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Minot (, listen) is a city located in north central North Dakota in the United States. With a population of 34,745 at the 2006 census, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state. The city is the county seat of Ward County and is a trading center for a large portion of northern North Dakota, southwestern Manitoba, and southeastern Saskatchewan. Minot is also known as the "Magic City", and was founded in 1886 during the construction of the Great Northern Railroad.

History

Minot came into existence in 1886, when Jim Hill's Great Northern Railroad ended its push through the state for the winter, after having trouble constructing a trestle across Gassman Coulee. A tent town sprung up over night, as if by "magic", thus the city came to be known as the Magic City, and in the next 5 months, the population increased to over 5,000 residents, further adding to the nickname's validity.
The townsite was chosen by the railroad to be placed on the land of then-homesteader Erik Ramstad. Mr. Ramstad was convinced to relinquish his claim, and became one of the city leaders.
The town was named after Henry Davis Minot, a railroad investor and friend of Jim Hill. The city was incorporated on 28 June 1887.
Later, the Soo Line was building a line from Valley City up to Canada. While initially their plan was to cross the Souris River at Burlington, local interests and arguments convinced them otherwise; landholders along the new route gladly donated the right-of-way. They reached Minot in 1893.
During Prohibition the city was nicknamed "Little Chicago", as it was a central hub of Al Capone's liquor smuggling operations. Smugglers used a network of underground tunnels (some of which were previously built for heating or deliveries) to transport and conceal the illicit cargo. Some of the tunnels can still be accessed.
The 1950s saw a great influx of federal funding into the region, with the construction of Minot Air Force Base north of the city, and Garrison Dam was on the Missouri River, about fifty miles south of Minot. In 1969, a severe flood on the Souris River devastated the city. Afterward, the Army Corps of Engineers straightened the path of the river through the city and built several flood control structures.
On January 18, 2002, a severe train derailment west of the city sent a gigantic cloud of anhydrous ammonia toward Minot, and Burlington. One man died and many of Minot's citizens were sickened and severely injured by the noxious gas . In early 2006, court cases were heard in Minneapolis, Minnesota against Canadian Pacific Railway, the owner of the derailed train. Several cases have been settled and many others are pending. The anhydrous ammonia spill was the largest such spill in U.S. history.http://www.unmc.edu/dept/midamerica/index.cfm?L1_ID=17&CONREF=17.

Geography

Region

Minot is located on the Drift Prairie of north central North Dakota. Minot is at (48.233190, -101.292229), about 170 km (100 mi) north of Bismarck. The Souris River, also known as the Mouse River, runs through the city west to east.
Important cities in the region for which Minot is the trading center include Bottineau, Garrison, New Town, Rugby, Stanley, and Velva.

City

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.6 mi² (37.7 km²). It is almost entirely land; the Souris River, its oxbow lakes, and a few creeks take up just 0.14% of the city's total landmass.
The elevation of the river at the city center is 1556 feet (474 m). The valley sits some 160 feet (50 m) below the surrounding plains; the elevation at the Minot International Airport on "North Hill" is 1716 feet (523 m).

Grid and address system

The city is laid out on a grid-based street system. Streets run north-south and avenues run east-west. Streets are numbered by their block distance east or west of Main Street. Similarly, Avenues are numbered north and south of Central Avenue. There are four city quadrants (NW, SW, SE, NE) to describe the exact location of any given address. Main Street addresses are simply designated North and South. Central Avenue addresses are simply designated East and West.

Major streets

North-South:
East-West:
  • 21st Avenue North
  • University Avenue
  • 4th, 3rd, 5th, Railway Avenue
  • The Quentin N. Burdick Expressway (Bus. US 2/52)
  • 11th Avenue South
  • 20th Avenue South
  • 32nd Avenue South

Major divisions

The Souris River divides the city approximately in half, north and south. The valley rises to the plains both north and south of the river. Minot does not have particular names for these general topographic divisions of the city. The Valley is simply the Valley (or not called anything at all). The northern rise and the plateau north of it are referred to as North Hill and the southern rise and plateau south of it are referred to as South Hill.

