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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Nearly 20 workers at Fargo bird food plant hospitalized after carbon monoxide exposure    view comments tweat me share on facebook
PHOTO: Nearly 20 workers at a north Fargo bird food plant that apparently didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors landed in the hospital Wednesday because of exposure to gas. Emergency personnel evaluated 24 workers at Red River Commodities Bird Food and transported 16 of them to the hospital, said F-M Ambulance Director of Operations Chad Mickelson. Another three went to the hospital on their own. Firefighters testing for carbon monoxide in the plant found levels in some areas that were six times what is safe, Fargo Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Anderson said. Anderson said he was not aware of any carbon monoxide detectors in the plant. Mickelson said the “elevated level” of the gas was “consistent with what we were seeing in the patients.” Firefighters responded at about 2:20 p.m. to the plant following a report of workers feeling unwell and having symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, Anderson said. Firefighters evacuated the plant at 340 40th St. N. when they detected high levels of carbon monoxide, he said. In some parts of the building, firefighters detected carbon monoxide levels of over 300 parts per million, he said. For short time periods, exposure to 50 parts per million of carbon monoxide is considered safe, he said. But “the level should normally be close to zero, or slightly above that,” Anderson said. One or more overhead gas-powered heaters that likely caused the high carbon monoxide levels were shut down and firefighters aired out the building, he said. The plant workers apparently knew there was an unusually high level of carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that can be lethal, when workers noted to one another they were having headaches, Anderson said.

Santa, Cops & Kids Tonight In Valley City    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Tonight when you see a lot of police, fire and emergency personal vehicles driving to Shopko in Valley City don’t be alarmed it’s the annual Santa, Cops & Kids program for children in Barnes County. Event coordinator Sgt. David Swenson says the annually program is aimed at giving these children and their families a nice Christmas. Swenson says all funding acquired is used entirely for children and spent locally to support the economy in Barnes County. He says thanks to the community for their continued support and helping make this program a success. The evening begins with a pizza buffet, shopping and then the gifts are brought back to the police station and wrapped up. Santa will also visit the children and provide more gifts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Mandan OKs pension plan for officers, firefighters   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Mandan City Commission on Tuesday gave final approval to a revised pension plan for its police officers and firefighters, but a state retirement plan will be revisited for police officers in January. The city’s new retirement plan for officers and firefighters allows those city workers to contribute 4 percent to the defined contribution plan and the city will raise its share to a 10 percent match. Officers can draw on that retirement by age 55. The city’s previous plan has firefighters and law officers pay 2 percent into the retirement plan and the city pay 8 percent. In October, Mandan officers said they wanted to switch to a state Public Employees Retirement System tailored for police officers instead. The state PERS plan would have city law officers contribute 5.5 percent, and the city as an employer, contribute 7.93 percent toward retirement. The PERS plan also lets officers draw retirement at age 55. In the state plan, the city would pay another 1.14 percent for additional health insurance benefits and each participating officer would receive a $5 credit per month per year for every year the officer participates in the state retirement plan. No officers testified at Tuesday’s commission meeting. City Administrator Jim Neubauer said city officials had met with officers Tuesday morning and planned to discuss the PERS proposal Jan. 20. He said the commission had to take action. “In the (2015) budget process, the commission approved increasing police and fire (retirement). The police are asking for the PERS plan. If we didn’t approve the ordinance tonight, then the firefighters would not be able to take advantage of the increase,” Neubauer said.
Bismarck Tribune

Firefighters put out fire at grain elevator in Grandin   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters put out a fire at a grain elevator here Tuesday night, Cpl. Tony Krogh of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department said. The extent of the damage and cause of the fire is still unknown, Krogh said. Krogh said the cause of the fire does not appear suspicious.

Follow Up: Fire damage at Colfax grain elevator expected to surpass $1 million   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Farmers Elevator in Colfax is working to resume grain-handling operations while crews clean up after a fire that caused heavy damage and investigators work to determine the cause of the blaze. Estimates are still being compiled, but damage is expected to surpass $1 million, elevator board member Don Hendrickson said. The early morning fire on Dec. 6 destroyed the elevator's main structure and offices and two structures that together contained about 170,000 bushels of grain. About 100 firefighters from 12 area departments battled the flames for hours, then monitored the scene for days to guard against flare-ups, according to Colfax Fire Chief Wayne Gorder. No one was hurt. The fire did not damage the elevator's grain loading facility or its chemical and fertilizer operation. The elevator has set up a temporary office, and was able to accept barley last week, according to Hendrickson. It could begin accepting corn as early as the middle of this week. The board plans to rebuild the destroyed structures, using steel instead of wood.
Bismarck Tribune

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