Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — Members of the North Dakota Petroleum Council trade group and state officials unveiled a uniform oilfield safety orientation program Thursday, June 20 that they lauded for its collaborative development and time-saving for workers. Council President Ron Ness said 50 oil companies worked on standards for the One Basin-One Way curriculum over the last 18 months. The program aims to save time for oilfield contractors who often sit through multiple, redundant safety trainings on workplace hazards in a year.
Few people have apparently sought to vacate convictions for refusing warrantless DUI blood tests in the year since a North Dakota Supreme Court opinion offered an open but narrow door.
MEDORA — Bill Sorensen knows his happy place. "This place got its teeth into me," the former Bismarck mayor and longtime performer said, sitting in the front row of the Burning Hills Amphitheatre as stage preparations wound down Thursday evening, May 30, at the Badlands venue. Sorensen, 69, is beginning his last season as co-host of the Medora Musical. But it's not curtains for his performing career; he'll still appear in the Medora Gospel Brunch, Christmas tour and Old Town Hall Theater performances.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's Board of University and School Lands is set to decide on an oil company's request for a leasing extension that the state land commissioner said may set precedent, if granted. Marathon Oil Company has had four leases to about 470 mineral acres in Dunn County since May 2013. The Badlands-area tracts north of Killdeer have proven difficult to develop for a variety of reasons, such as rough terrain and locating a drill pad. Marathon Oil has spent more than $4 million related to the tracts, according to Land Board documents.
BISMARCK — One shard remains of the so-called "trespass bill" that sought to ease issues over hunting access on private land. Though the bill failed on North Dakota lawmakers' last day in session, a twin of its study remained intact in the budget for the Information Technology Department. Lawmakers will take up the required study likely beginning this summer, looking at issues related to land access for recommendations before the 2021 legislative session.
BISMARCK - Proposed administrative rules for North Dakota's disputed cottage foods law are about to enter the oven. The North Dakota State Health Council will review the proposed rules at its meeting on Wednesday, May 15. North Dakota's cottage foods law has been in dispute since mid-2018 when cottage food proponents clashed with state health officials over a rule-making process on the 2017 law that expanded direct-to-consumer sales of home baked and canned items.
SWEET BRIAR, N.D — Wearing garbage bag ponchos and blue rubber gloves, students of Sweet Briar School gathered around Sheri Johnson as she began to inflate a beef lung. "Isn't that just the coolest thing, you guys?" she said after blowing air into the organ. The lung was the last of the morning's dissecting lesson, which used a heart, diaphragm, trachea and other organs donated from the butcher shop in Glen Ullin.
BISMARCK -- Debating North Dakota's cottage foods law in the recent legislative session came down to canned green beans and botulism. State lawmakers in 2017 passed sweeping legislation that expanded direct-to-consumer sales of mostly home baked and canned items. A bill meant to clarify legislative intent and definitions in that law failed in the Legislature's final days this year. Now, the state Department of Health is reviving a rule-making process that paused in 2018 after cottage food proponents objected.
North Dakota lawmakers struggled to reach consensus in their 2019 session on ideas for spending earnings from the Legacy Fund. General agreement is to preserve the oil tax savings’ principal, while Gov. Doug Burgum and lawmakers tossed around a number of ideas for the earnings, which were either killed or funded by other methods.
BISMARCK - North Dakota House members have greenlit the plan for a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library, clearing the way for Gov. Doug Burgum's biggest push this legislative session. House members voted 70-22 on Wednesday morning, April 24, to adopt conference committee amendments to the governor's office budget that include the library and also mandate he take a salary. Burgum, as a candidate in 2016, pledged to forgo a salary to help "cut runaway government spending." Now he'll have to take $274,112 the next two years.