Local Stories

Tracie Bettenhausen / Basin Electric

The general manager of Basin Electric Power Cooperative said coal is facing continued challenges in the marketplace.

Paul Sukut said the challenge is coal’s competitiveness – by other sources, such as wind and natural gas.

"Our members made an investment 30 years ago in those coal plants," Sukut said in an interview with Prairie Public. "They still have debt, and they do have economic life. So we're challenges to try and tease as much economic life as we can out of them."

Sukut said in some cases, it may mean temporarily taking coal plants off-line.


The director of the North Dakota Department of Human Services said the Center for Medicare and Medicaid has issued a new rule which could affect mental health treatment in North Dakota.

Chris Jones said it concerns "IMDs" -- Institute for Mental Disease.  Jones said under current rules, Medicaid would only reimburse institutions that are considered psychiatric hospitals withy 16 beds or less.

North Dakotans still playing the lottery

Nov 13, 2017

North Dakotans are still playing the Lottery.

"Right now, this fiscal year, we're actually up about 16 percent compared to the same time frame last year," said state Lottery Director Ryan Koppy. The figures are since July First, the beginning of FY 2018.

"Last fiscal year (FY2017) was our third highest sales total in the state lottery's history," Koppy said. "So right now, we're off to a very good start in this fiscal year."

Dept of Human Services

The director of the North Dakota Department of Human Services  wants to take North Dakota to the next step – in its efforts to deal with the “Olmstead” decision.

That decision said states should strive to make sure people who are disabled are able to live in the least restrictive environment possible.

"If you compare North Dakota to other states, North Dakota is going a very good job overall," said Human Services director Chris Jones.

Jones sais he now wants to broaden the conversation.

The Bakken Gears Up For Its Second Decade

Nov 10, 2017
Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

A decade into North Dakota’s shale fracking boom, the state consistently produces one million barrels of oil per day -- and officials here are looking to boost that number.

North Dakota is the nation’s second-biggest oil producer behind only Texas. This rural state has become a huge player not just on the national oil scene, but globally as well.

The governor here is dreaming even bigger: he wants to double North Dakota’s daily oil production.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative

The General Manager of Basin Electric Power Cooperative calls it an “evolution” for the Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah.

The plant -- which was called the Dakota Coal Gasification plant, was built during a time of a natural gas shortage to convert lignite coal to synthetic natural gas.

Basin GM Paul Sukut said in a few weeks, a new urea fertilizer plant will start operating there.

The plant has been in the works for a few years. And now, Sukut said it’s ready to go.

Cheech talks Chicano Art at UND

Nov 10, 2017
UND by courtesy of Patrick McMullan

Natural North Dakota: Finch Forecast

Nov 8, 2017

Today’s Natural North Dakota essay from Chuck Lura discusses the Winter Finch Forecast.

Burgum to chair higher-ed governance task force

Nov 8, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum is creating a Higher Education Governance Task Force.

Burgum said the task force will be looking at the ways the University System is managed – and see if there are changes that need to be made to bring the system – as he put it – into the 21st century.

Burgum said the current Board of Higher Education dates back to the 1930s.

"We've had a similar model in place for 80 years," Burgum told a Capitol news conference. "Now might be a good time for us to take a look to see if that model could be updated."

The chairman of the Legislature’s interim Judiciary Committee says Marsy’s Law – the initiated law that’s now a part of the state Constitution – is raising a lot of questions.

The measure – passed by North Dakota voters last November -- put a specific list of crime victims’ rights in the state Constitution.

Recently, a police officer who was involved in an altercation and shooting at a Bismarck motel tried to invoke Marsy's Law to keep his identity secret. But his name appeared on court documents.


News from NPR

Before they dress their turkeys, mash potatoes or pull piping hot pies from the ovens this Thanksgiving, people will tie on aprons.

It's the stories and people behind those aprons that have delighted EllynAnne Geisel for years.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, apologized to his constituents in a statement Wednesday for a lewd photo of him that was published anonymously Tuesday on Twitter. The congressman said that he sent the photo to a woman he was in a consensual relationship with while separated from his second wife.

"I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down," the statement read.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Myanmar says it has struck a tentative deal with neighboring Bangladesh for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled across the border amid a brutal military crackdown.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Main Street

The Blenders ~ Preserving the Ojibwe Language ~ Better Business Bureau ~ Movie Review: Wonder

Wednesday, November 22 – It wouldn’t be the start of the holiday season without a visit from Tim Kasper of the Blenders. In addition to the new show they’ll be touring, there’s a new CD: “Holy Night,” a collection of ten songs, a blend of new and old favorites. ~~~ A month-long Native American Cultural Celebration has been taking place at Minot State University. One of the featured presenters is English teacher Alex DeCoteau, who presented his thesis, "We are not trying to save the language;...

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