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Manitoba forecasters say cold spring increasing the risk of flooding in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG - Manitoba flood officials say the prolonged cold spring is making flooding more likely for a few homes in Winnipeg. The Red River is cresting upstream from the capital, but ice hasn't melted enough to open the floodway which diverts water around the city. Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said the amount of ice in the water is also pushing the river level up in south Winnipeg. A handful of low-lying homes may need ring dikes and other flood protection. "We're able to operate the floodway in open water scenarios," he said at a flood briefing Wednesday.

Manitoba forecasters say cold spring increasing the risk of flooding in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG - Manitoba flood officials say the cold spring is increasing the risk of flooding in Winnipeg. The Red River is cresting downstream from the capital, but ice hasn't melted enough to open the floodway which diverts water around the city. Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton says that heightens the risk of ice jams. He says the ice is still a metre thick in some parts. Ashton says that means a handful of low-lying homes may need ring dikes and other flood protection.

Web-TV series promoting Winnipeg getting a few thousand views per episode

WINNIPEG - It didn't go viral, but the creator of a publicly funded Internet sitcom aimed at promoting Winnipeg is happy with the results of the show's first season. WindCity, which received money from provincial Crown corporations, a college and other public bodies, garnered more than 12,000 views for its first episode after launching in January. But the view count for its sixth and final episode of the season was just above 3,000.

Governments promise more money in Manitoba for flood protection

WINNIPEG - The Manitoba and federal governments promised $42 million Tuesday to beef up flood-protection measures. Most of the money comes from savings in the recently completed expansion of the Red River Floodway — the massive ditch that diverts water around Winnipeg — which ended up $38 million under budget at $627 million. "This $38 million is savings will allow other communities, families and business to be protected all around Manitoba," Premier Greg Selinger said.

North Dakota home prices soar with oil boom; average value of home sold in 2013 topped $200K

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota's oil boom isn't just driving up housing prices at the epicenter. Getting a roof overhead is getting more expensive throughout the state, with the average value of a home sold last year topping $200,000 — up more than 20 per cent from 2011, a real estate trade group says. "Houses have appreciated statewide and inventory is low in the whole state," said Jill Beck, CEO of the North Dakota Association of Realtors. "That comes as a shock to a lot of people."

'No room for error' for US nuclear forces

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel on Friday acknowledged "troubling lapses" among troops managing the country's nuclear arsenal and warned their job allowed "no room for error." In a speech marking a change of leadership at the US military's Strategic Command that oversees nuclear forces, Hagel noted recent failings in upholding "professionalism," an apparent reference to alleged misconduct by senior officers and problems reported at missile units.

US officers left blast door open at nuclear missile posts

US Air Force officers in charge of launching nuclear missiles have been punished twice this year for leaving open a blast door at their command posts, officials said Tuesday. The two-man crews, who control the launch keys for nuclear missiles, are forbidden from opening such doors at their underground "capsules" unless both officers are awake to ensure strict control of the destructive weapons.

Winnipeg police say they found a body in the Red River but no ID yet

WINNIPEG - Winnipeg police say they pulled a body out of the Red River and are working to identify the person. Police Const. Eric Hofley says police responded to a call Saturday morning when someone on the river reported seeing a body. Police have been searching for a 32-year-old mother of two children who were found dead in their home Wednesday. Officers have been concentrating their search for Lisa Gibson on the family's riverside neighbourhood. Emergency personnel were searching the Assiniboine River on Friday.

Analysis - Big lenders wary of following oil money to North Dakota

By Ernest Scheyder and Ilaina Jonas WILLISTON, N.D./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Money and workers are pouring into Williston, the capital of North Dakota's oil boom, but the only department store in town is a JCPenney, with a facade straight out of the 1950s. "We desperately need some kind of shopping center or mall here in Williston," said Rev. Jay Reinke, a 20-year resident and pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church. "You have to drive hours to find decent shopping."

US Air Force removes 17 nuclear missile officers

The US Air Force has relieved 17 officers of their responsibilities for the control of intercontinental nuclear missiles, a military spokesman said Wednesday, citing a poor performance review. Although individual officers have sometimes lost their certification to control and launch missiles, the removal of so many at once is "unprecedented," Lieutenant Colonel John Dorrian told AFP. He said the officers received a score of "satisfactory" on 21 of 22 points under review, but failed the last unidentified category, which led to their de-certification.
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