Local Stories

Inside Energy: Blackout, part 3

May 21, 2015

Five years ago, standing in front of a vast array of solar panels in Florida, President Obama compared today’s power grid to the nation’s roads before the Interstate Highway System.

But with 3-point-4 billion dollars in stimulus funding, the President announced his administration was going to do for power what Eisenhower did for the roads. A smart grid -- that would bring the tech revolution to electricity, making it possible to add more renewable energy, fix blackouts more quickly, save customers money and boost efficiency.

Bill Prokopyk / ND National Guard

From now on, you can call her “General Wilz.”

Giselle Wilz has been a member of the North Dakota National Guard for nearly 32 years.

“You know, it's an honor," said Wilz. "And it's as much attributed to the soldiers I've served with throughout the years, as it is to my ability. Without them, I wouldn't be standing here today.”      

Wilz becomes the first female general in the North Dakota Army National Guard.

ND & Mt Paddlefish Given Healthy Status

May 19, 2015
ND Game and Fish Dept. / ND Game and Fish Dept.

Despite a threat of contamination from an upstream oil spill, officials with North Dakota Game and Fish are reporting no resulting troubles in northwest North Dakota. Prairie Public Reporter Todd McDonald has details…

Stroke System of Care working in ND

May 19, 2015

Health officials say North Dakota’s Stroke System of Care is working to increase the chances that someone who suffers a stroke can recover from it.

The system was created by the Legislature in the 2009 session. Dr. Ziad Darkhabani is a neurologist with Essentia Health in Fargo – and he chairs the Stroke System of Care Task Force. He says the system allows hospitals to work together to make sure stroke patients get the care they need as quickly as possible. Darkhabani says the system works – very well.

Two groups of oil and gas producers have filed an injunction in the US District Court of Wyoming against the first ever federal rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. 

Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports.

In March, Wyoming sued the federal government claiming new regulations interfere with the state’s own existing regulations. Colorado and North Dakota joined that lawsuit soon after.

Mark Barron, one of the attorneys on the case, explained why Wyoming is leading the legal challenge: 

You probably have a pretty good idea of what you last paid for a gallon of gas, right?

OK, now, how much are you paying for a kilowatt hour of electricity?

Perhaps a more difficult question.

As we place more and more demands on our electricity system, there’s evidence reliability is going down.

As part of our ongoing series about the US power grid, Inside Energy Reporter Dan Boyce says public knowledge about the grid is pretty limited.

Natural North Dakota: Pan Evaporation

May 18, 2015

Black Gold Boom reporter Todd Melby previews his new television documentary on the oil patch, which includes the controversial efforts by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes to start an oil company. The show debuts tonight at 9 Central on Prairie Public.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new oil train safety rules have created enemies on all sides. Last week, an oil industry group announced it was suing the government because the rules are too stringent. Now, environmental groups are filing their own lawsuit saying the rules aren’t strict enough. Inside Energy’s Emily Guerin reports.

Inside Energy: Blackout, part 1

May 18, 2015

If you could peer behind an electrical plug in your house… you’d find a massive network of transmission lines and power plants and a whole army of people bringing power to the socket, in real-time, 24 hours a day. It’s the largest machine in the world: the power grid. And most of the time it operates invisibly, in the background. But what happens when it fails?

In the first story of an Inside Energy series we’re calling Blackout: Reinventing the Grid, Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce brings us a story of the lights going out.


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Minot State Summer Theatre Turns 50! ~ A Debut Essay from Jessica Runck ~ News Chat

Kevin Neuharth is the director of theatre at Minot State, and he’s here to tell us about their summer theatre program, which is celebrating 50 years! ~~~ Wimbledon, North Dakota native Jessica Runck has been living in Los Angeles as a writer and actress, and her columns about her experiences appear in Forum newspapers. They’ve been wonderful to read, but it’s also nice to hear writers read their work, so here’s Jessica with today’s column on “Meeting the Neighbors.” ~~~ Part three of our...
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