The University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University joined forces in an attempt to secure $100 million from the state government. According to the Inforum, this is the second time UND and NDSU have made a proposal like this to the State Board of Higher Education. The plan is to split the funds fifty-fifty and use the money for research. The money would come from the North Dakota Legacy Fund which is at around $6 billion. President Dean Bresciani of NDSU is very hopeful for this new proposal believing the tweaks made to the original will be enough to secure the money.
Oil Spill Update
The land that has been affected by the Keystone Pipeline oil spill has turned out to be much larger than was first reported. On Oct. 29, TransCanada Energy’s Keystone Pipeline leaked approximately 383,000 gallons of oil on North Dakota soil. The pipeline has been subject to a variety of opposition throughout its life. According to the Associated Press, the original report from state regulators said that 22,500 square feet were affected by the leak. According to more recent statements by state regulators, it is now estimated that 209,100 square feet have been affected as a result of the spill.
Epstein Guards Charged
The two federal workers who were on duty the night Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide were charged on Nov. 19 with falsifying records and conspiring to defraud the United States. These are the first charges to arise from the incident where Epstein died while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking charges. As reported by the New York Times, the indictment of federal workers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas said that they failed to make their rounds where they would check detainees and spent their time on the internet, sitting around or moving about the common area.
South Dakota’s After School Special
On Nov. 18, South Dakota unveiled its latest anti-drug ad campaign only to have it crash and burn. According to the Washington Post, the state spent $449,000 on the campaign which was then mocked by marketing experts, one even calling it “a colossal blunder.” A number of the ads feature photos of people with the motto, “Meth. I’m on it,” stamped at the bottom. The campaign is a part of an ongoing effort to combat the statewide methamphetamine epidemic. The statistics of drug use in younger demographics, ages 12 to 17, have reported twice the amount of usage than that of the national average.
Money Launder and Irony
Bruce Bagley, a man who was considered to be a leading expert on organized crime in Latin America, was arrested on Nov. 18. According to NPR, the charges placed on him for laundering $3 million on behalf of corrupt foreign nationals. Federal prosecutors also accused Bagley of pocketing ten percent of the money from around $300,000. Now Bagley, a professor of International Affairs who wrote books on organized crime, faces two counts of laundering and one count of conspiracy. There is even some evidence of him covering his tracks as well as information on how he would run his schemes.