Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
Before he walked into a thrift store in Tarrytown, N.Y., Jared Beasley had little interest in art. The nonfiction writer had never written about nor bought any artwork when he noticed a painting that moved him that day. What happened next set off a quest to find and learn more about the artist — an obscure, expressionistic landscape painter native to Hebron, named Theodore Conrath. Through his research, Beasley found a 1949 poetry book in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that contains etchings by Conrath.
BISMARCK — Most North Dakota residents support a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in the state, according to a recent poll. The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation released poll results this week showing 64 percent of respondents in North Dakota support establishing the library in the state. About 70 percent strongly or somewhat agree the library would positively impact the state's national reputation, while about the same percentage expressed belief that "there is no better place to build the library than North Dakota."
BISMARCK - North Dakota House members approved the so-called "Operation Prairie Dog" on Wednesday, sending the popular proposal to the Senate. House Bill 1066 passed in an 80-12 vote after nearly an hour of floor debate among 15 lawmakers voicing support and opposition, with some fierce comments over the intent of the bill. The bill reached the floor after amendments and work from two House committees.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers have yet to act on Gov. Doug Burgum's proposal for a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library at Medora, seeing a coming revenue forecast as key for the session's second half. Burgum has proposed using $50 million in Legacy Fund earnings with $100 million in private donations to build the facility at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park's South Unit. In January, he gave testimony to the Education and Environment Division of the House Appropriations Committee, urging support for his proposal.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House unanimously approved a bill on Wednesday, Feb. 13, aimed at improving victim and treatment services related to juvenile sexual assault. The House approved House Bill 1520, introduced by Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, in a 92-0 vote. The legislation is dubbed "Natalee's Bill" for a 4-year-old girl whose parents sought reform after their experience in the juvenile justice system following her sexual assault.
BISMARCK -- Steve Bakken, Bismarck's mayor, takes it as a compliment that a North Dakota legislator praised him as "sort of a redneck" during a House floor session last week. "I wear it as a badge of honor," Bakken said. During floor debate Friday, Feb. 8, on House Bill 1463, which would allow collective bargaining for police and professional firefighters, Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, outlined his talks with Fargo and Bismarck firefighters, who he said differed in their abilities to speak with upper management.
BISMARCK — A Bismarck lawmaker has drawn criticism for a Facebook post making light of a comparison between government programs and prison rape. Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, shared a meme to his campaign's Facebook page which depicts two pairs of feet in a shower — one labeled "Citizen" in front of another labeled "Government" — and a bar of soap stamped "'free' stuff." "OMG! HAHAHAHAHA" Becker wrote in the post Saturday morning, Feb. 9.
BISMARCK -- Those associated with North Dakota's juvenile justice system are optimistic about the 2019 legislative session. Several bills offer closer looks at services affecting children. "I think kids in this session seem to have a lot of momentum," said Cory Pedersen, director of juvenile court for North Dakota's South Central Judicial District, which includes Burleigh and Morton counties. Juvenile services in North Dakota have taken some hits in recent years. The 2017 session cut 20 percent of juvenile court staff and closed the Bottineau juvenile office.
BISMARCK — Members of the North Dakota House voted down a bill to allow collective bargaining for police and professional firefighters with city administrations Friday, Feb. 8. The chamber voted 64-23 against House Bill 1463, introduced by Rep. Mary Schneider, D-Fargo.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House gave its approval on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for some friendly competition: a contest for a new state logo offering $9,500 as first prize. House Bill 1457 passed 78-14. Rep. Marvin Nelson, D-Rolla, introduced the bill, which would direct the state Department of Commerce to administer a contest for a new design. Nelson has criticized the recently introduced "Be Legendary" design and how it was developed — with no opportunity for artists or graphic designers to participate.