Prairie Public | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Prairie Public

Public media organization

Prairie Public Broadcasting is a trusted public service dedicated to building an exciting and productive future for the prairie and its people. Prairie Public Broadcasting offers a window on the world through national and regional television and radio programming; creates a forum for the most important issues facing our region with locally produced, topical programming; partners with others to foster education for all ages; and utilizes digital technology and Web services to expand those valued services. Beginning with a single television transmitter in Fargo, Prairie Public Broadcasting has grown to become the premier broadcaster of public television and radio services throughout the prairie region.

Sunday, February 16th – Our Sunday show will feature interviews with two men on a mission to capture the essence of North Dakota. Documentary filmmaker Dirk Wierenga and author Jim Puppe. Wierenga is traveling 1500 miles of US Highway 2 from his home state of Michigan to western Montana to chronicle what makes some towns flourish while others fade away—the working title of his film is Route 2 Elsewhere. Puppe spent eleven years and drove over 100,000 miles, stopping for interviews in every town on the North Dakota highway map. His book is titled Dakota Attitude. ~~~ Patrick Hicks will profile another poet on Poetry from Studio 47. ~~~ And history professor Tom Isern will share a Plains Folk essay titled “The Lightning Rod Man.”

In April 1909 the Jamestown Alert issued the following public service announcement: “George E. Bates of Grand Forks, a lightning rod man, registered at the Capital Hotel today.”

This notice may seem innocuous, but it was intended as a warning, and also a jest. Nowadays it requires some explanation. In 1909, everyone knew what the joke was. Come spring traveling salesmen would show up at the farm gate again, and the most notorious among them was the lightning rod man. Indeed, the very phrase, “lightning rod man,” was a joke unto itself, guaranteed to provoke guffaws--if not profanity.

We had a reddish sparrow sized bird at the feeder the other day. Once again I had to look closely to determine if it was a purple finch or a house finch. It had a reddish breast and forehead with brown wings, and a light underside with noticeable brown stripes. Those are the markings of a house finch.

Friday, February 14, 2020 – David White Thunder Trottier is retiring as chair of the North Dakota Council on the Arts. We visit with him about his decades-long dedication to the arts in North Dakota. ~~~ News director Dave Thompson is here for our weekly discussion of items in the news. ~~~ Matt Olien reviews “Birds of Prey.” He also shares some thoughts in the wake of the Academy Award honors.

Sunday, February 16, 5:30-6pm:

Isabel Wilkerson talks about her book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, focusing on the transfer of Southern culture to the North, creating a new, vibrant culture in the country.

Sunday, February 16, 5-5:30pm:

Songs of the People: Indigenous Roots of Black Music is a 30-minute program hosted by Benjamin Mertz, a song leader in the Black Spiritual tradition. The program will look at pre-20th Century Black music as a folk tradition, exploring its connections to its African ancestry and its similarities to the traditional music of the First Nations in North America.

With work songs, drum circles, sacred chants, and songs evoking the imagery of rivers and mountains, Black Spiritual music lives hand-in-hand with other Indigenous music traditions. 

Today is Valentine’s Day, and store windows are decorated in red and pink and the finest restaurants are booked with dinner reservations. It is a day for love, but for a certain group of young men at the University of North Dakota in 1902, it must not have been the day of love they hoped for. Just eight days later, on February 22, the ten men, who described themselves as “turned-down, heart-pierced young men,” would come together to form the Varsity Bachelor Club.

Thursday, February 13, 2020 – One man, one van, and countless peanut butter sandwiches. That's what fueled the book "Dakota Attitude." Cavalier native Jim Puppe put on more than 100,000 miles to interview someone from every town in North Dakota. ~~~ A ceremony and march to honor Indigenous people who have gone missing or been murdered will take place tomorrow in Fargo. It’s an annual event that began in 2015. Nationally, indigenous women are kidnapped or murdered at a rate ten times higher than the national average. Some Native American women are learning to fight back, as we hear in this story from Boston reporter Quincy Walters. ~~~ Sue Balcom joins us to discuss local foods as she previews the upcoming conference of the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association. ~~~ Doug and Christine have our What’s Happening calendar of events.

On this date in 1920, more than 2,000 women from across the United States, including a delegation from North Dakota, were attending a convention set up through the National American Woman Suffrage Association at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The weeklong convention was called a celebration of the emancipation of American women. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the Suffrage Association, stated that this “ratification convention” was “the most momentous of all conventions held in the last fifty-one years.”

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – The ever-rising costs of prescription drugs are one of the biggest concerns for the AARP. We visit with North Dakota state director Josh Askvig and special guest Megan O’Reilly from AARP’s national office in Washington, D-C. Megan is the vice president of the federal health and family group in AARP’s government affairs department. ~~~ A Plains Folk essay from Tom Isern “The Lightning Rod Man.” ~~~ Ava Hill of Kindred was crowned Miss International 2019 back in July at the international pageant in Charleston, West Virginia. Her life has been a whirlwind since, as she has traveled the world. She visits with John Harris in this excerpt from the Prairie Pulse television show.

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