Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — Supporters of the fledgling Office of Recovery Reinvented say the initiative is making progress on beating addiction. But the office's future isn't certain when Gov. Doug Burgum's tenure eventually ends. Burgum by executive order in January 2018 created the Office of Recovery Reinvented to "promote strategic and innovative efforts to eliminate the shame and stigma associated with the disease of addiction." The office is not an official state agency and receives no state funding, but it is related to first lady Kathryn Burgum's cause of recovery from addiction.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers heard examples Wednesday, Nov. 13, of so-called "dark money" at play in recent elections in the state. The Legislature's interim Judiciary Committee heard testimony from two attorneys and a former Montana state representative about the effects of influential "dark money," or campaign contributions from organizations' undisclosed donors, criticized as secretive and pervasive.
MEDORA, N.D. — Planning the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in western North Dakota's Badlands won't be done in darkness, according to the new CEO of the board spearheading the $150 million project. "We’re going to be very transparent, candid and open about this process and what we’re thinking, why we’re thinking it, what we intend to do," CEO Ed O'Keefe said Monday, Oct. 14.
BISMARCK — North Dakota’s former governors' mansion is raising the roof. Work is underway throughout October, weather permitting, to replace and waterproof the roof of the stick-style Victorian house at 320 E. Ave. B in Bismarck. The Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors' Mansion raised about $40,000 for the $70,000 project. The balance was met with state funds. Twenty governors and their families lived in the home from 1893 to 1960.
BISMARCK — After three failed bills in as many legislative sessions, it took a move by Gov. Doug Burgum to display the flags of North Dakota's five tribal nations inside the state Capitol. Now a committee of state lawmakers will consider an Indian Affairs request to make the display permanent. In his Jan. 3 State of the State address, Burgum announced the flags' display outside of his office in the Capitol's Memorial Hall. His decision was met with a standing ovation from lawmakers and others in attendance.
BISMARCK — Rachel Parker was in North Dakota twice before she made her home in Bismarck. As a traveling nurse, the Iowa native came here to work in 2017, then went to Arizona, then back to North Dakota and then to California. And in February, she returned and settled at CHI St. Alexius Health as a neonatal intensive care nurse. "I kept leaving and for some reason, something just kept pulling me back," Parker said. "I'm not sure exactly what it was, but I'm here and I'm liking it so far."
North Dakota's new Ethics Commission might request an attorney general's opinion as to apparent conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to its duties and definitions. The board's attorney and Commissioner Paul Richard will gather information before the next meeting on what legal conflicts might exist.
BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum is moving up a step he introduced last year for North Dakota state agencies' budget planning. After issuing his new two-year budget guidelines in April 2018, Burgum's office introduced "strategy reviews" held with 57 state agencies to go over their missions, functions and needs to aid the executive budgeting process before the 2019 legislative session.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's new Ethics Commission will meet for the first time next month in Bismarck. The five-person panel will meet beginning at 1 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Russell Reid Auditorium of the North Dakota Heritage Center, with the meeting continuing at 10 a.m. Sept. 13. "We have a lot of stuff to do," convening Chairman Ron Goodman said. The panel likely will meet again in October for another 1 ½-day meeting, he added. Goodman will lead the first meeting, for which he is working on an agenda to post.
BISMARCK — The numbers of births and deaths in North Dakota were virtually unchanged from 2017 to 2018, according to recent data from the state's Division of Vital Records. North Dakota recorded 10,630 live births and 6,343 deaths in 2018. That was a 1% drop in births and a 0.5% rise in deaths from 2017. Live births fell 5.5% and deaths rose 3.2% from 2016 to 2017. "There really isn't much deviation from year to year," Deputy State Registrar Carmell Barth said of the 2018 data published in late July.