Local Stories

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Otter Tail Power Company wants the authority to give new or expanding industrial customers a break on their electric rates, to spur economic development.

Otter Tail has asked the North Dakota Public Service Commission for the right to offer up to a five year discount for a new customer using at least 500 kilowatt hours of electricity, and for expanding customers who would be using at least 1500 kilowatt hours

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said he likes the concept.

The President of an organization representing state employees is happy to hear talk about pay raises for state employees in the next two year budget cycle.

Renewed interest in potash?

Aug 20, 2018

In 2010, there was some excitement in parts of North Dakota about “potash,” or "potassium salts.”

Potash is a fertilizer. It’s mined just across the border, in Saskatchewan.

"We've got those same deposits," said state geologist Ed Murphy.

Murphy said the state used to get a lot of inquiries from around the world about North Dakota’s potash deposits. But that slowed down a lot, when the price dropped. Now, Murphy says there have recently been a few inquiries.

More natural gas processing plants are coming on-line in the Bakken.

State pipeline authority director Justin Kringstad said two are being completed this year, and four others are scheduled next year.

"The two plants in 2018 are scheduled to come on-line in the September-October time frame," Kringstad said. "They will add 400 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas processing."

Kringstad said the total investment in those two facilities is $300 million.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Natural gas service could be coming this fall to the Bobcat plant in Gwinner.

MDU Resources has been working to bring natural gas to Gwinner from the Alliance Pipeline.

"We expect to be using natural gas in September, although the line won't be completed until probably November," Rich Goldsbury said in an interview.

Goldsbury said he’s also excited about having a broader discussion with communities in that region who haven’t had natural gas service before.

As students get ready to return to the classroom next week, a new program to allow for anonymous reporting of suspicious and potentially dangerous threats to school safety is officially live in North Dakota.

A Republican State Representative from Minot has filed petitions to run for the State Senate – as an independent.

Andrew Maragos has served in the House from 1993 to 2005, and returned to the House in the 2011 session. He was defeated for the GOP nomination in the June primary.

"Those people who have supported me in the past, and liked the way I represented them, asked me to continue," Maragos said. "When people that have supported you ask you to do something for them after all those years of doing something for you, you don't say 'no.'"

"I call it 'tapping the brakes.'"

That’s how state mineral resources director Lynn Helms described June oil and gas production numbers.

Afer oil production set a new record in May -- at 1,246,355 barrels a day, production in June dropped to 1,225,510 barrels a day.

"Natural gas production also dropped slightly.

"There's a record number of wells producing," Helms said. "But they're restricting production from wells."

Helms said companies are voluntarily restricting production because of gas capture issues.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers brought its “I Make America” tour to Bismarck’s Doosan Bobcat Acceleration Center Thursday.

The tour is part of a campaign by the Association to support infrastructure spending.

"Improving our nation's infrastructure is good for our bottom line," Doosan Bobcat North America President Rich Goldsbury told a crowd of Bobcat employees. "More construction projects means more equipment sales for Bobcat."

But Goldsbury said it means much more than that.

Pay raises for state employees?

Aug 16, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Some members of the Legislature’s Revenue Advisory Committee think the 2019 session needs to seriously look at a pay raise for state employees.

State workers did not get a pay raise from the 2017 Legislature, because of budget issues. And Gov. Doug Burgum is again asking agencies to submit reduced budgets for the 2019-2021 biennium.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) suggested pay raises need to be on the table for discussion.

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News from NPR

Marion "Suge" Knight faces 28 years in prison after pleading no contest to "running over a man and killing him in a restaurant parking lot three years ago," according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Knight, 53, is the co-founder of rap label Death Row Records. He agreed to a plea deal that includes "one count of voluntary manslaughter and admitted a special allegation that he used a deadly weapon, a truck," the DA's office said.

Before the agreement, Knight had been facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

Walter Mischel, a revolutionary psychologist with a specialty in personality theory, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 12. He was 88.

Three infants and two adults were stabbed in an early Friday morning attack at a day care in the Queens borough of New York City, according to police.

Officers who arrived at the house found multiple people with stab wounds, including three babies ranging in age from 3 days to 1 month old.

One woman suffered multiple stab wounds to the torso, and a man was stabbed in the leg. The man is the father of one of the injured babies, and the woman was an employee of the day care.

All of the injured were taken to area hospitals in critical but stable condition.

Updated at 1:45 p.m.

President Trump has ended what had been a notably restrained response to the accusation by Christine Blasey Ford that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 30 years ago.

The Cleveland Browns made a rare visit to the win column Thursday night, ending a streak of frustration and futility by beating another NFL team for the first time since Christmas Eve of 2016. The win set off celebrations – including a promotion campaign that offered free beer if the team won a game in 2018.

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Main Street

Chrysti the Wordsmith ~ Matt Reviews "The Wife" ~ Sue Balcom on Local Food

Thursday, September 20 – Meet Chrysti the Wordsmith. She’s been sharing short essays on the interesting stories behind words and phrases since 1990. The passion gave rise to two collections of her work, Verbivore’s Feast and Verbivore’s Feast Second Course. ~~~ Matt Olien joins us to review “The Wife.” ~~~ Sue Balcom of the Root Sellers Farm near Mandan is here to discuss the value of eating local. ~~~ Our What’s Happening calendar of events with Ashley and Erik.

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