Local Stories

Dave Thompson

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has a requirement for tree and shrub replacement when a utility builds infrastructure.

It’s 2 to 1 – for every tree or shrub dug out, the company has to plant two.

When Basin Electric Power Cooperative built a high voltage power line in Mercer, Dunn, McKenzie and Williams Counties, it removed about 17,500 trees and shurbs.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak saids that means the company had to plant nearly 35,000 trees and shrubs. She says the company worked with landowners along the route.

NDCA

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 was declared one of nine finalists.  She did not win the top spot in the final rounds, but performed very well, as you could have seen had you watched the live webcast.  Congratulations to Maria.

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."

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News from NPR

Ford Motor Co. reported a $1.7 billion profit for the first quarter of 2018, but the company says it's planning big changes — such as phasing out all cars except for the Mustang and a crossover vehicle in the North American market, so it can focus on SUVs and trucks.

"Given declining consumer demand and product profitability, the company will not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America," Ford said.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn from consideration for the post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.

Even now, 10 years later, park ranger Andrea Moore remembers the familiar smell in the air that told her it was going to be a good hunt — a damp, sweet smell. It was a mix of rotting bark with an undercurrent of rebirth as trees begin to grow new leaves, while dead ones still litter the terrain.

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

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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