- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
BISMARCK -- North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said Monday there is something wrong with the process in Washington when three Senators can keep Congress from passing a budget. "We need to get back to regular order," she said. "The rules of the U.S. Senate are not working for America." Heitkamp's reference to the ongoing issue between the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic-controlled Senate was part of a list of issues facing the country she laid out during a 25-minute address to the Bismarck Lions Club.
BISMARCK -- With long hours, a high cost of living and few housing choices, the North Dakota Highway Patrol struggles to get applicants to accept job offers around the Oil Patch. And now the Highway Patrol has to fill 15 open slots made available by the state Legislature. Capt. Lori Malafa, administration services commander for the patrol, said it's a guess how many of the 34 applicants will make it through the six-month academy beginning in January and take one of the jobs. "They may go through the whole process and be offered a job and may not like the location and say no," she said.
BISMARCK -- Like a lottery winner who hears from a long-lost relative or friend, the cash-rich state of North Dakota gets similar pleas for help. State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt said that in the past year and a half, her office has received a handful of emails and letters from people asking for help to pay their bills. Most recently, her office got a letter from a woman, originally from Sargent County, claiming to be elderly and homeless. The woman was asking the state to help pay more than $14,000 in hospital bills, which were included in the letter.
BISMARCK -- With more than 54,000 mineral acres up for grabs Tuesday, oil and gas companies shelled out more than $4.8 million for the rights to drill into state-owned land. But the last auction by the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands in May had only 14,800 acres on the auction block and grossed more than $13.1 million. Drew Combs, director of the Minerals Management Division of the land department, said oil companies know what they are bidding on and are focusing on the "prime stuff," as more land is being explored on the edges of the Bakken formation.
BISMARCK -- The former sports editor for The Dickinson Press has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted human trafficking. Bobby Abplanalp, 29, was arrested June 14 in Bismarck and charged with the Class A felony that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Abplanalp appeared Monday before South Central District Judge Donald Jorgensen during his first court appearance and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Abplanalp will stand trial Sept.
BISMARCK -- A team investigating the deadly oil train derailment and explosion in Canada was sent to a New Town oil terminal last week to see how the tanker cars were loaded. Firefighters confirmed the Bakken crude oil involved in the early July train explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, reacted "in a way that was abnormal," Ed Belkaloul, the Quebec head of the Transportation Safety Board, told the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper. The train was carrying 72 cars with 50,000 barrels of crude oil from New Town to New Brunswick, Canada.
BISMARCK -- Upset citizens from around the state will take to an interstate overpass here Saturday with posters to show their frustrations with President Barack Obama and will be asking Congress to impeach him. The event, "Overpasses for Impeachment," is part of a national effort to rally support to impeach the president. Joel Tysver, a 47-year-old truck driver from Bismarck, said at least 100 people have committed to the peaceful rally he is coordinating atop the State Street bridge over Interstate 94 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. "This guy has me fired up," he said from a truck stop in Montana.
BISMARCK - Two of North Dakota's four new laws to restrict abortions will take effect today. One law says a woman will not be able to have an abortion more than 20 weeks into the pregnancy, which is when some say a fetus can feel pain. It is the only one of the four abortion laws passed by the Legislature this year not to face a legal challenge, though similar laws in other states are being challenged. The other law taking effect says a woman will also not be able to seek an abortion if it's based solely on gender selection or a genetic abnormality of the fetus.
BISMARCK -- The new president of the State Board of Higher Education said she is very concerned about a fall visit by a national university accreditation group following up on a complaint about the governance of the North Dakota University System. The Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission will be in North Dakota this fall to evaluate the University System and state board's relationship with the 11 colleges the board oversees and the commission accredits.
BISMARCK -- The state's top attorney on Tuesday unveiled 2012 statistics that he said are "not a rosy report for crime in North Dakota." Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem released the annual report his office compiled from 52 sheriff's departments and 43 police departments from around the state that found the number of reported crimes increased 7.9 percent from 2011 to 2012. A total 14,866 offenses were reported, up from 13,778 in 2011. The report based the statistics on North Dakota's 2012 population of 699,628 from the U.S.