Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—Tim Klose is already laying plans for next year's garden at the North Dakota State Penitentiary. "We're planning for an even bigger harvest next year," the 60-year-old inmate said while walking around rows of cabbage and carrots, rhubarb and radishes, all within a fenced area of the prison in Bismarck. This year's garden was made possible through grant dollars from the Bush Foundation allocated by the Consensus Council. Harvesting began in early July with radishes, then moved into carrots and tomatoes, Klose said. They harvest something about once a week.
BISMARCK—Information technology serving North Dakota state agencies totals more than 800 "legacy" IT systems and 160 websites, according to Gov. Doug Burgum. The former software executive who ran on a platform of innovation in government says users shouldn't have to go to different state websites for separate functions. In the age of Amazon and Apple, the state should have a similar "single sign-on" experience, he said.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Democrats and Republicans continue to sound off on the state's entry into a federal lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, as the health care debate also permeates North Dakota's Senate race. State Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, state Sen. Kelly Armstrong and Rep. Kevin Cramer gathered Wednesday to "help set the record straight" on the dispute over health care.
BISMARCK—What is perhaps the last high-profile criminal case from the Dakota Access Pipeline protests is all but over. Attorney and North Dakota's 2016 Democratic-NPL U.S. House nominee Chase Iron Eyes has accepted a plea agreement with Morton County prosecutors Bryan Grosinger and Chase Lingle. Iron Eyes was charged last year with felony inciting a riot and misdemeanor criminal trespass related to protest activities on Feb. 1, 2017, in erecting a camp on pipeline land in southern Morton County.
BISMARCK—Police in Bismarck responded around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, to a call about a squirrel struck by a dart. Bismarck Police Sgt. Tim Sass said officers responded after the caller described the squirrel as "acting weird" when it was running along a fence, and then it fell to the ground. The caller told police the squirrel had been struck by a large dart. The squirrel died as a result.
BISMARCK — Whoever wins election for North Dakota's secretary of state will likely see a new era of technology for the office. Perhaps the major point of the race has been improving technology of Republican incumbent Al Jaeger's office, for which he's faced criticism, even from within his own party. Both he and Democratic challenger Josh Boschee, a state lawmaker from Fargo, say they have a proposal or work underway to improve technological processes.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board plans to review the conduct of a Burleigh County deputy and candidate for sheriff who was investigated for aggravated assault in 2014. Duane Stanley, executive secretary of the POST Board, said the hearing for Burleigh County Chief Deputy Kelly Leben will be held Dec. 6 in Bismarck at the board's next regular meeting. Leben is running against former Bismarck Police Sgt. Nolan Canright in the race for Burleigh County sheriff.
BISMARCK — Opponents of an initiated measure aimed at improving ethics in state government criticized the effort as a "witch hunt," while the measure's committee members say it would improve accountability. Dina Butcher and Susan Wefald, of North Dakotans for Public Integrity, debated Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, and Geoff Simon, executive director of the Western Dakota Energy Association, over Measure 1, set for North Dakota's November ballot. The Greater North Dakota Chamber policy summit hosted the discussion.
NEW TOWN, N.D.—Little information is available two weeks after the body of Olivia Lone Bear was recovered from a submerged truck near New Town. Her funeral was held Aug. 6, and she was laid to rest south of New Town. Her brother, Matthew Lone Bear, said a new tip line has been established with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which took the lead from tribal police in February in investigating Olivia Lone Bear's disappearance. Beyond that, there's nothing new, he said. "We probably won't hear nothing for at least another week and a half," Matthew Lone Bear said.
BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers of the interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee heard proposed adjustments Tuesday to the state's oil and gas Gross Production Tax formula. The potential tweaks for oil and gas producing political subdivisions are in the name of "Operation Prairie Dog," the Republican proposal to fund infrastructure improvements in cities, counties and townships outside nine designated oil-producing counties and the "hub cities" of Dickinson, Minot and Williston.