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Taxable sales and purchases in North Dakota were up 10 percent for the second quarter of 2018, compared to the same period a year ago.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger sais taxable sales and purchases for April, May and June were $5.15 billion. Rauschenberger said a lot of the growth is coming from western North Dakota.

"The growth is coming from oil exploration," Rauschenberger said. "If you look at Dickinson, taxable sales and purchases were up 14 percent. In Williston, it was up over 30 percent."

The director of North Dakota’s Housing Finance Agency said there appears to be a shortage of home builders who are willing to build single-family homes at the price point that’s affordable for first-time homebuyers.

"What we're hearing is that if the typical buyer is looking for a $450,000 house, that's what they're building," said HFA director Jolene Kline. "There's less profit in the lower, entry level homes, and they're not willing to target that market today."

Kline said the search is now on for builders willing to take on the more modest priced homes.

Group pushes for more research dollars at NDSU and UND

Sep 18, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A group called the Valley Prosperity Partnership is supporting legislative efforts to bring more financial support to the state’s two research universities – UND and NDSU.

The Partnership is pushing for the creation of an “emerging technology fund” to support collaborations between the two universities and businesses to commercialize the research. It also wants to give the two universities more decision-making independence on  such items as tuition and recruiting top-notch staff.

The first West Nile Virus related death of the year has been reported to the North Dakota Department of Health.

Jenny Galbraith is an epidemiologist with the health department. She says the patient was a man over the age of 60 who lived in northwestern North Dakota. Galbraith says it may be late in the season, but until there is a hard frost there is still potential to contract West Nile Virus from mosquitoes.

Soybeans may be option for cattle feed

Sep 17, 2018

As soybean prices continue to fall amid deteriorating trade talks and the possibility of more tariffs, farmers may have another option to consider when it comes to moving their crops.

NDSU Extension livestock systems specialist Karl Hoppe says soybeans are an acceptable supplemental feed for beef cattle.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A new record for North Dakota oil production.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms made that announcement Friday during his monthly "Director's Cut" briefing. The numbers come from July production.

"We're at 1.27 million barrels a day," Helms said. "To be exact, 1,269,366 barrels per day – a new all-time high."

Helms says the state also set a record in natural gas production – up 4.3 percent from the previous record.

VCSU Presidential search narrows to three

Sep 14, 2018
NDUS / NDUS

Valley City State University is one step closer to having a new President. After a final round of on-campus interviews this week, a search committee has narrowed the list of five candidates down to three. The names will be brought to the state Board of Higher Education, with the new president to possibly be selected from the group. Greg Stemen is a member of the Board of Higher Education and co-chairs the search committee. He says it took a good deal of time and thought to get to this point. He says the committee had a strong field of applicants to work with…

The Legislative Procedures and Arrangements Committee is now on-record supporting pay raises for state employees.

The Committee approved a proposal to give Legislative branch employees two percent raises each year of the upcoming biennium.

Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) made the motion to put money for those raises in the branch’s budget proposal.

"We are sending a message," Holmberg said in an interview. "The Legislature feels state employees deserve a pay raise."

A new simulation training center is coming to Sanford Broadway in Fargo.

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Violent crime stayed essentially flat last year, according to statistics just released by the FBI. Those crimes were down by 0.2 percent last year, after a sharp increase of more than 5 percent the year before.

That means violent crime has essentially plateaued at a level higher than the record lows of a few years ago — but is still substantially lower than the high rates of the 1980s and 1990s.

Justice Department official John Gore must sit for questioning by attorneys for the lawsuits over the citizenship question his department requested to be added to the 2020 census, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

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Main Street

https://abagnale.com/

Con Artist Turned Fraud Consultant Frank Abagnale

Monday, September 24 – In a special two-episode Prairie Pulse television show, Doug Hamilton interviews Frank Abagnale , a security consultant known for his history as a con man, check forger, and impostor when he was between the ages of 15 and 21. He was portrayed in the movie Catch Me if You Can by Leonardo DiCaprio. We consolidate both episodes for today’s Main Street. The TV episodes will air at 7:30 on September 28 and October 12.

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