Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — North Dakota leaders are signaling a growing willingness to use earnings from the state's $3.8 billion Legacy Fund to shore up declining revenues when they craft the budget for next biennium, but just which earnings will be available is still up in the air. "I'll tell you right now, I'm counting on the revenue from the Legacy Fund," Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, said during a lively panel discussion Thursday as part of the Greater North Dakota Chamber's daylong Policy Summit in Bismarck.
BISMARCK — Differences of opinion over property and oil taxes, federal regulations and approaches to the state's mental health crisis emerged in the first of three scheduled debates between North Dakota's three candidates for governor on Thursday. Republican entrepreneur Doug Burgum of Fargo, Democratic state Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla and Fargo business owner Marty Riske, the Libertarian Party candidate, squared off in a largely fireworks-free debate that capped off the Greater North Dakota Chamber's Policy Summit at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.
BISMARCK — Last year's economic slowdown in North Dakota didn't put the brakes on criminal activity, as the state posted its highest increase in the per-capita crime rate in at least five years, according to the annual crime report released Thursday. The per-capita crime rate jumped by 9.8 percent last year — more than double the 4.4 percent increase in 2014 — based on the U.S. Census Bureau's estimated population of 756,927. That compares to a 0.3 percent reduction in the crime rate in 2013 and increases of 8.4 percent in 2012 and 7.8 percent in 2011.
NEAR CANNON BALL – North Dakota’s homeland security director ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite Monday, citing mounting reports of...
BISMARCK — Barrels of oil aren't the only thing North Dakota is making less of these days. Residents produced fewer bundles of joy last year, too. The number of babies born to North Dakota residents declined in 2015 for the first time in 14 years, according to vital statistics released by the state Department of Health this week.
BISMARCK — The state Board of Higher Education's three-member Audit Committee voted unanimously Friday to hire an independent third party to investigate whether North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani's handling of media guidelines for athletics coverage violated any board policies. Board President Kathleen Neset, who chairs the committee, said the review is "in everyone's best interest."
BISMARCK — Abortions performed in North Dakota hit their lowest number last year since recordkeeping began in the 1980s, which the director of the state's lone abortion clinic attributes largely to better availability and insurance coverage of contraceptives. The Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo performed 1,166 abortions last year, down from 1,264 in 2014, according to the North Dakota Department of Health, which began keeping abortion statistics in 1981. The previous low was 1,182 abortions in 2013, while the high was 3,076 in 1982.
BISMARCK — North Dakotans will vote this fall on whether to legalize marijuana for medical use, one of five measures that will appear on the November ballot, Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Thursday. Sponsors needed 13,452 signatures to get the initiated measure, which they've dubbed the Compassionate Care Act, on the Nov. 8 ballot. They delivered 18,011 signatures to Jaeger on July 11, and 17,217 were accepted as qualified electors.
BISMARCK – The most in-depth audit to date of the computer network that supports North Dakota’s state government found a “fundamental weakness” in the Information Technology Department’s inability to deploy...
BISMARCK — North Dakota voters will decide in November whether to raise taxes on tobacco products for the first time since 1993, including a fivefold increase in the cigarette tax that sponsors of the ballot measure hope will motivate adults to quit smoking and prevent young people from starting. Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced Wednesday that 21,698 of the 22,840 signatures that sponsors submitted in early July were accepted as being qualified. Sponsors needed 13,452 signatures to place the proposed change in state law on the Nov. 8 ballot.