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General News

A group is working to get enough signatures to refer the bill dealing with a proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum to voters.

That facility would be built in Medora.

The 2019 Legislature passed a bill to appropriate $15 million from the state’s General Fund, plus allow for a $35 million loan from the Bank of North Dakota to create an endowment fund – if $100 million can be raised privately. The $50 million would go toward maintenance and operation.

The bill was one of Gov. Doug Burgum's priorities in the 2019 Legislature.

The 2019 Legislature voted to merge the state’s Department of Career and Technical Education with the Center for Distance Education.

The Center for Distance Education manages online course offerings.

State CTE director Wayde Sick called it a good marriage.

"The Center for Distance Ed provides courses broader than just career and technical education," Sick said. "But this will only strengthen what our virtual career-tech ed centers are doing."

Sick said the CDE can use its technology, and CTE can use its curriculum and expertise to reach even more students.

Twenty-eight Republican governors have signed a letter to Congress, asking that the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement be passed.

This comes in the wake of Mexico ratifying it. Canada has not yet acted, either.

Gov. Doug Burgum was one of those signing the letter.

"In every material way, the new agreement is better for North Dakota than the old NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Burgum told reporters. "Whether it's from an agricultural standpoint, a workforce standpoint, an energy standpoint -- it's better."

US Census Bureau photo

The US Census Bureau says North Dakota was the only state to see its average age getting younger over the past 10 years.

The Bureau says the median age in North Dakota in 2018 was 35. It was 37 in 2010. North Dakota remains the fourth youngest state, behind Utah, Alaska and Texas.

"This reflects the fact that people see opportunity here," said Gov. Doug Burgum. "Whether that's a place to raise a family, a place to have a great career, a place to get an education, it reflects well on our state."

Burgum said it bodes well for the state in the long run.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It’s called “One Basin-One Way.”

It’s a standardized contractor safety program.

The program allows workers in the oil industry to go through safety training just once, instead of having to repeat the training if they change jobs in the industry.

It was developed by the North Dakota Petroleum Council. Training will be provided by the North Dakota Safety Council, TrainND Northwest and Diamond B – and companies that work in North Dakota oil fields have signed on it.

Teachers celebrated at the Capitol

Jun 20, 2019
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It was a celebration of -- and for -- teachers.

"When we all think back on our own education, we can all think of a teacher, instructor, mentor, that was a champion for each and every one of us," Gov. Doug Burgum said during the event at the state Capitol. "We know what kind of a difference that made in our lives. And that's the kind of difference each one of you are making."

Burgum, state school superintendent Kirsten Baesler and North Dakota United president Nick Archuleta hosted the celebration.

3 Homes in 10 Days

Jun 19, 2019
Joshua Hinkemeyer

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity is holding the Dakota Blitz 3:10 in the West Fargo area. The project is partnered by the Blitz Home Builders organization, who selected the area for their next project. Pete Christopher, Resource Development and Marketing Manager, says this project has been in the works for over a year. He says there will be around 100 volunteers from 19 different states participating. Executive Director Jim Nelson says that volunteer work is rewarding.

Deadline to apply for gas tax refund is July 1

Jun 19, 2019

July 1st is the deadline to apply for a refund of state fuel taxes for 2018.

Ryan Rauschenberger is tax commissioner for the state of North Dakota. He says gas taxes pay for maintenance on state roads, but people like farmers and ranchers may buy a lot of fuel for vehicles that never use those roadways. Rauschenberger says the state gas tax is 23.5 percent. He says farmers and ranchers can apply for a refund and receive 23 cents per gallon, while industrial consumers may receive a refund of 22.5 cents per gallon.

A delay in the UND Memorial Union project?

Jun 19, 2019
University of North Dakota

The wrecking ball will have to wait.

The chancellor of the North Dakota University System has asked for a delay in the Student Union replacement project at UND. That’s because of President Mark Kennedy’s departure.

Zebra mussels found in Lake Ashtabula

Jun 19, 2019
File photo

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has confirmed zebra mussels in Lake Ashtabula, north of Valley City.

Lake Ashtabula is a reservoir on the Sheyenne River.

Aquatic nuisance species coordinator Jessica Howell said an angler discovered the mussel, and turned it into Game and Fish She says it was an adult. And Howell said subsequent tests show the lake is fairly-well infested.

"On the buoys we found multiple life-stages," Howell said. "We found larger adults and some smaller 'settlers' that were likely from last fall."