Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK - What may be the last trial related to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests ended in a mixed verdict on Tuesday, Feb. 5. South Central District Judge David Reich convicted Katrina Silk of misdemeanor physical obstruction of a governmental function. He acquitted her on four other misdemeanor charges related to activities in a pasture along the pipeline route on Oct. 22, 2016, when officers arrested dozens of people who claimed to be on a prayer walk.
BISMARCK - Implementing its online business hub represents a new era for the North Dakota secretary of state's office, but also a point of criticism from the 2018 election. About 80 percent of FirstStop has rolled out since mid-January, according to Secretary of State Al Jaeger. His office has been mailing thousands of personal identification numbers for contractors and businesses to access the site — more than 200,000 letters going out in daily batches of 25,000 due to mail capacity at the state Capitol.
BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum has criticized a legislative rule change that he said disregards "the most thoughtfully crafted budget that this Legislature has seen in a long time." North Dakota lawmakers amended Joint Rule 208 moments before Burgum gave his executive budget address Dec. 5. The rule allows executive agencies and the Supreme Court to introduce bills.
BISMARCK — Legislation to reform civil asset forfeiture in North Dakota drew a stream of strong and, at times, animated testimony on Wednesday, Jan. 30, in a lengthy hearing. Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, introduced House Bill 1286 to reform the state's civil asset forfeiture. His bill would require convictions for suspects' property to be forfeited as well as reporting from law enforcement on seizures and forfeitures. In addition, the proceeds from the sale of forfeitures would be deposited to the state's common schools trust fund.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers questioned the intent and scenarios associated with a so-called "stand your ground" bill that backers say would cover property, but opponents see as overreaching. Rep. Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton, introduced House Bill 1497 on Tuesday, Jan. 29, before the House Judiciary Committee. He said current law gives perpetrators an advantage over potential victims. He said his bill would allow for someone to use deadly force when confronted with damage to property or theft on their property.
BISMARCK - A North Dakota House committee has given a unanimous do-pass recommendation to a Democratic-NPL lawmaker's bill for a new state logo contest. Rep. Marvin Nelson, of Rolla, introduced House Bill 1457 Tuesday, Jan. 29, to the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee, which would direct the state Department of Commerce to administer a contest for a new state logo with monetary prizes. In October, the state Tourism Division rolled out its "Be Legendary" brand, ditching the previous "North Dakota Legendary" logo from 2002.
BISMARCK — Bipartisan legislation would establish a paid family leave program for North Dakota workers kickstarted with Legacy Fund earnings. Fargo Democratic-NPL Rep. Karla Rose Hanson introduced House Bill 1509 on Monday, Jan. 28, to the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee. The bill would require businesses with 50 or more employees to participate in the program, with 2 cents contributed each by employers and employees on every $10 in wages.
MEDORA, N.D. — President Theodore Roosevelt's great-great-grandson sees Medora as a meaningful location for his famous forefather's presidential library. "His time here was very impactful for him," said Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt V. "It’s something for him where he had a deep love of the state, a deep love of the place when he left." President Roosevelt ranched and hunted in Dakota Territory's Little Missouri Badlands near Medora in the 1880s, where he also recovered from the deaths of his wife and mother in 1884.
BISMARCK - Gov. Doug Burgum testified Wednesday to North Dakota legislators for the first time. Appearing for 30 minutes on Jan. 9 before the House Appropriations Committee's Education and Environment Division, the governor outlined his Legacy Fund proposal to build the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Museum at Medora.
BISMARCK — Aaron Dorn has a new car. He recently bought a 1995 Toyota Avalon. But it's not what he previously had as a traveling antique vendor based out of upstate New York. "Without a truck, I can't really do anything," Dorn said. Dorn forfeited his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado last summer, when a judge ruled his truck was used to commit a crime during a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 in Mandan. "That really set me back quite a bit," Dorn said.