Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK – The Bank of North Dakota expects to lose $400 million to $500 million in assets during the current economic downturn, but President Eric Hardmeyer said the state-owned bank will remain on solid footing and proceed with construction of a $17 million financial services center. The bank’s assets have more than tripled over the past decade, from just more than $2 billion in 2005 to slightly more than $7.4 billion last year, driven largely by strong energy and agricultural sectors.
BISMARCK – A new poll commissioned by North Dakota’s largest union of public teachers and employees finds Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum trailing Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem by a large margin in the race for the Republican nomination for governor. The poll by North Dakota United and St. Paul-based DFM Research asked 369 likely Republican primary voters if they would vote for Burgum or Stenehjem if the June 14 primary election was between the two candidates.
BISMARCK – North Dakota lawmakers raised concerns Tuesday that investors are taking advantage of a state tax incentive program and vented frustrations about the lack of data needed to evaluate whether investments in out-of-state companies have benefited the economy at home.
BISMARCK – U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will deliver the keynote speech at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party’s state convention April 2 in Bismarck, the party announced Monday. Gillibrand, an attorney, was elected to the U.S. House in November 2006. She was appointed to the Senate in January 2009 to fill the seat left open when President Barack Obama appointed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s appointment to secretary of state.
BISMARCK – A Fargo lawmaker is calling for an administrative review of the state Department of Human Services after charges filed against its director and several staffers cast doubts on the licensing process for child care providers, including an “unofficial policy” of letting those with lapsed licenses operate until their renewal paperwork goes through.
BISMARCK – Two performance audits released Thursday bash how the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands handles oil impact grants and unclaimed property, but the department’s top official disagrees with some of the findings. The state auditor’s office found that aspects of both programs were “operating ineffectively” in the department’s Energy Infrastructure and Impact Office and Unclaimed Property Division.
BISMARCK – With oil tax revenues falling far short of earlier projections, the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands voted unanimously Thursday to suspend future oil impact grant rounds and put a hold on about $7.4 million in grants for projects that haven’t started yet. “We have a grave challenge in that we have already granted $14 million more than it appears we will be collecting,” Department of Trust Lands Commissioner Lance Gaebe said.
BISMARCK – Gasoline and diesel fuel supplies – and potentially prices – will improve for North Dakota and Minnesota consumers with construction of a $12 million project approved Wednesday that will connect two major pipelines near Fargo, officials said. The North Dakota Public Service Commission unanimously granted a permit for the 7.3-mile refined products pipeline in Cass County proposed by San Antonio-based NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership.
BISMARCK – North Dakota regulators were granted a rare request Wednesday to charge an additional fee to oversee construction of what will be the largest crude oil pipeline out of the state’s prolific Bakken oilfield. The state Emergency Commission voted 6-0 to give the Public Service Commission permission to assess an additional $100,000 fee to Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and developer of the proposed 1,168-mile Dakota Access pipeline.
BISMARCK – The two Republican members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation joined more than 200 of their House and Senate colleagues Tuesday in filing a brief urging a federal appeals court to overturn the Obama administration’s new rule aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.