Climate

Minot experiences four distinct seasons, including warm summers and very cold winters. Temperatures below 0°F (-18°C) are common in the winter, while temperatures can reach 105°F (41°C) in the summer.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 36,567 people, 15,520 households, and 9,265 families residing in the city. The population density was 970.4/km² (2,513.1/mi²). There were 16,475 housing units at an average density of 437.2/km² (1,132.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.18% White, 1.34% African American, 2.76% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.47% of the population.
The top 6 ancestry groups in the city are German (40.8%), Norwegian (32.3%), Irish (8.7%), English (5.4%), Swedish (4.2%), French (3.2%).
There were 15,520 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,218, and the median income for a family was $42,804. Males had a median income of $30,283 versus $20,023 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,011. About 8.8% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.
A recent study by Coldwell-Banker Real Estate showed that Minot has the country's lowest median home price of $132,300, which buys 2200 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Other cities in the report were from Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Law and government

The mayor of Minot is Curt Zimbelman, a banker. As mayor he chairs the 14-member City Council, but only casts a vote to break a tie. The day-to-day affairs of the city are handled by the City Manager, currently David Waind.
Minot uses the Council-manager system of government. Fourteen councilmen are elected from 7 city wards to four-year terms. Elections are arranged such that one councilman from each ward is elected in every even-numbered year. The mayor of Minot is elected to a four-year term as well; the last mayoral election was in 2006. All city offices are nonpartisan.
City elections are held in June in North Dakota, along with the state primary election.
While the city's leadership has been trending towards the conservative, Minot's liberal factions have been active in recent years and have had somewhat more success than in other areas of the state.

Policy

Minot's civic realm includes a number of debates over taxes, fiscal management, and economic development policy.
Major issues include:

Economic development

In recent years, economic development has become a significant issue in the city of Minot. The city created the publicly-financed MAGIC Fund in 1992 to provide financial incentives for businesses, but a series of debacles made the operations of the fund a significant issue in the 2002 city elections.

Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS)

The Northwest Area Water Supply is slightly less controversial among residents of Minot and area, however, it has attracted the ire of the Canadian government because the plan calls for water to be pumped from Lake Sakakawea, then to Minot for treatment, and then on to large stretches of Northwest North Dakota.
Minot voters decided in 1998 to levy a 1% sales tax to go towards the construction of NAWS; this tax fund was found in court to have been illegally diverted towards economic development purposes. A lawsuit was filed against the city and it was ordered to return the misappropriated funds to the NAWS fund. By that time, the money had already been spent, and the city instead voted to issue a special assessment on city water bills to raise the funds.
NAWS may be a moot point as water levels in Lake Sakakawea continue to fall; it is possible that not enough water will be available for use when the project is complete.

Economy

Minot's economy thrives on the Air Force Base located 13 miles north of town making the city's economy more robust than other cities of its size due to its large service area; however, it is beset by significant problems with enterprise capital and wage standards. About 30% of Minot residents work two or more jobs, and two-thirds of households earn less than the national median household income.
A Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index listed Minot as the most affordable area of 348 markets in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for homebuyers.http://hpci.coldwellbanker.com/hpci_press.aspx

Education

The Minot Public Schools system operates ten elementary schools within the city: Bel Air, Edison, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Longfellow, McKinley, Roosevelt, Perkett, Sunnyside, and Washington. Jefferson Elementary was closed in 2003. The old Washington Elementary building was closed at the end of 2007 and the students moved to a new building which was renovated from an old health care center. There are also two elementary schools on the Minot Air Force Base: Dakota and North Plains.
There are three middle schools, two in Minot: Jim Hill, Erik Ramstad. Memorial Middle School is located on the Minot Air Force Base.
Minot has one public high school, Minot High School, that is divided into two campuses. Downtown is Central Campus, which is for grades 9-10, and on the southwest side of town is the newer Magic City Campus (grades 11-12), which was constructed in the mid 1970s. Minot Public Schools also operates an adult learning center and Souris River Campus, an alternative high school.
Private schools in Minot include the Minot Catholic Schools system which operates two elementary schools, St. Leo's and Little Flower, and a combined middle and high school, Bishop Ryan High School. There is also a Protestant K-12 school, Our Redeemer's Christian School http://www.orcsknights.org/.
Minot is also home to Minot State University.

