AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will present a workshop in Grafton to help individuals ages 50 and older thinking about starting their own business. Contrary to popular perception, entrepreneurship is not exclusive to the young. More than a quarter of new entrepreneurs are in the 55-to-64 age group, according to a 2015 report from the Kaufmann Foundation. The two-hour workshop begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at the Red River Regional Council office in the Chase Building at 516 Cooper Ave. The purpose of the event is to match "encore entrepreneurs" with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. Those attending will receive information on the basics of starting a business as well as programs and resources available through SBA, SCORE and AARP. There is no cost to attend the workshop, but registration is required. To register, call toll-free 877-926-8300 or go online to www.aarp.org/nd<http://www.aarp.org/nd>. Workshops will also be held April 19 in Fargo, April 20 in Grand Forks, April 26 in Bismarck, and April 28 in Minot.
For the month of March temperatures averaged six or more degrees above normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation up to an inch covered most of the State with two inches or more in the east. The warm conditions limited livestock losses and hay usage. Producers were preparing for spring fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 8 percent very short, 26 short, 64 adequate, and 2 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 26 short, 68 adequate, and 3 surplus.
Field Crops Report: Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 3 poor, 30 fair, 63 good, and 2 excellent.
Livestock Report: Cattle and calf conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 9 fair, 77 good, and 14 excellent. Calving was 11 percent complete. Cattle and calf death loss rated 0 percent heavy, 55 average, and 45 light.
Sheep and lamb conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 9 fair, 82 good, and 9 excellent. Lambing was 17 percent complete. Sheep and lamb death loss rated 0 percent heavy, 50 average, and 50 light. Hay and roughage supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 87 adequate, and 8 surplus. Stock water supplies rated 4 percent very short, 9 short, 83 adequate, and 4 surplus.
North Dakota is one of the top states in the Midwest for jobs in the clean-energy field, according to a new report. The Clean Jobs Midwest survey shows North Dakota has the highest percentage of clean-energy jobs, per capita, out of 12 Midwestern states, at just under 12,000.
But that number happens to be the second-lowest overall in the region, so there's room for improvement.
Gail Parsons, Midwest advocate for Environmental Entrepreneurs, says the state is also home to the highest portion of renewable-energy generation jobs.
"They also, I think, were second in the region for clean fuel," says Parsons. "North Dakota is doing some things right. They could make further use of their resources by considering better state policies, both on renewable energy and energy efficiency."
The report's authors suggest that North Dakota could implement what's known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard, which would require power companies to produce a portion of their electricity from renewable-energy sources.
More broadly, the research also shows clean energy is one of the fastest-growing industries, with an estimated 25,000 new jobs expected to be added over the next year.
Parsons says the Midwest has become a powerhouse for clean-energy careers.
"Many people may think of corn, our farms but the Midwest should be known for clean energy," she says. "Contributing over half a million workers, certainly not fly-over country when it comes to the clean energy field."
However, according to the survey, half of North Dakota's clean-energy businesses say they're having a tough time finding qualified workers.
Parsons says state investments in training in these job fields could help fill that gap.
A Grafton has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for sex crimes against children. Court papers say 43 year old Ceaser Selinas inappropriately touched a minor. He also videotaped and took pictures of them while they were nude, on some occasions with a hidden camera. Selinas was charged in Walsh County District Court last July with six counts of promoting an obscene performance by a minor, all Class B felonies, five counts of sexual assault, five counts of child neglect or abuse, all Class C felonies, and one count of surreptitious intrusion, a Class A misdemeanor. Through a plea agreement, Salinas's charges were reduced. The court dismissed 10 of the charges Monday, including all five counts of child neglect or abuse. He pleaded guilty Monday to surreptitious intrusion, two counts of sexual assault and four counts of promoting an obscene performance by a minor. He was sentenced to one year in prison for surreptitious intrusion, five years for each of the sexual assault charges and eight years for each of the promoting an obscene performance by a minor charges. He will serve these sentences concurrently with credit for 247 days served. Salinas must first serve four years of his sentence before being considered for probation.
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), along with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGF), is seeking applications for the State Waterbank Program, a water management program for North Dakota landowners and lessees. Up to $1.2 million will be made available for grants through funding from the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund. Eligible lands include flooded agricultural land and naturally occurring wetlands throughout the state of North Dakota. "The State Waterbank Program will focus on managing water in wet conditions and compensating landowners or lessees for flooded acres and surrounding upland areas," Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. "This working lands program allows surrounding upland areas to remain active while keeping present water bodies stored. Together, these areas will benefit pollinators, wildlife and sportsmen of North Dakota." The program provides participating landowners or lessees with a financial incentive to preserve wetlands along with at least an equal amount of adjacent upland through five- or 10-year agreements. During the agreement period, a participating landowner or lessee may not drain, burn or otherwise destroy the wetland character. Participants may manage the upland portion of enrolled land through seeding and a prescribed haying/grazing management plan. "Applicants with a prescribed haying/grazing management plan will be given preference," said Goehring. "Such plans keep the land active while helping to control noxious weeds."
