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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
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May 8, 2014     The Billings County Pioneer
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May 8, 2014
 

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-,,,,,..j -2 f ? . The official newspaper of Billings County, North Dakota II I _. t  USPS 056-180 Vol. 97, No. 34 = 75 cents lONE May 8, 2014 j* Z A hiker takes a break from hiking on the Maah Daah Hey Trail. (File Photo by N.D. Tourism Divi- sion/Jesse Nelson) Maah Daah Hey's grand opening set for June 7 MEDORA - The completion of the Maah Daah Hey Trail is being celebrated this year, marking 15 years of trail work. The Maah Daah Hey Trail first opened in 1999 and attracts mountain bkers, hikers and horseback riders. The U.S. Forest Service's Dakota Prairie Grasslands office has been expanding the trail across the Bad- lands for 15 years. The Forest Service recently opened another 43 miles of non-mo- torized pathway. This addition marks the completion of the Maah Daah Hey Trail system, which totals 200 miles of interconnected non-motor- ized trails. These trails cut through the Badlands from the CCC Camp- Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Burning Coal Vein Campground, which is 50 miles south of Medora. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the last 43 miles of the trail is scheduled to occur on Na- tional Trails Day, which is Saturday, Trail ground near the North Unit of (Continued on Page 10), Flares mark the completiof three o,I and gas wells =n Stark County that exte.nd under the  of 1Belfleld, Themining,g,rl!_.=txtraction sector hadadecreaseintaxable m a::,purchases 2013, as compared tO 20ew state report shows, (Photo bY Richard yolesky)' Oil industry-related sales taxes decline Although North Dakota's oil and gas industry is doing well sales and use taxes related to the industry de- clined in 2013 as compared to 2012. The figures are in an annual report recently released by the State Tax Department. Four industry sectors reported de- creases over 2012, with the largest being in transportation and ware- housing, which was down 26.7 per- cent; and mining and oil extraction, down 14.8 percent. The other de- creases were in construction, down 8.4 percent; and educational, health care and social services, down 3.8 percent. State Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said the decreases in taxable sales and purchases reported by those industries do not suggest they are not thriving. "They show that these industries are moving beyond a period of inten- sive Bakken-related buildup and rapid expansion and are leveling off to a more sustainable trajectory," he said in a prepared statement. Overall for the economy, the record level of taxable sales and pur- chases of 2012 has been maintained in 2013, said Rauschenberger. For southwestern North Dakota, here's how counties fared, with total taxable sales and purchases for 2012 and 2013 compared: Adams: $24.3 million, an in- crease of 6.37 percent Billings: $27.5 million, a de- crease of 11.6 percent Bowman: $57.5 million, a de- crease of .14 percent Dunn: $43 million, an increase of 10.86 percent Golden Valley: $23.9 million, an increase of 10.47 percent "The sales and use tax statistical reports have long been used as a barometer of the economic activity in the state. As such, it is important to focus on the tremendous level of activity that is reflected on these reports and the fact that taxable sales and pur- chases are continuing at a record level." Ryan Rauschenberger, State Tax Commissioner Hettinger: $12.3 million, a de- crease of 2.46 percent Slope: $885,000, a decrease of 10.18 percent Stark: $1.3 billion, an increase of 11.07 percent Statewide, for calendar year 2013, taxable sales and purchases were more than $25.46 billion, growing by 0.5 percent compared to 2012. "The sales and use tax statistical reports have long been used as a barometer of the economic activity in the state. As such, it is important to focus on the tremendous level of ac- tivity that is reflected on these reports and the fact that taxable sales and purchases are continuing at a record level," said Rauschenberger. "A slower and more sustainable growth was expected for 2013, and this an- nual taxable sales and purchases re- port reflects this trend. Taxable sales and purchases in 2013 were more than double the $12.397 billion re- ported just five years ago in 2008, which has been an unparalleled rate