News

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.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s pharmacists are getting involved in screening patients for potential opioid abuse or overdose.

NDSU’s Pharmacy School and the state Pharmacists Association have rolled out what is being called “One RX.” The “One” stands for Opioid and Nalaxone Education.

The new program will give pharmacists a screening tool – a form, for patients to fill out, that will allow them to assess a patient’s potential to misuse or overdose on prescription opioids.

Starting Friday, law enforcement officials in North Dakota will be running a stepped up enforcement campaign to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.

Ashley Doan is a spokesperson for the North Dakota Department of Transportation. She says the enforcement for Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over begins Friday and runs through September 3rd. She says law enforcement is really hoping to drive home the idea that alcohol related crashes and deaths are 100 percent avoidable and preventable.

North Dakota airport boardings increase

Aug 14, 2018

Boardings at North Dakota airports are showing "healthy" increases across the state.

Kyle Wanner is director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. He says boardings are up this month over last month in Fargo, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Minot and Williston for an overall increase of 4.5 percent. He says on the year, boardings are up 3.26 percent. Wanner says North Dakota's strong business economy and strengthening oil industry may take some credit for this boost.

Energy Secretary Perry tours ND Coal Country

Aug 14, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is praising North Dakota for its innovations in energy.

Perry toured coal fields and power plants during a visit to the western part of the state Monday. Perry told a roundtable discussion following the tour – at the University of Mary in Bismarck – he was very impressed with the Coal Creek Station power plant and its co-located Blue Flint ethanol facility, which uses steam from the power plant to produce ethanol.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Two Democratic NPL statewide candidates say the state of North Dakota needs to up its game when it comes to information technology.

They say, for example, businesses that have to file registration information with the Secretary of State’s office, or tax information with the state Tax Department are often frustrated with the difficulty in doing that, given the current IT platforms.

Tax Commissioner candidate Kylie Overson told Bismarck reporters she’s been talking with Secretary of State candidate Joshua Boschee about creating a “Hub.”

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