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ND Catholic Conference: No on Measures 1, 3

Oct 6, 2018

The North Dakota Catholic Conference is the latest organization to oppose Measure One on the November ballot.

That measure would create a state ethics commission, would require more transparency in donations, restrict gifts to elected officials from lobbyists, and prevents officials from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving state government. It's a proposed amendment to the state's Constitution.

"This is a difficult issue for us," said Conference executive director Christopher Dodson. "No one's opposed to integrity."

Heitkamp says she will not vote to confirm Kavanaugh

Oct 4, 2018

"I will not vote to confirm him."

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says she waited until she had a chance to review the FBI report from its investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh before deciding how she would vote on his nomination to the Supreme Court. Heitkamp says as a former lawyer, prosecutor and North Dakota Attorney General, she knew she needed to see all the information before she made her final decision. She says any Senator who had made up their mind before reviewing the report did so prematurely.

More than 1000 Internet retailers have registered with the North Dakota Tax department, saying they will start collecting North Dakota state sales taxes.

Monday was the deadline for companies to register.

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said Internet retailers with sales of more than $100,000 annually in North Dakota have to start collecting sales tax. He said his department has been focusing compliance efforts on the 1,000 largest national Internet retail sellers.

State revenue recovering

Oct 2, 2018

North Dakota’s revenue picture continues to improve.

In August, revenue collections exceeded the Legislative forecast by 10 percent. For the biennium to date, collections are nearly 4 percent ahead of forecast.

"It indicates again that we've seen the bottom," said state Office of Management and Budget director Joe Morrissette.

Morrissette said increased oil activity in western North Dakota means increases in oil taxes and sales tax collections. Sales taxes for the month of August were nearly 26 percent ahead of forecast.

North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler has resigned, after sending out what was termed an “unacceptable” e-mail.

The announcement came Monday from the Governor’s office.

Sources in the Department of Commerce say Schuler sent out an e-mail, with attachment, from his state e-mail address. It went to all Commerce employees, and it dealt with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court appointment.  Some employees took the matter to the state’s Human Resources Management Services office.

BSC to add 'polytechnic' to its mission

Oct 1, 2018
Bismarck State College

A change in the mission for Bismarck State College.

"We're going to be a 'polytechnic' institution, with the spirit of a community college," BSC president Dr. Larry Skogen said in an interview. "We will have 'Bachelor of Applied Science' degrees, which are degrees in technical fields."

Skogen said over the last few years, BSC has been adding some “Bachelor of Applied Science” degrees. He said he approached Higher Education Chancellor Mark Hagerott about it.

"The BAS degree isn't an exception to the mission -- it's part of it," Skogen said.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Children attending K-12 schools in North Dakota will soon see more classes in computer science and cyber security.

"We're hearing from parents that they believe computer science and the whole activity of coding is very important, for their children to have the opportunity to learn about that," said North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler. "The parents understand where the world is going, and where the future for their children is."

Baesler said teachers have begun meeting to write the standards for computer education.

Kavanaugh protest in Fargo

Sep 28, 2018

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Federal Building in downtown Fargo today to oppose Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Hillary Kay was one of them.

"I am wearing a handmaid's costume, and that's kind of a stealth declaration because unless you are inclined, I think, to progressive concerns - you're not likely to recognize it."

Kay says this wasn't her first time to a protest with her costume.

Stemen resigns from the Board of Higher Education

Sep 28, 2018
ND University System

A member of the state Board of Higher Education has resigned.

Greg Stemen says he turned in his resignation after Thursday’s board meeting at Valley City State University.

"Increasing personal and professional obligations caused me to resign," Stemen said. "I believe it's important for the members of the Board, which is a volunteer position, to have the time to do the work. And if you don't have the time, I guess I would be doing a disservice to the citizens of our state by continuing to serve."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A proposal to have three subcommittees of the Board of Higher Education, to deal with issues for the three types of colleges in the University System, is not popular with some of the Board members.

One subcommittee would handle issues at the two research universities; one would deal with four year schools; and the third would work on the two year schools. The proposal came from discussion at the Governor’s Higher Education governance task force – where one proposal would create separate boards to oversee the different tiers of campuses.

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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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Senator Heidi Heitkamp ~ Voting Obstacles on the Rez ~ Matt Reviews "Venom"

Friday, October 12 – North Dakota has one of the hottest, most important senate races in the country. In September, we heard from Congressman Kevin Cramer. Today we hear from incumbent Heidi Heitkamp. ~~~ The Center for Public Integrity has released a story today about obstacles to voting for residents on the Standing Rock reservation. Joining us to discuss the report is CPI reporter Carrie Levine. ~~~ A new movie review from Matt Olien: “Venom.”

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