Health & Environment | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Health & Environment

'A Day of Prevention'

Apr 12, 2018


It was called “A Day of Prevention.”

People gathered in Bismarck to talk about how to prevent substance abuse.

Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum hosted it, along with the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

"We spent $26 million in the last decade building jails in our state," Burgum said. "This year, in the budget, we will spend $100,000 for prevention. Each dollar of prevention could save as much as $64 downstream."

A Jamestown High School administrator suffered a case of “nicotine poisoning” after confiscating an e-cigarette from a student.

The tobacco control director for the Central Valley Health District in Jamestown, Nancy Neary, said Jamestown High Assistant vice-principal John Conway confiscated an e-cigarette and accompanying liquid from a student in one of the school’s rest rooms.

"When he handled that, some of the oil on the outside of the bottle got on his hand," Neary said. And she said Conway got sick almost immediately.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public


That’s how National Weather Service hydrologist Allen Schlag describes the snow we’ve had over the last few days.

"Probably anybody who's out there shoveling really like the idea of calling this 'beneficial,'" Schlag joked.

But Schlag said it has been a helpful event for agriculture and the environment.

"Prior to coming into this weekend, we were well below normal for both snowfall received and snowpack retained on the countryside," Schlag said. "The current snowfall we've received -- there's nothing in it that is alarming."

Beavers and Winter Finches

Dec 12, 2017


I drive by a few beaver lodges each day on my way to and from work.  When I pass by the lodges, especially now after ice-up, I often wonder what they are doing.  

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Sanford Health – Bismarck is expanding its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Sanford Vice-President Dr. Craig Lambrecht made the announcement. He said the unit will go from 12 to 24 beds – and it will include 18 private rooms. It will be on the sixth floor of Sanford’s Bismarck hospital.

Lambrecht said one of the factors in making this expansion is a growing number of babies affected by opioids and methamphetamines.

"These babies come in premature," Lambercht said. "They come in with complexities -- they're just very irritable, and they're difficult to take care of."

TransCanada Corp. said its Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.

The company said crews shut down the pipeline this Thursday morning after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from an oil leak that's under investigation. The section of pipe near the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota, has been isolated and the company says emergency response procedures were activated.

Organic farming growing in ND

Oct 23, 2017

The number of acres becoming certified organic in North Dakota is rising.

Organic farmers say there are many reasons, some relate to health, but others are financial.

Lowell Kaul owns Organic Kaul Farms in Harvey. He’s begun growing a grain variety called ‘Emmer.”

“It’s an ancient grain," Kaul said. "It goes way back.”

Kaul said he began growing it because his grandfather and great-grandfather planted it.

Pheasant season opens early

Sep 26, 2017
ND Game and Fish Dept.

An early opening for North Dakota’s pheasant season.

It opens Oct. 7th. That’s because the Legislature changed the law, saying the season will open no later than Oct. 12th. Normally, the season began the second Saturday in October.

The outlook?

"Pheasant hunters are going to notice a reduction in pheasant numbers," said North Dakota Game and Fish Assistant Wildlife Division chief Casey Anderson. "There's the tough winter, the drought and the reduced number of habitat acres. Those things piled on to each other start to add up."

Sanford Medical Center

Nearly two-months into full operations at Fargo’s new Sanford Medical Center officials are reporting record numbers of patients being served. Prairie Public's Todd McDonald has details...

ND Grain Growers Assoc.

The executive director of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association has this assessment of the drought.

"Oh, goodness sakes -- the drought is devastating in western North Dakota," said Dan Wogsland.

Wogsland said when he was on the crop quality tour at the end of July, what he saw stunned him.

"I went from Mandan to Richardton, up to Halliday and over to Hazen," Wogsland said. "I was astounded at how many wheat fields were bailed up. It's really, really tough."