Preschool and Daycare

Most of the larger Daycare Centers and Preschools in the Minot area work in collaboration with local church groups. There are also programs such as Head Start and preschool programs through Minot Public Schools. The In-home daycare providers are state registered/licensed.

Culture

Minot's midwestern setting and attitudes sometimes hides its sizable and sometimes flamboyant arts community. Minot has an art museum, a symphony orchestra, an opera company, a city band, several dance and theatre troupes, a youth/punk concert organization, the AMP, and much more; over 40 organizations claim membership in the Minot Area Council on the Arts, and even more exist.
Nearly 40% of the residents of Minot are of Scandinavian ancestry, and every October since 1977, Minot has been the host to the Norsk Høstfest, North America's largest Scandinavian-American festival.

Recreation

The Minot Park District operates 17 parks with various facilities; Corbett Field, home to American Legion, high school and college baseball; Optimist soccer complex; MAYSA ice arena; the Sertoma Complex which has 8 softball fields; Souris Valley Golf Course, and an indoor tennis complex.
The city's largest parks are Roosevelt Park and Oak Park. Roosevelt Park Zoo is one of the top zoos in the region. Dogs are not allowed in any of the city parks. A "bark park" for dogs opened in the summer of 2005.
The North Dakota State Fair is held annually in Minot.
Apple Grove Grove Golf Course, and Souris Valley Golf Course are located in Minot. The Minot Country Club is located west of Minot, towards Burlington.
Nearly all recreation areas however are closed during the long winter.

Sister cities

Minot maintains a sister city relationship with the Norwegian city of Skien.
Minot is also a sister city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The cities share many qualities, including their size, mutual location on river valleys, historical origins, and air force bases.

Media

Minot has several media outlets. Only two television stations regularly broadcast local news reports. The stations republish network and wire reports as well as maintain a strong local focus.

Television

Minot has six television stations, most of which have ATSC (digital) transmitters:

Radio

Minot has fifteen radio stations (12 FM, 3 AM). Bottineau-based Programmers Broadcasting owns KTZU and KWGO, along with KBTO of Bottineau. North Dakota Public Radio operates a full power FM station, a community broadcaster based in nearby Burlington, ND operates a low-power FM station, and the remainder are nonprofit Christian stations, of which only KHRT is based locally.
Clear Channel Communications was blamed for placing its stations on 'autopilot' and resulting failure to warn area residents not to go outside when an ammonia tanker derailed on 18 January 2002. Clear Channel owned all of the commercial radio stations in Minot at the time. One man died and dozens were injured attempting to flee the area while Clear Channel continued to play their satellite feeds.
In May 2007 it was announced that Clear Channel sold the Minot group to Dean Goodman's GoodRadio, LLC. It was confirmed on May 16 2007 by filings made public with the FCC. Then in the next couple of months, GoodRadio's plans fell through when it's financing group, American Securities Capital Partners, objected to the deal's $452 million costs. The radio station group is again up for sale, and interested buyers are actively being sought.

AM band

FM band

Other stations

Additionally, the following stations are not based in Minot but generally have a clear signal into town:

Cable television

Midcontinent Communications provides cable service to the city of Minot and Minot Air Force Base. Souris River Telecommunications provides cable service to other nearby communities.
Midcontinent offers a Bismarck-originating The CW cable station, KWMK, on channel 14, as well as KMSU (a cable station operated by the Minot State University broadcasting department) on channel 19.

