KANSAS IN MINOT Erik Ramstad Middle School's music program received some good news last week with the news that 1980s rock band Kansas will perform at a fundraiser May 1. Proceeds from the concert scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Minot Municipal Auditorium will go to the school's music department to help replaced instruments, sheet music and other items lost in last summer's devastating flood, which inundated the school with water nearly to the top of the building. Ramstad band program director Pat Schwan contacted Kansas representatives after he learned the band, known for such hits as "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry On Wayward Sun," was traveling the country to help music departments. When Kansas drummer Phil?Ehart was told about Ramstad's situation, the band agreed to perform in Minot at a reduced rate and will make a donation to the school. We hope the concert is a huge success.
N.D. STILL CLIMBING Bye-bye, California. Next up, Alaska. North Dakota surpassed California in January to become the third-largest oil-producing state in the nation, officials said last week. North Dakota had a daily average of 546,000 barrels, topping California by more than 36,000 barrels daily. For the month, North Dakota pumped more than 16.9 million barrels of crude oil. The state now sets its sights on Alaska, where annual oil production fell to 204.8 million barrels last year while North Dakota pumped 152.9 million barrels in 2011. Texas, the top producer in the country, pumped more than 1 million barrels a day in December. North Dakota isn't likely to catch Texas, but Alaska is an attainable goal, industry officials say. In 2006, North Dakota was the ninth-largest oil-producing state in the nation. Oh, how times have changed.