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General News

Mock to serve on national committee

May 15, 2019
North Dakota House of Representatives

A North Dakota legislator has been named co-chair of a national committee that meets to discuss issues in state governments.

A committee of the State Board of Higher Education has endorsed a plan by Williston State College to charge in-state tuition rates for students from surrounding states and Canadian provinces.

WSC has done this in the past.

College President Dr. John Miller told the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee he’s concerned about the college remaining competitive.

"We believe that, if we keep our factors, our tuition at a cost-effective place, it's going to spur growth," Miller said. "That, in turn, will lead to additional tuition revenue in the long run."

Health Dept. wants to expand reportable conditions

May 15, 2019

The state Health Department is proposing adding to the list of reportable medical conditions. Department Division of Disease Control director Kirby Krueger said the proposal is to expand the list to include a few items that are not infectious in nature.

"Things like fetal alcohol syndrome, overdoses, violent deaths that are an important public health status for us," Krueger said. "The impacts to the public are large for these types of things."

Kruger said the Department wants to make sure it's getting the best data to make good decisions on dealing with these conditions.

U-Mary nursing program ranks 1st in the nation

May 14, 2019

The nursing program at the University of Mary in Bismarck has been named number 1 in America.

The Grand Forks Police Department will be out in full-force next week as part of the nationwide "Click It or Ticket" campaign. Prairie Public's Matt Eidson has the story.

North Dakota has 5th smallest drug problem in the US

May 13, 2019

According to a recent study, North Dakota has the 5th smallest drug problem in the country.

The state Agriculture Department is preparing to take over grain elevator licensing and inspection from the Public Service Commission.

The 2019 Legislature passed the measure to make that transfer.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said his office is working on the transition.

"That means visiting with the PSC, and starting to fully understand what's going to have to move," Goehring said. "It also means we will start hiring in the near future."

MDU is preparing to retire three of its coal-fired electrical generation units.

Two of them are at the Heskett Plant, north of Mandan – the other is the Lewis and Clark plant at Sidney, Montana. Together, the three units represent 144 megawatts. The natural gas peaking plant is 88 megawatts.

MDU plans to replace the Heskett units with a natural gas peaking unit. The coal fired units were “baseload” units.

Health officials hope measles stays out of North Dakota

May 10, 2019

As of Monday, there have been 764 confirmed cases of measles in 23 states.

North Dakota is not one of them, and health officials are hoping it stays that way. Molly Howell is immunization program manager with the North Dakota Department of Health. She says currently just over 93 percent of schoolchildren in the state are vaccinated - but ideally, officials would like that rate to be at least 95 percent. Howell says there are certain "pockets" in the state where the rate is much lower, and therefore at a greater risk.

New wind farm to be built near Tioga

May 8, 2019

A new 300 megawatt wind farm has been approved to be built northwest of Tioga.

The Aurora Wind farm has a price tag of $380 million. It would have up to 121 turbines, and would be built over 44,000 acres.

The size of the wind farm's footprint was questioned by North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Randy Christmann.

"That's more than a half-section of land per turbine," Christmann said.

Christmann said some of the recent applicants for wind farm siting have, after approval, narrowed down their site plans.