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Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A Duluth-based energy company threw a party today (Tuesday) in Glen Ullin, to celebrate the impending opening of a new wind farm in Morton and Mercer counties.

The Glen Ullin Wind Center is to go on-line in October.

“It’s 106 megawatts," said Allete vice president for business development. "In addition to the 500 megawatts the company built at the Bison Wind Farm, that means nearly $1 billion of investment in the area.”                           

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said the Commission is working to expand broadband Internet capability in rural America.

Ajit Pai attended a roundtable discussion in Bismarck on that subject. He said the FCC is working to target parts of the country that do not yet have broadband.

"In rural America, there are some gaps," Pai said in an interview with reporters. "We call that the 'Digital Gap.' I want to make sure every American, especially those in rural areas, has access to digital platforms."

ITD working on single entry log in for state websites

Sep 16, 2019

North Dakota’s Information Technology Department is working on a “single entry” concept to log on to state websites.

"Most citizens would tell you, 'It's great that I can get things on line, but state government as a whole doesn't treat me as a single entity, and I'm having to re-key information numerous times,'" said ITD chief operating officer Dan Sipes. "'If I change my mailing address at the Department of Motor Vehicles, it should propagate to other systems in state government -- but that doesn't happen.'"

Human Services reorganization proceeding

Sep 16, 2019

Work continues on the concept of “human service zones.”

Under it, counties agree to work together to share services and administration.

State Human Services director Chris Jones said there are 19 zones identified.

"Right now, it's getting into the minor details that sometimes you trip over," Jones said. "But I feel really good about the work we've done with the Association of Counties and with the individual counties themselves to start the collaboration."

Angela Hsieh/NPR

Follow NPR Politics reporters for live analysis and fact checks of the September Demoratic presidential debate, beginning tonight at 7pm CT.

With a year to go, DOT and TSA are pushing Real ID

Sep 12, 2019
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

By next October first (2020), if you wish to board a commercial airplane, you will need a Real ID compliant form.

That includes Real ID compliant driver’s licenses.

"In a nutshell, Real ID is the way the federal government knows you are who you say you are on your photo identification," Transportation Security Administration spokesperson Lorie Dankers said at a news conference at the Bismarck Airport.

Other Real ID forms include passports and military ID.

So far, 83,000 North Dakotans have a Real ID compliant driver’s license.

GNDC pushing for reauthorized Export-Import Bank

Sep 11, 2019

The Greater North Dakota Chamber is supporting the reauthorization of the “Export-Import” Bank.

The bank is described as the official credit agency of the United States…and it has helped 16 North Dakota businesses export products and crops.

Tom Shorma with WCCO Belting of Wahpeton said his company has used the bank for 18 years -- and he said it has been valuable to his business.

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy officials say the utility is on track to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2030 – and completely eliminate them by the year 2050.

They briefed the North Dakota Public Service Commission about those plans.

Xcel will be phasing out of its coal generation, while it increases wind and solar power. But the plan includes keeping its two nuclear power plants – Monticello and Prairie Island – operational.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services will be working with the Human Service Research Institute to identify the state’s capacity to meet psychiatric in-patient needs across the state, as well as the needs in other areas of behavioral health.

State human services director Chris Jones said the study came from action in the 2019 Legislature.

"The Governor had budgeted for a new state hospital," Jones said. "And the legislature looked at how we create, on the treatment side, access to in-patient services across the state."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s four Native American tribal nations and the state Department of Human Services have signed updated comprehensive agreements for enhanced child welfare services for Native American children and families.

The agreements were signed at the state Capitol in Bismarck Friday. They update agreements signed in 1983.

Dean Sturn is the foster care administrator for the Department of Human Services. Sturn said one thing the new agreement does is expand the ability of the tribes to license Native foster homes, not only on tribal lands but off of tribal lands.

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Main Street

Keri Pickett ~ Remembering Chief Little Shell III ~ Soil and Water Summitreview

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – In 2018, Keri Pickett received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Minnesota State University Moorhead’s School of Art. She’s back in town on the occasion of a new exhibit of her work, called “Track Record.” She joins us for a discussion of her career as photographer, filmmaker and author. ~~~ Chuck Lura shares a Natural North Dakota essay on burning coal veins & columnar junipers. ~~~ An induction ceremony was held earlier this month at the Native American Hall of Honor in the North Dakota Heritage Center. One this year’s inductees in the legendary category is Chief Little Shell III of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. We hear about the important role Chief Little Shell played during this important era of tribal history from Les LaFountain, tribal historian, in this audio excerpt from a video prepared by Makoche studios. ~~~ Soil and water are big topics in North Dakota, involving many important issues like property rights and energy development. Starting tomorrow and Thursday a conference in Medora will dive into the many issues. Here to discuss the 2019 Soil and Water Summit and Field Trip are moderator Lance Lokken and field tour leader Allan Ashworth.

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