General News

'NAFTA' renegotiations begin

Aug 18, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Canada, Mexico and the United States have begun NAFTA negotiations.

Corn farmers in the Plains and Midwest are lobbying for the status quo.

Mexico, in particular, has become a big customer of American corn, but the Trump administration is looking to modify NAFTA to aid the manufacturing industry. Jon Doggett of the National Corn Growers Association said that puts everything up for discussion.

DSU President: 'We're in very good shape'

Aug 16, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The president of Dickinson State University had a message for faculty, staff and students.

"We're in good shape," said Dr. Thomas Mitzel. "I think we're in very good shape."

Mitzel gave his “State of the University” address Tuesday. In an interview prior to that speech, Mitzel said there are challenges. One is the recent reduction in state support – which will mean a $4.9 million drop in state funding over the next two years. Mitzel said he’s been talking with faculty and staff on how to make up those dollars.

Minot mayor: Work progressing on flood control project

Aug 14, 2017
Mark Lyman / Odney Advertising

Now that the floodwall to protect Minot’s water treatment facilities has been completed, work will begin soon on the rest of the flood control project.

"The first three phases go out to bid yet this summer," said Minot Mayor Chuck Barney. "We'll get some dirt moving."

Those first three phases include floodwalls and diking. The fourth phase is called the “Maple Diversion.”

Barney said the city is looking for a little more funding for that phase. He said the fourth phase is critical.

Mark Lyman / Odney Advertising

A milestone in flood control for Minot.

The first part of the flood control plan developed after the record 2011 flood.

The city's water treatment facilities -- whihc include the treatment facility for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project, will now be protected by a flood wall.

Minot Mayor Chuck Barney kicked off the festivities.

Rock 'N Roll Recovery music festival planned for Fargo

Jul 26, 2017

A day-long music festival in Fargo at the end of the summer is aimed at helping the community heal from their struggles. Prairie Public's Danielle Webster has the story.

The first cases of West Nile Virus for 2017 have been reported to the North Dakota Department of Health.

Michelle Feist is West Nile Virus Program Manager. She says since this time of year is when cases start showing up, it was only a matter of time.

Work progressing on Williston airport

Jul 17, 2017

Dirt is being moved for the new Williston airport.

Later this month, bids will be taken for the new runway – and construction of the terminal will begin later this year.

It's a $265 million facility.

State Aeronautics commission directorn Kyle Wanner says later this month, bids will be taken for the new primary runway.

"We're hopeful we ged good bids," Wanner said. "That project will start later this year."

And construction will start on the new terminal later this year as well.

ND doing better in a 'Goldilocks' economy

Jul 4, 2017
Creighton University

A “Goldilocks” economy.

That’s how Creighton University economics professor Dr. Ernie Goss characterizes the June Mid-American Business Conditions Index. That index includes North Dakota and eight other states.

Under his formula, an index over 50 indicates economic growth. For the region, the June index was 62.3 – up from May’s 55.5. For North Dakota, the index rose from May’s 53.9 to June’s 67.2.

Goss said he thought health care reform and tax reform were needed to get the economy moving.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s chief investment officer said funds managed by the state Investment Board have done very well in fiscal 2017.

That includes state retirement funds, as well as the Legacy Fund and the budget stabilization fund.

"Actually, for the 10 months ending April 30th, they've earned over a billion dollars," said CIO Dave Hunter. "State Investment Board assets are close to $12 billion. A big chunk of that -- $1 billion -- is investment earnings since July 1, 2016."

Sales Taxes In A Slump

Jun 28, 2017

Officials in two northern North Dakota cities are reporting a slow start to city sales tax collection in the first half of 2017. Prairie Public’s Todd McDonald has details…