Briefs & Around the County

Briefs & Around the County:

Cramer Applauds Elimination of Unnecessary Daily Inspection Reports for Truck Drivers

Today Congressman Kevin Cramer applauded a decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to eliminate daily inspection reports on trucks when no safety problems are identified.

Presently, commercial truck drivers are required to conduct pre- and post- trip inspections of their vehicles, and follow each inspection by filing a report. Approximately 95 percent of these inspections find no problems with the vehicle. Under the new rule, drivers will still conduct these routine inspections, but will no longer be required to complete paperwork in cases when no equipment or safety concerns are found.

“The federal government estimates truckers spend 46.7 million hours each year filling out this paperwork. This rule change will maintain all existing safety standards while creating a time savings of $1.7 billion dollars each year by eliminating unnecessary filings,” said Congressman Cramer.

The change does not affect any buses carrying passengers, which are also regulated by FCMSA. It is set to take effect on December 18, when the new rule will appear in the Federal Register.

Congressman Cramer has consistently advocated for a fair regulatory process for the trucking industry. He cosponsored H.R. 3095, which stopped the FMCSA from skipping a transparent rulemaking process to require truck drivers to undergo burdensome screening and testing for sleep disorders. The legislation was signed by the President on October 15, 2013.

Council on Aging Holds Monthly Meeting

At the December 1st Council on Aging meeting in Dickinson, delegates and agencies in the 8th district of North Dakota reported on items of interest to area senior citizens.

Folks are reminded to get flu shots if not already immunized. The season is here, and over 50 cases have been reported so far in the area.

Eldercare is working with the ND legislature to assure that nutrition programs continue to be supported. North Dakota’s population is aging rapidly.  As people live longer, the number of North Dakotans needing support of family, friends and the community to remain living independently increases. The age group 60 and older is projected to increase 28% in this state by 2020. Offering congregate meals and home-delivered meals to the elderly helps supply good nutrition. Studies show that senior home-delivered meals are good business because the cost of one year’s worth of healthy meals served equals the cost six days in a nursing home or just one day in a hospital.

Seniors are encouraged to take advantage of congregate meals at local senior centers. Home-bound folks may get meals delivered several days a week by contacting their local social service office or senior center.

Options Counseling is available to seniors who may need help in some area, but aren’t sure where to start. A call to Mark Jesser at 701-227-7557 or toll free at 888-227-7525 can start the ball rolling.

Elderly folks who need help with heating this winter can contact their local social service office to see if they qualify for aid in this cost.

Experience Works is a program that helps offer part time jobs to those over 55 years of age. Contact Jack Jackson at 701-483-1333 and he will see if you qualify for a job in your community.

The January 5th meeting will be held at Villard Terrace in Dickinson at 10:00 a.m. Visitors are welcome. Contact your local senior delegates for more information.

Affordable Care Act is topic of January Lunch & Learn

The Strom Center at Dickinson State University (DSU) and Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce will present an overview of the Affordable Care Act at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 15 at the Strom Center.

The Lunch and Learn event titled, “A Bit of Guidance” includes speakers Deb Nelson of DLN Consulting and Mike Gallagher, district director of the North Dakota Small Business Administration. DLN Consulting is also the city of Dickinson’s regional navigator for the Affordable Care Act.

Nelson and Gallagher will discuss specific topics within the Affordable Care Act, such as eligibility, enrollment, and overall application within the marketplace. This Lunch and Learn presentation is open to individuals and business owners, and covers all the information needed to utilize the Affordable Care Act.

To register, call the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce at (701) 225-5115 by Feb. 15. For information, contact The Strom Center at (701) 483-2756 or visit The center is located immediately west of the Prairie Hills Mall at 1679 6th Ave West.

Through generous donations from DSU alumni Jerome and Rosie Strom, along with local businesses, The Strom Center at DSU supports entrepreneurs and local communities. The center provides confidential, professional services to entrepreneurs and community groups and is a hub for information, training and events. The Strom Center is home to the regional office of the Small Business Development Corporation, TechWest  – a program supporting technology based entrepreneurs — InnovateND, and the Western North Dakota Energy Project.

DSU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top public universities in the Midwest in its 2015 Best Colleges report. One of 11 institutions in the North Dakota University System, DSU offers 51 bachelor’s degrees, four associate degrees and two certificate programs.

Classes are offered in Dickinson, Bismarck, and Williston; 81 courses are online.

The university’s mission is to provide high-quality accessible programs, promote excellence in teaching and learning, support scholarly and creative activities, and to provide services relevant to the economy, health and quality of life for the citizens of North Dakota.