Local Stories

'Real ID' rolling out in ND

May 1, 2018

03023 Real ID                                                          5-1-18 ddt

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation has begun issuing “Real ID” at its Bismarck driver’s license office.

"A 'Real ID' is a credential that meets the standards the federal government set," said DOT Driver's License Division director Glenn Jackson. "The credential can be used for boarding aircraft, entry to federal facilities, military installations, things like that."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved ONEOK’s plans to convert an existing pipeline from natural gas to natural gas liquids.

The 45 mile, 12-inch diameter Cherry Creek pipeline runs from the Lonesome Creek gas plant to the Stateline gas plant. It will carry 50,000 barrels of the natural gas liquids daily.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this will help companies reach their flaring reduction goals. And she said transportation by pipeline is safer than using trucks or rail cars.

"This is pretty volatile stuff," Fedorchak said. "This is the best way to do it."

Advocates for behavioral health treatment and prevention services are hoping a new report will spur investments by the 2019 Legislature.

The report was presented to the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee.

"The report gives us a roadmap," said Rep. Kathy Hogan (D-Fargo), the chairman of the interim committee. "Now the question will be leadership to implement the roadmap."

Hogan said the report’s first recommendation is to have strong implementation plans.

The chairman of the state Board of Higher Education believes campus presidents should have more flexibility in setting tuition rates for out of state students.

"Out-of-state students are not an expense," said Don Morton. "Out-of-state students are an investment."

Morton said out-of-state students help pay for the fixed – and variable – costs of the institutions, especially the colleges close to the state’s borders.

"The campuses are doing a good job of attracting out of state students," Morton said. "But it could be better."

Fargo's friendly sky

Apr 30, 2018

If you are in the Fargo-Moorhead region you may get a chance to see something you may not see in any other city in the U-S… But as Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports, you have to be looking at the sky…

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Underwater World gallery at the Heritage Center in Bismarck has a new resident.

A plesiosaur.

"The actual name of this animal would be 'styxosaurus,'" said Senior Paleontologist and curator Clint Boyd. "The broader group  they go in is 'plesiosaurus,' which is a little easier to say. So we went with that."

The pleisosaur is big.

"They're just over 50 feet long," Boyd said.

Think "Loch Ness monster" -- with a very long neck.

And that posed a bit of a space problem – the gallery doesn’t have 50 feet of open space.

Members of the state Board of Higher Education aren’t happy with the budget guidelines Governor Burgum issued to state agencies, to help them prepare for the 2019-2021 biennium.

But the chairman of the board is urging some caution in making a response.

Burgum’s budget guidelines call for a 10 percent reduction in state spending for the colleges and universities – a $51 million reduction – plus an additional 3 percent as a contingency cut – another $15 million. That’s on top of the $106 million cut from higher-ed in the 2017 biennium.

Dave Thompson

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has a requirement for tree and shrub replacement when a utility builds infrastructure.

It’s 2 to 1 – for every tree or shrub dug out, the company has to plant two.

When Basin Electric Power Cooperative built a high voltage power line in Mercer, Dunn, McKenzie and Williams Counties, it removed about 17,500 trees and shurbs.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak saids that means the company had to plant nearly 35,000 trees and shrubs. She says the company worked with landowners along the route.


This March, we covered the Poetry Out Loud North Dakota contest and our state winner, Maria Modi Tuya. We are excited that Maria has gone to the national contest and was declared one of nine finalists.  She did not win the top spot in the final rounds, but performed very well, as you could have seen had you watched the live webcast.  Congratulations to Maria.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A representative of a group studying North Dakota’s behavioral health system says the state needs to invest more in prevention programs.

Dr. Bevin Croft of the Human Services Research Institute presented a number of findings and recommendations to the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee.

"Compared to the resources being spent on treatment services, there's a relative scarcity of funds for both prevention and early intervention," Croft told the committee. "Many stakeholders saw it as a missed opportunity."


News from NPR

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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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