Local Stories

Changes to North Dakota's Medicaid State Plan went into effect November 1 to help increase access to addiction treatment and behavioral health services.

Maggie Anderson is Medicaid director with the North Dakota Department of Human Services. She says the department has been working for about a year on its rehabilitative services to make sure providers understand the enrollment process and exactly what is covered through Medicaid.

Federal law went into effect October 1 to require childcare programs to receive fingerprint results for new employees prior to those employees working with children.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Governor Burgum’s Task Force for Higher Education Governance is recommending the current 8-member Board of Higher Education be replaced by three governing boards.

Under the proposal, UND and NDSU would each have a board, and the rest of the two and four year schools would be governed by a third board.

After discussing proposals for two, three, and four board systems, the Task Force agreed to recommend three boards – with only one dissenting vote.  But there is broad agreement among task force members about the need for change.

North Dakota House Republicans have chosen their leaders for the 2019 Legislature.

Rep. Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) was elected House Majority Leader. He succeeds former Rep. Al Carlson (R-Fargo), who was defeated in the November election.

Pollert was elected on the second ballot, besting Rep. Dan Ruby (R-Minot) and Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck).

Pollert was first elected to the North Dakota House in 1998. He has served as the chairman of the Human Resources Division of the House Appropriations Committee.

As part of the North Dakota University System’s “Envision 2030”  process, the System held what it called an “opening discussion” on Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection.

That meeting was held at Bismarck State College.

"The state Board of Higher Education has this medium-to-long-term exercize, thinking about the key issues for education," Hagerott said. "There are some immediate things we're working on, but longer-term are the issues of the emerging digital world."

Tuesday, November 13 – The recycling industry continues to evolve, involving global relationships. Joining us to dive more deeply into the world of recycling is Beth Porter, author of “Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine: Sorting Out the Recycling System.” ~~~ To help with the recycling effort, cities have an interest in knowing how their efforts are working. And as Ashley Thornberg reports, that means digging through the trash to find out. ~~~ Prairie Public "Ask A" events are an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to get to know one another better.

Three Bismarck Legislators have a bill ready to give state employees raises in the 2019-2021 biennium.

It was drafted by the Bismarck District 32 Republican legislators – Sen. Dick Dever, Rep. Pat Heinert and Rep Lisa Meier.

Under their bill, state workers would get an across-the-board $300 a month raise in the first year of the biennium. Heinert said that figure comes from a look back at what state workers received in previous years.

Making ND more 'military friendly'

Nov 12, 2018

A task force has been working on ways to make North Dakota more “military friendly.”

Gov. Doug Burgum appointed that group to look at removing barriers for spouses of military personnel who come to North Dakota, or military members who want to stay here, to find jobs.

"We want to make sure North Dakota is a place that provides opportunities for veterans," said National Guard Adjutant General Alan Dohrmann. "This is not just about saying 'thank you' -- this is about makig sure we get the quality workforce this state needs."

One of the leaders of the drive for Measure One – the ethics measure, which voters passed – said she’s meeting with representatives of the measure’s opponents, hoping to “smooth things over” after a spirited campaign.

Voters passed the measure in Tuesday’s election.  A number of business groups, lobbying organizations and  the ACLU opposed the measure.

Supporters are working with legislators and the Legislative Council for enabling legislation to be introduced in the 2019 Legislative session.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Xcel Energy will be allowed to use the savings from the federal tax cut bill to pay for the clean-up of a manufactured natural gas plant in Fargo.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has given its approval to that plan.

Xcel said the cost of the clean-up – which will take a number of years – closely mirrors that of the savings in federal taxes the company is realizing, after corporate tax rates were cut. The utility said using those savings will prevent any need for a rate increase.

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News from NPR

Why A 'War On Children' Could Get Worse

2 hours ago

Two weeks ago, 10-year-old Sara was sitting up in her bed at a hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen.

Some of the other children in the ward had their moms or other family members by their side.

But Sara was all alone.

She was recovering from a rare bacterial infection, called diphtheria, which had paralyzed part of her body. A small hole sliced into her throat was helping her breathe.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.

President Trump is throwing his support behind legislation that could shorten sentences for some drug offenders and help prisoners adjust to life after incarceration.

Details of the measure have not been officially released, but Trump said Wednesday the bill will provide incentives for prisoners to participate in training or rehabilitation programs with a goal of reducing recidivism.

It will also include measures to address sentencing disparities and inequities.

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Main Street

"Imagine Thriving" ~ Minot Winner of Bush Prize for Community Innovaton

Wednesday, November 14 – Imagine Thriving is an organization concerned about the mental health of school children. They work with local school staff, health providers and other members of the community to identify the barriers to mental wellness. Joining us to discuss their work and what they’ve learned is executive director Heather Zinger. ~~~ Chuck Lura shares a Natural North Dakota essay on the Leonid Meteor Shower. ~~~ Since the late 1970s, congressional leaders have placed food-aid...

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