Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK -- North Dakota's former first lady Grace Link turned 95 Friday. And every day, the wife of former congressman and Gov. Art Link, said "I get up in the morning, put a smile on my face no matter how much I'm hurting, and say, 'today is going to be a good day,' and it always is." Grace and more than 50 other friends spent the afternoon at the former governor's mansion here as the Democratic-NPL party honored Link for her commitment to the party and state.
BISMARCK -- The list is out of the members that will recommend grants for outdoor and conservation projects from the state's new $30 million Outdoor Heritage Fund. Gov. Jack Dalrymple made the announcement Thursday from the North Dakota Heritage Center, calling the members of the Outdoor Heritage Fund Advisory Board a significant resource for conservation efforts. "This is a historic opportunity to have such a diverse group of people to come together," he said.
BISMARCK - A national education consultant gives the North Dakota Legislature an A-plus for its work in providing adequate and equitable funding to K-12 public schools. Allan Odden, a partner with Lawrence O. Picus and Associates, which designs school funding systems, told the Legislature's interim Education Funding Committee on Wednesday that the new funding formula adopted by the Legislature is going to have a significant impact. "Whatever tweaks that need to be made or not, you all should feel great," he told the committee.
BISMARCK -- As North Dakota pockets about $485 million over the next two years in wheat sales to Taiwan, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Wednesday it's largely due to technology and the strong relationship between the United States and Taiwan. "Technology has been key to success in North Dakota agriculture," Dalrymple said Wednesday.
BISMARCK -- As oil industry representatives met here Tuesday to discuss the ever-changing industry, one thing was clear: There will be new regulations over shipping crude oil by train. After the July derailment in Canada of a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota, the crude-by-rail safety inspections by the Obama administration, dubbed the "Bakken blitz," has many in the industry anxious about new federal regulations.
BISMARCK -- The group pushing to start North Dakota's public schools after Labor Day is one step closer to putting the idea up for a statewide vote. Secretary of State Al Jaeger received the group's proposed petition title Monday along with the required 25 sponsoring committee members. Committee members are scattered around the state from Bismarck to Minot, Fargo, Grand Forks and Dickinson. Jaeger and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem have five to seven business days -- until Sept.
BISMARCK -- The State Board of Higher Education narrowed its search Friday to three North Dakotans as candidates for interim chancellor of the University System. After conducting teleconference interviews, the board voted to conduct a second interview with: - Larry Skogen, Bismarck State College president and acting chancellor. - Shane Goettle, a former North Dakota commerce commissioner. - Bruce Furness, former mayor of Fargo. The board will discuss the terms of the interim chancellor's contract before the interviews Sept. 16 or 17.
BISMARCK -- State Sen. Tony Grindberg said Thursday that federal approval to move forward with the Red River Water Supply Project will not likely happen, putting pressure on state and local governments to cover the full expenses. The Fargo Republican, chairman of the Legislature's interim Water Topics Overview Committee, said he has spoken with staff members for U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven about the plan to transfer water from the Missouri River to the Red River Valley. Both staffers, he said, are sure it will not happen.
BISMARCK -- As North Dakota teachers are back in the classroom, they will soon be preparing students for more rigorous national testing standards that take effect in 2015. The College and Career Readiness Standards -- more rigorous than some existing state standards, less rigorous in other areas -- are crafted to provide students around the country with a clear understanding of what they are expected to learn and prepare them for college and a career.
BISMARCK -- The group wanting voters to change the state constitution to take a slice of oil taxes and put it toward conservation can start collecting signatures to put it on the November 2014 ballot. Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the Clean Water, Wildlife and Park Coalition's petition for circulation Thursday. Coalition Chairman Steve Adair said the group is ready to collect the required 26,904 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot and amend the state constitution.