Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK – The financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall St. has named North Dakota as the nation’s best-run state for the fourth consecutive year, but this year’s top ranking comes with a cautionary note.
BISMARCK – North Dakota lawmakers should take another look at shielding the names of applicants for college presidencies and other high-level government jobs from public view, at least until the finalist stage, so that good candidates aren’t discouraged from applying, incoming University of North Dakota interim president Ed Schafer said.
BISMARCK – North Dakota’s holiday tradition of traveling out-of-state for the Capitol Christmas tree has come to a close, replaced by a new artificial tree now on display in Memorial Hall. Facility Management Director John Boyle said fire code prohibits live trees in commercial buildings, and the Bismarck Fire Department has long wanted the state to get an artificial tree to eliminate the fire hazard.
BISMARCK -- When asked once if she voted with her heart or with her constituents, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said she responded, “I vote with my head.” But several of her recent votes have some Democrats scratching their own heads over what seems like a more right-leaning senator than the person they helped narrowly elect over U.S. Rep. Rick Berg in 2012.
BISMARCK – Steve McNally still remembers the reaction from the man seated next to him on the airplane when McNally told him he was flying to his new job in frigid Minot, N.D., from his previous gig in tropical Jakarta, Indonesia. “ ‘Why not Minot? Freezin’s the reason,’ ” McNally, general manager of North Dakota operations for Hess Corp., recalled the man saying in January 2012. McNally said the reaction his wife got from an airport worker – “ ‘Better you than me’ ” – wasn’t much better.
BISMARCK – Bismarck attorney and former state agriculture commissioner Sarah Vogel has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run for governor, the Democrat said Monday, the day before Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was set to formally announce his candidacy.
BISMARCK – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a state law blocked last year that would prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which would be the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation. The law passed by state lawmakers in 2013 and signed by Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple would make it a Class C felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, which is at around six weeks of pregnancy.
BISMARCK – North Dakota’s tax revenues fell short of projections by nearly $49 million in October, marking the third consecutive month of lower-than-expected collections and prompting the state budget office to discuss updating the forecast given to lawmakers in March. Overall tax revenues are $112 million, or 7.5 percent, less than projected for the first four months of the 2015-17 biennium that began July 1, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Office of Management and Budget.
BISMARCK – The second Republican to enter the race for North Dakota state auditor said Tuesday his business experience sets him apart from his competition for the GOP nomination. Brian Kroshus of Bismarck highlighted his 10 years as publisher of the Bismarck Tribune and nearly 30 years in the private sector as he officially announced his candidacy at GOP headquarters in Bismarck.
BISMARCK – A partnership involving a Lutheran synod in North Dakota ran afoul of federal regulations when it brought religion into a federally funded program that supports victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, the U.S. Department of Justice found in a highly critical report finalized this month.