Local Stories

A committee of the Board of Higher Education has endorsed a student fee increase at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake.

The $180 yearly fee will allow LRSC students to use a proposed activity and recreation center. That center is being proposed by the Devils Lake Park Board. College president Dr. Doug Darling told the Budget and Finance Committee the college was approached by the park board, who was hoping the college students would be interested in membership at the center.

North Dakota is one step closer to implementing medical marijuana: the state has awarded a contract for a medical marijuana tracking system.

The system is called BioTrackTHC, which includes a seed-to-sale tracking system, as well as a registration system. Medical Marijuana Division Director Jason Wahl says this will help the state effectively monitor all activities of manufacturing and dispensing facilities.

Prairie Public file

The Public Service Commission has agreed to delay the formal hearings into MDU’s request for a natural gas rate increase.

The original hearing was scheduled to start February 28th. It is now scheduled to begin May 30th.

MDU has asked for a 5.4 percent rate increase – and that would bump up the average customer’s monthly gas bill by just under $3 a month.

The utility asked for the delay, as it figures out how the new federal tax cuts factor into that rate.

PSC to consider natural gas processing plant expansion

Feb 15, 2018
Prairie Public file

An Oklahoma-based natural gas processing company is proposing  a major expansion of one of its western North Dakota plants.

OneOK wants to increase the capacity of its Bear Creek plant in Dunn County. If the project gets Public Service Commission approval, it would go from 80 million cubic feet of gas per day to 175 million cubic feet of gas per day.

"It's obviously a response to the increase in natural gas production in the Bakken," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "Companies are trying to move quickly to respond to that added gas production."

It's income tax season

Feb 15, 2018

Income tax season is underway.

And North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said if you are to receive a tax refund, you’ll notice it will be coming back a little slower than it used to. The reason:

"It's because we're (the tax department) so focused on fraud detection," Rauschenberger said. "The department stopped about $2 million in fraudulent refunds over the last couple of years, and more than 1,400 fraud cases."

MSUM asks for renovation funds in 2018 bonding bill

Feb 14, 2018

When Minnesota legislators return for the 2018 session next week, they're going to be working on a bonding bill - and Minnesota State University Moorhead is hoping they'll be included.

Larry Pogemiller is Higher Education Commissioner at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. He spent Wednesday afternoon taking a tour of buildings on the MSUM campus in need of renovations. Four buildings need general upkeep, such as new doors, windows, HVAC and other improvements. But one building, Weld Hall, is in need of much more. Pogemiller says the building needs major updates.

A Minnesota man who was turned away at a voting booth in 2010 is part of a case headed to the US Supreme Court at the end of the month.

The case, Minnesota Voters Alliance vs. Mansky, challenges Minnesota's law on what clothes can be worn to the polls.

Andy Cilek is the man at the center of the case. "The thing I want from this lawsuit is the same thing I wanted on Election Day in 2010: and that is, simply, to wear what I want when I vote, and to vote peacefully."

Scams are on the rise

Feb 13, 2018

Tax season is usually a busy time for scammers - and this year is no exception.

Captain Tory Jacobson of the Moorhead Police Department says many calls have come in over the last couple of weeks to report scams and fraud. He says many people report tax scams, but they aren't the only ones going around. He says romance scams, grandparent scams and even scams about past due bills are being circulated.

Consultant: Retail moving back into historic downtowns

Feb 13, 2018
Governor's Office

One of the keynote speakers at the Main Street Summit – being held in Bismarck – said more and more retailers are abandoning shopping malls – and looking to relocate into downtowns.

Robert Gibbs is with the Gibbs Planning Group. He said malls across the country are either closing or trying to adapt to changing shopping patterns. Gibbs said in 10 years, the prediction is 25 to 30 percent of the nation's shopping malls will close.

Gibbs said as retail moves back to downtowns, cities do have some problems to overcome. One is parking.

'Main Street' Presenter: Big isn't necessarily better

Feb 13, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

One of the keynote speakers at the Main Street Summit – being held in Bismarck – thinks cities need to rethink whether they want to keep chasing big projects, like big box stores.

Charles Marohn is with “Strong Towns.” He told reporters that – for the last 40 years or so, cities have been building “large things.”

"Our public investments have tended to be very large," Marohn said. "They're designed to be a catalyst for other things. We build it, and then they come."

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News from NPR

When U.S. long track speedskaters Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens won bronze Wednesday in the team pursuit event, they broke a Team USA drought. It was the first long track Olympic medal since the Vancouver Games of 2010.

Donald Trump Jr. says he was impressed by the poor people of India.

During a visit to promote his family's luxury apartments, Trump Jr. had this to say in a television interview with the Indian channel CNBC-TV 18.

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

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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http://saltedlands.org/

Salted Lands Council ~ Mother Language Day ~ Crop Diversification

Wednesday, February 21 – Fintan Dooley is a land and mineral rights attorney. He’s also a member of the Salted Lands Council. He works to strike a balance between the needs of the oil industry, and the preservation of the land. ~~~ Today is International Mother Language Day, celebrating diversity and variety. Dr. Sayeed Sajal is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Minot State University . He shares how MSU observes this day. ~~~ Crop diversification was the name of the game at the...

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