General News

Drought conditions worsen

Jun 8, 2017

North Dakota is experiencing drought conditions like it hasn't seen in years.

Much of the state is considered to be in moderate drought stage. The southwestern corner, along with a lot of the Red River Valley, is currently classified as abnormally dry. And south central extending a bit into central North Dakota is officially in a severe drought. State climatologist Adnan Akyuz says current models project dry conditions to persist throughout the next several weeks. Akyuz says jet stream patterns are not promising any meaningful rainfall in the future.

'Historic Buffalo Trail Tour' launches Saturday

Jun 8, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A celebration of the buffalo – and the role it has played in the west.

That’s the purpose of a new tour – called the Historic Buffalo Trail Tour. It will be self-guided, and will feature 10 sites in North and South Dakota, near the towns of Hettinger, Reeder and Scranton in North Dakota, and the South Dakota towns of Lemmon, Bison and Buffalo.

Francie Berg of Hettinger has written the self guided tour book.

Scorpions in North Dakota? Yes, there are

Jun 5, 2017
Image courtesy State Geologist Ed Murphy

When you think of scorpions, you may think of those poisonous desert-dwelling creatures from the southwestern part of the US.

Chances are, scorpions don’t come to mind when you think of North Dakota.

But they’re here – in areas with lignite coal.

"They live primarily in the cracks of coal," said State Geologist Ed Murphy. "We found out very early, working on coal in the 1980s, it wasn't unusual to have a scorpion hanging upside down on the bottom of the chunk of coal."

A joint project between UND’s Office of Research and Economic Development and SkySkopes, Incorporated, could lead to a new use for drones.

The plan is to equip the small, low-altitude drones with thermal sensors to collect energy audit data on North Dakota University System buildings. That information will allow the campuses to assess costs of thermal leaks in buildings.

With summer travel ahead, TSA offers tips for flyers

May 26, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

And although most people will be driving, some will fly. And the TSA is offering some helpful hints to get you through airport security without hassle.

"It would be very helpful if your carry-on bag is uncluttered," said TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers. "Don't stuff your bag so tight that it's really hard for you to close it, or an officer to get a clear image of it on the x-ray."

Dankers reminds travelers that everyone's personal property will be screened at the checkpoint.

Farmers Union confronts farm crisis

May 16, 2017

The National Farmers Union and its state divisions have initiated a national campaign to raise awareness for the current farm crisis.

Net farm income has decreased by half in the past four years. Mark Watne is President of the North Dakota Farmers Union. He says this "silent economic crisis" is created by current low prices continuing to decrease any profit potential. Watne says farmers in North Dakota will have tools available to them to manage stress and address capital challenges - and it's important that word gets out because there is no end in sight right now.

Residents in the Morton County community of Glen Ullin are being advised to boil their water if they are going to be using it for drinking, food preparation, or washing dishes until further notice. Glen Ullin Emergency Manager Albert Lautenschlager explains…

A Conversation About Refugee Resettlment

Apr 13, 2017

The Fargo Human Relations Commission has released the findings of a study looking at refugee resettlement programs. The study was called for by City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn last October. Piepkorn was critical of the programs and questioned the cost of the programs to a city. In delivering a summary of the report, Human Relations Commission member Barry Nelson says the results reflect how a community can benefit from resettlement programs which he says help boost the regional workforce.

Bismarck middle school wins DPI Innovation Award

Apr 12, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A science class at Simle Middle School in Bismarck is the first winner of the Department of Public Instruction’s Innovation Award.

The eighth grade class is taught by Ryan Townsend. The class has been working on creating a solar-powered mobile phone charging station. It would be specifically designed for homeless people, and would be placed in a city park.

Senate passes refugee study

Mar 30, 2017

The Senate has passed a resolution that would authorize a study of refugee resettlement in North Dakota.

The resolution focuses on studying the economic effects refugees have on the state. Fargo Senator Judy Lee spoke in opposition of the bill. She says she's not sure this is an issue North Dakota needs to take up.