Local Stories

FDA Rule Changes for E-Cigarettes

10 hours ago

The Director of North Dakota’s Tobacco Control program is applauding the move by the U-S Food and Drug administration to tighten the rules surrounding the use and sale of electronic cigarettes…

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has asked state agencies to submit reduced budgets for their 2017-2019 requests.

It would be 90 percent of the budgets approved by the 2015 Legislature. It would not be a ten percent cut from the current allotment levels. Dalrymple earlier ordered an across-the-board 4.05 percent cut.

"Obviously, many of the adjustments made in the allotment process may need to be continued," Dalrymple said. "But agencies are not locked into the decisions they made for the allotment."

Road construction season begins

May 3, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It’s road construction season in North Dakota.

And the Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to be safe around work zones.

"You need to pay attention as you're traveling through," said state DOT director Grant Levi. "Stay off of that smart phone. Please don't be texting, and pay attention."

Levi said last year, there were 155 crashes in work zones, and one person was killed.

Math and English K-12 standards to be rewritten

May 3, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

State school superintendent Kirsten Baesler says math and English standards for North Dakota students will be rewritten – and the process begins this summer.

Baesler says the current standards are based on the Common Core. She says those will be updated and improved upon. She says the standards will go through three drafts and reviews, and the process should be completed by early 2017.

The chairman of a Legislative interim committee looking at the issue of behavioral health treatment says recent findings by the Council of State Governments concerning the amount of incarcerations in North Dakota will lead to a lot of discussion during the 2017 session about treatment alternatives.

The CSG report shows the number of felonies more than doubled between 2011 and 2014. And the number of drug sentences was up by 2 ½ times.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Some members of the state Board of Higher Education are raising questions about what the Board’s role should be in how the 11 colleges are handling budget cuts.

The cuts were mandated. Governor Dalrymple ordered state general fund agencies to slice 4.05 percent from their budgets, due to a tax revenue shortfall. The 11 campus presidents were told to find the cuts – and they presented their plans to the Board Thursday.

Board member Nick Hacker says the Board has the oversight responsibility over the colleges. And he believes the Board should be more involved.

With state tax collections down significantly, some lawmakers have suggested the state’s efforts to buy-down local property taxes might have to be changed – or scrapped.

But many legislators say the money is there – and should not be diverted elsewhere.

The President of Dickinson State University says even though the Strom Center has been closed, the efforts of the entrepreneurial and innovation center will carry on. President Thomas Mitzel delivered the message during a public forum Wednesday morning. Mitzel says instead of working through grants and the University the Strom Center will be partnering with local governments and foundations to advance activities…

State Water Commission hires a new chief engineer

Apr 27, 2016

The state Water Commission has hired Garland Erbele of Pierre, South Dakota as the new state engineer.

Erbele is a native of Lehr, North Dakota. He worked for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources for 35 years, and from 2003 to 2013 served as the agency’s chief engineer for the Water Rights Program. Since 2013, he has worked for Wenck Associates, an engineering and environmental consulting company.

Erbele replaces Todd Sando, who announced his retirement in March.

A new national study shows North Dakota is at or near the national average – when it comes to being prepared for public health emergencies.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation did the survey, ranking states on a scale from zero to 10. North Dakota’s ranking is 6.5.

"North Dakota has seen improvements in its preparedness scores over time," said research team leader Dr. Glen Mays of the University of Kentucky. He says North Dakota has improved in its capability around health security surveillance.

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News from NPR

Every year at the Kentucky Derby, crazy hat-wearing, mint julep-guzzling horse-gazers break into a passionate rendition of Kentucky's state song, "My Old Kentucky Home." As tradition goes, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band accompanies the crowd as they croon a ballad that seems to be about people who miss their happy home. "The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home/'Tis summer and the people are gay" begins one version.

But Frank X Walker, Kentucky's former Poet Laureate, suspects that most people are are missing the point.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Back when Bernie Sanders' campaign was just ramping up, and he was still giving speeches under covered picnic shelters to small groups of Democrats, he was talking about a political revolution.

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Summer Movies Preview ~ Chef Rosey on Water

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