Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK -- Bismarck’s efforts to house the homeless got a $10,000 boost this week after Sen. Heidi Heitkamp donated campaign contributions she received from Minnesota Sen. Al Franken. Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced she would donate the campaign contributions after a woman said Franken forcibly kissed her and groped her during a 2006 USO tour. Heitkamp said on social media Franken’s conduct was “inappropriate and unacceptable” and she planned to donate his contributions to the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way.
NEW TOWN, N.D.—The investigation into the disappearance of Olivia Lone Bear got off to a "very slow start," the chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation said Thursday, adding that protocols for responding to missing person cases should be improved. Chairman Mark Fox said while search efforts have become stronger in recent days, he is talking to federal, state and tribal leaders about getting more support to find the missing 32-year-old New Town woman.
BISMARCK—Oil companies flared 17 percent of natural gas produced in September, exceeding the state's flaring targets for the first time since they were adopted three years ago. Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said the flaring of 323 million cubic feet per day was caused by unanticipated maintenance problems with pipelines, natural gas processing plants and compressor stations. Under guidelines adopted by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, oil companies are supposed to capture 85 percent of natural gas or limit flaring to no more than 15 percent.
MEDORA, N.D. — From a Badlands overlook across from the Elkhorn Ranch, Jay Clemens admires the same view Theodore Roosevelt once had while sitting on his porch. "It's a pretty stunning area," said Clemens, as an eagle flew overhead. But when he looks in the opposite direction on his western North Dakota property, Clemens can see oil wells, stockpiles of gravel and equipment drilling a saltwater disposal well.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Attorney General's Office is seeking to delay a court case involving an oil and gas mineral ownership dispute along the Missouri River that the Supreme Court sent back to district court. The attorney representing the family of William S. Wilkinson in the case against the North Dakota Board of University and School Lands calls the state's request for a delay "completely unnecessary" and plans to oppose it.
BISMARCK — A sharply divided Board of University and School Lands voted 3-2 Tuesday to name Jodi Smith as commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands. Gov. Doug Burgum, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt voted to offer the job to Smith, who they said is a strong communicator and could be a change agent for the department. Smith, of Bismarck, most recently worked as vice president of the western region for Sanford Health Foundation.
BISMARCK—An oil company failed to report a 19,740-gallon brine spill at a site in Bottineau County last month until after a landowner noticed and alerted health officials. Great American Royalties Inc. filed a report on Monday, Oct. 9, about a tank that overflowed on Sept. 24 about 12 miles northwest of Maxbass, spilling 470 barrels of brine or saltwater, a waste byproduct of oil development. "The company did not make a notification until they were told to," said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of Health.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota oil industry pushed back Wednesday on several proposed oil and gas rule changes, expressing strong opposition to a rule related to reporting small spills. The Department of Mineral Resources is taking public input on potential administrative rules, including a proposal in response to the law change approved this year that no longer requires spills under 10 barrels to be reported.
BISMARCK — The Dakota Access Pipeline has boosted North Dakota's tax revenues by $19 million in its first three months of operation, according to an analysis by the North Dakota Pipeline Authority. Director Justin Kringstad said producers have seen a $2 increase in the average price for Bakken crude in June, July and August compared to 2016 figures. He attributes the increase to more competitive transportation costs as a result of Dakota Access going into service in June.
DICKINSON, N.D. — A policy that allows the oil industry to withdraw water from the Little Missouri State Scenic River for hydraulic fracturing is up for discussion Wednesday by a recently reinstated advisory commission. The discussion comes at a time when one oil company has indicated preliminary plans to drill as many as 75 to 90 wells in the Little Missouri River Valley.