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This March, we covered the Poetry Out Loud North Dakota contest and our state winner, Maria Modi Tuya. We are excited that Maria has gone to the national contest and has been declared one of nine finalists.  You can watch the finals via live webcast tonight, April 25, from 6 to 8:15 CT. The winner receives $20,000.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A representative of a group studying North Dakota’s behavioral health system says the state needs to invest more in prevention programs.

Dr. Bevin Croft of the Human Services Research Institute presented a number of findings and recommendations to the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee.

"Compared to the resources being spent on treatment services, there's a relative scarcity of funds for both prevention and early intervention," Croft told the committee. "Many stakeholders saw it as a missed opportunity."

The company planning to build the new oil refinery at Belfield has hired an engineering and construction firm to complete the “front end engineering and design” study for the refinery.

It’s being done in anticipation of the state Health Department giving the company the permit to construct the refinery.

"We are fairly certain there will be no substantial changes to that permit from the draft that was issued in December," said Meridian CEO William Prentice.

Prentice said he expects the final permits will be issued soon.

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said Congressional inaction on the Affordable Care Act is putting states like North Dakota in a difficult position.

Godfread said it appears Congress has put any “repeal and replace” efforts on Obamacare on the “back burner” – and he doubts anything will happen before the November election.

"That leaves it to the states to come up with some creative solutions on how we address our health care market," Godfread said.

Godfread said there are major challenges in health insurance.

Big gift to help U-Mary Engineering school

Apr 22, 2018

The company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline has given Bismarck’s University of Mary $5 million for its engineering school.

Energy Transfer Partners – and Sunoco – presented the University with the first $3 million check Friday (4-22-18).

"The need for well-educated engineers is only going to increase as our nation's economy continues to change," ETP executive vice-president for Human Resources Chris Curia said at an event announcing the gift. "We see an increased demand for all types of engineers."

USDA looking for veterinarians

Apr 22, 2018

The “Help Wanted” sign is out for veterinarians.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is holding a one-day recruitment event in St. Paul, Minnesota Tuesday (4-24) through Thursday (4-26).

"We home to come in Tuesday and have people with tentative ofer letters in hand by the end of the week," said Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg. She said the Service’s role is to insure the safety of the commercial supply of meat, poultry and processed eggs.

April 20th is a widely recognized celebration of marijuana - and on 4/20, the representatives from Legalize ND are hoping to educate North Dakotans on their work to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Josh Dryer is campaign manager for Legalize ND.

"It's a starting point."

That's how Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), the chairman of the North Dakota Senate Appropriations Committee, characterizes the budget guidelines laid out to state agencies.

Burgum has called for more reductions – 5 percent for smaller agencies, 10 percent for the larger ones, plus a five percent reduction in state government workers. K-12 education and Medicaid are spared cuts.

Holmberg said a lot can happen between now and the 2019 Legislature.

Gov. Burgum releases budget guidelines for 2019-2021

Apr 18, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum has given state agencies their budget guidelines for the 2019-2021 biennium.

This comes on the heels of the significant budget reductions enacted by the 2017 Legislature, where the budget was balanced by cutting general fund spending from $6 billion to $4.3 billion.

"It was paired with the use of every available dollar from various savings and reserve accounts," Burgum told the department heads. "We have to continue to pursue a vision of a leaner and more responsive state government."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved some tweaks to the Commission’s natural gas flaring rules.

"We think that refocusing our efforts on stranded gas, and on people who are not meeting gas capture goals, while keeping the goals in place and keeping their feet to the fire, is the right way to go," said state Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms.

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News from NPR

This is a story about how a tinted window, an oversize license plate frame and some profanity led to the resignation of a state ethics committee chairwoman for ethics violations.

It started with a traffic stop in Tenafly, N.J.

After she found out her husband was having an affair, Jennair Gerardot got on a train from Delaware to Pennsylvania with a wig and extra clothing, broke into the home of the other woman and fatally shot her, authorities said. Then she turned the revolver on herself.

Every day, 15,000 children five years old or younger die of preventable conditions diarrhea and pneumonia. In 2016, that number added up to 5.6 million children, most of them in the developing world, according to the World Health Organization.

What if a simple intervention could save tens of thousands of those children? Seems like a no-brainer — unless the method used to save them puts tens of thousands of others at risk in the future.

In jails and prisons across the United States, mental illness is prevalent and psychiatric disorders often worsen because inmates don't get the treatment they need, says journalist Alisa Roth.

In her new book Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness, Roth investigates the widespread incarceration of the mentally ill in the U.S., and what she sees as impossible burdens placed on correctional officers to act as mental health providers when they're not adequately trained.

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

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Parental Alienation Day ~ SNAP Benefits ~ Food Entrepreneurs ~ UND Symposium

Wednesday, April 25 – Today is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Parental alienation refers to children being manipulated by one parent to hate the other. Here to discuss the problem is Sean Brotherson, NDSU Extension Family Science Specialist. ~~~ And on part three of our series on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is part of the Farm Bill being negotiated, we hear a story about work requirements. ~~~ In this week’s Natural North Dakota Chuck Lura talks about some weedy...

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