Local Stories

Bismarck, ND – Amtrak has seen a huge increase in customers in the past week.

This is Amtrak spokesperson Karina Van Veen:

Fargo, ND – It is impossible to see the devastation caused by the recent tragedies in New York and Washington without wanting to help the victims and their families. As many charities and nonprofit organizations are springing into action to collect food, water money, and other supplies to assist the victims. The generous people of North Dakota will want to do their part to help.

But keep in mind that, unfortunately, this time of need is also a time of prey for scam artists.

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.

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    News from NPR

    A Texas Tech student has been charged with the murder of a university police officer. Lubbock police say the suspect confessed to the crime, saying "he was the one that shot their friend."

    A university spokesman tells NPR that campus police were dispatched to the room of Hollis Daniels III, 19, to check on him, after his suitemates contacted the university with concerns about his welfare. While police were en route, Daniels' mother called a university hotline and said that her son had expressed suicidal thoughts.

    When Germany's Parliament convenes later this month, members of a far-right party will take seats for the first time since the 1950s. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) came in third in last month's parliamentary elections and promises to raise its voice in the opposition.

    Café Hacienda San Pedro, a trendy coffee shop in San Juan, is buzzing. A long line snakes through it. People are chatting; dogs sit snoozing. Everything looks normal.

    But in a few months, it probably won't.

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

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