North Dakota government corruption
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"A judge has sealed all future documents in the University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" nickname lawsuit against the NCAA and delayed a hearing, hoping to aid settlement talks.
"Both parties have continued good faith negotiations with an eye toward settling the issues of this litigation amicably," Northeast Central District Judge Lawrence Jahnke said in his order. "At such time as it appears to the court that settlement negotiations have reached an impasse and trial will be necessary, this order will be immediately rescinded.""
Four states—Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota—have avoided the budget woes plaguing the majority of states and instead are heading into the next fiscal year with budget surpluses. Those four states have all benefited from increased tax revenue: Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota have seen taxes rise as a result of their rich deposits of natural resources while Arkansas saw increases in sales and corporate income tax receipts. They all also use effective budgeting practices.
"A push by North Dakota's university system for more secrecy in hiring college presidents has failed.
The measure would have exempted the first round of applications for high-level jobs from public disclosure. It applied to college presidents and the chancellor of North Dakota's university system."
C.T. Marhula of Grand Forks asked for Stenehjem's opinion after the city declined to respond immediately to his request."
The board is contemplating a move to airing its board meetings on public access television. This has some board members concerned about what patrons might say about the district or its employees during the public comments section.
"I am concerned about how it occurred in the past," board member Dan Leingang said. "It has not always been a positive environment. I do not want to broadcast public communication unmonitored.""
"A bill that aims to allow local governing bodies to gather during a disaster without issuing a public meeting notice got the endorsement of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The bill would change the North Dakota open meeting law, allowing county commissioners, for example, to gather in the same room during a disaster, such as a tornado or flood, to help with the emergency response."
"No, no, no.
That's our response to a bill submitted to the North Dakota Legislature that would place restrictions on public information regarding applicants for state university president jobs and the university system's chancellor's position.
Simply, unequivocally, no."
"North Dakota's university system is pushing to limit public information about applicants for college presidency jobs and the system's chancellor, and a legislative panel concluded the request made sense.
The North Dakota Senate's Education Committee voted 4-1 on Wednesday to recommend that the full Senate approve the measure, which would make job candidates' names public only if they made a list of semifinalists for the position."
"This morning, the state Board of Higher Education takes its quest for closed records to a legislative committee.
The hearing on Senate Bill 2087 is under way. It would make the names of college president applicants secret until finalists are picked, and then only the finalists’ names will be revealed, not the full list of applicants.
The proposed law runs counter to the state constitution’s open records-open meeting clause. Legislators are allowed to enact laws making exceptions to open records and meetings."
"A university cannot hide behind federal privacy laws to refuse to honor an open-records request for information about the disciplinary sanctions levied for violations of student conduct codes, North Dakota's Attorney General has ruled.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued his opinion after the Grand Forks Herald was denied student-discipline records related to incidents involving anti-Semitic graffiti in May 2008. The newspaper asked for documents with identifying information removed, but the university cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The university claimed because one student's name had been released through court documents, the newspaper would be able to identify the student even with the redacted information."
"The University of North Dakota must reconsider its refusal to disclose student disciplinary records if the documents have been edited to avoid identifying individual students, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says.
UND rebuffed a June request from the Grand Forks Herald for information about disciplinary actions against students who were living in West Residence Hall in May, documents say.
The newspaper itself asked that the documentation be edited to remove identifying information, including the students' names, addresses and any personal identifiers, such as university ID numbers."
"A proposal to restrict the public’s access to applications for university president and chancellor positions in North Dakota will be forwarded to the Legislature.
The state Board of Higher Education unanimously agreed Thursday to introduce a bill that would keep names of applicants secret until candidates become semifinalists.
The legislation would exempt records identifying applicants from North Dakota’s open records law, which requires most government records to be open to the public."
"A legislative committee is demanding more than three years' worth of records from North Dakota's state auditor in a search for information about the prosecution of the former state workers compensation director.
State Auditor Robert R. Peterson said the formal request - which the Legislature's Audit and Fiscal Review Committee endorsed on a 10-3 vote - was unnecessary because the documents the lawmakers want already are public records."
"Dan Huffman oversees a Fargo School District budget in excess of $100 million, orchestrates major building projects, lobbies lawmakers and negotiates teacher contracts as assistant superintendent for business services.
He also spent a great deal of time last year as treasurer for the Metro Sports Foundation, a group of hockey supporters from the public and private sectors who built Fargo’s $25 million Urban Plains Center that opens Oct. 30.
But in July, after Huffman and other public servants on the MSF board were directed by the North Dakota attorney general’s office to turn over e-mailed foundation-related documents from their home computers, his reply through an attorney was that his computer failed and all data was lost."
"Today, an update on an important open records issue The Forum has been battling for some time on behalf of the public.
On July 7, the North Dakota Supreme Court issued a supervisory writ that determined state courts must disclose to the public the names of jurors and most of the questions they answer when selected. It also established a procedure for doing so.
It was an important opinion that reinforced a generally held belief that the public ought to know who decides another’s fate."
"Workforce Safety and Insurance Board will get training later this month about open meeting laws, coming on the heels of complaints against the agency’s board and committees.
Two pending complaints against WSI Board committees allege they broke the open meeting law when quorums of the committees met or discussed WSI business." .
A company called "First American Core-Logic" asked Mountrail, Foster and Adams counties for copies of each county's tax rolls.
First American Core-Logic asked for Stenehjem's legal opinion on the handling of its open records requests."
"Fargo’s School District and Park District officials agreed Tuesday to turn over e-mails and e-mailed documents from the home computers of their representatives on the Metro Sports Foundation after the state attorney general ruled they had violated North Dakota’s open records law."
"The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office has issued an opinion stating Dickinson State University did not violate open records laws regarding a complaint from former adjunct professor James A. Woods regarding his personal file."
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