John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — The developer of a wind farm in northwest North Dakota that state regulators recently rejected is planning to submit a new proposal, a spokesperson said Wednesday, Aug. 14.
BISMARCK — A federal appeals court sided with a group of farm equipment makers that challenged a 2017 North Dakota law regulating the relationship between manufacturers and dealers Friday, Aug. 2. In a split decision, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the law's enforcement while the case proceeded. The judges said the state of North Dakota has not shown a "significant and legitimate public purpose underlying" the law.
BISMARCK — North Dakota is falling well short of an industry advisory panel's recommendation for wind power generation, though a state regulator said developers are still showing interest in the state. The EmPower Commission, which reports to the Legislature and is responsible for "developing comprehensive energy policy recommendations" for the state, issued a report a decade ago that called for boosting wind generation to 5,000 megawatts by 2020. It noted the sparsely populated state had abundant wind and land available as well as "public support for wind development."
BISMARCK — In what one commissioner called a "historic" decision, North Dakota utility regulators denied a siting permit for a wind farm in the state's northwest corner following opposition from state and federal wildlife agencies Wednesday, June 12. Public Service Commissioners unanimously rejected NextEra Energy Resources' application for the siting permit, the first time they remembered doing so for any energy facility during their tenures. Regulators and project developers typically work out issues before a final decision is made, they said.
BISMARCK — North Dakota state transportation officials kicked off a $370 million highway construction season Wednesday, May 22, months after lawmakers rejected a gas tax increase to boost road funding.
BISMARCK — Forum Communications Co. President and CEO Bill Marcil Jr. was elected to the board of the News Media Alliance, an industry advocacy group, the organization said Wednesday, May 1. Marcil, who is also publisher of the company's flagship newspaper, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, was elected to a one-year term that began Wednesday. Mark Aldam, the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Hearst, was named its board chairman.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers voted to give Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring a higher pay bump than average state workers Friday, April 26 The Legislature voted to give Goehring a 7.5% raise in the first year of the 2019-21 budget cycle, followed by a 2.5% boost. State workers are getting raises of 2% and 2.5% in the upcoming biennium.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate backed a compromise package of higher education capital projects Tuesday, April 23, that provides more state support for replacing a chemistry lab building at North Dakota State University. The Dunbar Hall project has long been a priority for the university, as the building is considered a fire safety hazard. A House-Senate conference committee agreed to $40 million in bonding, $8 million in cash and authorization to raise $3.2 million for a total of $51.2 million.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate approved a bill requiring local governments to justify larger setbacks imposed on animal feeding operations Tuesday, April 23. The new version of Senate Bill 2345 was approved along party lines in a House-Senate conference committee Monday afternoon before it passed the full Senate in a 36-11 vote Tuesday. It still must pass the House before it's sent to Republican Gov. Doug Burgum.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House approved a bill Monday, April 8, that backers said would support the state's livestock industry but was criticized as an infringement on local control. Senate Bill 2345 would remove local governments' ability to impose longer setbacks than the state's requirements for livestock feeding operations. For the largest such facilities, the state's setback is 1.5 miles. The bill passed the House in a 71-19 vote and is expected to end up in a joint House-Senate conference committee before final passage.