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UPDATE: Baesler arrested for DUI, "Care Required"

11 hours ago

State superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler was arrested last night for driving under the influence.

North Dakota Highway Patrol spokesman Sergeant Wade Kadrmas said a trooper noticed Baesler was driving erratically on I-94, shortly before 10 pm. Kadrmas said the trooper stopped her on Memorial Highway in Mandan. He said the trooper could smell alcohol, and observed the behavior of someone under the influence.

Kadrmas said Baesler refused a breathalyzer and a blood test. She was cited for “care required,” and arrested for DUI.

UPDATE: Baesler arrested on suspicion of DUI

15 hours ago

State superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler was arrested last night for driving under the influence.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says Baesler was stopped in Mandan on Memorial Highway around 10 pm.

An officer at the Burleigh-Morton Detention Center says Baesler was processed at the Center – and was released shortly thereafter.

In a statement, Baesler said she made a “serious mistake.” She said she let her team at DPI, her family, and herself down – and said she’s “deeply sorry.” Baesler said she will seek help, and “learn from this.”

The Board of Higher Education has approved naming the Bismarck State College Health Science Building after former BSC President Donna Thigpen.

But the vote wasn’t unanimous.

Thigpen served as BSC’s President from 1995 to 2006.

The Board’s Budget and Finance Committee approved the name, and forwarded the recommendation to the full Board. But since the Committee advanced that proposal, Board members said they had received some opposition to it. And Board member Kathleen Neset wanted to table the issue, pending further review.

Dickinson State University interim President Stephen Easton may soon be dropping the “interim” designation.

North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott plans to ask the full Board next month to hire him as the permanent President.

"The current interim President has been through a search in 2015, and was also required to go through a second search," Hagerott said. "So we have someone in place who has gone through two searches already, and was selected."

The second search for Easton was for the interim Presidency.

Five candidates have agreed to come to Bismarck for face-to-face interviews and open forums, in the search for a new President at Bismarck State College.

Current President Dr. Larry Skogen is retiring June 30th.

'One Basin-One Way' touted as a success

Feb 25, 2020
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

In 2019, a program was launched to streamline safety training in the Bakken.

It was dubbed “One Basin, One Way.” And those involved call it a success.

"It's improved the attitude toward safety," said One Basin, One Way chairman Steve Braden, whon is an employee of Hess. "Our numbers will speak for themselves, once we get the data."

Braden said he believes that data will show the number of incidents is trending downward.

"We would like to think we're a major piece of that improvement," Braden said in an interview.

North Dakota’s Commerce Department and the Housing Finance Agency hosted focus groups in Bismarck to gather information on community needs in housing.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requires states to have a five-year Consolidated Plan, in order to be eligible to receive federal funding for housing programs.

Before the focus groups met, the Commerce Deaprtment and HFA held some regional meetings to discuss the issues surrounding housing.

Minot to appeal FEMA flood map decision

Feb 21, 2020

The Minot City Council has decided to appeal FEMA’s decision to change the flood maps for the city – a change that could force more Minot residents to buy flood insurance.

Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma said originally, FEMA’s flood maps used a 5000 cubic foot per second flow – which he said is essentially the normal Mouse River flow. But he said FEMA has changed its hydrology, so that it uses a 10,000 cfs flow rate, meaning more people would have to buy the insurance.

From a driver's license to a clam dealer's permit.

Those are some of the hundreds of fees on the books in North Dakota state government.

And the state Auditor’s Office has just completed a performance audit of those fees.

The study had been suggested by Mandan Senator Dwight Cook, who chaired the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee. State Auditor Josh Gallion said once he heard about the study, he was all for it.

"We focus a lot on the expenditure side," Gallion said in an interview. "To me, that's only one-half of the coin."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota Mineral Resource director Lynn Helms believes the state will soon meet the Industrial Commission’s goals for natural gas capture.

The goal was to capture 88 percent of the gas, starting last November. But as of December, the rate was only 84 percent.

In his recent "Director's Cut" briefing, which covered December production, Helms said he is optimistic that the 88 percent capture goal will be met – and it’s possible that may have happened in January.


News from NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to dismiss the case of "D.C. sniper" Lee Boyd Malvo, who mounted a legal challenge to his life-without-parole sentence for a deadly 2002 shooting rampage he committed as minor.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


The view from the mainland in coastal Georgia is mostly miles of salt marsh and barrier islands, shore birds hunting in the mud, shrimp boats traveling the Intracoastal Waterway.

Since September, from the coastal city of Brunswick, the view has also featured the Golden Ray.

The cargo ship capsized as it was leaving the Port of Brunswick, heading for Baltimore with 4,200 new cars on board. The cause is still under investigation.

Now, crews are beginning work to eventually remove the ship, but getting rid of such a giant wreck is complicated.

In a decade, Harry Styles has gone from teenage heartthrob to a global pop star in his own right. As he's distanced himself from his adolescent years as a member of One Direction, he's become his own person, starring in the 2017 blockbuster Dunkirk, hosting Saturday Night Live and creating music that pulls from a variety of influences.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


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