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North Dakota

Spinning on Air

Tom Brosseau's Songs of Wonder, Wondering, and Modern Devices

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The North Dakota singer-songwriter tackles such topics as being stuck on a roof, ambivalence about new beginnings, and our contemporary tendency to cradle our devices rather than our loved ones.

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The Takeaway

Views of the Middle from Across America

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on median household income levels for every community across America. The Takeaway set out to find ordinary "median earners" from different Census tracts around the county—folks whose household income matches the median for their neighborhoods. Javes Cruthird of Florida; Tim Wood of Massachusetts; Margaret McGlynn of North Dakota; and Tanya Lundberg of Michigan, join The Takeaway to describe what it's like to live in the middle.

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The Takeaway

Policing the New Wild West: North Dakota's Oil Boom Towns

Friday, November 01, 2013

Towns in North Dakota's oil-rich Bakken region are exploding with people looking to make money off of the energy boom-- and law enforcement can't keep up. We look at the surging crime rate in these modern “boom towns” with Sheriff Scott Busching of Williams County, North Dakota.

Towns in North Dakota's oil rich Bakken are exploding with people looking to make money off of the energy boom. And law enforcement can't keep up. We look at the surging crime rate in these modern “boom towns.Towns in North Dakota's oil rich Bakken region are exploding with people looking to make money off of the energy boom. And law enforcement can't keep up. We look at the surging crime rate in these modern “boom towns” with Sheriff Scott Busching of Williams County, North DakotaTowns in North Dakota's oil rich Bakken region are exploding with people looking to make money off of the energy boom. And law enforcement can't keep up. We look at the surging crime rate in these modern “boom towns” with Sheriff Scott Busching of Williams County, North Dakota.

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The Takeaway

Pro-Life Legislators Score a Victory in North Dakota

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple signed the nation's toughest abortion legislation into law yesterday despite the presence of protesters outside. The law bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is "detectable," as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

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Radiolab

Krulwich Wonders: A Mysterious Patch Of Light Shows Up In The North Dakota Dark

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NPR

If you are up in space looking down on America west of the Mississippi, one of the brightest patches of light at night is on the Great Plains in North Dakota. It's not a city, not a town, not a military installation. What is it?

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On The Media

Domestic Drones in North Dakota

Friday, July 27, 2012

In Afghanistan and Yemen, armed drones have become an effective military tool. In the US, unarmed drones have become a tool of domestic law enforcement. Brooke speaks with Star Tribune military affairs reporter Mark Brunswick about the use of an unarmed drone to help end a dispute over six missing cows in North Dakota.

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Transportation Nation

Trucking Key Reason Oil Service Company Moves to Small Eastern Montana Town

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Joe Bowen of Mud Masters holds up a sample of "drilling mud" used on the drilling rigs at his office in Glendive, MT. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

(Glendive, MT – YPR) – A company that provides drilling fluids for the oil industry says transportation is the reason why it chose to locate its Bakken Oil operations in a small Eastern Montana community.

“We depend so much on trucking,” says Joe Bowen, area manager of The Mud Master’s Group. “That’s the only reason why we’re not in Billings.” He says four to five semi trucks a day, loaded with Mud Master products, leaves the Glendive facility daily for the Bakken oil fields.

Mud Masters provides drilling mud and other products. The company has facilities in Texas, Louisiana Oklahome, West Virginia, and now Montana. The Bakken oil fields in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota is the secondlargest oil play in the U.S.

Bowen says he had to convince his bosses to locate a facility in Glendive over Billings. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city of Glendive is 4,935 people, while the population of the city of Billings (the state’s largest city) is 104,180 people.

“I considered Billings hard,” says Bowen who still has a home in Billings, as well as in Glendive. “I lived in Billings when Mud Masters wanted to expand into North Dakota. I wouldn’t live in North Dakota. I’m from Montana. I live in Montana.”

“I’m just as close in Glendive to every drilling rig in the Bakken as a business in Williston, North Dakota is,” he says.

To illustrate his point, Bowen draws an equilateral triangle on the chalkboard in his Glendive office. At each point, he writes:  Glendive, Williston, and Dickinson; on each line he writes 98 miles. By contrast, Billings is another 220 miles to the West of Glendive or at least 3 ½ hours of driving time on I-94.

“By the time a truck leaves Billings and comes to the Bakken and delivers, before the driver can get home he runs out of time,” Bowen says. The distance from Billings to Williston is about 320 miles or just over 5 hours via I-94. Then there’s additional time and distance to the drilling rigs that dot the oil fields.

Bowen says Billings has the infrastructure, housing, shopping and other amenities that the smaller communities of Glendive and other Eastern Montana communities don’t. “But we depend so much on trucking,” he says. “That’s the only reason we’re not in Billings.”

Bowen says Billings remains vital to his company, however, because of its airport.  The Glendive office has eight full-time employees who live in the area, he says. The remaining 10 rotate in and out from Texas, Louisiana, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. All will fly into Billings and either drive or board Silver Airways (provided by Gulfstream International Airlines), the Essential Air Service provider to rural Montana.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: North Dakota's Oil Boom Strains Towns, GM Offers To Buy Back Volts

Friday, December 02, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Houston receives first-ever federal funds for light rail (link)

Democrats want stricter "made in America" rules for infrastructure projects. (Link)

John Mica could lose his seat under a redistricting proposal. (Link)

North Dakota (photo by John McChesney for NPR)

House leadership has put the brakes on a long-term transportation spending plan. (Washington Post)

The oil boom in North Dakota is straining small towns. (NPR)

DC Metro prepares to hike fares to close a budget gap. (Washington Post)

GM said it would buy back Volts from owners worried about battery fires. (New York Times)

The BART board voted to turn off cell phone service only in "the most extraordinary circumstances." (San Francisco Chronicle)

A New Jersey state assemblyman wants an investigation into the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's toll-hike discrepancy. (The Star-Ledger)

Thousands turned out for a New York City hearing on hydrofracking. (WNYC/Empire)

Friday video pick: watch as a video projection installation on the side of the Manhattan Bridge turns the structure into something resembling a portal to another dimension -- or a scene from the Matrix. (h/t Laughing Squid)

Projection on the Bridge - Immersive Surfaces - As Above, So Below from Light Harvest Studio - Ryan Uzi on Vimeo.

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The Takeaway

Natural Disasters Cost US $32 Billion in 2011 So Far

Monday, June 27, 2011

Though we're only halfway through 2011, natural disasters have already cost the U.S. $32 billion, and that number will continue to climb. Over the weekend, the Suris River crested in Minot, North Dakota, leaving 4,000 homes underwater. Fewer than 400 residents of the city—the state's fourth largest—have flood insurance. North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S., and one of the fastest growing economies. 

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The Takeaway

Historic Floods Ravage North Dakota

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Souris River, which loops from Saskatchewan, Canada to North Dakota, has risen to record high levels and is spilling into the North Dakota city of Minot, causing more than 11,000 residents from there to evacuate for the second time this month. The flooding is said to have been caused by a heavy spring snow melt and heavy rains. The last major flood in the area occurred in 1969, which prompted the construction of levees. But this flood is five feet taller than the 1969 flood, and the levees are unable to contain it. 

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