape pens are also commonly disposed of in everyday garbage.

“It’s not your AAs, AAAs, 9-volts. Those don’t have anything to do with it,” he said. “It’s your rechargeable batteries. … All it takes is if you touch two batteries together, the two together, they will heat up. You would not believe how fast or how hot they get.”

Although the fires have not been inside the baler facility, he said on one occasion a garbage bale exploded inside the building that was caused by a larger rechargeable power bank that a resident most likely would not have. He said the rechargeable power bank might have come from an agricultural facility.

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He said residents should not throw their lithium batteries into the garbage but instead take them to the recycling center.

SEPA board approves exclusivity agreement with Chapul Farms

The Spiritwood Energy Park Association Board of Directors approved an exclusivity agreement with Chapul Farms , according to Corry Shevlin, vice president of business development for the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.

The agreement allows Chapul Farms to go forward with its development process, he said. The agreement is in place until Dec. 31.

“Essentially it will say that we are not going to work with another company like what we are doing while they are in the middle of putting together the feasibility and business case,” he said.

Chapul Farms designs, builds and operates modular insect farms that turn organic waste into high-value food and agricultural products as a model of circular food systems of the future, according to its website.

Report of mountain lion determined to be a cat

A reported mountain lion in northwest Jamestown turned out to be a cat, according to Brian Kietzman, wildlife resource biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

The Stutsman County Communications Center received a call at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, about a mountain lion spotted by Highland Home Cemetery. Kietzman said the Game and Fish Department received reports last week of a mountain lion in the area north of the stockyards.

Comments on a post on the Community of Jamestown Supporting Our Local Community Facebook page suggested a mountain lion was in the Jamestown area.

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The Game and Fish Department received a photo of a cat next to a small feeder, Kietzman said.

“Another trail cam picture, the same feeder, they’ve got a deer standing there and the top of the feeder doesn’t even come up to the knee of the deer so it’s obvious that it’s a smaller feeder and that it’s a house cat and not a mountain lion,” he said.

Stutsman County Commission approves bid for generator

The Stutsman County Commission unanimously approved on Tuesday, Nov. 1, a bid for a new generator for the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center.

Stutsman County received two bids with the lowest from Advantage Electric at $264,660, said Daniel Schwartz, principal with Nexus Planning & Consulting LLC. He said the project was applied for in 2017 with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2017 and was funded through a fiscal year 2019 grant.

He said the county’s share of the grant is 25% and the project has been budgeted in the county’s budget.

Jessica Alonge, Stutsman County auditor/chief operating officer, said the local share would be about $66,000. She said the project is not on the list of projects using ARPA funds that were approved by the county commission earlier this year.

Next few weeks critical related to spring runoff

The next few weeks will be critical for how soil conditions will affect spring runoff and the next growing season, according to Allen Schlag, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

“We are still about four weeks away from having low enough temperatures to really lock our soils up,” he said.

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The Jamestown area has not seen much precipitation during the last couple of months. Jamestown received a little more than a half inch of precipitation in September and about a quarter inch in October, according to measurements taken at the North Dakota State Hospital. Normal precipitation is about 2.25 inches in September and 1.9 inches in October.

Schlag said the amount of moisture in the ground has a large effect on how water behaves the next spring. He said any water that hits the wet soils that have frozen will run off.

The temperature of dry soil will eventually drop below freezing but since it doesn’t have lots of moisture content, it will be permeable, he said.

Normally, soils start freezing at greater depths than just a few inches around the end of November to early December, he said.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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