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BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House passed a bill to “harmonize” state law with the recently passed constitutional provision known as “Marsy’s Law” Thursday, Jan. 19. House Bill 1194 passed with only two dissenting votes. Rep. Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck, said it doesn’t change any of the provisions of the measure that voters approved in November, but rather amends inconsistent parts of state law.
PORTAL, N.D. – Winter weather contributed to a spill at a saltwater disposal well last weekend but the contamination was contained to the site, the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division said Wednesday, Jan. 18. RIM Operating Inc. reported that 400 barrels, or 16,800 gallons, of produced water spilled and was contained and recovered at the site about 8 miles east of Portal.
BISMARCK - North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk is a candidate for a job at the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota. Kalk said he has had two interviews for the director of energy systems development and would resign from the Public Service Commission if hired for the position. "I'm hopeful that a formal offer is coming our way," Kalk said Wednesday, Jan. 18.
BOWMAN, N.D. — A pipeline leak has caused a spill of about 300 barrels, or 12,600 gallons, of produced water about 11 miles south of Bowman, the North Dakota Department of Health said Tuesday, Jan. 17. The leak, in a gathering pipeline owned by Luff Exploration Co., was discovered last Friday. Officials were still working to determine the extent of the damage, but there were no indications that it affected water sources, said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager. The health department and the North Dakota Industrial Commission are investigating. (FNS)
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House easily passed legislation to limit the bonuses given to the governors’ staff and appointees Tuesday, Jan. 17. House Bill 1153 would limit recruitment and retention bonuses paid to an employee in the governor’s office or state officer appointed by the governor to 10 percent of their annual salary or $5,000, whichever is less. It came in response some controversy over bonuses paid to some of former Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s staff and Cabinet members in 2015.
DENVER — North Dakota State's unbeaten streak in Summit League men's basketball came to a crashing halt Saturday with a 79-55 loss at Denver. It was NDSU's second-worse loss of the season. The Bison suffered an 85-55 loss at nationally-ranked Xavier earlier this season. They also had a 17-point loss to North Dakota and a 16-point loss to Arkansas.
Grand Forks police have arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of committing two hit-and-runs two minutes apart Saturday morning, Jan. 14. Victor Garzamarichalar, Grand Forks, was arrested and charged Saturday with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and following too closely.
MANDAN, N.D. -- A South Dakota man wanted on a warrant for criminal trespass charges turned himself in to authorities on Friday, Jan. 13. Michael Markus is accused of trespassing on the Backwater Bridge during a Dakota Access Pipeline protest Dec. 7, a release from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said. Authorities say he cut and removed portions of the security wire. After a verbal confrontation, the suspect left the bridge. Law enforcement has made 586 arrests during protest activity since Aug. 10.
BISMARCK — Taxable sales and purchases were down almost 20 percent in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the same time period a year before, North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger announced Thursday, Jan. 12. Taxable sales and purchases totaled $4.6 billion in July, August and September of last year. Rauschenberger cited lower oil and farm commodity prices for the decline. The $4.6 billion figure is closer to what third quarter taxable sales and purchases were six years ago, Rauschenberger said, adding that a "new normal" may emerge soon.