Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Does The Governor’s Office Have A “Slush Fund?” Well, Not Really …

When residents of Billings County in western North Dakota, home to the Bad Lands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Medora, head to their mailboxes sometime this week or next, they’re going to find a letter from their county commissioners. That’s unusual. About the only time county government sends you a letter is with your property tax bill. But this …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Future Of The Bad Lands Is In The Hands Of A Judge

The only thing we know for sure after Monday morning’s court hearing on the proposed bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River is that the bridge is not going to get built before March 1. U.S. District Judge Dan Traynor made sure of that because he’s not going to issue a decision on whether he’s going to grant a …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Check’s In The Mail … Er … At The Courthouse

In a file cabinet at the Billings County Clerk of Court’s office in Medora, N.D., there are four checks totaling $54,975 waiting to be picked up by members of the Short family, owners of a ranch about a dozen miles north of town. County Clerk of Court Juliana Hammerstrom is not holding her breath waiting for them to be claimed. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — $20,000 An Acre!

At about 9:15 Tuesday morning, in the Billings County Courthouse in Medora, N.D., Billings County commissioners voted to go into executive session and told the general public attending the meeting to leave the room. Well, two of the three commissioners — Steve Klym and Lester Iverson — voted to do that. A third, Dean Rodne, voted against the motion to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Thank You

A letter to a whole bunch of really good friends. Dear Friends, The nightmare is over. My lawyer says I can talk about it now. Some of you know about it already. Most don’t. Here’s the short version. About a year and a half ago, there was a knock on my front door. A kind of unruly looking fellow, probably …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Here We Go Again; The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’ Is Back

Elections, as they say, have consequences. What’s been going on in Billings County, North Dakota, elections has been pretty consequential. Billings County is an important place. It’s home to the Bad Lands, Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. And the Little Missouri State Scenic River. More about elections in a minute. You’ve been reading here for more than 10 years …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Keeping Track Of Bridges And Refineries

A short update on a couple of things that I have written about recently. MERIDIAN ENERGY As I reported here earlier this summer, Meridian Energy Group’s Permit to Construct the Davis Refinery just three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park expired in June, three years after it was first issued by the North Dakota Department of Health (now the North …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Sometimes You Have To Go Camping To Get Good News

I haven’t written here lately because we went camping. For about three weeks. We went to the Pacific Northwest, seeking national parks and seafood. We found both. And we learned some things about camper trailers and “glamping.” Most importantly, camper trailers should be towed to a destination and parked for a few days. We spent too much time moving from …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — An Update On The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’

Somebody asked in a comment on my blog last week for an update on the proposed Little Missouri Crossing north of Medora, N.D. Here’s some information stolen from an article I wrote for Dakota Country magazine’s May issue, which should be on the newsstands later this week, or in your mailbox if you subscribe, which you should do. Out in …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — April Is A Key Month For The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’

There are a couple of new developments in the ongoing saga of the proposed Little Missouri River Crossing north of Medora, N.D. I’ve written about this extensively, most recently in December. Here’s what’s going on right now: There’s a new look to the Billings County Commission. Longtime Commission Chairman Jim Arthaud, the driving force behind the bridge proposal, was defeated …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Tale Of Two Bridges (Continued)

I wrote in a recent edition of Dakota Country magazine about the continuing saga of a pair of bridges — one built, the other proposed — over the Little Missouri State Scenic River, part of the ongoing effort of politicians and captains of industry to industrialize the state’s only officially designated scenic river. It seems like there’s no end to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — U.S. DOT To Billings County: Go Find Money For Your Bridge Somewhere Else

Score one for the Little Missouri State Scenic River. When U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the recipients of a billion dollars worth of discretionary grants for infrastructure projects all over the United States this morning, including one in North Dakota, a $12.3 million grant to build a new bridge over the Little Missouri wasn’t among them. That’s the best …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Quick Takes, Fast Tracks And The Destruction Of A Historic Ranch And A State Scenic River

“(Commission chairman) Jim Arthaud and the Billings County commissioners have the fight of their lives ahead of them if they plan on using eminent domain to put a bridge across our land.” That was Sandy Short, wife of the late Con Short and daughter-in-law of former U.S. Congressman Don Short, in an interview with The Bismarck Tribune three years ago. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Bridge To Nowhere’Takes A Couple Of Tentative Steps Forward

Billings County Commissioners have raised the stakes in their quest to build their “Bridge to Nowhere” across the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., but the family on whose land the bridge is proposed to be built is not taking it lying down. At a County Commission meeting this past month, the commissioners, without notifying the family …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Couple More Notes On The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’

I want to add a couple or things to the Little Missouri River Crossing story I posted here earlier today. First Note: A little history, which you can read more fully by clicking on the link at the end of this note. I really didn’t become aware of the serious problems with this project until I attended a public meeting …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Short Family To Government: We’ll See You In Court

Well, here’s some good news. Six months ago, Billings County and the Federal Highway Administration signed a record of decision to proceed with a new bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D. a bridge famously referred to as a “Bridge to Nowhere” because it has no apparent purpose other than to connect one isolated part …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Comment Now On The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote here about the proposed new bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., that is being shoved down our throats by a megalomaniac county commissioner who wants to spend up to $20 million of our gas tax dollars on a “Bridge to Nowhere.” At the insistence of the Federal …