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General News

Sobolik named President at Great Plains Food Bank

Jul 16, 2019
Great Plains Food Bank

The Great Plains Food Bank has named a new President.

Melissa Sobolik has assumed the role of President as Steve Sellant steps away from it. She says Sellant plans to stay on as CEO as he prepares for retirement within the next few years, so they will assume dual leadership roles. Sobolik has been with the Great Plains Food Bank for eleven years.

"I am just really excited to sort of dive into this position and really raise our presence statewide, and I like to be out, talking to people, raising awareness about ending hunger and finding new and innovative ways to do that."

'Produced water' spill near Williston

Jul 15, 2019

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality says approximately 500 barrels of produced water leaked from a pipeline east of Williston last week.

The pipeline is owned and operated by Polar Midstream.

Spill investigation program manager Bill Suess said it’s mostly salt brine, with a small bit of oil in it. He said the company's metering indicated a loss of pressure on the pipeline – and company inspectors found the leak about 20 miles east of Williston.

Suess said the water flowed down a hill into a small tributary of the Missouri River.

Mott cleaning up after F-1 tornado

Jul 15, 2019
Courtesy of Nadra Auch

The city of Mott continues to clean up after Friday night’s F-1 tornado.

Mott Mayor Troy Mosbrucker said the city had about 25 minutes of warning before the twister went through. He said no one was hurt – but there was plenty of damage.

"We had several buildings on Main that were affected," Mosbrucker said. "A car wash and connected storage units had the roof torn off and the doors torn off. We have a lot of uprooted trees, damage to homes in downtown, damaged grain bins."

Mosbrucker said a grain bin flew into the side of someone's house.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A 42-unit apartment building in northwest Mandan was severely damaged by fire Sunday.

The blaze was reported shortly after noon. Firefighters say it began in a third floor patio – and spread throughout the upper floor.

"The entire third floor was consumed," said Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doehring. "It will be uninhabitable, and it will have to be reconstructed."

Fire crews from Mandan, Bismarck, the nearby Marathon Oil Refinery, and rural departments responded. They fought the blaze in 90-plus degree heat and humid conditions.

A group wants to place a measure on the ballot that would end the prohibition on marijuana in North Dakota.

The group has submitted a proposed initiated measure to amend North Dakota’s Constitution.

"It really is time," said Jody Vetter of Bismarck, the steering committee chairperson. "We can't keep arresting our citizens, even though it is an infraction -- it's still on your record. It just needs to stop the stigma."

Recreational marijuana measure proposed

Jul 12, 2019

Marijuana measure                                     7-12-19 ddt

There’s another attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota.

A group has submitted a proposed Initiated Constitutional measure to allow recreational marijuana.

The measure limits individuals to 12 plants. It would require a license to sell marijuana products, and it prohibits the sale of marijuana products to anyone under the age of 21.

Church sexual assault victim goes public

Jul 11, 2019
T.McDonald / Prairie Public

A Rolette County woman is speaking up and telling her story about being sexually abused by a Catholic Priest. Prairie Public Reporter Todd McDonald has details…

UND Student Union rebuild going forward

Jul 11, 2019

The state Board of Higher Education has given UND permission to issue up to $80 million in bonds for a new Student Union.

But the actual cost may be less than that.

UND students voted to approve the project, with the bond payoff to come from increased student fees.

Interim UND President Josh Wynne had asked the staff to take another look at the proposal – because he was concerned about increased student debt load. But he told the Board he supports the project.

Reclamation work continuing at Gascoyne Mine

Jul 11, 2019

The mining stopped in the mid-90s.

But the reclamation work goes on.

Knife River Coal continues to work on reclaiming the Gascoyne Mine in southwestern North Dakota. It has one permitted parcel left to reclaim.

"This has taken decades," said Public Service Commissioner Randy Christmann, who holds the PSC's reclamation portfolio. "While some of the features were tiny, they weren't ignored."

Christmann said the company needed to make sure the reclamation was done correctly, even though mining operations had ceased -- and no revenue was coming in.

PSC looking at Dakota Access capacity plans

Jul 11, 2019
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The developers of the Dakota Access Pipeline are taking the next step in expanding the pipeline’s capacity.

The current capacity is 500,000 barrels of oil a day.

Energy Transfer Partners has now applied to the North Dakota Public Service Commission to site a new pumping station in Emmons County, west of Linton.

"It will consist of five 6,000 horsepower electric motors and pumps," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "It will allow for pipeline transportation of up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.