Print

The principal local newspaper is the Minot Daily News(Formerly The Burlington Reporter), which publishes seven days a week. The Minot State University student newspaper The Red & Green is published once a week (Thursdays) during the regular school year, but not during the summer months. Morgan Printing produces the Lunch Letter three days a week on a double-sided leaflet. There are also two weekly classified-ad publications, the Trading Post, printed by the Daily News, and The Finder, printed by the Bismarck Tribune. The Bismarck Tribune is available at several outlets in the city, as is The Forum, to a lesser extent.

Local news

KXMC-TV, KMOT-TV, and the Minot Daily News report on local news daily. KCJB-AM, KHRT-AM, and Prairie Public have some local news content, but no active journalists.

Transportation

Railroads

The railroads that built Minot remain there today, though Great Northern is now part of the BNSF Railway and the Soo Line is run by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Passenger rail transportation is provided daily on Amtrak's Empire Builder line which stops at the Minot Amtrak station. Trains make a 20-minute refueling stop in Minot; Westbound trains arrive about 9:00 am local time. Eastbound trains arrive about 9:00pm.

Highways

Three US Highways run through the city: US 2, US 52, and US 83.
US 2 runs East-West. It is a four-lane highway from Minot east to Grand Forks and largely two lanes from Minot west to Williston. In February 2004 it was announced that Highway 2 would be expanded to four lanes between Minot and Williston by 2008.
US 83 runs North-South. It is a four-lane highway from Minot south to Bismarck and north to Minot Air Force Base. Past the Air Force Base the road reduces to two lanes. US 83 crosses the Canadian border at Westhope, ND, where it becomes Manitoba Highway 83.
US 52 runs Southeast-Northwest. Southeast from Minot, US 52 follows a slightly circuitous route to Jamestown, where it meets up with Interstate 94. Highway 52 merges with Interstate 94 after Jamestown going east to Fargo. Northwest from Minot, US 52 crosses the Canadian border at Portal, ND/North Portal, SK, where it becomes Saskatchewan Highway 39.
Minot has a bypass for these routes around the south and west sides of the city.

Airport

Minot International Airport is served by Northwest Airlines three times daily, four times daily in peak periods. Until the early 1990s, it was also served by Denver-based Frontier Airlines and Frontier's successor, Continental Airlines, then, briefly, by the new iteration of Frontier. Airport officials are constantly looking for additional service, both from Northwest and other airlines, but such efforts have proved fruitless so far.

Within the city

Automobiles dominate intracity and local area transport. There is limited fixed-route city transit service (Minot City Transit) on weekdays, and flexible-route rural transit service (Souris Basin Transportation) on an occasional basis. Local transit services for the elderly and disabled (Minot Commission on Aging Transit) meet federal guidelines but have 24-hour advance notice requirements.
Pedestrianism in the city is inhibited by several factors; the sidewalk network is poor in many areas of the city, though improving. Automobile drivers take the right of way at all but the best-marked crosswalks, and major points are often separated by relatively large distances and hill slopes. Skateboarding is illegal in streets and on sidewalks (though there is a skating area in Roosevelt Park), and rollerblading is generally disallowed by downtown landowners.

Sites of interest

Notable residents

Notes

External links

minot in Arabic: مينوت، داكوتا الشمالية
minot in Bulgarian: Майнът
minot in Danish: Minot (North Dakota)
minot in German: Minot (North Dakota)
minot in French: Minot (Dakota du Nord)
minot in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Minot, North Dakota
minot in Haitian: Minot
minot in Dutch: Minot (North Dakota)
minot in Piemontese: Minot, Dakota dël Nòrd
minot in Polish: Minot
minot in Portuguese: Minot (Dakota do Norte)
minot in Slovak: Minot (Severná Dakota)
minot in Swedish: Minot
minot in Volapük: Minot (North Dakota)
minot in Chinese: 邁諾特 (北達科他州)
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