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General News

2019 'second busiest' year for ND Airports

Jan 17, 2020
ND Aeronautcs Commission

Nearly 1.2 million passengers boarded commercial airplanes in North Dakota in 2019.

That makes it the second busiest on record for North Dakota airports. And it was up about 10 percent from 2018.

Seven of the eight commercial airports in the state showed more passengers than they did in 2018. And three airports – Bismarck, Devils Lake and Fargo – set new records.

Goodrich school to co-op with McClusky for grades 7-12

Jan 17, 2020

Come this fall, Goodrich will no longer have its own high school.

It will enter a co-op with McClusky High School.

"Declining enrollment," is the reason given by Goodrich Superintendent and Principal Rodney Scherbenske.

Goodrich will keep a K-6 grade school, and grades 7 to 12 will go to McClusky.

Scherbenske said next year, Goodrich would have had 4 students in 7-12, and he says McClusky would have 15 students.

"Very few kids left in Sheridan County, between both schools," Scherbenske said.

Dickinson State University’s interim president has released his proposal to close a $7 million budget shortfall in the current biennium.

North Dakota Game and Fish Dept.

For the first time since 2018, USDA is accepting applications for the Conservation Reserve Program.

And the state Game and Fish Department is offering help to farmers who are interested in signing up for CRP.

Game and Fish private land supervisor Kevin Kading said he hopes to show landowners that CRP-created wildlife habitat makes it a great fit for the department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program, or PLOTS.

"We might be able to help them out in some ways with cost-share assistance, or some other incentives, if they're interested in CRP," Kading said.

City of Mandan

A milestone in the clean-up of diesel fuel underground in downtown Mandan.

The Mandan Remediation Trust will meet Wednesday, Jan. 22nd, to talk about closing the Mandan Remediation site.

Diesel fuel was first discovered in downtown Mandan in 1984, as the new Law Enforcement Center was being built.

Sunflower harvest isn't finished

Jan 14, 2020
National Sunflower Association

Just like other commodities, the sunflower harvest was delayed because of the weather.

"We still have about 20 percent of the crop that still needs to be harvested in the US," said National Sunflower Association executive director John Sandbakken. "In North Dakota, it's probably a little bit higher -- closer to that 25 to 30 percent level."

But Sandbakken said weather permitting, producers are out, trying to get the crop off. He said it now looks like the crop will be about the same size as last year.

The Public Service Commission is still working through some issues regarding a proposed 205 megawatt wind farm in northern McLean County.

The Ruso wind farm would have 60 to 63 turbines.

The issue is the new light mitigating technology. It would use radar to detect planes in the area of the wind farm, to turn on lights.  State law says wind farms permitted after June of 2016 have to have that technology.

But Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the Ruso case is different.

PSC schedules work session on DAPL expansion

Jan 13, 2020

The Public Service Commission has scheduled a work session on the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

That work session will be held January 23rd.

Energy Transfer is proposing a doubling of the pipeline’s capacity – from 500,000 barrels of oil per day to 1.1 million barrels. It would do that by adding compressors at a site west of Linton.

The PSC held a lengthy public hearing in Linton last fall.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said she doesn’t think a final decision will take too long.

The director of the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education said there continues to be a strong demand for CTE.

Wayde Sick said employers across the state have for a long time understood the importance of career and technical education – and they continue to support it.

"They continue to say our high schools and colleges need to make sure students are being helped in planning for careers," Sick said. "The demand is here."

Sick said of the 14,000 to 15,000 unfilled jobs in North Dakota, many require an associate degree or less.

Three of six wind power projects in North Dakota permitted after June of 2018 that did not meet a December 31st deadline to have new turbine tower lighting systems installed now say they're in compliance.

They are Oliver Wind, and Brady Wind One and Two.

Those systems would use radar technology, to turn the lights on when an aircraft approaches. Some residents living in the vicinity of wind farms objected to the blinking red lights common to the towers.