Area Briefs

 

Virtual event featuring local author Lin Enger

MOORHEAD – Lake Agassiz Regional Library will host a virtual event featuring local author Lin Enger. Enger will discuss his new book, “American Gospel,” which explores the United State’s obsession with apocalypse and the ways which religious extremists use fear and lies to manipulate.

Lin Enger is a Moorhead resident and teaches English at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He is the author of “Undiscovered Country,” “The High Divide” among other works.

This event is free-of-charge and will be held live on the Lake Agassiz Regional Library Facebook Page on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7 PM. The virtual event can be viewed at www.facebook.com/larlmn and is made possible thanks to funding from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Health department to begin texting program to reach positive cases, close contacts

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will soon expand its toolkit for case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) by notifying people via text that the health department will be calling.

The initiative aims to more effectively reach and inform those who test positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts about what they need to do to prevent further spread, and to better protect the state’s most vulnerable populations through improved outreach and communication. The texting is expected to begin Monday, Nov. 16.

“Reaching every single person by phone who needs information is a monumental task,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “Our staff and our partners in local public health and tribal health have done enormous work in this area, and will continue to do so. We ask all Minnesotans to do their part by answering the call, and we hope this text notification helps provide some notice and reassurance.”

“We have information and resources to share with Minnesotans, but we understand that many people are wary of answering a phone call from a number they don’t recognize,” said Chris Elvrum, MDH project spokesperson. “Sending the text lets people know we’re going to call and even tells them what number to expect the call from. Adding this tool boosts our chances of slowing the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the number of people who answer the call and successfully isolate themselves.”

Case interviewers will never ask for a Social Security Number, bank account information, or credit card numbers. Anyone with questions can visit the MDH website for more information on Avoiding Phone Scams.

Body of Reported Missing Man, Marwan Asaad, Discovered

MOORHEAD – The adult male remains in the 2900 of 17 Street S. are believed to be that of the recently reported missing male, Marwan Asaad, of Moorhead.  The body is being sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, where a medical evaluation will be conducted, including positive identification.  Asaad’s vehicle was also located on the scene.  

Marwan Salman Asaad, age 28, of Moorhead, was last seen on Thursday, November 12, 2020. Asaad is from Kurdistan and had been in the US for about one year.  

MOORHEAD AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANNOUNCES LEARNING MODEL TRANSITION

MOORHEAD – Starting Monday, November 30, 2020, Moorhead Area Public Schools will move all PreK through Grade 8 students to a distance learning model. Students in Grades 9-12 have been in distance learning since September 28. This decision was made based on staffing concerns caused by increasing absences due to COVID quarantine among staff and students as well as rising Clay county and Cass county case counts and Minnesota Department of Education recommendations.

As community spread continues across the community, Moorhead Area Public Schools reports 126 staff members and 403 students currently absent for COVID related reasons, up significantly over the past two weeks. 

Superintendent Dr. Brandon Lunak said, “From the beginning of the pandemic, our primary goal has been to provide the best possible learning experience for our students while ensuring student and staff safety. While we know distance learning is not ideal or desirable, we are facing an unsustainable operating environment that could affect the excellence and equity of our students’ education. We are committed to helping each student to thrive and feel a distance learning model will best accomplish student success and staff and student safety in current conditions.”

The district plans to return to hybrid learning on January 4 if community conditions allow.

Students and staff have been preparing for a possible move to distance learning since the start of the school year and students in Grades 1-12 will have district-provided Chromebooks that will be used at home during the duration of distance learning. 

The district will continue providing free meals for all students and adults. School aged childcare for Tier 1 critical care workers will also be provided during distance learning.

Virtual Coffee with Mayor Judd and Ward 3 Council Members

MOORHEAD – Join Mayor Judd and Ward 3 Council Members Deb White and Larry Seljevold on Thursday December 3, 6-7 pm. for a virtual chat.

Residents can share ideas, ask questions, and talk about concerns with City officials. Virtual space will be limited, so please register today and share with your Moorhead family and friends. Register at www.cityofmoorhead.com.

City of Moorhead approved for $661,000 grant to construct Midtown Trail

MOORHEAD – The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) has announced the City of Moorhead is approved for a Legacy Grant of $661,000. The funding will allow construction of the Midtown Trail – a new trail segment connecting Woodlawn Park and Gooseberry Mound Park, building Moorhead’s trail network along the Red River and other areas of the city.

The Midtown Trail will include 0.83 miles off-road and 0.45 miles of on-street trails. When combined with the 4.8 mile Blue Goose Trail completed this past summer, Moorhead bicyclists and pedestrians will have a 16-mile contiguous trail along the Red River from Wall Street Avenue North to 40 Ave S. To complete the envisioned 18-mile Moorhead River Corridor Trail System, a 2-mile Harvest Trail segment from Bluestem Center for the Arts to 60 Ave S is planned as resources are identified.

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