Last Word

​Succeed 2020: Thank you, Hess Corporation

by Kirsten Baesler | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 11th, 2017

In 2011, Hess Corporation announced a generous $25 million grant to improve North Dakota’s public education system. The grant, called Succeed 2020, aimed to improve student preparation for college and careers and ensure more successful transitions from K-12 to college and/or careers for all North Dakota students. Funding supported efforts through the 2012-2017 academic years.

To accomplish its bold goals, Succeed 2020 specifically aimed to increase ACT scores, decrease developmental or…

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Pheasants and true Bliss

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | October 4th, 2017

Next week I’ll join about 90,000 or so of my best friends on one of North Dakota’s favorite days, hunting pheasants on the opening day of Pheasant Season. I thought I might share here some of the poetry of Paul Southworth Bliss, my favorite North Dakota poet, in honor of the occasion.

Paul Bliss was no outdoorsman. Born in Wisconsin in 1889, educated at Harvard, a World War I veteran, he rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army.

Bliss began his professional career as a newspaper…

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​Repeal but not replace

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 27th, 2017

By Jill Westerholm

jillwesterholm@gmail.com

The latest Affordable Care Act repeal by Republicans, the Graham-Cassidy bill, is reportedly now being pulled due to the good sense of John McCain, Rand Paul & Susan Collins expressing that they would not vote for the bill. A nightmare averted, for now, once again.

Eight years they've had to work on a replacement and they don't have anything. They just don't want an Affordable Care Act; repeal but no replace. Isn't that the best evidence of…

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Study: State’s parents back shared parenting; judges don’t

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 20th, 2017

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

parents@nationalparentsorganization.org

In North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce in.

For example, there’s a whopping 100% difference in joint custody between Grand Forks and Morton counties. Worse, courts are less than one-fourth as likely to order shared parenting as parents are to agree to it.

Those and other worrying facts have come to…

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One sleazy company

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | September 13th, 2017

William Prentice, the slickster CEO of Meridian Energy, which wants to build an oil refinery 2 ½ miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park, blew a bunch of smoke up the ass of a young reporter for The Dickinson Press the other day, and the kid, who’s actually a pretty good writer, wrote a real puff piece about how great the refinery is going to be for western North Dakota. I’ve written about this a couple times. My pieces weren’t puff pieces.

The Bismarck Tribune and Forum…

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Bureau of Land Management, ND Industrial Commission, and Slawson Exploration destroy a small town

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 30th, 2017

There’s a little blue-collar resort community at the top of the Van Hook Arm of Lake Sakakawea, a couple hundred trailers and cabins and a bait shop, a small RV park, and a boat ramp.

This spring, an oil company named Slawson Exploration moved in beside the resort, and with its huge machinery, began clearing a 25 acre site at the top of the boat ramp, which will be home to what now looks like an 8-well oil pad. The site is just a few hundred yards from the park and the homes in the…

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​Toxic statues and lethal statutes

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 23rd, 2017

“Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.” – Edmund Burke

“The history of the twentieth century has taught us that people who are rendered permanently superfluous are eventually condemned to segregated precincts of the living dead or are exterminated outright.”

– Richard Rubenstein

“To the Nazi economists goes the credit for working out a system of living on their debts. They realized the implications of the well-known fact that a dishonest debtor has all the advantage over…

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The bad guys aren’t in jail . . . yet

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 16th, 2017

A few months ago I wrote about the long, strange saga of Jason Halek, the fellow who dumped 800,000 gallons of poisonous oilfield brine down an abandoned oil well south of Dickinson. Back in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to three felony violations of the U.S Safe Drinking Water Act for those crimes he committed in late 2012 and early 2013.

Jason was scheduled to be sentenced to 24-30 months in a federal prison on July 31.

Well, July 31 has come and gone, and no sentencing yet.…

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Refinery company to PSC: screw you!

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 5th, 2017

Of all the sleazy companies to show up in North Dakota’s oil patch in the nearly ten years since the Bakken Boom began, the sleaziest of them all has to be Meridian Energy, the company proposing to build an oil refinery called the Davis Refinery just three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I wrote about them a few months ago. Here’s an update.

Normally, when a company wants to build a large energy plant, like a refinery, it applies for a siting permit from the North Dakota…

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The newest bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River

by Jim Fuglie | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 5th, 2017

For the last 50 years or so, there have been just five places where you can drive your car across a bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River: In Marmarth on U.S. Highway 12, on Pacific Avenue in the city of Medora, on I-94 just north of Medora (two bridges, one going each way), on U.S. Highway 85 south of Watford City (the Long-X Bridge) and on ND Highway 22 north of Killdeer (the Lost Bridge).

The Billings County Commissioners have made news for the last ten years trying to…

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Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

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Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Tony Gehrigtonygehrig@gmail.com I do not blame any company for seeking incentives. Rather, I blame the government for giving them away. Incentives represent an unfair and unsustainable tax system that affects real people.Some…