Your online source for western North Dakota and oil news

Child porn found in storage garage rented by sex offender

Thousands of images found on laptops in unit south of Grand Forks
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Investigators recovered about 1,000 videos and 15,000 photos of child pornography from a storage garage located south of Grand Forks last week, court documents indicate. The documents say the videos and photos were found in a unit rented by Alan Douglas Eslinger, 43, a registered sex offender and former army medic living in Northwood. Eslinger made his first appearance Friday afternoon in state district court in Grand Forks on a child pornography possession charge, a class C felony.

Landowner issues surface at pipeline meeting

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Tulsa, Okla.-based ONEOK was on the hot seat Monday when rancher Terry Watson took it to task during a North Dakota Public Service Commission public hearing on a proposed pipeline in western North Dakota. Watson said he’s been trying to get an answer from ONEOK since last fall about a sinkhole on his ranch, exposing at least 10 feet of an existing natural gas pipeline.

Basin Electric gets approval for delayed transmission line

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Basin Electric Power Cooperative has received federal approval to construct a 200-mile power transmission line in western North Dakota. The power line, which will start at the cooperative’s Antelope Valley Station near Beulah and end in Tioga, recently went through the federal approval process and public comment periods for sections of the line on federal land. Basin Electric hopes to complete the transmission project by 2017.

STATE NEWS BRIEFS: Frac water, oil spills in Mountrail County

The following North Dakota news briefs were compiled by Forum Communications Co. newspapers and its media partner Bismarck Tribune:
Minnesota man sentenced to 2 years on coercion charge BISMARCK, N.D. -- A Minnesota man was sentenced to two years in federal prison Monday on a sex trafficking charge that arose out of an undercover sting in Dickinson, N.D., last fall. Justin Mattson, 42, responded to an ad placed on by a special agent offering a girl on Nov. 23, 2013. In correspondence with the undercover agent, Mattson requested a 13-year-old girl for sex for $150. When he showed up to the agreed-upon hotel room, he was arrested.

Droves of drones? Big Iron examines potential uses for UAVs in area ag

WEST FARGO, N.D. — Drones flew above a demonstration field recently in West Fargo, N.D. Someday, drones could be commonplace above Upper Midwest fields and pastures — provided the Federal Aviation Administration releases some long-awaited guidelines. “There’s a great deal of interest,” says John Nowatzki, North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural machine systems specialist. “Producers see a number of potential benefits in this technology.”

Clogs to clear: Heitkamp calls for stronger STB power

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. rail operators must put investment ahead of profits to clear the way for grain, automotive and chemical shipments now clogging the tracks, lawmakers said at a congressional hearing Sept. 10 about the health of the rail grid. Rail backups in the Midwest are particularly acute with farmers expected to harvest record-large corn and soybean crops in the next two months and move much of that grain to market.

Resource for farmland rental rates: New county-level statistics available

Farmers and landlords have a new resource to help them determine farmland rental rates. The U.S. government has released county-level statistics of per-acre cash rental rates for irrigated farmland, nonirrigated farmland and pasture in 2014. The statistics complement the state-level cash rental rates released previously by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The county-level statistics, in particular, can be useful in determining what renters should pay for farmland. Typically, landlords and renters begin thinking about rental rates for the next crop season soon after harvest.

Building boom: CWB plans another new elevator, hiring staff

CWB is building another grain elevator, its third new facility, and is looking for people to work in them. The organization, formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, indicates it plans more new locations, too. CWB says it will build a “state-of-the-art grain elevator” near Pasqua, Saskatchewan, about 10 kilometers east of Moose Jaw. The Pasqua facility, adjacent to the Canadian Pacific line, will feature 42,000 metric tons of storage, a 134-car loop track and cleaning facility. Work will begin this fall and be completed by January 2016.

Digging into the past: 1964 plowing contest drew 100,000 people to ND farm

Digging into the past: 1964 plowing contest drew 100,000 people to ND farm

BUFFALO, N.D. -- Ramona Fraase says her grandchildren aren’t sure what a plow is. But plowing was important enough once to bring 100,000 people, including U.S. presidential and vice presidential candidates, to her family farm near Buffalo for the 1964 National Plowing Contest. “It was a national thing. We did (news media) interviews from New York to Los Angeles,” Fraase says. “But it wasn’t about us or Cass County (in which Buffalo is located). It was about putting over North Dakota.”


COLUMN: Our flares aren't that bad

COLUMN: Our flares aren't that bad

WILLISTON, N.D. - The Bakken region catches a lot of flak about our flares. When you pump oil, natural gas is a natural byproduct, and at this point it is not cost effective to capture it. So we just let it burn 24/7. The environmentalist and Al Gore types continue to badger us because of the waste of energy, pollution of our air and the possible long-term effects of all this gas everywhere. Believe me, we are working 24/7 on ways to capture this very valuable commodity to offset our winter temps of 40 below zero.


Featured Staff Blogs ASTRO BOB
Follow Mars to Dschubba, whirling dervish of the night
Looked at Mars lately? If you haven't I'm not surprised. It's lost it's luster since spring and rides the "low path" in Scorpius in the southwestern sky at dusk. From my home in the mid-northern lat...
9/16/14 at 12:48 PM OUTDOORS WITH SAM COOK
More than 6,000 raptors pass over Hawk Ridge on Monday
Monday was a banner day at Hawk Ridge in Duluth, where in 12 1/2 hours counters Karl Bardon and Steve Kolbe tallied 6,622 raptors. That's the largest single-day migration at Hawk Ridge this fall, sa...
9/16/14 at 8:13 AM BISON MEDIA BLOG
Dom Izzo College Gameday Video Recap
I decided to shoot some video as the day unfolded on Saturday from time to time, checking in at different times, just to remember it years from now, wanted to share with you. Enjoy. ...
9/15/14 at 11:23 PM UND HOCKEY
CBS Sports to broadcast six UND games
A source has informed the Herald that CBS Sports Network will broadcast 14 NCHC games, including 11 regular-season matchups. UND will be featured prominently on the schedule, getting six of the 11 re...
9/15/14 at 3:11 PM OIL PATCH DISPATCH
Faces of the Boom: Veteran trucker sees challenges of Oil Patch driving
By Kathleen J. Bryan Forum News Service WILLISTON, N.D. -- Darrel Harris is something of a Renaissance man. The 62-year-old truck driver from Milton-Freewater, Ore., has worked as a teacher, commerci...
9/14/14 at 10:48 PM

Featured Area Voices NDSU NEWS
Naturalization ceremony scheduled at NDSU
NDSU is scheduled to host a naturalization ceremony for individuals becoming United States citizens on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union Plains room. The event is in honor of Cons...
Los Cabos Area Hurricane Update
As you know, Mexico's Los Cabos region (Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, La Paz) was hit hard yesterday by Hurricane Odile, a Category 3 storm that's now downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves o...
Agency Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements
Tuesday,September 16, 2014 News Release SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements Encourages People to Create a Secure my Social Security Account to Obta...
9/16/14 at 11:28 AM UND NEWS
Renowned composer and Grand Forks native to host three public events on UND campus
Renowned composer and Grand Forks native Matthew Peterson is visiting the University of North Dakota campus this week and will host a series of public events as a guest of the UND Music Department. P...
Wild Plum Jelly
Across the small field that had originally been his grandparents kitchen garden when my father was a boy was a thicket of wild plums. Our home was on the southwest forty of my great-grandparents farm...
9/15/14 at 10:28 AM