KHRT ND News – 11/20/21

KHRT NEWS – SATURDAY – 112021 – 0700
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A federal appeals court has largely upheld a North Dakota law aimed at regulating companies that are hired to hold down prescription costs for insurers and employers. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday, reversing its earlier decision on the state law that provides oversight of pharmacy benefit managers. The law bars such things as gag rules that limit what pharmacists can discuss with their patients. Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, negotiate with drug makers on behalf of health insurers, employers and unions that cover medications.
MEDORA, N.D. (AP) – The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota has agreed to take a controversial equestrian statue of the 26th president that has stood on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City since 1940. The bronze statue was commissioned by the New York State Roosevelt Memorial in 1929. The library, which opens next year in Medora, North Dakota, will be getting it as a long-term loan. The statue depicts the former president on horseback with a Native American man and an African man flanking the horse. It’s been the subject of years of criticism that it symbolizes colonial subjugation and racial discrimination.
DENVER (AP) – President Joe Biden has appointed former Colorado House Speaker KC Becker as regional director of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Colorado Sun reports that Becker’s appointment was announced Thursday by the White House. Becker, an environmental attorney, served four terms in the Colorado Legislature and was House speaker for two terms, from 2019 to January 2021. She was a leading proponent of a 2019 bill, now law, that overhauled Colorado’s oil and gas regulations to promote environmental and public safety concerns. Becker also practiced administrative and natural resources law for the U.S. Interior Department. She will be based in Denver.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The Biden administration is considering new laws to protect declining numbers of sage grouse. The species was once found across much of the U.S. West. The sage grouse is suffering from drastic declines in recent decades. The cause being oil and gas drilling, grazing and other human pressures. Friday’s announcement comes after the Trump administration tried to scale back conservation efforts adopted by federal agencies in 2015. A court blocked the Trump era changes. Industry groups have resisted curbs on drilling around sage grouse breeding areas. Some environmentalists insisted that the 2015 plans didn’t go far enough.
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) has recognized two businesses for supporting an inclusive workforce by hiring, training and inspiring people with disabilities to excel in the workforce. The agency and State Rehabilitation Council selected Sanford Health of Bismarck as the 2021 North Dakota State VR Employer of the Year award recipient. The Roosevelt Park Zoo of Minot was recognized with the You Make a Difference Award.
Sanford Health was selected from among eight nominees and was recognized for efforts to support and inspire individuals with disabilities to achieve employment goals and to reach their full potential in their community. Bismarck VR office team members who nominated Sanford Heath for this honor said the hospital’s willingness to make workplace accommodations allowed for multiple individuals with disabilities to become and remain employed in non entry-level positions.
“At Sanford Health, we pride ourselves on maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and safe work environment for all our employees,” said DJ Campbell, executive director of human resources for the Bismarck region of Sanford Health. “Our commitment to diversity and inclusion pushes our organization to continually build on the talents and experiences of our employees, as well as the patients and communities we serve.”
Other nominees receiving honorable mention include Bowman Lodge, Bowman; JCPenney, Fargo; Hugo’s Family Marketplace, Grand Forks; Triumph, Inc., Jamestown; Langdon Daycare, Langdon; Maysa Arena, Minot and the Daily Addiction Coffee House, Williston.
The statewide You Make a Difference Award honors one business annually for consistently recognizing individuals’ unique abilities, providing work experience opportunities for students with disabilities, and actively supporting, developing and inspiring students to achieve goals in a competitive and integrated employment setting.
The Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot was recognized for providing students with disabilities with temporary work experiences in a variety of areas including concessions, gift shop, janitorial, and dietary support for animals. The zoo also provides students with natural supports and positive encouragement and allows on-site job coaching to help students build confidence and skills for successful employment.
“While we appreciate the recognition from the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the greater reward for the Roosevelt Park Zoo and staff has been getting to know these exceptional individuals and watching them develop into valued members of our team,” said Zoo Director Jeffery Bullock.
These awards were presented to Sanford Health and Roosevelt Park Zoo during an awards ceremony at VR’s annual training conference in late October in Fargo.
“It’s a pleasure to honor these North Dakota businesses for their continued work with our program to help people of all abilities reach their full potential in the workforce,” said Damian Schlinger, VR division director. “North Dakota is the leader in the employment of people with disabilities because of the tremendous support from our business community.”
The department’s VR team helps people with disabilities find and retain meaningful work or advance their careers. The division also works with employers to help connect them with qualified applicants, retain trained workers whose abilities may have changed and find solutions to disability-related issues. Rehabilitation counseling and consultation is available at no cost to qualifying individuals and businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. To receive VR services, North Dakotans must have a disability that is an obstacle to employment, and they must want to work and be available to work.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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