Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - December 10, 2023

Burgum directs flags flown at half-staff in honor of Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin

Gov. Doug Burgum has directed all government agencies across the state to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff, and encourages North Dakotans to do the same at their homes and businesses, through Wednesday, Dec. 13, in honor of Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin, 53, of Beulah, who died in the line of duty Wednesday, Dec. 6. Martin was an 18-year veteran of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

“Deputy Paul Martin devoted his life to public safety, risking his own safety every time he put on the uniform to protect the lives of his fellow citizens and communities,” Burgum said. “Words cannot express the depths of our gratitude for Deputy Martin’s ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Kathryn and I extend our prayers and deepest condolences to his family and friends, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the entire law enforcement community. We fly the flags at half-staff to honor his memory, his bravery and his incredible legacy of service.”

The funeral for Martin is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Beulah Public High School in Beulah.

Miller convenes roundtable discussion on opportunities for autonomous systems in agriculture

North Dakota Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller on Thursday hosted a roundtable discussion on the opportunities and impacts of autonomous systems on the agriculture industry.

The event, supported by Grand Farm, was designed to bring together industry experts, government officials and thought leaders to delve into the latest advancements, challenges and opportunities in the dynamic world of autonomous systems. Building on the state’s success in Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS), the roundtable provided a platform for discussion to help drive development of the state’s overall autonomous systems strategy and explore the factors shaping the future of ground-based autonomy in North Dakota.

Water Commission approves $6.89M in cost-share funding for water projects

At the North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC) meeting chaired by Lt. Gov. Miller on Friday, the SWC approved $6.89 million in cost-share requests. The requests included $3,289,340 for the Agassiz Water Users District’s rural water supply project and $98,742 for the city of Neche’s Highway 18 Project.

“Reliable water supplies and comprehensive flood protection are crucial to the success of our citizens, communities and economy, and this state funding will advance these projects further toward completion,” Miller said. “The state of North Dakota continues to invest in smart, efficient infrastructure in partnership with communities investing in their own future with matching dollars, and we’re grateful to the Legislature, State Water Commission and Department of Water Resources for their vision and support.”

Agassiz Water Users District received construction cost-share for their Expansion Phase 2 effort. The project is approximately 26.5 miles in length and will include the replacement and upgrade of transmission pipeline between several reservoirs and the cities of Manvel and Grand Forks. The project will also include expansion to add seven new users.

The city of Neche received cost-share for preconstruction costs associated with their Neche Highway 18 project. The project is part of the city of Neche’s effort to develop a FEMA-accredited levee system. They are working with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) to remove and replace culverts and reconstruct the intersection at 108th St NE and Highway 18 (7th St). The NDDOT has agreed to fund the construction portion of the project.

"Today's approvals mark another significant step forward for essential water projects in North Dakota," said Andrea Travnicek, ND Department of Water Resources Director. "These investments demonstrate the state’s continued commitment to ensuring reliable water supply and flood protection infrastructure for our citizens and communities, paving the way for a sustainable future."

The primary purpose of the Cost-Share Program is to assist local project sponsors with financial support for water development projects – making them more affordable to local constituents. The 10-member SWC consists of Gov. Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, and eight members appointed by the governor to serve six-year terms. For additional information, please visit dwr.nd.gov.

North Dakota Cyber Madness Middle School Tournament brings friendly competition: Students take on cybersecurity challenges

North Dakota Information Technology congratulated the middle school students and coaches who competed in the 2023 North Dakota Cyber Madness Middle School Tournament. Thirty-six teams representing 15 schools from across the state competed in a virtual first round, with the top 11 teams competing in person at the University of Mary in Bismarck.

The ND Cyber Madness Middle School Tournament, now in its second year, aims to foster interest and proficiency in cybersecurity among middle school students. This year's event surpassed all expectations, with participants demonstrating remarkable aptitude and determination throughout multiple rounds of competition. First place was awarded to Oakes Public School. St. John’s Academy teams took second and third place.

“We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2023 ND Cyber Madness Middle School Tournament," said Tony Aukland, Cyber Madness Director "These young individuals have showcased exceptional talent and dedication, and we are confident that they will play a significant role in shaping the future of cybersecurity."

The Cyber Madness Middle School Tournament not only provides a platform for students to showcase their skills but also offers valuable learning opportunities. Throughout the event, participants had the chance to engage industry professionals, who shared insights and knowledge about the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity.

“The success of the tournament would not have been possible without the support and dedication of the sponsors,” states Aukland. “Their commitment to promoting cybersecurity education and fostering a passion for technology among young minds is truly commendable.”

School that participated in the 2023 ND Cyber Madness Middle School Tournament Finals:

  • Beach Public High School
  • Drake-Anamoose Public School
  • Hankinson Public School District
  • Horizon Middle School
  • Oakes Public School
  • St. John's Academy
  • Williston Middle School Central Campus

The 2024 North Dakota Cyber Madness High School registration is currently open for all high school teams in the state. The virtual play-in rounds will take place Jan. 18-20, with the in-person finals scheduled Feb. 15-16, at Bismarck State College.

For more information about the North Dakota Cyber Madness Tournaments, please visit edutech.nd.gov/cyber-madness.