General News

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."

POW's family receives lost medals

Dec 28, 2016

The family of the late Sergeant Robert Johnston received his World War II military records and service medals at a presentation at the Fargo Air Museum. Prairie Public's Danielle Webster has the story.

Catholic Benefits Association, Fargo Diocese file lawsuit

Dec 28, 2016

The Catholic Benefits Association and the Diocese of Fargo have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in North Dakota.

The lawsuit challenges federal rules requiring Catholic hospitals, healthcare providers and group insurers to perform and pay for gender transition procedures and abortions. Archbishop William Lori is Chairman of the Catholic Benefits Association. He says the rules are contrary  to their own medical judgment and values, and that they are part of a multi-agency effort to redefine the term "sex" in anti-discrimination laws.

ND Farmers Union set to open 5th restaurant

Dec 13, 2016
Courtesy ND Farmers Union

Several years ago, the North Dakota Farmers Union got into the restaurant business.

It opened “Founding Farmers” in Washington, DC in 2008. Since then, it has opened two other restaurants in DC, one in Tysons, Virginia and one in Potomac, Maryland. It is set to open another one in the nation’s capital this month.

"Right now, we're serving in the four restaurants about 32,000 people a week," said Farmers Union president Mark Watne.

Officials with the North Dakota Highway Patrol are reminding drivers to NOT go around barricades on closed roads. Patrol Lieutenant Tom Iverson says the recent blizzard saw a number of drivers go around barricades on closed highways. And Iverson says the advisory also applies to closures not related to the weather. He says current barricade on Highway 1806 south of Mandan is a good example…

“…It’s only open to authorized traffic in that area. Those citizens that live around that area – they would be deemed ‘authorized traffic.’”

While drunk driving is dropping nationally, drugged driving is on the rise.

And North Dakota safety groups held a one-day “drugged driving summit” in Bismarck to begin looking at ways to prevent it. But the groups say it’s a real challenge.

"It's a very complex topic," said Gene LaDoucer of North Dakota Triple A. "There's a lot of impairing drugs that impact a person's driving."

LaDoucer said the legalization of medical marijuana just adds to the issue.

Goss: ND economy 'stabilizing'

Dec 2, 2016
Courtesy Creighton University, Omaha

A Creighton University economics professor says North Dakota’s economy is stabilizing.

Dr. Ernie Goss publishes the monthly Mid American Business Conditions Index. He surveys purchasing managers in 9 states, including North Dakota. An index of 50 is growth-neutral; below that number indicates a contracting economy, while above it shows growth.

For November, North Dakota’s index was 47.6. That’s below growth-neutral, but an improvement from October’s 40.5.

The Chairman of the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council spoke to reporters today ahead of upcoming involvement of a veterans group with demonstrations at the Dakota Access Pipeline next week.

ND retailers expect a good Christmas shopping season

Nov 22, 2016
Courtesy ND Retail Association

The president of the North Dakota Retail Association says he expects a good Christmas shopping season.

Mike Rud said national projections indicate a 3 ½ percent increase in consumer spending over last Christmas. Rud said he hopes North Dakota will see similar, if not better, growth.

"With the results from the election, I think it gives the folks in North Dakota a little more hope, in terms of regulatory certainty in the energy sector," Rud said. "That should lift the optimism a little bit."

Rud also said record crop yields will also help farmers' bottom lines.

NDSU President's contract extended

Nov 16, 2016

The state Board of Higher Education has voted to renew and extend NDU President Dean Breschani’s contract until 2018

It brings the contract in-line with what most of the other University System presidents received back in June. At the time, the Board gave Breschani a list of areas of improvement.

Board president Kathleen Neset,

"President Bresciani has shown improvement in many of the measurable areas, but there is still work to be done and we have a way forward with that."