Local Stories

ND 'shatters' daily oil and gas production records

Jul 14, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota mineral resources director Lynn Helms called Friday's "Director's Cut" briefing "one of the most encouraging reports we've had in over three years."

The reason: in May, North Dakota hit a new daily oil production record, at 1,244,629 barrels a day.

"We didn't just set a new record, we shattered the old record," Helms said. "17,000 barrels a day more than the previous record, in December of 2014."

Grand Forks Air Force Base

The Air Force is privatizing water, wastewater and electrical utilities at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and the Cavalier Air Force Station.

Deputy base civil engineer with the  219th Civil Engineer Squadron, Les Canarr, said this is part of an Air Force initiative to sell its utilities where possible to private firms who have more expertise – and how have promised to make upgrades.

The president of the North Dakota Council of College Faculties has been named to Gov. Doug Burgum’s Task Force for Higher Education Governance.

Dr. Debora Dragseth of Dickinson State University will replace Bismarck State College Institutional Research Analyst Dr. Ellie Shockley. Shockley recently changed jobs, causing a conflict of interest. Dragseth becomes the voting member, while Shockley will remain on the Task Force in a non-voting capacity.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A number of North Dakota state agencies have asked for extensions on submitting their proposed budgets to the Office of Management and Budget for the 2019-2021 biennium.

"More than normal, I would say," OMB director Joe Morrissette told the Legislature's Budget Section.

Morrissette said part of the reason for the extensions is the extra “strategy review” sessions OMB has had with the agencies.

People in Watford City have the opportunity to connect with organizations and resources to help in the recovery process after the tornado Tuesday morning.

Starting October 1st, remote sellers will be required to register with the state of North Dakota and collect and remit sales taxes.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says this is the result of a Supreme Court ruling last month that remote sellers can now be required to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence. He says this applies mainly to online retailers. A previous ruling on the issue in 1992 said it shouldn't have to be required, but Rauschenberger says times have changed.

Open enrollment for medical marijuana dispensary locations

Jul 12, 2018

North Dakota is one step closer to administering medical marijuana to patients - the first round of dispensary applications is now open.

Insurance department warns of Medicare fraud

Jul 12, 2018

Recent changes to Medicare are designed to protect beneficiaries from fraud - but the state insurance department says to be on the lookout for scams in the near future.

Bjornson named Legislative Council director

Jul 12, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Legislative Management Committee has hired Jon Bjornson as the new director of the Legislative Council.

If you are not a legislator, you may be wondering – what’s that?

"Not a lot of people know who we are, what we are and what we do," Bjornson said.

The Council writes legislation, manages fiscal affairs and provides legal advice to legislators. Bjornson said the Council is the only staff lawmakers have.

"You are citizen legislators," Bjornson told Legislative Management. "All the other branches and elected officials have their own staffs."

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News from NPR

A federal jury has found Marq Vincent Perez, 26, guilty of a hate crime in the arson attack on a mosque in Victoria, Texas, in January of 2017. Perez now faces up to 40 years in prison; he'll be sentenced in October.

When fire devastated the Victoria Islamic Center last year, an outpouring of support followed, with neighboring Jewish and Christian congregations offering to host Muslim services in their buildings.

Iraqi officials flew to Tehran this week to try to cut a deal with Iran for electricity, attempting to defuse potentially destabilizing anti-government demonstrations spreading through the country's southern provinces.

The protests started a week ago amid anger over unemployment, corruption and lack of access to basic services such as power. Iraq's health ministry announced Monday that eight demonstrators had been killed in the unrest. Iraqi police say dozens of security forces have been wounded.

Most teens today own a smartphone and go online every day, and about a quarter of them use the internet "almost constantly," according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center.

Now a study published Tuesday in JAMA suggests that such frequent use of digital media by adolescents might increase their odds of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Japan and the European Union have signed a massive trade deal that creates an open trade zone for more than 600 million people. The EU and Japan account for approximately one-third of GDP worldwide.

The deal has been in the works for years, but the parties reached an agreement in principle several months after President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal with Japan and 10 other nations.

CTE has been part of the national lexicon in the U.S. since the 2015 movie Concussion dramatized the discovery of this degenerative brain disease among football players.

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Main Street

"The Synthetic Age" ~ Rural Brain Gain ~ StoryCorps with Victor Schwahn

Monday, July 16 – Philosophy professor Christopher James Preston at the University of Montana has written a book titled "The Synthetic Age Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World." He visits with Sarah Aaronson, host of “The Write Question,” a show from Montana Public Radio featuring authors from the western United States. ~~~ “Brain drain” is the scourge of communities that watch young people grow up, go off and never return. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer...

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