General News

Senate defeats Sunday morning retail sales

Mar 14, 2017

A bill that would have allowed retailers to be open on Sunday mornings has failed in the North Dakota Senate.

Current law makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate a business before noon on Sundays. There are exceptions for businesses like restaurants, hospitals, hotels and gas stations. Opponents of the repeal of most of that law say workers need Sunday mornings to spend with their families - perhaps at church. One such opponent is Senator Robert Erbele. He calls the need for Sunday morning retail sales "selfish consumerism," and says everyone needs a moment to rest.

Carly's Story: Addiction and Prison

Feb 23, 2017
Wendy Kotchian

Journeys Through Justice is a new series of stories and interviews about people caught in North Dakota’s Criminal justice system. A large majority of the people serving time in the state’s prisons and jails are addicted to drugs and or alcohol. Many also suffer from mental health problems. There’s bi-partisan agreement that the cost and the number of people cycling in and out of the system are both way too high.

Journeys Through Justice: Addiction, Treatment and Prisons

Feb 21, 2017

Leann Bertsch has been North Dakota’s director of Corrections since 2005. In this Journeys Through Justice report, she talks about the changes she feels are needed in the state’s criminal justice system.

We are the third fastest growing state in terms of incarceration, which is not a good statistic to have.

This growth is driven largely by people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

Journeys Through Justice: Lessons from Norway

Feb 21, 2017
Ganger Rolf / By GangerRolf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (

Leann Bertsch has a job that most people would not envy. As the state’s director of corrections and rehabilitation, she oversees the state’s prisons. And since taking the job in 2005 she’s had to oversee a rapid rise in the state’s prison population.

We are the third fastest growing state in terms of incarceration, which is not a good statistic to have.

If you are a driver between the ages of 19 to 59, chances are you have either drove faster than the speed limit, ran a red light or have sent or read a text message on their phone while driving during the past 30-days. The findings are part of a report from the Triple-A Foundation for Traffic Safety. Gene LaDoucer is a spokesman for Triple-A North Dakota…

Pembina motor coach manufacturing plant hiring

Feb 15, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Motor Coach Industries in Pembina will soon be hanging a “Help Wanted” sign.

"Things are going well," said MCI plant manager Ron Storey. "Our business is doing quite well. And in tghe next month, we'll be hiring more employees."

MCI already employs 216 people. Storey said the plan is to hire 15 more people now – and more could be hired this fall.

"We have a workforce that's aging," Storey said. "We know we're probably going to have up to a dozen individuals retiring this year. We could be hiring in excess of 30 people for the year before we're all done."

NDSU Innovation Challenge 2017 Near Final Round

Feb 3, 2017

The annual NDSU Innovation Challenge is moving into its final stage. As Prairie Public Reporter Todd McDonald found out, there is plenty of drama to be found...

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has released its first Spring Flood Outlook of the year.

This spring marks the 10th Anniversary of the historic Red River Flood of 1997. As Reporter Todd McDonald tells us, many of those working on protecting the region from future floods are taking time to reflect on what brought us to this point…

Further Declines in ND Taxable Sales and Purchases

Jan 13, 2017

State Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says the 3rd Quarter of 2016 saw a 20% decline in taxable sales and purchases. Commissioner Rauschenberger says the drop in revenues was not entirely unexpected…

"...I think that we anticipated that in the sense that pretty much the entire state -- mostly in the west -- was down. But the East was down too. I think the agricultural commodity prices have hit hard across the entire state."

Rauschenberger says for the west, it has been "doubled-up, with the oil activity being down."