Politics & Government

Burgum starting education innovation task force

Sep 13, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum is creating a task force on Innovation in Education.

Burgum said the current educational system – which has been in place for generations – is at a crossroads.

"The traditional model, which was a 'one-to-many,' classroom-focused, book-centric approach is not really reflective of the tools we have available in the 21st century," Burgum told reporters. "That's not the most effective approach."

Burgum said the task force will look at ways schools can turn out students who are problem solvers. He said it will consist of 11 to 15 members.

ND Attorney General's office

In the wake of the recent disclosure by Equifax that personal information from the credit monitoring company may have been stolen by hackers, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said North Dakotans should take steps to protect themselves against identity theft.

Equifax says more than 143 million Americans may be at risk – and that includes 248,000 North Dakotans.

Stenehjem said people should take steps now to determine if their information was hacked.

United Tribes Technical College

The Tribal Leaders Summit voted to send a letter to North Dakota’s Congressional delegation concerning the murder of a Fargo woman.

Savanna LaFontaine Greywind was eight months pregnant when she disappeared. Her body was found in the Red River. Her live baby was found in her apartment building – in a different apartment.

"We can only hope that legislation will be created to help Native women more than they're protected right now," said United Tribes Technical College president Leander "Russ" McDonald. United Tribes sponsors the annual Tribal leaders summit.

Trump stumps for tax reform in ND speech

Sep 6, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

President Trump came to North Dakota with a message – the country needs tax reform to get the economy revved up.

"If we want to renew our prosperity, restore our opportunity and re-establish our economic dominance, which is what we should be doing, then we need tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-American," the President told an invited audience of 700 people at the Andeavor oil refinery in Mandan, ND.

Safety a big issue in teacher negotiations this year

Sep 6, 2017
ND United

The issue of classroom safety came up in a number of contract talks between teachers and their local school districts.

And during some impasse hearings, teachers described incidents in which they were attacked by students. The school boards say they have policies in place to deal with that. But teachers want to have that spelled out in their contracts.

"A contract is where we go to codify the terms and conditions of our employment," said ND United President Nick Archuleta. ND United represents teachers. "There's no condition of employment greater that personal safety."

President Trump will speak at the Andeavor Mandan Refinery this afternoon (Wednesday).

The subject: Tax reform.

Senior White House officials said the President’s speech will focus on why tax reform is needed, not on the how.

Also, North Dakota’s entire Congressional delegation will travel with the President on Air Force One. That includes Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp. In his speech, the President is expected to encourage Heitkamp to support tax reform. Heitkamp is up for re-election next year.

ND Legislature

Legislative leaders will meet September 28th to decide whether to file suit against Gov. Doug Burgum over some of his line-item vetoes.

The Legislative Management Committee will hold an executive session to discuss the potential lawsuit with its legal counsel. But any vote on whether to file that suit will be held in open session.

"The lawsuit itself is not a slam-dunk," said the chairman of Legislative Management, Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks). "What we are asking the North Dakota Supreme Court would be to take original jurisdiction to solve a conflict."

ND University System

The North Dakota University System has a new initiative to help college students increase their degree completion.

It’s a new take on “Reverse Transfer.”

"We've always thought of 'reverse transfer' traditionally as somebody who attended a four year school, physically left and transferred to a two year institution," said NDUS Director of Academic Affairs Lisa Johnson. "The new thought is to allow the students to remain at their four year institution, but transferring coursework back to a two year school they previously attended."

Heitkamp, women business leaders talk entrepreneurship

Aug 25, 2017

Helping women entrepreneurs.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) held a roundtable meeting in Bismarck with women-owners of small businesses – to see what makes them successful, and what they might need to grow their businesses.

"The women of North Dakota have really stepped up," Heitkamp said. "They've looked for that financial independence, they've looked for that good idea -- the thing they can do that they know there's a market for."

Heitkamp said she’s interested in what it will take for those businesses to expand.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Water Commission has approved the request from Grand Forks for another $30 million to help pay for the city’s new water treatment plant.

The 2017 Legislature set aside the $30 million to be spent in the 2017-2019 biennium. The city had received $30 million in the 2015-2017 biennium.

After the approval, Grand Forks City Commissioner Ken Vien said he’s happy with the Commission’s action.

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