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Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Board of Higher Education has given North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman the go-ahead to begin a fundraising campaign for a new career workforce academy for Fargo.

Richman had asked the board for that authority last November – but the matter was tabled.

The academy would be similar to a career academy on the Bismarck State College campus. That building is owned by the Bismarck school district.

The owner of the Dickinson diesel refinery is proposing to convert part of it to produce “renewable diesel fuel.”

Tesoro said the plan is to produce about 5 percent of the diesel from vegetable oils. Tesoro public and government affairs North Dakota director Ron Day said “renewable diesel” is different from “bio-diesel.”

"It's not an additive," Day said in an interview. "It is diesel fuel.'

Day said the labeling will be the same as diesel.

Click through for live video: Wednesday is another big day of testimony before two Congressional committees investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 Presidential election. Notably, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson (under President Obama) is scheduled to appear Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee. Members of Congress will quiz Johnson on the details of widespread Russian cyber-attacks that targeted U.S. elections systems last year, and so-called "active measures," a Russian information warfare strategy which includes spreading falsehoods.

ND University System

The proposed fiscal 2018 budget for the North Dakota University System office is $65.8 million.

That’s down from $91.7 million in fiscal 2017.

Of that figure -- $4.2 million is spent on governance. The rest goes to student grants, technology and other projects.

But some members of the Board of Higher Education’s Budget and Finance Committee say there’s some mis-information about this line item.

Board member Nick Hacker said some people believe all of that goes to administration.

State income tax collections down

Jun 26, 2017
Office of Management and Budget

The latest report from the Office of Management and Budget shows income tax collections in May were about $19.8 million lower than the March revenue forecast.

"We have found that there were about 28,000 fewer filers than had filed in the previous year," said OMB director Pam Sharp. "Of those filers, the average adjusted gross income went from $71,000 to $68,500 per return."

Sharp said that reflects the slowdown in the state’s oil economy in 2016.

Hog farm dispute before ND Supreme Court

Jun 23, 2017

A landowner group believes the state Health Department did not have the authority to grant a proposed hog farm near Buffalo an animal feeding operations permit.

Rolling Green Family Farms was granted an "animal feeding operation permit." Concerned Citizens of Buffalo argues Rolling Green needs a different – and more strict – permit. The group also said the Health Department should have re-opened a public comment period after Rolling Green amended the application.

A dispute between the McKenzie County Commission and its suspended sheriff is now before the North Dakota Supreme Court.

A South Dakota company facing more than $900,000 in fines from the North Dakota Industrial Commission because a truck driver dumped saltwater on Williams County roads argues the Commission doesn’t have jurisdiction.

That argument is now before the North Dakota Supreme Court.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Legislative Management Committee is preparing to take Gov. Doug Burgum to court.

The issue is whether or not Burgum can veto conditions placed on certain appropriations without vetoing the expenditure.  In a few of the bills he used his line-item veto on, Burgum took out some language – and left the money in the bill.

The Committee vote was unanimous.

Minot State University

The president of Minot State University is raising concerns about the University System’s move to “per credit hour” tuition rates.

Steve Shirley told the Board of Higher Education’s Budget and Finance Committee – tuition rates are “banded” at Minot State, as well as UND and NDSU.

"That allows a student, whether they're taking anywhere from  12 to 18 credits to pay a flat rate," Shirley said. He said under the new tuition policy, NDSU and UND would be able to keep that “banded” tuition – but the others likely would not.


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The GOP Factional Split On Health Care

30 minutes ago

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll.

Just 17 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Senate's health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Fifty-five percent say they disapprove, while about a quarter said they hadn't heard enough about the proposal to have an opinion on it.

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Horticulturist Ron Smith ~ Wildfire Dangers ~ Healthcare Commentary from Mark Trahant

It’s a busy time for gardeners. We’re live today with Ron Smith, so call in or email your questions. 888-755-6377 or mainstreet@prairiepublic.org . ~~~ With wildfire danger on the rise in North Dakota, researchers are trying to help fire managers stay prepared. Harvest Public Media ’s Grant Gerlock has more. ~~~ Commentary on how a new healthcare plan could affect Indian Country from UND Professor Mark Trahant. Visit his blog at .

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