The payment rates have been set at $20/acre/year for wetland acres, $40/acre/year for enrolled seeded upland acres and $2/acre/year for enrolled public access acres. In order to be eligible, the public access acres cannot be compensated by other programs. Cost-sharing is available to plant grass or pollinator mix on the upland acres enrolled in the program through NDDA and NDGF. The application period for the State Waterbank Program closes April 15, 2016. Applications and complete details are available at http://www.nd.gov/ndda/program/waterbank-program.
N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today visited the Motor Coach Industries, Inc. (MCI) plant in Pembina, where he outlined his work to help companies like MCI grow and thrive. MCI manufactures a line of commercial buses for charter and tourism companies; law enforcement; universities; and state, federal and municipal public transportation systems. In December, Hoeven worked to pass the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST), which reauthorized the nation’s transportation programs for five years and makes major investments to address America’s aging infrastructure. The bill provides $305 billion in contract authority for the 2015 to 2020 period, including $61.1 billion for public transit like buses, trains, ferries and other public modes of public transportation. “Motor Coach Industries is a world-class manufacturer of buses that will benefit from the investments we made in the new highway bill to help rebuild the nation’s public transportation infrastructure, including public transit,” Hoeven said. “At the same time, MCI is providing good jobs for North Dakotans, as it has for many years, and is a good example of successful manufacturing right here in North Dakota and the United States.” Motor Coach Industries, Inc. is a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries, Inc. New Flyer is the largest bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America and employs approximately 5,000 people. There are more than 200 workers at MCI’s Pembina plant, which is the company’s primary final assembly facility in the U.S. The MCI D-Series coach buses are completed at the Pembina plant, the best-selling U.S. motor coach of all time and the company’s best-selling model in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, MCI’s Pembina plant produced 376 buses.
Wednesday, March 23 Forward Devils Lake On Wednesday, Senator Hoeven will attend Forward Devils Lake, the local economic development organization’s annual meeting. He will discuss the national oil picture, including oil exports, and how it may impact the proposed refinery in Devils Lake. Hoeven will also touch on agriculture, his work to stabilize the lake and how those areas can boost development and tourism for the region.
Todd J. Storey has filed his petition of nomination for the Park Board Commissioner 4 year term. City Auditor Connie Johnson reminds residents that the City/Primary Election is June 14. For those wishing to run for office, the deadline to file as a candidate for the election is Monday, April 11 at 4:00 p.m.
A move to raise North Dakota's cigarette taxes could be a step closer to getting onto the November ballot this week.
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office is reviewing the measure, which would bump up the state's tobacco tax from 44 cents to $2.20 per pack.
The state tobacco tax hasn't been raised in more than two decades.
Kristie Wolff, program manager for Tobacco Control and Advocacy at the American Lung Association of North Dakota, says her group is backing the tax hike in part because it will help cut down on the number of young smokers.
"Increasing the price of tobacco is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among youth," says Wolff. "And in past polling, we've seen that North Dakota residents have shown support for increasing the tobacco tax."
The Secretary of State's office has until March 28 to approve or deny the measure, which would then need to earn more than 13,000 signatures by early July to get onto the ballot.
Critics of the idea say it would also unnecessarily raise taxes on electronic cigarettes, which they argue have been used to help some smokers quit. If approved, the measure would treat the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes the same as all other tobacco products.
Wolff says it would also raise about $50 million additional tax dollars a year, partly to go toward veterans' health-care services and a community health trust fund.
"The increase in tax really has a lot of benefit, because we look at those that are affected by smoking," Wolff says. "We lose 1,000 North Dakotans every year from tobacco-related death and disease."
The Raise It for Health North Dakota coalition is spearheading the proposed ballot measure.
The group says about 75 percent of all smokers start before they're 18 years old.
A Drayton, N.D., man faces 20 years in prison after police said he engaged in sexual acts with a woman while she was unconscious.
Anthony Soliz Herrera Jr., 35, appeared Thursday in Walsh County District Court and was charged for gross sexual imposition, a Class A felony. Sometime between March 10 and 12 of this year, Herrera performed sexual acts on a woman while she was unconscious on a bed, according to court documents. Police said this was witnessed by a 12-year-old. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $20,000 fine. If convicted, Herrera will be required to register as a sex offender.