Local Stories

House passes refugee study

6 hours ago

The House has approved a study of refugee resettlement in North Dakota.

As originally proposed, the measure would have determined a community’s capacity to absorb refugees, and would have allowed a community to put a moratorium on accepting refugees. In North Dakota, three cities – Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks – have refugee resettlement programs. The bill was amended to call for a study of the effects refugees have on the state of North Dakota, and the role the state should have in the program.

Rep. Mary Schneider (D-Fargo) asked that the bill be rejected.

House passes substantial increase in littering fine

6 hours ago
Courtesy ND Legislature

The House has passed a bill raising the fine for littering from $100 to $500.

Supporters say it sends a message to people to refrain from dumping garbage in highway ditches. They say the oil boom has caused an uptick in littering.

Rep. Denton Zubke (R-Watford City) said US 85 in western North Dakota was filled with all sorts of garbage. And he's hoping the bill will deter some of that.

Medical Marijuana bill clears another hurdle

7 hours ago
Courtesy ND Legislature

The state Senate has approved amendments to the Medical Marijuana bill.

As originally proposed, the hill would not have allowed smoking marijuana. But the amendments spell out the idea that with a doctor’s permission, a patient can smoke from the leaves and flowers of the plant.

"Leafs and flowers? That's pot," said Sen. Oley Larson (R-Minot). "That's not medicine."

Larson had proposed allowing people to smoke “hash resin” instead.

Journeys Through Justice -- Lessons from Norway

Feb 17, 2017

Host Intro: Journeys Through Justice is a project exploring  North Dakota’s Criminal justice system. In this report, North Dakota’s Corrections Director talks about lessons she’s learned in other countries. Lessons that she thinks could be applied to prisons here in North Dakota.

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Courtesy ND Legislature

The state Senate has voted to take the environmental functions now in the state Health Department, and put them in a new state agency – the Department of Environmental Quality.

It wouldn’t happen until January,2019 – and only if federal agencies sign off on the new department. It would affect about 170 people who now work for the division. And it would become a Cabinet agency – meaning the Governor would appoint the agency’s director.

Education groups tout "innovation bill"

Feb 17, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Lawmakers are considering a bill allowing school districts to adopt new and innovative teaching techniques.

It has unanimously passed the Senate – and now awaits House approval. It would require school districts to develop plans with teacher and public input, and submit their ideas to the Department of Public Instruction for approval.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A pipeline company has paid a $6500 fine for not registering a salt water pipeline in Williams County as part of the state’s “Call Before You Dig” system.

The Public Service Commission says Agri-Industries was doing some digging in the area – when workers noticed the pipeline, owned by Buckhorn Energy Services. Commissioner Julie Fedorchack said the pipeline was not registered, and the excavator did not damage the line. In a consent agreement, Buckhorn agreed to pay the $6500 fine and get all its pipelines registered.          

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A natural gas company has paid a $2500 fine for a violation of pipeline safety laws.

Great Plains Natural Gas Company failed to follow a federal rule that says the pipeline must be checked for leaks every 15 months. The line in question runs from Hankinson to Fairmount.

Public Service Commission staff found the violation. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said PSC pipeline inspectors work hand in hand with federal authorities to do these inspections.

If you are a driver between the ages of 19 to 59, chances are you have either drove faster than the speed limit, ran a red light or have sent or read a text message on their phone while driving during the past 30-days. The findings are part of a report from the Triple-A Foundation for Traffic Safety. Gene LaDoucer is a spokesman for Triple-A North Dakota…

Wednesday, February 15 – The What Works Cities initiative is an effort to use data and statistical analysis to improve city functions. Fargo is one of 63 cities participating, with more expected to join. It sounds a bit like baseball’s cyber metrics, but here with a more thoughtful explanation is Fargo community development administrator Dan Mahli, and city planners Aaron Nelson and Tyrone Grandstrand. ~~~ Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Hustad looks into student debt and its impact on small farms. ~~~ We have a chance to visit with NPR journalist Lulu Garcia Navarro.

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News from NPR

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned amid a social media backlash over comments he made that appeared to condone pedophilia.

In a news conference Tuesday, Yiannopoulos said his resignation was effective immediately and praised the website as "a significant factor in my success."

He also explained his views on sex with minors, insisting that he does not condone statutory rape. "I do not believe any change in the legal age of consent is justifiable or desirable," he said. "I said some things on those Internet live streams that were simply wrong."

A literary treasure buried for more than a century has been unearthed by Zachary Turpin, a grad student at the University of Houston.

It's a work of short fiction: a 36,000-word novella published anonymously, in six parts, in a New York newspaper in 1852. The discursive nature of the manuscript's full title — Life and Adventures of Jack Engle: An Auto-Biography; In Which The Reader Will Find Some Familiar Characters -- places it squarely in its literary era, as does its subtitle, A Story of New York at the Present Time.

At times, it sprinted. At others, it stood still, seeming to weigh how best to elude New York City police. For more than an hour Tuesday, a runaway bull kept its dreams of freedom alive — until officers managed to capture it in Queens.

"It was at least the third loose cow or bull in Queens in the last 14 months," New York's Channel NBC 4 TV reports.

The United Nations says people are dying of starvation in north-central South Sudan, and it has issued a formal famine declaration for part of the country.

In all, nearly 5 million South Sudanese people do not have enough food, according to the U.N.'s food security arm, and that number is expected to rise to 5.5 million by the agricultural lean times in midsummer.

Of those, at least 100,000 people are at immediate risk of starving to death.

She's done it again.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross thought to be at least 66 years old, has hatched yet another chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial in Hawaii.

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Sex, Violence and Evolution ~ Governor Doug Burgum ~ News Chat

Brian Wisenden is chair of the Biosciences Department at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Today he reprises for us his recent Science Cafe presentation titled "Sex and Violence: Understanding behavior of the human animal from an evolutionary perspective." ~~~ Via our studio in Fargo today, Governor Doug Burgum appeared on NPR’s “ Hear & Now ” show. We share an excerpt as he makes the case for getting the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp cleaned up. He also comments on the scene in...

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