Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—A member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said this week he'd like regulators to get more aggressive with contractors with repeat violations of the North Dakota One-Call law. Commissioner Brian Kroshus made the comments Wednesday, March 14, as the commission issued a $7,000 fine to Wagner Construction for repeat violations of the state's excavation notice system law. "These are serious instances where someone could be seriously hurt or even killed in the process of excavation," Kroshus said. "It's not something to be taken lightly."
BISMARCK—Two major oil and gas projects approved Wednesday by the North Dakota Public Service Commission aim to improve pipeline safety, meet local demand for diesel and reduce natural gas flaring in the state. Commissioners approved a project from Cenex Pipeline LLC that will upgrade a portion of a refined fuels pipeline in northwest North Dakota that was built in 1960. However, the company does not have easement agreements to begin construction along 22 percent of the pipeline route.
FARGO—North Dakotans who served with former Gov. George Sinner, who died Friday, March 9, at age 89 at Eventide Senior Living in Fargo, called him courageous, priestly and real with one saying he was the "most warm, personable governor in the United States." Sinner, known as Bud, served as governor from 1985 to 1992, the most recent member of the Democratic-NPL party to hold the office.
BISMARCK—A Bismarck philanthropist and North Dakota oil pioneer was remembered Friday for his generous support of the community. Frank Bavendick died Thursday at age 87 at Sanford Health in Bismarck. The Bavendick name is well known in Bismarck, where Frank and his wife, Joanne, have been major benefactors of Bismarck State College, the YMCA and other organizations. "They've been a big force in our community," said Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen.
BISMARCK — The state of North Dakota is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges a new law related to ownership of oil and gas minerals under Lake Sakakawea. The state, the Board of University and School Lands, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem recently filed a joint response to the lawsuit that claims North Dakota owns all of the minerals under Lake Sakakawea and argues that recently enacted legislation is unconstitutional.
BISMARCK — The company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline is gauging the oil industry's interest in shipping additional oil from the Bakken to the Gulf Coast. Energy Transfer Partners recently announced it is soliciting commitments from the industry to expand the capacity of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline, which transports oil from Illinois to Nederland, Texas.
BISMARCK—Meteorologist Daryl Ritchison had a mixed message Tuesday for North Dakota farmers and ranchers worried about the potential for another season of drought. Ritchison predicts precipitation will be close to normal in 2018, but reminded producers that North Dakota is normally dry, and the state is low on soil moisture from 2017. "We're catching up to last year," said Ritchison, interim director of the North Dakota Agriculture Weather Network. "If we have average precipitation this summer, and my forecast is right, 90 percent of you will think I stink."
BISMARCK — Staff members at North Dakota's first syringe exchange program say they're slowly building trust with people they hope to serve. Custer Health in Mandan has enrolled four people during the first month of the Good Neighbor Project, which aims to reduce rates of HIV and Hepatitis C by providing access to sterile syringes and education. About 10 people have stopped by the program but left after spending a few minutes in the waiting room, said Jodie Fetsch, director of nursing for Custer Health.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Oneok announced this week it will construct a natural gas processing plant in McKenzie County, another project that will help North Dakota's oil and gas industry reduce flaring. The proposed Demicks Lake plant will process 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas northeast of Watford City, within the core of the Bakken where wells produce the most gas. The project was approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission in 2015, but Oneok suspended construction due to low commodity prices at the time.
BISMARCK—A former law enforcement officer had a sobering statistic Wednesday while training employers on what they need to know about the opioid crisis. One in four Americans is directly affected by opioid misuse, including people who have become addicted or know someone who is addicted or has overdosed, according to a National Safety Council poll. "There's a pretty good chance that we might encounter this in our workplace," said Skyler Dutton, a former police officer who works as a consultant for the North Dakota Safety Council.