Local Stories

Mark Lyman / Odney Advertising

A milestone in flood control for Minot.

The first part of the flood control plan developed after the record 2011 flood.

The city's water treatment facilities -- whihc include the treatment facility for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project, will now be protected by a flood wall.

Minot Mayor Chuck Barney kicked off the festivities.

Court victory for NAWS supporters

Aug 12, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Fifteen years after the state began construction of the Northwest Area Water Supply Project – and 12 years after Manitoba sued to stop the project  -- a court has ruled the project meets the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act.

The project will bring water from Lake Sakakawea to Minot and surrounding areas of northwestern North Dakota.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said that would give the northwest an unlimited supply of water.

"In a drought year, you realize how important that is," Hoeven said.

03054 CSR payments                                             8-11-17 ddt

North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner said health insurance companies are wondering if the “CSR” payments from the federal government will continue.

“CSR” stands for “Cost Sharing Reductions.” It’s part of the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies get direct payments to help low-income people cover the costs of co-insurance and deductibles.

President Trump has threatened to withhold those payments, after attempts to repeal and replace the ACA have failed.

Battle Brews Over Methane Leaks

Aug 10, 2017
Tim Evanson / Flickr

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency visited North Dakota this week on a 25-state listening tour, amid an effort by the Trump administration to roll back a host of environmental regulations.

The latest battle is over leaks of methane and other invisible gases, which sometimes escape from the equipment that’s supposed to contain them at oil and gas well sites.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is working to halt Obama-era rules requiring stricter controls at those well sites.

PSC

The Public Service Commission will hold a hearing next week concerning alleged siting permit violations by the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The hearing will deal with the company clearing more trees and shrubs than authorized.

A second violation concerns a re-route of the pipeline to avoid “culturally significant” areas. The company did the reroute without notifying the PSC. And the Commission has filed a formal complaint about it.

ND Legislature

The chairman of the Legislature’s interim taxation Committee said her committee will be taking an extensive look at North Dakota’s property taxes.

"The last time we have any big, sweeping changes in the way that we assess property taxes was in 1981," said Sen. Jessica Unruh (R-Beulah). "That was a long time ago."

Unruh says the changes could be minor, or they could be substantial.

Core library expansion completed, under budget

Aug 8, 2017

The expansion of a special library on the UND campus is now complete.

And it came in under budget.

The library in question is the Wilson M.Laird Core and Sample Library. It’s used by scientists, and by the oil industry.

"When a company drills a well, it is required to the cuttings, the samples as the drill bit grinds through the rocks, which are collected at the surface," said state Geologist Ed Murphy. "And then any core that they take, they are required to give us a representative copy."

A program to reduce “wait times” for people seeking treatment for an addiction or a mental health need is now available at regional human service centers statewide.

It’s called “Open Access.”

State budget cushion will be larger than expected

Aug 7, 2017
Office of Management and Budget

North Dakota likely has more of a budget cushion as the 2017-2019 biennium begins.

"When the Legislature left town, they anticipated that our ending balance would be about $30 million," said state Office of Management and Budget director Pam Sharp. She said June tax collections were actually $28 million ahead of the budget forecast. And that will make the cushion $58 million.

But Sharp said there's another item that is boosting the bottom line.

ND Legislature

An interim legislative committee has begun its study of health insurance for state employees.

The Health Care Reform Review Committee will be looking at the state's current plan -- a hybrid between fully-funded and self -funded -- a full-funded plan, or a self-insurance proposal.

That panel was assigned the study, after the 2017 Legislature debated whether the state should go to a self-funding option. Supporters believe it could be a way to control costs.

Pages

News from NPR

Three of the most visible leaders of Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement have been sentenced to jail time for their roles in the series of massive pro-democracy protests in 2014. The sentences announced Thursday, which range from six months to eight months, revise previous, lighter penalties handed down last year and effectively bar the men from holding office for the next five years.

A leading Republican Senator told reporters on Thursday that President Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was at the Rotary Club of Chattanooga and spoke to local reporters there. In video posted by Chloe Morrison of Nooga.com, Corker added, "And we need for him to be successful. Our nation needs for him to be successful."

SeaWorld and animal welfare advocates are mourning the passing of one of the park's oldest killer whales. Kasatka was euthanized at SeaWorld San Diego Tuesday evening after suffering from a respiratory infection.

Kasatka was a matriarch of the orca pod in San Diego. She had been captured in the wild off the coast of Iceland in 1978. SeaWorld says she had four calves, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Two psychologists who were paid more than $80 million by the CIA to develop "enhanced interrogation" techniques — which others have called torture — have settled a lawsuit brought by men who were detained.

The list of brutal methods devised by Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell for use by the U.S. included waterboarding; the tactics were meant to condition detainees into a state of helplessness. Mitchell has said he was told by U.S. officials that the idea was to "walk right up to the edge of the law."

On Aug. 21, a 70 mile-wide ribbon from Oregon to South Carolina called the "path of totality" will experience a total solar eclipse. Large swaths of farmland in the Great Plains and Midwest will be plunged into darkness for two and a half minutes and temperatures will drop about 10 degrees in the middle of the day.

But as millions of people look up at the sky, many Midwest scientists will turn their eyes and cameras toward the plants and animals on the ground. And they're not sure what will happen.

More News

Main Street

The Awesome Foundation ~ Feminine Hygiene ~ ND Family Fights Rare Form of Alzheimer's

Wednesday, August 16 – After a year of giving out monthly grants of $1,000, we get an update on the Awesome Foundation of Cass Clay from Brandi Malarky. We’ll hear about interesting efforts they’ve funded, how people anywhere can apply for grants, and how you can start an Awesome Foundation in your community. ~~~ High school student Bridget McManamon is on a mission to improve access to tampons, pads, and other menstrual necessities. We hear her speech from this summer’s TEDxFargo. ~~~...

Read More