John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — The lengthy legal saga over the troubled former Dickinson State University Foundation appears to be nearing an end. The case is headed for trial starting Monday, June 19, nearly two years after North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem called for the nonprofit foundation's dissolution. That move came after allegations of financial and ethical issues, including that restricted funds were being used to cover operational costs.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum have announced a day of "facilitated conversations" on addiction recovery. The event, dubbed "Recovery Reinvented," is scheduled for Sept. 26 at the Bismarck Event Center. The Burgums invited advocates, behavioral health providers, community leaders and others to the event.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers held off Tuesday, June 13 on deciding whether to address several vetoes issued by Gov. Doug Burgum after the legislative session ended in late April. Grand Forks Republican Sen. Ray Holmberg, who chairs Legislative Management, said they were still waiting on an opinion from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem on whether Burgum overstepped his constitutional authority with those vetoes. The opinion was requested by the House and Senate majority leaders in mid-May.
FARGO — A state Health Department official has raised concerns with the permit application for a new oil refinery near a national park in western North Dakota, questioning "extremely low emissions estimates" for the project. In a May 15 letter to Meridian Energy Group Vice President Tom Williams, Terry O'Clair, the director of the air quality division at the North Dakota Department of Health, said an ongoing review of the company's permit application for the Davis Refinery in Billings County revealed some "concerns" that need to be resolved.
FARGO — The Trump administration is focused on removing red tape to improve the nation's infrastructure, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said after meeting with the president and Cabinet officials Thursday, June 8. Burgum, along with Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, was at the White House for a summit on infrastructure with governors, mayors, tribal officials and others. President Donald Trump hosted a larger meeting Thursday afternoon after Cabinet officials met in small group settings earlier in the day.
FARGO—North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House Thursday, June 8. The governor's office said Monday Burgum would meet with the fellow Republican, along with senior administration officials, other governors, mayors and others to discuss "ways to improve the nation's infrastructure through partnerships." Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford will also join Burgum this week.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Department of Human Services said Friday, June 2, that more than 2,000 Medicaid recipients' protected health information was breached after someone discovered documents in a Bismarck dumpster last month. The department said it recovered the documents May 10, the same day they were notified by the citizen who discovered them. The Medicaid "claim resolution worksheet documents" were dated 2015, according to DHS. The department has "found no evidence that any confidential information has been used improperly or further disclosed."
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers rejected just a handful of proposed studies Wednesday, May 31, as a legislative committee set the stage for their work during the interim period between regular sessions. Legislative Management, a committee of North Dakota lawmakers, met at the state Capitol for the first time since ending the 2017 regular session a month ago. Lawmakers slashed general fund spending by nearly a third this year due to reduced tax revenue.
BISMARCK—North Dakota officials aren't actively fundraising for a workforce recruitment advertising campaign launched a few years ago. Sara Otte Coleman, the tourism division director at the state Department of Commerce, said because the state Legislature didn't put money toward the "Find the Good Life in North Dakota" campaign this year, the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation didn't continue raising funds. But she said there are existing funds to keep the campaign active. "It's going to continue to be a priority," she said.
BISMARCK—State officials approved a short-term extension for the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands commissioner's appointment Thursday, May 25, but also decided to open up applications for the position. Lance Gaebe, whose term was up at the end of June before Thursday's action by the Board of University of School Lands, said he intends to reapply for the position. He said there hasn't been a formal performance review on his position since he took the job in 2010. "It's a way of doing a performance evaluation in the context of applying for the opening," he said.