Local Stories

Bis-Man Community Foundation launches 'SuperGrants'

May 10, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A change for the Bis-Man Community Foundation.

The Foundation was established in 2011 as a permanently-endowed fund. Since that time, the Foundation has given $140,000 in grants to a number of 501-C-3 organizations in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

It used to be that the Foundation awarded a number of small grants. But that will change.

Advisory Board chair Gina Hruby said the idea came from another board member.

"How do we utilize this fund in a more impactful way?" Hruby said.

So the Board made a decision.

North Dakota’s department of Transportation says it didn’t hear many complaints about snow removal in areas served by eight shuttered maintenance shops.

To save money, the 2017 Legislature approved a plan by DOT to close maintenance garages in Gackle, Courtenay, Litchville, Fessenden, Finley, New England, Mayville and Starkweather. People in those cities came to the Legislature to protest, saying they would have to wait for snowplows from outside those areas.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says on average, two workers are killed each month in trench collapses.

Now, OSHA, the North Dakota Safety Council and other state organizations have signed on to an official Safety Alliance, with the goal of preventing trenching related accidents.

"They said, 'Why wait until something happens?'" said Safety Council executive director Chuck Claremont. "Let's be more active to prevent these things."

Claremont said if the awareness is there, and people are getting the training, the statistics should go down.

It's road construction season

May 4, 2018

The North Dakota Department of Transportation will spend between $350 million and $400 million during the summer road construction season.

"It's pretty significant," said DOT office of operations director Wayde Swenson. "It's not like the last few years, where we were in the heyday of the oil boom. But it's still a significant amount of money being spent this summer."

USACoE back funding for "Plan B "

May 3, 2018
T.McDonald / Prairie Public

Senator John Hoeven says there has been a lot of support put behind the Red River Diversion project from all levels. He says while the diversion is important to the Fargo-Moorhead area, the private-public-partnership used to develop the project is becoming an item of interest for others…

"...We have the equation. This P-3 project is an equation that the rest of the country is looking at. Right no this is the the P-3 project for the Corps of Engineers."

North Dakota's Public Employees Retirement System is looking toward the future -- and some potential funding challenges.

"We're currently funded at about 70 percent," said PERS acting executive director Sharon Schermeister. "Our goal is to be at 100 percent."

Schermeister said to get there, PERS has come up with some options. One of them would be to implement the fourth part of a recovery plan, begun in 2011, after PERS went through some challenges in its investments.

Gov. Burgum 'shadows' student at Beulah High School

May 3, 2018

Gov. Doug Burgum participated in the “Shadow a Student” challenge by shadowing a student at Beulah High School Wednesday (5-2-18).

He spent the day shadowing junior Phoebe Garman. Burgum attended classes and talked with students and teachers at Beulah.

Burgum said a big takeaway from his day is that there are dedicated teachers and administrators, trying to do the best job they can in educating students.

ND University System

The chairman of the North Dakota Senate Appropriations Committee says the Legislature has given campuses and the board of Higher Education flexibility in terms of setting out-of-state tuition rates.

At a recent Board meeting, Board chairman Don Morton said he would like the campus presidents to be given more flexibility in setting those rates, based on their campus’ needs.

"The Legislature agreed," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), chairman of Senate Appropriations.

Donnell Preskey / ND Association of Counties

The North Dakota Department of Human Services is working on a “social services redesign project.”

As part of that effort, the Department held a workshop in Bismarck on “Increasing Efficiency and Effectiveness in State Government.” (5/1/18)

The workshop featured Utah Office of Management and Budget Executive Director Kristen Cox.

"Significant improvement is possible," Cox said in an interview with Prairie Public. "Less is more. And tools exist to achieve the ambitions targets that they set."

ND builders see a good year for the industry

May 2, 2018
ND Builders Assoc.

The president of the North Dakota Association of Builders expects 2018 will be a good year for the industry.

"I think things have slowed a bit," said Dan Lindquist of Fargo. "North Dakota, though, is pretty steady."

Lindquist is also with the Fargo-Moorhead Builders’ Association. He said there are some challenges. One is the price of materials, which Lindquist said has been exacerbated by the trade dispute with Canada over “soft lumber.”

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Swedes Told How To Prepare For Security Issues Including War

37 minutes ago

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Donald Trump and his party are gearing up for a hard-fought midterm election. But the president loves to campaign and he's already started to raise lots of money and hold lots of big rallies for Republicans.

It's part of a larger playbook that his advisers think can keep the GOP in power this fall, and they think so far it's on track, despite the president's tendency to go off script on Twitter or during political speeches.

North Korea on Thursday cast further doubt on a planned summit next month between leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, saying it would not "beg the U.S. for dialogue" and warned that it could make Washington "taste an appalling tragedy."

Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, in remarks carried on the country's official KCNA news service, also called Vice President Pence a "political dummy" and characterized recent comments he made suggesting that North Korea could end up like Libya if doesn't come to the bargaining table as "ignorant and stupid."

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Main Street

Crazy Horse Biography ~ Plains Folk Essay ~ GMO Labeling and Sugar Beets ~ Saving Monarchs

Wednesday, May 23 – “Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior’s Life & Legacy” is a biography based on the oral history passed down to his descendents. We visit with writer William B. Matson. ~~~ Tom Isern shares a Plains Folk Essay, “The Land Where the Farmer is King.” ~~~ Harvest Public Media reports on GMO labeling for an important crop to this area, sugar beets. ~~~ An effort is underway to save the Monarch butterfly. Joining us is Terry Steinwand, director of the North Dakota Game and Fish...

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