Area Briefs


MOORHEAD – Moorhead Public Service has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® designation from American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing reliable and safe electric service.

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines—reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. Moorhead Public Service joins 275 public power utilities nationwide that hold the RP3 designation.

“I think over the last year or so, we’ve seen the vital importance of running a reliable and safe utility,” says Aaron Haderle, Chair of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel and Manager of Transmission and Distribution Operations at ‎Kissimmee Utility Authority in Florida. “The utilities receiving the RP3 designation have proven that they are committed to running a top-notch public power utility by implementing industry best practices.”

“We couldn’t be prouder to be honored with this designation,” said Travis Schmidt, General Manager of Moorhead Public Service. “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people who really care about powering our community. But this designation is not a final destination. We are committed to continuing to look for ways to improve our operations and service to our customers.”


MOORHEAD – The Friends of the Moorhead Public Library will host a spring social on Sunday, April 3 from 1-4 p.m., featuring an auction of artwork and a book sale. Light appetizers will be provided and the event will feature live music by the Max Johnk Group. All are welcome and admission is offered free-of-charge.

All proceeds of the art auction and book sale will be used to support the library.


Minnesotans can now place orders for free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests as part of the administration’s efforts to make it easier to access testing.

Minnesotans can order two test kits per home (for a total of four tests) at

The website includes information on at-home rapid testing, a video demonstration and FAQ on how to use the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, and a link to place orders with the state’s fulfillment partner, Care Evolution.

Minnesotans can also place orders through the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053 Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Language assistance is available.

The Minnesota Department of Administration has secured 500,000 test kits (for a total of 1 million at-home tests) and the program will be available until all the test kits are ordered. If the program proves successful and valuable, Minnesota will use this program as a model for providing more access to COVID-19 rapid testing in the months ahead.


ST. PAUL, MINN. – H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in poultry flocks in Meeker and Mower Counties. Samples collected from both flocks were tested on March 25 at either the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) or the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) and were confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

Poultry is safe to eat, and proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F is always advised. The Centers for Disease Control also recently announced this strain of avian influenza is a low risk to the public. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

The infected flocks include:

A Meeker County commercial turkey flock (289,000 14-week-old toms) reported with mortality and signs of depression. Samples were collected and tested positive at the MPTL.

A Mower County backyard mixed flock of chickens, ducks and geese (17 birds) reported increased mortality. Board staff collected samples and submitted them to the VDL in St. Paul for testing.

“These are the first cases of HPAI in the state of Minnesota since 2015,” said Dr. Dale Lauer, Poultry Program Director for the Board. “Poultry producers and backyard flock owners need to be on alert and contact their veterinarian immediately if they see any changes in their flocks. Everyone in poultry facilities needs to follow the site’s biosecurity protocols every time to prevent the spread of disease.”

The sites are quarantined, and depopulation of birds on the premises is already underway. Poultry are depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease; poultry from the infected flock will not enter the food system.

 “The rapid response and testing surrounding the infected sites is the result of years of preparation with our local, state, federal and industry partners,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Beth Thompson.

Subsequent detections of HPAI in Minnesota will be posted on the Board’s website. The Board is the official source of information for Minnesota’s response to HPAI.

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