My first job out of college brought me to western North Dakota, but Vang Lutheran Church kept a part of my heart there after I left. I didn’t know how close I was to my ancestors’ land, and a church they helped create, until I was living in North Dakota for my own reasons 100 years later. They helped build the church and I got to see how special it was in its final years, when it was just barely beating back those prairie winds. My grandma loved her grandpa, and she loved to learn that all these years later, I had returned to his land.
Some of the more tragic effects of the oil downturn are happening behind closed doors. With so many couples and families already living in close quarters because of high rent, the stress brought on by the layoffs and other cuts in response to low oil prices has led to violence in some homes. The Dickinson domestic violence shelter housed nearly twice as many women in children the first three months of 2015 than the same period in 2014, director Darianne Johnson said.
BISMARCK - This legislative session’s major anti-human trafficking bill is on its way to Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s desk. Senate Bill 2107, North Dakota’s uniform act on trafficking, clearly defines the crime and puts a focus on helping victims of trafficking rather than prosecuting them. The House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously on Wednesday and the Senate concurred with it, also unanimously, on Thursday.
MANNING - Dunn County commissioners defied a crowd of landowners Wednesday in voting down a 60-percent neighbor approval requirement for proposed landfills, but citizens say their fight’s not over.
BISMARCK - Two major pieces of anti-human trafficking legislation passed the North Dakota House of Representatives on Wednesday as the session nears its final days. Representatives unanimously passed bills to enact a uniform law against trafficking and to allocate $1.25 million for victims. “It really sends a strong statement,” FUSE Coordinator Christina Sambor said of the bills’ passage. “North Dakota’s really making a huge leap forward in addressing trafficking.”
BISMARCK - The sure-to-be contentious hearings on a proposed wind farm east of Dickinson have been set by the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Commissioners approved the hearings during a special meeting Tuesday morning in Bismarck. The hearings will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, May 18 at the Dickinson State University Student Center at 900 Campus Drive.
A Belfield couple had enough methamphetamine in their home to make up to $60,000 by dealing it, investigators say. Trampus and Anita Parr, both 40 years old, face Class AA felony charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. Officers searched the residence, on Sixth Street Northeast, with a warrant on Feb. 5.
Organizers are putting the finishing touches this weekend on a Bakken products show in its first year in Dickinson.
The latest online job openings report shows thousands of jobs still available in North Dakota, but also continues a pattern following the downturn in oil prices. North Dakota saw 23,496 open and available positions in March 2015, an 11.5 percent increase over February, according to the latest Job Service North Dakota figures.
KILLDEER - A tank explosion here last month that was felt from miles away was caused by an equipment malfunction, operator Marathon Oil found in its investigation. An in-line flame arrestor failed and allowed the flare flame to get into the tanks, company spokesman Zac Weis said. The company wrapped up its investigation on the March 7 incident this week. “Essentially, that failed and allowed the flame to backflow into the tank,” he said.