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Morning headlines: North Dakota vaccine mandate invoice, tax breaks for North Dakotans, Moorhead underpass virtually prepared

Here is your morning InForum minute briefing for Friday November 12th.

North Dakota Rep. Robin Weisz, R-Hurdsfield, speaks about his COVID-19 vaccine mandate bill during a committee hearing on Monday, November 8, 2021. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

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BISMARCK – The North Dakota House of Representatives passed law that would give workers several options to circumvent employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but the exceptions described in the bill allow certain companies to enact stricter vaccination regulations.

The lower chamber voted 80-11 on Thursday evening, November 11th, to send the proposal to the Senate for a vote on Friday.

Under the bill sponsored by Republican MP Robin Weisz of Hurdsfield, employers who require the COVID-19 vaccine for workers would be required to offer a wide range of opt-outs, including allowing employees to regularly test for COVID-19 and detect that they have formed antibodies request or claim medical, religious or philosophical exemptions. The whole story here.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will deliver a state of state address to the State House of Representatives on Monday, November 8, 2021.  Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will deliver a state of state address to the State House of Representatives on Monday, November 8, 2021. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

A proposal, backed by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, to put a few hundred more dollars in state taxpayers’ pockets went through the House of Representatives on Thursday, November 11, despite previous opposition from the Republican leadership Legislative branch.

The House Bill 1515, introduced by Rep. Pat Heinert, R-Bismarck, and reflecting a proposal that Burgum had made in recent months, vacated the lower chamber on Thursday with a unanimous 92-0 vote. If passed, the plan would use the currently purged state coffers to provide up to $ 350 in loans to any North Dakota resident filing income taxes for both 2021 and 2022. The whole story here.

Burlington Northern's train cars will be tested on Wednesday November 10, 2021 over the third and final bridge to be built in the Moorhead underpass project.  Train traffic on the new bridge and track began on Wednesday, making the temporary stretch in the southwest obsolete.  The street shown is Southeast Main Avenue, which was also a focal point this fall as it was paved all the way to the bridges.  David Samson / The Forum

Burlington Northern’s train cars will be tested on Wednesday November 10, 2021 over the third and final bridge to be built in the Moorhead underpass project. The trains will run on the new bridge and track on Wednesday, making the temporary stretch in the south-west unnecessary. The street shown is Southeast Main Avenue, which was also a focal point this fall as it was paved all the way to the bridges. David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD – Burlington Northern trains now run over the third and final railroad bridge built on Southeast Main Avenue as part of the Moorhead underpass project.

Assistant City Engineer Tom Trowbridge said the BN crews laid the tracks and completed the task on schedule, having completed the bridge construction just weeks earlier.

The last bridge and rail are the busiest tracks in the underpass area and carry around eight to ten trains a day.

With the final bridge operational, Ames Construction Co. crews can begin removing the makeshift tracks and bridge that have been in use on the southwest corner for the past four years while work on the massive $ 51 million -Project progress. The whole story here.

Amelia Pikalek, 9, daughter of Dr.  Stephanie Hanson, will receive a COVID-19 vaccination at the Sanford West Fargo Clinic on Thursday November 4th, 2021.  Michael Vosburg / Forum picture editor

Amelia Pikalek, 9, daughter of Dr. Stephanie Hanson, will receive a COVID-19 vaccination at the Sanford West Fargo Clinic on Thursday November 4th, 2021. Michael Vosburg / Forum picture editor

FARGO – Sanford Health will be holding a vaccine clinic this weekend where patients will have the option of receiving both COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time, according to a press release.

The event will take place on Saturday, November 13th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Sanford Southpointe Clinic, 2400 32nd Ave. S. instead. Patients must schedule an appointment online at My Sanford Chart or by calling 1-877-701-0779.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available to people five years and older, with the second dose given 21 days after the first dose. The nasal mist flu vaccine will not be available at the vaccination clinic. The whole story here.

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