Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—Cautious optimism remains a theme of forecasting for North Dakota's economy and revenues as state officials and industry leaders met Monday, July 16, to discuss preliminary outlooks for the next few years. Dan White, an economist with Moody's Analytics, presented a "slow and steady" look out to 2021 to the Advisory Council on Revenue Forecasting, the informal group that met Monday morning at the state Capitol.
BISMARCK — Four people died in motorcycle crashes within seven days last week around North Dakota, while three other riders sustained injuries in similar crashes this week. The most recent incident happened early Friday morning, July 6, when a Freightliner backended a motorcycle near Petersburg, pinning the biker, who sustained injuries, beneath the front bumper.
BISMARCK—North Dakota's daily oil production in May broke the previous all-time high set in 2014, but that wasn't the only new record set. As oil production hit 1.24 million barrels per day in May, natural gas production hit almost 2.32 billion cubic feet per day, with producing wells at 14,755 for the month — all new state records. Lynn Helms, director of the state Department of Mineral Resources, said Friday that May's numbers "really shattered the old record" set in December 2014, by about 17,000 daily barrels, or about a 1.4 percent increase.
BISMARCK—What was perhaps the most serious criminal case derived from the Dakota Access Pipeline protests has reached its long-awaited conclusion. U.S. District of North Dakota Chief Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Red Fawn Fallis on Wednesday, July 11, in Bismarck's federal court to 57 months in federal prison with credit for time served, followed by three years supervised release.
BISMARCK—The only Libertarian who appeared on North Dakota's statewide primary ballot is asking the state Supreme Court for a recount, alleging errors that affected his vote total. Roland Riemers appeared in the June 12 primary as the Libertarian candidate for secretary of state. Officially, he received 247 votes statewide for his party's nomination for the office — short of the 300 votes he needed to advance to November's general election.
BISMARCK—When Gov. Doug Burgum boards a plane, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford had better not be on it. Such is a practice of the governor's office to protect North Dakota's gubernatorial line of succession. Governor's spokesman Mike Nowatzki said it's not a policy, but "a best practice to ensure continuity of government."
BISMARCK — As North Dakota's various state revenues continue to meet or exceed forecast figures, those close to the numbers say there's reason to smile, but emphasized reality. State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt said Thursday that General Fund revenues from biennium-to-date are 2.1 percent higher than projected, but the forecast from last year was a conservative one. One big positive is surging oil and gas extraction tax revenue — 72 percent over what was forecast for June, according to a report from Legislative Council.
BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers seemed largely satisfied after asking questions and hearing answers related to state Auditor Josh Gallion's performance review of the governor's office use of state aircraft in a two-year span. However, some concerns about transparency remain.
BISMARCK -- Crime in North Dakota’s Oil Patch isn’t worse than elsewhere in the state, according to figures released Monday by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. Stenehjem pointed to 19 oil-producing counties where about 28 percent of North Dakota’s population lives, and where he said about 25 percent of the state’s aggravated assaults, drug arrests and homicides took place last year.
BISMARCK -- People convicted in North Dakota of refusing a warrantless blood draw may have an open door to relief after the state Supreme Court said a federal ruling applies retroactively. Earlier in June, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Supreme Court of the United States opinion in Birchfield v. North Dakota applies retroactively to a case started in 2014, Morel v. State, involving refusal to submit to a chemical test in what began with suspected drunken driving.