Jessica Holdman / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — State legislators who are volunteer emergency personnel or who work with them think a proposal for free license plates is a nice gesture, but consider the money better spent in other ways. "There probably isn't a bigger unsung hero than the local volunteer EMS provider and firefighter," said Rep. Todd Porter, R-Mandan. Porter is the founder of Metro Area Ambulance, and while he and his employees aren't volunteers, they do work with a lot of them in the surrounding areas.
BISMARCK—When more than 500 human resources professionals were asked if their company had a job opening, hands went up all over a conference room in Bismarck. North Dakota Job Service reports 14,500 online open job postings in the state. Gov. Doug Burgum estimated that number is closer to 30,000 as he wrapped up the Governor's Workforce and Human Resources Conference this week. Filling those jobs requires companies pitching candidates on why they should want to live in their communities in addition to why they should want to work for their company, according to Burgum.
BISMARCK — Within the next year, "cultured" meat — made from animal muscle and fat cells in a lab rather than coming from slaughtered livestock — could hit the market and the beef industry is expressing concern over how that product is marketed to consumers. At its annual meeting in Bismarck last week, the North Dakota Stockmen's Association approved a policy initiative aimed at guarding against deceptive labeling.
BISMARCK — Drought conditions over the past month have been wreaking havoc on corn and soybean crops in central North Dakota. "Earlier in August, I had guys getting concerned about how drought was going to affect their crop yields," said McLean County North Dakota State University Extension Agent Calla Edwards. As harvest grows nearer for late season crops, Edwards said it looks like soybeans and corn are being affected.
BISMARCK—United Tribes Technical College will celebrate its 49th annual UTTC International Powwow this week in a newly renovated arena. Festivities begin 10 a.m. Friday, with a dance performance by Jackie Bird for fourth-graders from across the region, and continue through the weekend. UTTC President Russ McDonald said additions to the arena include a new roof for shaded seating and new lighting for evening performances. The college also expanded the number and space for food vendors. "I encourage Bismarck people to come out and participate," McDonald said.
BISMARCK—Most employers are able to fill an open position within one to three months. But 28 percent say it takes longer, according to the results of a statewide survey released by Job Service North Dakota. "These survey results will be combined with feedback, data and evidence gained over several months of work by the Workforce Development Council," Labor Commissioner Michelle Kommer said in a statement. "We plan to provide targeted workforce recommendations to the governor to inform the 2019-21 policy agenda."
BISMARCK—This time of year, requests are usually rolling in from Pacific Northwest elevators for North Dakota soybeans. But for the last seven weeks, not a single order has been placed, said North Dakota Soybean Growers Executive Director Nancy Johnson. The result has been the lowering of cash prices offered by local elevators. And some elevators won't accept soybeans at all, leaving Upper Great Plains growers without a market for the crop in their fields.
BISMARCK—A Bismarck-based all-natural pest repellent startup is in the midst of a major business expansion, having secured a $10 million growth equity investment. EarthKind CEO Kari Warberg-Block started by selling produce and potpourri at farmers markets to get her idea for Fresh Cab, a scent-based rodent repellent, off the ground. On her own, she expanded her product line and grew EarthKind to more than $10 million in sales, a feat she said only 1 percent of women-owned businesses have accomplished. Now she has her first investor — Sweat Equities Fund.
BISMARCK—A Bismarck daycare provider is accused of grabbing a 3-year-old boy roughly by the ears for peeing his pants. Marlene Steedsman, 55, was charged in South Central District Court with felony child abuse at her home day care. According to court documents, the boy's mother noticed her son's ears were red, had lacerations and bruises were forming when she picked him up from daycare on June 15. Upon asking him what happened, the boy allegedly told his mother that Steedsman had tried to "break ears off" for having peed his pants.
MANDAN, N.D.—A nurse staffing agency settled disputes over wages with more than 100 nurses. Employees of Mandan-based Dakota Travel Nurse have started receiving their cash payments after settling a federal lawsuit against the company, which court documents say staffs registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, certified medical assistants and nurse aides at 90 health care facilities in North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota.