Local Stories

Bismarck, ND – The staff of the North Dakota Public Service Commission says Montana Dakota Utilities is making too much money in its electric division...and wants MDU to lower its rates by 11-percent.

The staff report says MDU has exceeded its agreed-to rate of return on electricity. MDU spokesman Dan Sharp says the utility made more money than expected - because it's been able to sell power on the spot market.

Fargo, ND – The American Red Cross is recruiting volunteers with law enforcement backgrounds only to assist with safety and security concerns in New York City and Washington D.C.

Executive Director of the Minn-Kota Chapter of the American Red Cross, Kathy Schons says these volunteers will act as liaisons with the law enforcement community.

Bismarck, ND – Travel agents in North Dakota say commercial air travel will climb again -- perhaps even getting back to more normal levels.

Just how air travelers would react remains to be seen as airlines resumed flights after last week's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.

Travel agency owner Katherine Satrom in Bismarck says she is optimistic:

Bismarck, ND – Travel agents in North Dakota say they're optimistic that commercial air travel eventually will climb again.

Dickinson travel agency owner Craig Steve says some people will be leery of flying, but others will gain confidence from increased security measures. He says he's worried about too much government intervention in the airline industry.

Fargo, ND – North Dakota State University will hold a public forum "Perspectives: Attack on America" to discuss the implications of last week's terrorist attacks on the United States.

The forum will start at noon, Wednesday September 19, and be held in the Memorial Union Gallery. Panel members will share their expertise on terrorism.

Panel members will include NDSU professors Robert Wood, associate professor and chair of political science, and John Helgeland, professor of religion and history.

    Bismarck, ND – Most North Dakota Farmers Union members who were in Washington, D.C. last week to lobby for a new farm bill returned home via bus.

    But Dale Enerson of Stanley got home another way.

    "I got a plane ticket and got out of Baltimore Saturday afternoon and got back to Minot Saturday night."

    Enerson was scheduled to return home Wednesday -- but the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington disrupted air service. He says most of the other Farmers Union members chartered a bus to get back to North Dakota.

    Bismarck, ND – North Dakota's Housing Finance Agency is preparing another bond issue -- to supply mortgage money for first-time home buyers.

    Pat Fricke is the agency's director:

    "We have had very good demand for our home mortgage finance program. A lot of first-time homebuyers have been purchasing homes. Our loan demand is on a pace for 100-million dollars in loan volumes for the year. And it is the time of the year where we're now needing to replenish our supply of funds for this fall and going into next winter."

    Bismarck, ND – Boost -- then buckle. That's the message of a statewide campaign that kicked off today (Tuesday) encouraging the use of automobile booster seats for smaller children.

    Carol Holzer of the North Dakota Health Department says the campaign will encourage parents to use booster seats -- along with shoulder and lap belts -- for children who are between 40 and 80 pounds and up to 4 feet eight inches tall.

    Holzer says booster seats should be considered part of the transition in child safety restraints.

    Bismarck, ND – The state Industrial Commission has voted to release a preliminary study of breathing problems among children in Coal Country.

    The study is a work-in-progress -- in that the results need to be subjected to a peer-review before being finalized. The Commission had been asked to release the preliminary study -- and Governor Hoeven was agreeable to that....

    Bismarck, ND – Low-income North Dakota families who signed up for the state's fuel assistance program will see a rebate on last winter's heating costs.

    The state Department of Human Services is distributing one-point-four million dollars in rebates to more than 14-thousand households. The refunds are part of a federal program that helps poor families pay high heating bills. It's called the "Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program" -- and Ron Knutson is the director:

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    News from NPR

    On a cold and windy day off the coast of Alabama, a team of researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts gathers, conducting the first test outside a laboratory for a potential new solution to a challenging problem: cleaning oil spills from water.

    The invention, the Flame Refluxer, is "very simple," says Ali Rangwala, a professor of fire protection engineering: Imagine a giant Brillo pad of copper wool sandwiched between layers of copper screen, with springy copper coils attached to the top.

    The German city of Trier has never been particularly fond of its most famous son, Karl Marx, who helped turn communism into an ideology that changed the course of history.

    Conservative and Catholic, the picturesque city on the French border took an ambivalent view of the radical revolutionary, born into a Jewish family in 1818.

    There's a wall-long mural in the manufacturing area of SilencerCo, in West Valley City, Utah, that shows a crowd of people with muzzled mouths. One's holding a sign that says, "Fight the Noise." Another says: "Guns don't have to be loud."

    As a leading manufacturer and seller of gun silencers — or suppressors, as they're more accurately called — SilencerCo wants to quiet guns. Congress may soon help in the effort.

    After a day of statements, Tuesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing was all about answers. Judge Neil Gorsuch was careful in his responses to Senate Judiciary Committee members, but there were still a number of insights that marked the day. Read our full Day 2 coverage here. These are five highlights:

    Chicago police say they've located a missing teenage girl who was sexually assaulted in an attack streamed live on Facebook.

    The Associated Press reports that the girl was apparently raped "by five or six men or boys" in the video, which was watched live by dozens of people.

    It's the second incident in the past three months where an apparent violent crime in Chicago, with multiple assailants, was broadcast live on Facebook as it happened.

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    Main Street

    Citizen's Police Academy in Williston ~ Bush Fellow Alice Musumba

    The Williston Police Department has faced some interesting times as it has grown to meet the challenges associated with the oil boom. To help residents understand more about the work they do they’ll be holding a Citizens Police Academy next month. Here to tell us more is Lt. Detective Amy Nickoloff. ~~~ We continue our series on Women’s History Month with the story of Pocahontas. ~~~ Alice Musumba is passionate about helping immigrants thrive in Bismarck. She's a 2017 Bush Foundation Fellow...

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