BISMARCK, ND - The North Dakota Supreme Court has denied an appeal from a convicted murderer for post-conviction relief.
In an opinion issued on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the District Court did not err when it determined that 35-year old Omar Mohamed Kalmio failed to show that he was prejudiced in his direct appeal when his lawyer did not file a brief regarding the admissibility of testimony about Kalmio's prior bad acts.
Kalmio was convicted of the Jan. 28, 2011, killings in Minot of 19-year old Sabrina Zephier who was the mother of his baby daughter, and of the murders of Sabrina mother, 38-year old Jolene Zephier, her 13-year-old brother Dillon Zephier, and Jolene's boyfriend, 22-year old Jeremy Longie. Sabrina's infant daughter was found unharmed in her residence after the murder. Sabrina was killed at her residence and the three others were killed at a second residence. Kalmio was convicted at trial and was later sentenced to life in prison.
BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum today highlighted recent reports that North Dakota is replenishing its rainy-day Budget Stabilization Fund thanks to a strong finish to the 2017-19 biennium, while also starting the new biennium on a high note with July revenues coming in $42 million above forecast.
"As I said during my State of the State Address in January, fiscal responsibility means more than just balancing the checkbook. Given that our revenues remain largely dependent on commodity prices beyond our control, we must replenish reserves to withstand future economic downturns, protect taxpayers and maintain essential services," Burgum said. "Now, with a conservative state budget, a robust economy, a healthy rainy-day fund and a better-than-expected start to the new biennium, North Dakota is once again in a strong position for growth."
The Budget Stabilization Fund was nearly drained to balance the 2015-17 budget, as depressed prices for crude oil and farm commodities created a severe shortfall in state tax revenues.
In his budget recommendation last January, Burgum proposed using a $315 million transfer from oil and gas tax revenues and a projected $312 million ending fund balance to help refill the Budget Stabilization Fund in 2019-21.
Lawmakers didn't adopt the recommendation, but the 2017-19 biennium ended June 30 with a higher-than-projected ending general fund balance of about $611 million - $261 million more than the legislative estimate. This will result in a transfer to the Budget Stabilization Fund of $546 million, or $261 million more than the legislative estimate. The fund's current balance is $113.6 million.
By law, an additional $75 million of oil and gas tax revenue could be allocated to the Budget Stabilization Fund this biennium. However, only $67 million will be needed to reach the fund's statutory cap of $726.5 million, which is 15 percent of the current general fund budget.
On another positive note, July tax revenues were $42.4 million, or 7.6 percent, above the revenue forecast adopted by the Legislature in April, and nearly $114 million, or 23.3 percent, higher than revenues in July 2017, according to the state Office of Management and Budget.
"This is a very positive start to the biennium, but not surprising based on the very conservative forecast adopted by the 2019 Legislature," OMB Director Joe Morrissette said. "Having the Budget Stabilization Fund refilled is important to ensure the state is well-positioned to weather the next economic downturn and remain in a strong financial position in the years to come."
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A pair of township officers narrowly survived what appears to be North Dakota's first recall at the township level. The Bismarck Tribune reports that Morton Township Supervisor Daymon Mills and Clerk/Treasurer Mary Malard each prevailed by slim margins in Wednesday's election.
The Tribune reported the recall stemmed from division over a proposed wind farm project. Mills and other township supervisors were participating landowners in the project. The Burleigh County Commission had taken over Morton Township's permitting authority for the project because of that. The project ultimately was bought by another developer and moved.
BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the featured speakers for the 2019 Main Street ND Summit, Oct. 29-31 at the Bismarck Event Center.
The Main Street ND Summit will bring together local and national community development experts and advocates to share best practices and inspire community leaders, entrepreneurs and students in envisioning North Dakota's future.
"This summit will provide attendees with access to best practices, resources and networking opportunities, empowering them to immediately apply what they have learned to further local initiatives that will help their communities thrive," Burgum said.
The three-day interactive summit will serve as a forum for information on the community planning principles behind the three pillars of Burgum's Main Street Initiative: a skilled workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities. The goal is to help North Dakota compete in a 21st century economy in which rapid technological advancement is changing every job, industry and organization.
The three-day conference will feature national thought leaders including:
- Gil Penalosa, the founder and chair of the internationally recognized Canadian nonprofit organization 8 80 Cities and chair of World Urban Parks. Penalosa holds an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Management, where he recently was selected as one of the "100 Most Inspirational Alumni" in the school's history. He received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Urban Planning at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Last year he was listed in Planetizen's Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists and recently received in Australia the World Urban Parks Annual Distinguished Individual Award.
- Christopher Zimmerman, vice president for economic development for Smart Growth America (SGA) and director of the Governors' Institute on Community Design. An economist by training, Zimmerman leads SGA's Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance program and oversees the downtown revitalization program, which provides training and technical assistance to local officials. Prior to joining SGA, Zimmerman was intimately involved in planning, development, housing and transportation policy for an urban municipality widely recognized as one of the leading U.S. models for smart growth and transit-oriented development through his work as an elected official in Arlington County, Va. During his 18 years as a member of the Arlington County Board, Zimmerman served on many regional transportation bodies, including 15 years on the Transportation Planning Board for the National Capital Region.
- Jana Lynott, senior strategic policy advisor for Livable Communities/Transportation with AARP's Public Policy Institute. Lynott focuses on a broad array of planning and policy issues including public transportation, complete streets, older driver safety and the travel patterns of older adults. She recently completed a series of papers titled, "The Future of Transportation: The Opportunity (and Potential Pitfall) of Disruptive Technologies." Jana co-directs AARP's Livability Index, a first-of-its-kind online tool designed to help communities better serve their residents across the lifespan. As a land use and transportation planner, Jana brings practical expertise to the research field.
- Adam Vauthier, executive director at Anaconda (Mont.) Local Development Corp. Vauthier also served as the ALDC's board chair, is a founding member of the Anaconda Trail Society, and is a former member of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge Planning Board. He's also been at the helm of Accelerate Anaconda, a community-development offshoot of the ALDC. Vauthier became the executive director at the age of 32 and had moved to Anaconda to start a web-based marketing and advertising firm. He has a degree in web development from the International Academy of Design in Seattle and has completed coursework with the International Economic Development Council.
- Jaixai Reineke, a freshman at Brookings High School in South Dakota who has been actively working to share the importance of, and have, the voices of youth heard in her community. Reineke organized and hosted the first youth-organized TEDx youth event in the history of South Dakota and was the first youth speaker at TEDxBrookings. Her topic will address cultivating young pioneers in the region.
- Kim Huston, author of "Small Town Sexy," a book about the allure of living in small town America. Huston enjoys speaking about her love affair with her not-so-big city lifestyle in her hometown of Bardstown, Ky., population around 14,000. She has gained national recognition with her book, which discusses the seductive charm and appeal so many small towns have today, and she promotes the ability to do big business in a small town. Huston writes from experience as the president of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency (NCEDA) in Bardstown, where she oversees all economic development activity in Nelson County including industrial development, the Chamber of Commerce, small business development, the Main Street Program and a strong tourism agency.
The Main Street ND Summit is hosted by Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Commerce. For additional information on sponsorship opportunities, agenda topics or to reserve your space for the Summit visit: www.MainStreetND.com.
(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)