General News | Prairie Public Broadcasting

General News

Census Bureau looking for North Dakota workers

Jan 2, 2020

The US Census Bureau is looking for temporary workers to help with the count.

And the Bureau has raised the per-hour pay in North Dakota, in part because of the state’s low unemployment rate.

The Census Office Manager for the state Commerce Department, Kevin Iverson, said in western North Dakota, the pay has been upped from $17 to $21 an hour, while in the eastern counties, it went from $15.50 to $18. The exception is Cass County, where the pay is now $21 an hour.

Work continues on NAWS project

Jan 2, 2020

Work is progressing on the Northwest Area Water Supply Project.

That project will bring Missouri River Water to Minot and the Northwest.

State Water Commission Engineer Garland Erbele said designs are being developed for a retrofit of the pump station at Snake Creek, and to look at the condition of the raw water line from Snake Creek to Minot. And Erbele said the design for the new Max biota treatment plant is being finalized.

The Missouri Slope Area United Way has launched a fundraising campaign called “Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is…For Homeless.”

MSA United Way Executive Director Jena Gullo said it stems from the recent Burleigh County Commission meeting concerning refugees.

"We had hundreds of people show up to the meeting where they discussed refugee resettlement," Gullo said. "People were so passionate about it."

November’s revenue collections were slightly behind forecast.

Driving that were sales tax and individual income tax.

But North Dakota’s budget director said that could be more of a timing issue than anything. Joe Morrissette said that’s because the last days of the month of November fell on a weekend.

"As the businesses make those payments and deposits, they typically make the payments on the last calendar day of the month," Morrissette said. "And when that day falls on a weekend, those collections are, for the most part, accounted for in the following month."

For the second time in this winter season, Interstate highways had to be closed because of snow and blowing snow.

The first time was during the October snowstorm.

Mike Kisse is the program manager for the maintenance division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation. He said the decision to close the Interstates is a joint decision between DOT and the Highway Patrol.

"The criteria that is used is if the roadway is impassable, or if there is a life threatening situation for the motoring public," Kisse said.

GFPD investigating mail theft cases

Dec 27, 2019
KNOX Radio

Grand Forks police are investigating several reports of US mail being stolen from residential mailboxes.

Police have received three reports so far.

Sergeant Mike Jennings said it appears the thefts happened in the late night and early morning hours.

"We will be working with the US Postal Inspection Service, to attempt to identify a suspect," Jennings said.

Two suspect vehicle descriptions have been provided. One is a dark SUV, the other is a white 4 door sedan.

Christmas trees for fish habitat? In ND, no

Dec 27, 2019

You may be wondering what to do with your live Christmas tree, when the holiday is over.

You might be thinking of giving it to the North Dakota Game and Fish department, for use as fish habitat.

But Game and Fish stopped taking trees several years ago.

Fisheries chief Greg Power said they used to use several trees to make “Christmas Tree reefs.” That was tried in certain lakes. But Power said Game and Fish found out these were not very successful as habitat. And Power said it takes a lot of work to put a Christmas tree reef in.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota is awaiting a decision from federal regulators on Washington state’s new law that essentially bans accepting Bakken crude by rail.

North Dakota wants the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to block that law.

But state mineral resources director Lynn Helms is optimistic.

"That would be a great gift before the end of the year," Helms said.

Helms said PHMSA has until April 20th to make a decision.

"I don't think they'll take that long," Helms said.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research center has been doing research into ways to detect oil and gas leaks, as well as produced water leaks, under its "iPipe" program.

"iPipe" stands for "intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program."

EERC's Jay Almlie said one of its successes is in the use of staellite data to detect oil, produced water and methane leaks. A company called "Satelytics" has been working on that project. Almlie said it issues "red flags" to indicate leaks.

ND Supreme Court

The family of a North Dakota State College of Science student who became a police informant wants the North Dakota Supreme Court to reverse a district judge’s dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Andrew Sadek’s body was found in the Red River in July, 2014. He had a bullet in his head, and a backpack full of rocks tied around him. Sadek had been arrested on a drug crime, and was recruited to be a drug informant. He was reported missing May 1, 2014.