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Published October 17 2010

North Dakota Political Notebook: Governor seeks musical talent

BISMARCK – Gov. John Hoeven encourages North Dakota school, community and church bands, as well as orchestras and choirs, to apply to serve as the 2010-11 official state band/orchestra or state chorus.

The governor and first lady will make the selections based on musical talent, achievement and community involvement, a news release stated. The band/orchestra and the chorus may be invited by the governor to perform at official state functions throughout the year.

Interested groups should submit a letter of application, references and a musical recording by Oct. 29. Send materials to: Office of the Governor, Attn: Jody Link, State Capitol, 600 E. Blvd. Ave., Bismarck, ND 58505.

ND tourism tops nation

North Dakota leads the nation in a United States Travel Association report.

The “Impact of Travel on States Economies 2010” report covers the impact of travel on state economies in 2008 and the U.S. national economy for 2009.

North Dakota led the nation in growth of travel expenditures, a news release stated. At 10.8 percent, North Dakota was the only state with double-digit growth.

For travel-generated payroll, North Dakota led the nation at 11.1 percent, again the only state with double-digit growth. North Dakota also led in travel-generated taxes and employment.

Health summit

First lady Mikey Hoeven and North Dakotans Partnering for Women’s Health are hosting the 2010 Women’s Health Summit on Monday in Bismarck.

Women from across the state will gather at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel to promote women’s health and strengthen efforts to prevent disease among North Dakota women.

“This summit is an opportunity to arm the women in our state with the most up-to-date information regarding women’s health issues,” Hoeven said in a statement.

Rural community grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making more than $6 million available to help increase economic opportunity for rural residents and communities.

USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider said organizations can apply for grant funding through the Rural Community Development Initiative.

The program provides technical assistance and training funds to qualified intermediary organizations, he said.

Grant funds will be used to help private, public and tribal organizations; nonprofits; community-based organizations and low-income communities improve rural economic development, housing and community facilities.

Grant amounts range between $50,000 and $300,000 and require matching funds to be at least equal to the federal grant.

The application deadline is 4 p.m. local time Dec. 22. For more information, call (701) 530-2037 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/rcdi/index.htm.

Teri Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.