BISMARCK, ND - The year kicked off with North Dakota State winning its fifth straight FCS football title. The Bison defeated Jacksonville state 37- 10 in Frisco, Texas. In April the North Dakota Fighting Hawks won its eighth NCAA division one hockey title. defeating Quinnipiac 5-1. Also in April a Bismarck native was in the national sports spotlight. Carson Wentz was selected as the number two overall pick in the NFL draft going to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Photo courtesy: MGN
Depressed oil prices finally impacted state resources. Governor Jack Dalrymple called for a five percent across the board reduction in department budgets.
Job Service North Dakota faced even more drastic cuts because of a reduction in federal funding. The agency was forced to close offices and lay employees off.
In June the Republican primary featured a contested race for Governor. Attorney General Wayne Stenehejm was nominated at the NDGOP convention but Fargo businessman Doug Burgum challenged the parties choice and defeated Stenehjem in the June primary to become the GOP candidate for Governor. He would go on to comfortably win the statewide election in November. Primary season also brought national attention to North Dakota as the state delegates put Donald Trump over the top for the GOP nomination for president.
Despite having only three electoral votes Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both made campaign stops in the state. Several thousand supporters packed the civic center to hear Trump speak at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.
On election day residents passed a medical marijuana measure allowing the use of the drug for treatment of chronic illnesses.
From April through January Dakota Access Pipeline protests created headlines almost every day. The conflict between demonstrators and law enforcement at dozens of construction sites resulted in hundreds of arrests. Many of the activists came from out of state and law enforcement brought in officers from all over North Dakota and neighboring states to man the police lines that separated protestors from construction sites.
A couple of notable passing occurred in 2016. Recording artist Bobby Vee who produced six gold singles including "Take Good Care Of My Baby " died October 24th. Sheila Schafer the wife of the Gold Seal Company founder Harold Schafer also passed away in 2016. Sheila was known for her passionate support of Medora and its world famous musical.