Jessica Holdman / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—A Bismarck-based all-natural pest repellent startup is in the midst of a major business expansion, having secured a $10 million growth equity investment. EarthKind CEO Kari Warberg-Block started by selling produce and potpourri at farmers markets to get her idea for Fresh Cab, a scent-based rodent repellent, off the ground. On her own, she expanded her product line and grew EarthKind to more than $10 million in sales, a feat she said only 1 percent of women-owned businesses have accomplished. Now she has her first investor — Sweat Equities Fund.
BISMARCK—A Bismarck daycare provider is accused of grabbing a 3-year-old boy roughly by the ears for peeing his pants. Marlene Steedsman, 55, was charged in South Central District Court with felony child abuse at her home day care. According to court documents, the boy's mother noticed her son's ears were red, had lacerations and bruises were forming when she picked him up from daycare on June 15. Upon asking him what happened, the boy allegedly told his mother that Steedsman had tried to "break ears off" for having peed his pants.
MANDAN, N.D.—A nurse staffing agency settled disputes over wages with more than 100 nurses. Employees of Mandan-based Dakota Travel Nurse have started receiving their cash payments after settling a federal lawsuit against the company, which court documents say staffs registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, certified medical assistants and nurse aides at 90 health care facilities in North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota.
BISMARCK—Last year, western North Dakota's wheat crop was less amber waves of grain and more round bales of cattle feed after a drought devastated field after field. As the Wheat Quality Council prepares to return to the state Monday for a tour of annual plantings, participants likely will find a much different scene from last year. And one look at Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor map explains why.
UNDERWOOD, N.D. — Greg Schutte compares Great River Energy's current transmission system to an 8-track tape and the improvements being made as upgrading to the latest iPhone. The CU HVDC line, which stands for high voltage direct current, was put in service 40 years ago in 1978. It's an extremely important line to GRE because it moves 73 percent of the cooperative's power supply 436 miles from Underwood to Buffalo, Minn., west of the Twin Cities, and serves about 500,000 customers across Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin.
BISMARCK—With oil activity on the rise, wages are up in North Dakota following two years of decline. Statistics released by North Dakota Job Service show wages in the state increased 3 percent over 2016 levels, averaging $50,313 statewide in 2017, though not overtaking 2014 as the year with the highest average wages. Williams County saw highest growth in wages, increasing 6 percent from $69,997 in 2016 to $74,287 in 2017.
MANDAN, N.D.-- North Dakota's largest farming organization is advocating for adjusting the crop insurance payments as a way to protect farmers from ongoing international trade retaliations. As House and Senate versions of a new Farm Bill head to conference committee, the North Dakota Farmers Union sees it as an opportunity to raise reference prices for price loss coverage crop insurance plans.
BISMARCK — It wasn't built as a fertilizer plant but, as of this year, Dakota Gasification Co.'s Great Plains Synfuels Plant is one. Negotiating its new role as regional fertilizer tycoon in its inaugural season was something of a trial by fire — but one the company aims to learn from and improve upon as it takes on the task of supplying farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana with the nitrogen source they need.
BISMARCK—A small sphere no bigger than a golf ball but filled with sensors, the Piper is inserted at one end of an underground pipeline. It flows along with whatever liquid the pipeline in carrying — crude oil, brine. Acoustic sensors listen for possible leaks. Pressure, temperature, acceleration, rotation of the Piper are all measured and deposits clogging the pipeline can be identified. It can even create a "pressure profile," allowing companies to determine where best to tie in new lengths of pipe.
BISMARCK—Great River Energy aims for 50 percent of its power to come from renewable sources within the next 12 years. A proposed wind farm in south central North Dakota would be a large component of the Minnesota-based cooperative to get there. The GRE board approved the initiative and announced the new goal Wednesday, June 6, at its annual meeting. "Great River Energy has already met Minnesota's 25 percent renewable energy standard eight years ahead of requirements," Great River Energy President CEO David Saggau said in a statement.