Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Member for
- 6 years 3 months
FARGO — North Dakota’s first commercial solar energy complex will start construction this spring in rural Cass County’s Harmony Township and go into operation in 2020. The $250 million project will sprawl over 1,600 acres and have a capacity of up to 200 megawatts — generating enough electricity to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 240,000 metric tons, or the equivalent of taking 50,000 cars off the road every year.
FARGO — A bill to establish a state ethics commission pushed by GOP leaders would shield subjects of ethics complaints in secrecy until final findings are issued and would impose criminal defamation penalties on those who file “knowingly false” complaints. House Bill 1521, legislation to implement an ethics measure passed by North Dakota voters in the November 2018 election, was introduced by Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, the House majority leader, and Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, the Senate majority leader.
FARGO — Agricultural groups are backing a bill that would restrict zoning regulations for livestock feedlots in North Dakota. Critics, however, say it would strip away local authority to protect rural residents from factory farms. Senate Bill 2345 stems from recommendations that emerged from a January meeting of agricultural and health officials as well as representatives of livestock and cereal grains agriculture.
FARGO — North Dakota’s new “Be Legendary” logo that sparked criticism and prompted legislation to sponsor a contest for a replacement did not go through a competitive bidding process. That’s because the cost of the logo — $9,500 — is considered a “micro” purchase by the state, not subject to competition requirements under purchasing thresholds set forth by the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget’s procurement division.
FARGO — The transfer of the state women’s prison from Bismarck to the farming town of New England was widely seen as a temporary move when it was made in 2003. Now, more than 15 years later, the debate over whether to move the women’s prison back to Bismarck has largely focused on concerns of the economic impact to a struggling rural town of 600.
BISMARCK — Burleigh County health providers are by far the heaviest prescribers of narcotic painkillers for injured workers covered by the North Dakota workers’ compensation program. Prescribers in the county, which includes Bismarck, have accounted for half or more of all opioid prescriptions paid for by Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) for more than a decade, far surpassing the amounts for other counties, according to reviews of the agency that examined narcotic use.
BISMARCK — Richard Landsberger’s job at a dairy required him to repeatedly lift and stack milk crates. Decades of hefting 40-pound milk cases in a refrigerated storeroom took a toll on his body. He suffered debilitating injuries to both shoulders, both arms, both knees and his back. After more than a decade of struggling to meet the physical demands of his job, Landsberger was let go by his Bismarck employer in August because he no longer met the requirements for a job he’d held for 38 years.
FARGO — North Dakota’s estimated population climbed to a record 760,077 residents in 2018 — a gain of 4,901 that reversed a dip in population last year. Gov. Doug Burgum ballyhooed the latest estimate from the Census Bureau, issued Wednesday, Dec. 19, as a sign the state’s economy is on the upswing. “We’re excited to see more people moving into North Dakota, and for good reason,” the governor said in a statement. “Our economy is strong, our jobs are abundant and our quality of life is second to none.”
FARGO — Plans for a $150 million Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum got a big boost from the bully pulpit in Bismarck when Gov. Doug Burgum proposed investing heavily in the project. Burgum advocates tapping the state's Legacy Fund earnings to contribute $50 million to jump-start what he calls “North Dakota’s Mount Rushmore,” a center that would be built near a revamped entrance in Medora to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
FARGO — Cameron Kiser took a tumble and landed face first on asphalt. The landing was painful, causing his entire face to throb. A few moments later, he discovered it was also damaging: His two front teeth were broken. The accident happened while Kiser was visiting friends in Grand Forks on a Friday night. The next day, back in Fargo, he made an emergency appointment to see his dentist.