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WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: More you should know about the 'Mothership' culture in the Bakken

WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: More you should know about the 'Mothership' culture in the Bakken

WILLISTON, N.D. - The is the last of the four-part series regarding "Surviving The Mothership" culture in the Bakken. There are just a few more things you should know or notice: Executive assigned parking: This is a "Mothership" three-ring circus. The brass park nearest to the palace atrium, avoiding the ice, mud and snow that could leave a pinhead spot on their pin-striped Brooks Brothers suit, or God forbid, smudge a scale on their alligator boots.


Shattering the stigma of mental illness

With increasing awareness, attitudes improving but progress still needed, experts say
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Debra Johnson hesitated when asked about her experience with mental illness as part of her interview for a position as an accountant with Prairie Harvest Mental Health in Grand Forks 22 years ago. She thought revealing her mother struggled for years with anxiety and schizoaffective disorder might hurt her chances of getting the job. Later Johnson learned her real-life experience helped her land the job at Prairie Harvest. "She raised a family of four kids," she said. "I didn't know until I was 16 years old that she suffered from mental illness."


North Dakota lawmakers eye additional funding for behavioral health

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- As North Dakota's population continues to grow, so does the number of people using public behavioral health services, and even as funding for these services has increased, lawmakers say more can be done. Gov. Jack Dalrymple has included more than $6 million in additional funds for expanded behavioral health services in his proposed budget covering the 2015 to 2017 biennium. A number of recommendations for funding came from an interim legislative committee that met over the past year.


Shame still seems to surround mental illness, but it’s moving out of shadows

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- When Veronica Dockter first walked through the doors of Mountainbrooke Recovery Center in Grand Forks, she said she kept a ball cap on and her head down. A little more than two years later, the Grand Forks woman diagnosed with depression and other illnesses wants the community to know she is more than a stereotype. "People say we drain the government of money, that we're not useful, that we're not worthwhile," Dockter said. "They don't treat us as human beings, they treat us as a disability." Years ago, Dockter said she talked about her illness and people didn't understand and grew tired of hearing about it. "It was all I knew at the time," she said. "Now, I know wellness. I have good things to talk about."


North Dakota lignite industry pleased with EPA label for coal ash

BISMARCK, N.D. – As environmentalists decried the decision, North Dakota’s lignite coal industry welcomed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision Friday to classify coal ash as non-hazardous waste. A hazardous waste designation would have cost each of the state’s eight coal-fired power plants millions of dollars in operational changes and could have been the “final nail in the coffin” for some facilities, said Jason Bohrer, president of the Bismarck-based Lignite Energy Council. “It looks like we’ll be able to get by with minimal changes,” he said.

University presidents won’t get to vote on new chancellor

BISMARCK, N.D. – As the state Board of Higher Education moves forward in its search for a new chancellor, university presidents have a say, but not a vote. That’s a change from previous search committees, and also from the original proposal for this one, which would have included four presidents. North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani recently described the process to the NDSU Development Foundation.

Hoeven reviews plans for new North Dakota National Gaurd maintenance shop

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., reviewed plans Friday for a new $10.8 million vehicle maintenance shop here with local North Dakota National Guardsmen. The new shop will be 30,005 square feet with a 15,296-square-foot unheated storage building for the Guard’s 180 vehicles. The current shop is 3,230 square feet. “If you look at all the equipment and you look at the size of this (shop), they need the space pretty badly,” Hoeven said. “They’re saying some of this equipment they can’t even work on in the winter because they can’t get it inside.”

Lawmakers see chances to cut taxes in oil-rich N.D.

Number of proposals would reduce income, property and sales taxes
BISMARCK, N.D. – Taxpayers in oil-rich North Dakota could save on everything from property and income tax bills to clothing and Internet subscriptions under a raft of bills that state lawmakers will consider when the Legislature reconvenes Jan. 6. State Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said he expects a “very busy” session for tax proposals, underscoring North Dakota’s strong financial position.

More refugees to be coming to North Dakota from Middle East

Officials expect settlements from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria
FARGO, N.D. -- Zulmai Woodod has only been in Fargo since July, but the native of Kabul City, Afghanistan, already feels at home. The 29-year-old who sought political asylum in the U.S. in 2010 said when he first came to Fargo, he knew only a handful of Afghanis here. Now, he knows of as many as 30 others who’ve left the instability of their homeland to settle here in the Midwest. Soon he may have the opportunity to meet even more of them. Tears come to Woodod’s eyes as he speaks of leaving Afghanistan as a young boy after his home was bombed, killing his grandmother. The civil war forced his family to flee to Pakistan, where they lived for years in a refugee camp.

Fatal Sisseton shooting sparking by domestic dispute

SISSETON, S.D. – Colter Arbach and his girlfriend discussed breaking up before he shot her, three of her friends, and himself last month, according to an investigation by authorities. “The major contributing factor was domestic violence,” South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said in an interview Friday. “They were breaking up, and they were having a disagreement.” Arbach’s girlfriend, Karissa DogEagle, the only survivor, is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds to her back.

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