Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
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.
BISMARCK — Separation of powers defined N.D. Legislative Assembly v. Burgum, but the lawsuit may have something else: It's likely unprecedented. The North Dakota Supreme Court's opinion issued in July settled legislative and executive disputes over Gov. Doug Burgum's partial veto authority and provisions on appropriations of the legislative Budget Section. A few other cases have tackled similar constitutional authority in North Dakota, such as opinions from 1935 and 1979 that addressed the governor's veto power, in part. But this one might stand alone in its own way.
BISMARCK—A Mandan woman is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take her case involving a police officer's warrantless entry and elements of "hot pursuit" that have dogged her DUI case.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Democrats on Tuesday, Aug. 7, called on Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to withdraw from a 20-state lawsuit asking a Texas federal judge to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. From the Democratic-NPL Party's headquarters in Bismarck, House Minority Leader Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, and Senate Assistant Minority Leader John Grabinger, D-Jamestown, described their party's position in asking Stenehjem to withdraw, also submitted in a letter to him.
BISMARCK—In his bid for a recount of his primary votes, Roland Riemers, the Libertarian candidate for secretary of state, challenged North Dakota's election process and questioned why ballots are not a matter of public record. "Why aren't they public records? Why can't we look at them?" he said before the North Dakota Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 31. "Mr. Riemers, I don't think it's unusual that people aren't allowed to rummage through ballots," Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle later told him. "And there's good reason for that."
BISMARCK—Two federal defendants indicted in connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have accepted plea agreements. Both deals with federal prosecutors are similar: Dion Ortiz and James White will each plead guilty to civil disorder, while prosecutors will move to dismiss charges of use of fire to commit a federal felony — similar to related defendants' plea deals.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Democratic legislators expressed concerns and criticism for a Republican proposal released Thursday aimed at infrastructure improvements in communities outside the state's OilPatch. The proposal by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, and House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, would distribute oil tax revenue to counties, cities and townships outside of oil-producing counties and cities, including Dickinson, Minot and Williston, that already receive similar funding from the state's Gross Production Tax.
BISMARCK — Business Insider has named the North Dakota Capitol as the state's "most beautiful building." In a list published earlier this month, the financial news website rounded up one structure for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., after asking readers "to name the one architectural masterpiece they adore in their state." North Dakota's selection didn't surprise those who know it well.