Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Department of Human Services officials say a recent scathing audit fails to tell the whole story about how the agency deals with child care licensing, but State Auditor Robert Peterson is standing behind his staff and suggested DHS is downplaying the findings because of public outrage. The audit released last month found that DHS didn't properly monitor or suspend providers and notify parents "after confirmed knowledge of activities that jeopardize the health and safety of children."
BISMARCK — A 27-year-old man who was fatally injured last week while working on the Dakota Access Pipeline project in western North Dakota was from Grand Rapids, Minn. Rowe Funeral Home in Grand Rapids posted the death notice for Nicholas Jay Janesich late Monday. Funeral arrangements are pending, funeral home director Dave Huso said. A GoFundMe page set up at www.gofundme.com/nickjay to help his parents pay for medical and funeral expenses had already raised more than $2,700 by late Monday afternoon.
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.