of economic expansion in North Dakota." The major industry sectors show- ing the greatest increases in taxable sales and purchases from 2012 to 2013 were utilities, up 15.1 percent; and the financial, insurance, real es- tate, rental and leasing industry sec- tor, which grew by 12.1 percent. Of the 200 largest North Dakota cities in the report, Surrey led the growth of all cities with an increase of 114.3 percent over 2012. Buffalo was next, increasing by 113.8 per- cent; Lansford was up 108.1 percent; Christine was up 88.7 percent; and Alexander was up 66.6 percent. Cities reporting the sharpest de- cline compared to 2012 include Gladstone, down 87.6 percent; Glen- burn, down 58.1 percent; Sheyenne, down 42.3 percent; and Halliday, down 39.7 percent. Included in the annual report are" statistics for each of the state's 53 counties. Grant County led all counties in 2013 increases in taxable sales and purchases, with a 34 percent growth over 2012. McHenry County was next, increasing by 17.6 percent; Di- vide County was up 16 percent; and Sargent County was up 14.9 percent. The counties recording the sharpest decline were Burke County and Sioux counties, both with a drop of 21 percent. Cavalier County was down t3.2 percent; and Billings County was down 11.6 percent. Some Things Just Happen The roof starts leaking, you lose your job, the car needs repairs, or your son beaks his arm. At times like these, it's good to have an emergency fund to fall back on. We recommend setting aside at least three months living expenses in a Savings Account or short term C.D. Not sure how to begin, come see us. We'll help you get started. A Billings County School District team works on answers during a regional math meet held on April 24 at Prairie School at Fairfield. (Photo by Richard Volesky) A meeting of the math minds By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter FAIRFIELD - Dozens of elemen- tary students on April 24 converged at Prairie School for a math competi- tion. The Southwestern North Dakota Math Meet included students from the Hettinger, New England, Grant County, Bowman, Scranton, Billings County and Mott-Regent school dis- tricts. Ericka Honeyman and Jennifer Vetter, teachers with the Billings County district, coordinated the event. "Every year, a different school takes their turn with hosting it," said Honeyman. The event provides a way for stu- dents who excel at math to be recog- nized, and it was a way to emphasize Math meet (Continued on Page 10) Shypkoski, Olson among students honored Gavin Muscha, a junior at Rich- land High School, was named the 2014-2015 North Dakota High School Activities Association/Farm_ ers Union Insurance Distinguished Student. Interviews were held for the finalists in Valley City on the morn- ing of May 2. Mikayla Aluise of Richardton- Taylor High School, was chosen run- ner-up. Six finalists were selected from the original 60 applications sent in by high school principals around the state. The NDHSAA Distinguished Stu- dent program was developed to rec- ognize deserving young people who are the "backbone" of interscholastic activities, not necessarily the leader, but the individual whose participa- tion in high school activities strengthens the program for partici- pants, the school and the community. Applicants arestudents entering their senior year. The student must be a participant as a player, manager, stat- istician or other role in at least one NDHSAA sponsored activity. The student must be a good citizen and role model to his/her peers as well as a contributor to his/her school and community. The following students were among those honored as their school's 2013-2014 Distinguished Student and their names were sub- mitted to the NDHSAA for consider- ation as the State Distinguished Student: Addison Olson, South Heart High School; and Cade Shypkoski, Belfield High School. The NDHSAA Distinguished Stu- dent recipient receives a medallion and a Farmers Union Insurance spon- sored $2,000 scholarship to the col- lege of his/her choice. He/she is invited to be the grand marshall of the NDHSAA "Parade of Champi- ons" as well as participating in other activities such as serving as the NDHSAA spokesperson for High School Activities Month, promoting the values of activity programs and participating in awarding of trophies Honors (Continued on Page 10) L -L. First State Bank Golva 872-3656 .1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.100 _ ATM LIBIBB Medora Beach 623-5000 872-4444 www.fsbofgolva.com in Beach & Medora lobby Member FDIC I (.