NextEra still searching for potential wind farm location in southwest ND

NEW ENGLAND — The company that withdrew its application to build a $250 million wind farm in eastern Stark County isn’t giving up on southwest North Dakota.

A spokesperson for Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources said Thursday that it is “looking at multiple options” in the area for a future wind project.

“That’s about as specific as I can be at this point,” Steven Stengel, NextEra’s director of communications, said Thursday in an email to The Press. He added that NextEra is continuing to speak with its stakeholders about projects that will address their concerns.

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Southwest ND farmers slowly start spring planting

The spring planting season has begun in southwest North Dakota.

County extension agents and farmers south of Dickinson said fertilizing and seeding of fields is slowly starting throughout the area thanks to a mix of warm temperatures, dry conditions and general anxiousness.

“Right now, everybody is tickled,” said Duaine Marxen, Hettinger County’s extension agent.

But it isn’t full-speed-ahead quite yet, farmers said.

“We’re kind of piddling along here,” said Terry Kirschemann, who farms near Regent. “We need another week of temperatures before we can get into the heavier stuff.”

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For New England, reaching state tournament is ‘dream come true’

NEW ENGLAND — The party didn’t stop after the post-game celebration.

In New England, the revelry for winning the Region 7 boys basketball championship game last Thursday night in Dickinson lingered until the team and fans got home. Then it spilled over onto the city’s Main Street, led by fire trucks blasting sirens, a stream of cars honking horns, and the hoots and hollers of fans in this town of about 650 people relishing something that hasn’t occurred in nearly a generation.

New England, with only 69 kids in high school, will be both the smallest school and community participating in this year’s Class B state tournament, which begins today at the Bismarck Event Center.

“For us, this is the ultimate,” said Daryl Jung, the school’s longtime athletic director. “It’s actually a dream come true.”

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Inmates found after escaping New England women’s prison

NEW ENGLAND — Two minimum security inmates who escaped from the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center late Wednesday night were arrested Thursday morning in Dickinson.

Dickinson Police Capt. Joe Cianni said the department’s dispatch received a tip about two women matching the description of Justice Lange and Jessica Briggs walking along the 300 block of Third Avenue West. Offi cers responded and identifi ed the women from their mugshots. Within three minutes, offi cers had taken the duo into custody without incident at approximately 10 a.m. near the 500 block of Third Avenue West.

They are being held at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center in Dickinson.

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New England awarded $5M in funding for water infrastructure

NEW ENGLAND — The city of New England has received $5 million in funding to help get its water infrastructure project in the ground.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it is giving a $2.7 million loan and awarding a $2.2 million grant to the city of about 750 to help improve and replace its water infrastructure. The water pipes and sewer system New England uses now were installed in 1947.

“It’s a tremendous undertaking for the city of New England,” said Mayor Marty Opdahl.

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The B.A.R. strives to be ‘town’s bar’ in New England

Carol and Steve LaFramboise stand behind the bar at The B.A.R. in New England on Feb. 9. The owner of The B.A. bowling alley and restaurant, Steve partnered with Randy Schwartz and several volunteers to open the new business in the town’s old lumber yard building.

NEW ENGLAND — Steve LaFramboise had a nice little thing going inside his bowling alley. He had turned a small corner section of The B.A. restaurant into a bar and lounge area where bowlers could gather.

It turned into the place to go in New England for those wanting to socialize while enjoying an adult beverage.

But, LaFramboise said, it was never anything more than a hole in the wall. In fact, he acknowledges, it wasn’t even much of a bar.

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Emergency Services Center ‘huge’ for New England

New England Fire Chief Joey Kathrein stands Wednesday at the construction site of the new city’s Emergency Services Center, which will serve the city’s rural fire department and ambulance service and have sleeping quarters.

NEW ENGLAND — All it takes is one look inside the New England Fire and Ambulance Hall to see the small town could use a better facility.

Packed like sardines into a 40-foot long by 80-foot wide steel building on the town’s Main Street are two ambulances and five fire trucks of different sizes. One truck is always parked outside.

“Those who have questioned why we need a new building, all they have to do is walk into ours right now,” Fire Chief Joey Kathrein said. “It’s actually dangerous. That’s a big reason why we wanted to expand.”

With the help of grants, fundraising and a donated piece of land, the town is building the $1.15 million Emergency Services Center on the city’s northeast edge to house its fire and ambulance services.

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