Walsh County oil spill reported at 383,040 gallons

EDINBURG — The Keystone Pipeline oil spill in Walsh County in northeastern North Dakota released 383,040 gallons of oil into a wetlands area, the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday, Oct. 31. The pipeline is operated by TC Energy.

As of Wednesday night, the oil had not migrated beyond the immediately affected area of approximately 2,500 square yards in a rural area 3 miles northwest of Edinburg, according to a release by TC Energy.

TC Energy is working with NADEQ personnel to determine the cause of the spill, according to a release from NADEQ.

North Dakota Division of Water Quality Director Karl Rockeman said 2,500 square yards is considered a high-impact spill.

Walsh County Sheriff Ron Jurgens said it’s unclear exactly how long the area will be closed to traffic.

Kandi Mosset-White, Native Energy and Climate Campaign coordinator for the Bemidji (Minn.)-based Indigenous Environmental Network, said her organization is still considering their steps since the spill.

“We shouldn’t become complacent,” she said. “It’s not OK that these things happen. It’s not OK that there’s a spill, that even when a company tells us that they have the highest technology available, it still fails. People shouldn’t be OK with that.”

Semi driver killed in western N.D. crash identified

TRENTON — Authorities have identified the semi truck driver killed in a crash Tuesday, Oct. 29, in western North Dakota’s Williams County as Everett Hurley, 57, of Trenton.

The Freightliner, pulling a belly dump trailer, was traveling eastbound on 39th Lane Northwest about 5 miles southwest of Trenton when it ran off the roadway into the south ditch and rolled. Hurley was pronounced dead at the scene.

The condition of the gravel road was dry and the weather was clear at the time of the crash. Hurley was not wearing a seat belt.

The crash remains under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Semi tips in central N.D. resulting in cattle deaths

HAZELTON — Several head of cattle were killed when a semi truck transporting approximately 72 head overturned Wednesday afternoon on Highway 83 in Hazelton.

Trajan Jangula, 20, was driving a 2002 Freightliner when it slowed to make a left turn into a gas station around 2 p.m. Oct. 30. The weight of the cattle shifted in the turn and the semi and trailer tipped onto its right side and came to rest partially in a ditch.

Jangula was not wearing a seatbelt and was not injured, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said.

The Highway Patrol said late Thursday afternoon that 13 head were killed or later euthanized due to their injuries.

Hazelton is about 45 miles southeast of Bismarck.

Belfield to appoint mayor at November meeting

BELFIELD — Belfield’s City Council has decided to appoint a new mayor from among its four members.

The appointment will be made at the council’s regular meeting Nov. 12.

Ken Solberg resigned as mayor Oct. 8 after a recall petition approved by the city auditor in September, which had received 66 signatures.

Solberg’s term was to end in June 2022.

At a special meeting Tuesday, Oct. 29, the council also decided to amend its rules so the appointed mayor’s term ends in June, when an election is already scheduled.

Three options were presented to the council by City Attorney Sandra Kuntz.

The council could hold a special election, appoint someone from within the council or appoint someone from outside the council.

City Auditor Connie O’Brien explained a special election would cost roughly $2,000.

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