Local Stories

ND University System

The state Board of Higher Education is tightening up its policy on the relationships between a college or university and its foundation – or other non-profit affiliate.

The new rules say the campus president must be an ex-officio non-voting member of the organization’s board.

This comes about because of litigation surrounding the activity center at Dickinson State University. The DSU Foundation financed the center – but it dissolved in 2015, and five banks have sued, looking for repayment of loans.

Bismarck mayor will not face a recall election

May 19, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

There will not be a mayoral recall election in Bismarck.

A group opposing Mayor Mike Seminary circulated petitions for a recall. The group needed 1898 valid signatures to recall the mayor. 2405 signatures were collected. But Bismarck city manager Keith Hunke said because of discrepancies, the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in to take a look.

Farmers Union confronts farm crisis

May 16, 2017

The National Farmers Union and its state divisions have initiated a national campaign to raise awareness for the current farm crisis.

Net farm income has decreased by half in the past four years. Mark Watne is President of the North Dakota Farmers Union. He says this "silent economic crisis" is created by current low prices continuing to decrease any profit potential. Watne says farmers in North Dakota will have tools available to them to manage stress and address capital challenges - and it's important that word gets out because there is no end in sight right now.

In North Dakota, Will Wind Keep The Lights On?

May 16, 2017
Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

Steven Somsen’s farm has looked the same his entire life -- it’s flat, with wheat and soybeans that will soon grow as far as the eye can see.

But the 61-year-old’s view changed last year.

“Those are the closest ones to us, but they’re not our towers,” he said, pointing to several nearby wind turbines. “That’s the neighbors’. Ours are way, way off in there.”

One hundred wind turbines dot the farmland around his rural community of Courtenay in eastern North Dakota. Somsen has three on his land.

Colleges propose 4% tuition increases for undergrads

May 16, 2017
ND University System

The Board of Higher Education has approved the annual budget guidelines for the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

This will include tuition increases.

The 2017 legislature allowed the campuses to raise tuition to a cap of four percent for in-state students.

"For all campuses, they are requesting a maximum tuition rate increase of 4 percent," said University System Finance Director Tammy Dolan. "That's the Legislative cap."

Residents in the Morton County community of Glen Ullin are being advised to boil their water if they are going to be using it for drinking, food preparation, or washing dishes until further notice. Glen Ullin Emergency Manager Albert Lautenschlager explains…

ND Legislature

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee says the Legislature continues to put a high priority on property tax relief.

Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) said all you have to do is look at the percentages of state expenditures that go towards keeping property taxes down.

In a memo to Holmberg, the Legislative Council said in the 2015-2017 biennium, the state provided $1.313 billion in property tax relief – or  about 21.8 percent of the state’s general fund budget.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A subsidiary of MDU Resources, In. continues to work on a project to bring more natural gas to eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

It’s called the Valley Expansion project. WBI would build a 38 mile pipeline to connect the Viking Gas Transmission Company’s pipeline in Felton, Minnesota to the existing Williston Basin pipeline near Mapleton.

ND still producing over one million barrels of oil

May 12, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota is still producing over one million barrels of oil per day.

That’s shown in the just-released March production figures.

"We had a very slight downtick in production from February to March," said Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms at his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. "Gas production was up 1.4%."

The figures: March oil production at 1,025,638 barrels a day. Natural gas at 1.7 MCF per day.

Wardner: Veto session doubtful

May 12, 2017
ND Legislature

It appears a special Legislative session to override Governor Burgum’s vetoes is not likely.

The Governor vetoed three bills – as well as parts of others.

When the Legislature adjourned, it left three days for a potential special session.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner R-Dickinson) has been talking to his Senate caucus members – and to the Senate Democrats – and he said there isn’t much of an appetite to come back. Wardner said there’s more interest among House members to come back for overrides.

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News from NPR

Health officials from more than 180 countries meeting in Geneva on Tuesday have elected a new leader for the World Health Organization.

A former health minister from Ethiopia takes over an agency that's struggled recently to find the funding and exert the political leadership it needs to tackle the world's health problems.

President Trump's proposed budget, released Tuesday, calls for a major reworking of the nation's social safety net for low-income Americans. It would impose more stringent work requirements and limits on those receiving aid, including disability and food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. It would also give states more control of, and responsibility for, such spending.

Anti-poverty advocates have vowed to fight the budget plan, which requires congressional approval to go into effect.

A new study of fatal car crashes found that 20 percent of children who died after a car crash were not buckled in properly, or were not wearing a seat belt at all, and that child fatality rates in deadly car crashes vary widely by state.

On paper President Trump's newly unveiled budget proposal is balanced. But that's predicated on an extraordinarily rosy projection for U.S. economic growth: Trump says he expects to achieve annual increases of 3 percent — a substantial boost from the 2016 annual rate of 1.6 percent.

Such pledges were a frequent theme of Trump's campaign. And they were often coupled with the observation that countries such as China and India have been enjoying fast-paced growth for years.

President Trump's fiscal plan released on Tuesday claims to balance the budget deficit while cutting funding for safety net programs like food stamps and increasing defense spending. Read more about budget' aims.

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Main Street

"Derby Girl: A Memoir" ~ Chlorpyrifos Ban on Hold ~ Colt Romberger on Expedition Orange

In an excerpt from the Prairie Pulse television show, we hear from Sammi Jones, author of “Derby Girl: A Memoir ,” as she visits with host John Harris. ~~~ NDSU historian Tom Isern shares a Plains Folk essay titled “Sully’s Rock.” ~~~ The Trump administration has put on hold a decision to ban the chemical chlorpyrifos, which is used on a number of crops in North Dakota. From today’s Takeaway show, Noel King visits with Dana Boyd Barr, a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at...

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