Changing Gears Across the World: New England Native Engineers ‘Best Gearbox Money Can Buy’

Jack Schorsch believes growing up on a farm in southwest North Dakota instilled a fearlessness in him about mechanical engineering.

Schorsch spent countless hours in his youth tinkering on machines and finding better ways to make them work.

“You have kind of an instinctive knowledge of how things are going to go right and go wrong,” he said. “I look at it as 10 years of experience in a whole variety of jobs.”

Continue reading “Changing Gears Across the World: New England Native Engineers ‘Best Gearbox Money Can Buy’”

Column: Actress Arrest Should Signal End of DAPL Protests

Actress Shailene Woodley is a spoiled brat.

She’s also a prime example of the worst kind of Dakota Access Pipeline protester.

Woodley is not a North Dakotan. She’s not a Native American. She a 24-year-old Hollywood actress who grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs.

She may “stand with Standing Rock” but she sure doesn’t understand the law.

Continue reading “Column: Actress Arrest Should Signal End of DAPL Protests”

Meridan Energy Submits Permit to Construct Refinery

BISMARCK – The company planning to build an oil refinery west of Belfield and just three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s eastern edge has submitted its permit application to the North Dakota Department of Health.

Last Friday, Meridian Energy Group submitted its permit to construct the Davis Refinery as a minor synthetic source of air pollution, said Craig Thorstenson, an environmental engineer who handles permitting for the department’s Division of Air Quality.

The refinery is the first “of its complexity” in history to apply as a minor synthetic source, according to a statement by Meridian. Other refinery projects typically apply as a major source of air pollution.

Meridian’s plans call for the Davis Refinery to eventually refine 55,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil a day. Throughout the process, Meridian officials have said the Davis Refinery will be the most environmentally sustainable refinery ever built. Continue reading “Meridan Energy Submits Permit to Construct Refinery”

Veterans Pavilion Planning Moving Quickly

The Stark County Veterans Pavilion project is closing in on detailed financial planning, Dickinson Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer said Monday at a Park Board meeting.

The $600,000 addition to Memorial Park is quickly moving forward, as that money has either been pledged to the project by the city, the park board, the county and the Stark County Veterans Memorial Association.

And the sooner, the better, they say.

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Symposium Attendees Ted-Set on Plans for Roosevelt Library in Dickinson

Louise W. Knight got her hands dirty Saturday morning.

The author and historian from Evanston, Ill., who is in Dickinson as a speaker at the Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, tore into the bark of cottonwood trees at the behest of Roosevelt scholar and symposium leader Clay Jenkinson.

As Jenkinson spoke about the process for how the trees will soon be used to build a replica of Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch cabin, Knight wrapped her hands around the bark and started to pull. In all, she tore off about 10 feet of bark from a cottonwood sitting at the site of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.

“The most fun work is where you see the results right away, and this is that kind of work,” Knight said with a smile.

Continue reading “Symposium Attendees Ted-Set on Plans for Roosevelt Library in Dickinson”

RockPile Gets Bought Out, Expands

One of Dickinson’s biggest oilfield employers has been bought out, but little is changing. It’s even expanding.

RockPile Energy Services, which operated primarily as a hydraulic fracturing operation during the Bakken oilfield’s boom years, was acquired earlier this month by Houston-based White Deer Energy. RockPile was previously a subsidiary of Triangle Petroleum Corp.

“It puts us in a debt-free situation, which in this time and day is exceptional compared to our peers, and most of them are in some really big debt,” said Howard Rough, RockPile’s vice president of sales and marketing.

RockPile stated in a release that when it was acquired by White Deer Energy, the move allowed it to acquire more capital to fund growth.

Continue reading “RockPile Gets Bought Out, Expands”

Democrat Out of Race for State Senate

A New England man who planned to oppose Republican state Sen. Kelly Armstrong in November’s election has withdrawn his name from the ballot.

Democrat John D.W. Fielding said Thursday that his job as an employee of the Transportation Service Administration prohibits him from pursuing political office.

Fielding was nominated by his party to challenge Armstrong in District 36 last spring. The party chose not to put up a challenger in his place after he dropped out, said Dean Meyer, chairman of the District 36 Democrats who is running for state House of Representatives.

“It was a pretty close deadline,” Meyer said. “We’d had a hard time finding the first line of candidates, so there really wasn’t much we could do with that short time.”

Fielding said he learned he couldn’t pursue public office in an email he received from the TSA about election rules for employees. Federal government employees are prohibited from holding partisan political office, a law that dates back to the Hatch Act of 1939.

“I kinda need my job,” Fielding said with a laugh.

Fielding said he was working as a geologist in the oilfield before the drop in oil prices caused the Bakken’s significant slowdown. He said he wants to stay in the area because his children want to graduate from New England High School.

… I knew it would have been an uphill battle, but I thought there was information that should be out there and voters should know instead of voting the party line like most people do.”

“Family has got to come first,” Fielding said.

Fielding admitted he faced an uphill battle against Armstrong, who isn’t just a state senator but also chairman of the North Dakota GOP. He said, however, that he has had the opportunity to bring attention to issues faced by voters and added that he believes Armstrong hasn’t represented his constituents well.

“I had issues with the way the state handles the oil industry in general, basically from a position of weakness rather than strength,” Fielding said. “… I knew it would have been an uphill battle, but I thought there was information that should be out there and voters should know instead of voting the party line like most people do.”

Meyer said Fielding dropping out of the race creates more of an uphill battle for he and fellow House candidate Linda Kittilson, who face incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Schatz and newcomer Luke Simons.

Simons beat out incumbent Rep. Alan Fehr in the District 36 GOP nominating process.

“It does make the race a little tougher for the other two of us to not have anyone else ahead of us on the Senate side of it,” Meyer said. Armstrong said Thursday that despite running unopposed, he’s still putting in the campaign legwork for not only himself but Schatz, Simons and other Republican nominees he represents as party chair. “Even though I’m running unopposed, I think I’ll be working just as hard,” he said.