Local Stories

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Xcel Energy’s North Dakota customers will see a small reduction in their electric bills.

Xcel has ended its agreement to buy power from two biomass facilities in Minnesota.

Public Service Commissioner Brian Kroshus (craw-shush) said the agreement the utility made to purchase power from biomass plants was made to help meet a Minnesota renewable fuel standard.

Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was busy in the summer of 1874. General Phil Sheridan had selected Custer’s Seventh Cavalry for an expedition to the Black Hills to scout out a possible site for an Army fort. Custer’s men were stationed at Fort Abraham Lincoln, across the Missouri River from Bismarck in Dakota Territory. Sheridan had first considered sending the expedition from Fort Laramie in Wyoming territory, but decided against it based on perceived hostilities from Native Americans.

New command for the Fargo Salvation Army

Jun 29, 2018
T.McDonald / Prairie Public

Prairie Public Reporter Todd McDonald gets a chance to speak with the newest leaders for the Fargo chapter and files this report...

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Board of Higher Education has decided to extend UND President Mark Kennedy’s contract through June 30th of 2020.

However, Kennedy will have to undergo another review next year.

State Board of Higher Education president Don Morton said Kennedy will be working with Chancellor Mark Hagerott to address some things.

"We're very pleased with so much of what has gone on at UND," Morton said. "We're pleased with the tough decisions Mark has made. But we're also conscious of our external audience."

Chancellor's contract renewed for two years

Jun 28, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Board of Higher Education has extended Chancellor Mark Hagrott’s contract.

The vote was 7 to 1. The lone “no” vote came from board member Mike Ness, who will be leaving the Board next month. Ness had suggested the Board postpone a decision for 6 months, due to the pending labor complaint by former vice-Chancellor Lisa Feldner, who Hagerott fired.

Ness also referred to a 2016 survey of employees in the University System office, that showed some criticism of Hagerott.

Wind farms have decommissioning plans

Jun 28, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved plans for the eventual decommissioning of 14 wind farms in North Dakota.

The plans require companies to have some identified way to pay for the reclamation of the site.

Commissioner Brian Kroshus called it a "forward-looking approach," so that the land can be reclaimed properly when the time comes to shut the turbines off. Kroshus said the unknown is – when will that happen.

"Many (wind farms) will be re-powered with new technology," Kroshus said. "We're seeing that already."

Trump visits Fargo in support of Cramer

Jun 28, 2018

President Trump's campaign stop in Fargo last night was in support of Kevin Cramer's bid for the US Senate.

He spoke to a packed house at the Scheels Arena, beginning by congratulating the NDSU Bison football team on their latest championship win.

"I shouldn't tell you this, but, when I was coming out they were talking about BISON. I said, 'I thought it was an 's,' they said, 'it is, but it's pronounced BISON,' so, we didn't wanna get that wrong, right?"

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

State auditor Josh Gallion said the Governor’s office needs more transparency in its reasons for using state airplanes for travel.

The three planes are in the Department of Transportation budget. The budget for air travel is $2.1 million for the biennium for all state agencies.

Gallion told the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee that reasons for some of the trips both current Gov.Doug Burgum and former Gov. Jack Dalrymple took were not clearly spelled out.

The US Department of Labor recently issued its Final rule on Association Health Plans. 

The rule will allow associations to sponsor group health coverage,

And North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread believes it will help some people find affordable health insurance. Godfread said this will help a segment of the population that he believes was overlooked in the Affordable Care Act.

March For Our Lives students stop in Moorhead

Jun 27, 2018
D. Webster

Students from Parkland, Florida who survived a deadly school shooting on Valentine's Day of this year are traveling around the country to talk to people about registering to vote. Prairie Public's Danielle Webster has more.


News from NPR

Most teens today own a smartphone and go online every day, and about a quarter of them use the internet "almost constantly," according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center.

Now a study published Tuesday in JAMA suggests that such frequent use of digital media by adolescents might increase their odds of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Japan and the European Union have signed a massive trade deal that creates an open trade zone for more than 600 million people. The EU and Japan account for approximately one-third of GDP worldwide.

The deal has been in the works for years, but the parties reached an agreement in principle several months after President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal with Japan and 10 other nations.

CTE has been part of the national lexicon in the U.S. since the 2015 movie Concussion dramatized the discovery of this degenerative brain disease.

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of the forthcoming book The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World.

Usain Bolt, the track star who retired last year as the world's fastest man, is poised to hold a six-week trial with a pro soccer team in Australia and could earn a contract if all goes well, the team says. A deal could fulfill Bolt's long-held dream of playing pro soccer – but it's also being met with skepticism.

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Main Street

"The Synthetic Age" ~ Rural Brain Gain ~ StoryCorps with Victor Schwahn

Monday, July 16 – Philosophy professor Christopher James Preston at the University of Montana has written a book titled "The Synthetic Age Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World." He visits with Sarah Aaronson, host of “The Write Question,” a show from Montana Public Radio featuring authors from the western United States. ~~~ “Brain drain” is the scourge of communities that watch young people grow up, go off and never return. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer...

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