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General News

Insurance Commissioner Godfread seeks re-election

6 hours ago
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner wants a second term.

Republican Jon Godfread has announced he’s running for re-election.

"Insurance is a promise," Godfread told Bismarck reporters. "A promise that is fundamental to the success of our economy, fundamental to the risk takers who are moving the economy forward, and fundamental to our families for peace of mind."

Godfread said if re-elected, he would continue to be the "fair, consistent and accessible" commissioner.

The search committee chosen to find a new Bismarck State College president has scheduled a number of “listening sessions” for faculty, staff, students and the public.

Current BSC President Dr. Larry Skogen will be leaving next June.

The first listening session is scheduled Wed., Oct. 16th, at the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence, for BSC faculty and staff.

'Virtual Hospital' for BSC Health Science students

Oct 10, 2019
Dave Thompson/Prairie Public

A "virtual hospital."

Bismarck State College’s Health Sciences program has moved from a downtown Bismarck location to the main campus.

The program is now housed in the former “Unisys” building.

Mary Volk chairs the Health Sciences Department. She said the Unisys building, which housed a call center, was purchased by the BSC Foundation in 2014, and was renovated to give it more of a hospital feel.

"This is, to me, a hospital," Volk said. "I came out of the hospital, where I worked for 15 years. This is a hospital, to me."

Sanford planning new heart hospital in Bismarck

Oct 9, 2019
Sanford

Sanford Bismarck has announced it’s going to build a new heart hospital.

It will be built downtown, near the current Sanford campus.

"As we saw significant growth over the last three years, it has really shed a light on what's going on in Bismarck," said Sanford Bismarck president Dr. Michael LeBeau. "There's a great need for capacity. And we're excited -- as you look at 26 heart providers, and really building a full, comprehensive heart program."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Another step for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Control Project.

The FM Diversion Authority has been invited to apply for a $510 million federal loan – at a low interest rate. The loan program is administered through the Environmental Protection Agency, and is created through the federal Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the Diversion Authority was asked to provide a “letter of intent” to apply, due this past July.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency said he expects a new “Waters of the United States” rule to be written by winter.

Andrew Wheeler was in Bismarck for a roundtable discussion on WOTUS.

The rule, as promulgated by the Obama Administration, was struck down in the courts. North Dakota was one of the lead states to file suit.

Wheeler’s agency has been working on a rewrite based on that ruling.

An NDSU Extension ag finance specialist says he's concerned about the upcoming production year for farmers in the region.

Bryon Parman says after experiencing several years of low margins due to low prices and steady input costs, the weather in 2019 isn't doing producers any favors. Parman says the hardship is not limited to farmers just in North Dakota, but nationwide - and he says he's worried.

The director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority wants the Energy and Environmental Research Center at UND to look at how the chemical makeup of natural gas liquids changes over the life of an oil well.

"It's very high or rich in propane, butane and ethane," said Authority director Justin Kringstad.

In North Dakota’s Bakken and Three Forks formations, natural gas is a byproduct of oil drilling.

Kringstad said the question exists on whether this gas chemistry will change over time.

ND Corn Growers

The federal EPA has announced a “rule-making” process to allow year round sales of E-15 – gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend – and to remove any barriers to the sale of that fuel.

In North Dakota, the Corn Utilization Council and the Ethanol Council have launched “Unleaded88” – an effort to promote the sale of E-15. The “88” stands for the octane rating for the fuel.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum says things are “going forward” in terms of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum, planned for Medora.

Burgum and North Dakota's two US Senators, John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, hosted Federal Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who came to North Dakota to tour the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and to discuss the plans for the Library.

The Legislature has set aside $50 million for the project – if and when $100 million can be raised privately.

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