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Thursday, July 20th 2017
Associated Press North Dakota News
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. CDT

Panel: Dakota Access-style protests could become commonplace

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Industry officials say demonstrations like the massive encampment to protest construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota could become commonplace.

The opposition by American Indian tribes and others to the recently completed $3.8 billion pipeline was discussed Wednesday at an annual oil industry conference in Bismarck. A panel dissected what was learned from the nearly yearlong protest.

Craig Stevens, a spokesman for a pro-pipeline coalition, says opponents "will not rest" and industry officials should "realize these protests are going to happen."

He says the oil industry must battle misinformation by opponents, while touting the benefits of such projects.

Troy Eid, a former U.S. attorney in Colorado who specializes in Indian law, says tribal consultation is key and something the industry must take "much more seriously."


Saltwater spill near Williston at Continental well

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State officials say about 9,900 gallons of saltwater has been spilled at an oil and gas well near Williston.

The Oil and Gas Division says the spill happened Tuesday at a Continental Resources well. The spill was blamed on a connection leak in a gathering system.

The agency says J&M Disposal said the saltwater was contained and recovered on the site. It said a state inspector has visited the site and will monitor cleanup.


Fargo electronic mapping company shutting down operations

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A global electronic mapping company is shutting down its operations in Fargo.

Officials with HERE Technologies tell KFGO radio that about 200 positions in the Fargo facility are being transferred to offices in Chicago, Georgia, India and the Netherlands.

Company spokesman Jordan Stark says the Fargo jobs will be phased out in the next eight months. He says Fargo employees will receive priority for "suitable open positions" elsewhere in the company.

The Fargo facility first opened more than 20 years ago when the company was owned by Navteq.


Patrol says van was turning around when it was hit by semi

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a fatal collision between a tanker truck and a van carrying 10 people happened when the van attempted to turn around on the highway.

Three passengers in the van were killed in the crash Tuesday west of Grand Forks. The patrol identified the victims as 39-year-old Jason Boppre, 66-year-old William Joyner and 41-year-old Gary Voeller, all of Grand Forks.

The patrol says van was carrying workers for a cleaning company who were headed to the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Both vehicles were heading west on the four-lane road when the van attempted to turn around at a crossover and was struck by the semi.

The patrol says the other seven people in van were injured. The semi driver was not hurt.


Hebron gas pipeline fire prompts evacuation of 20 residents

HEBRON, N.D. (AP) — About 20 people were evacuated from their homes in Hebron when workers digging holes for fence posts struck a natural gas pipeline and started a fire.

No injuries were reported in the Tuesday incident. The Bismarck Tribune reports damage was limited to some fencing and a shed.

Montana-Dakota Utilities says the incident cut off service to some natural gas customers for a time.


Person of interest in Williston shooting found dead

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A man considered a person of interest in a Williston shooting that injured two other people has been found dead of an apparent suicide.

The Williams County Sheriff's Department says the body of 21-year-old Jonah Hendricks was found at an apartment by officers executing a search warrant Tuesday. Authorities believe he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An autopsy is planned.

Williston police say two people were shot about 4 a.m. Tuesday. Both were taken to a hospital with wounds not considered to be life-threatening. The investigation is continuing.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, July 19th 2017
Associated Press North Dakota News
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. CDT

Game and Fish payments to counties total more than $644,000

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says it has paid more than $644,000 to counties in which it owns or leases land, $62,000 more than for the previous year.

The payments are in lieu of property taxes. The payments for 2016 ranged from less than $100 in Griggs County to more than $101,000 in McLean County.

Game and Fish manages more than 200,000 acres in 51 counties for wildlife habitat and public hunting. The department doesn't have any land in Traill or Renville counties.


First human cases of West Nile reported

(Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State health officials say the first human cases of the West Nile virus for the season have turned up in North Dakota.

The two people who contracted the virus are in LaMoure and Barnes counties. The two are not hospitalized.

The Bismarck Tribune says health officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquitoes and get rid of any stagnant water around their homes. Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, body aches and rash.

The health department also says three birds have tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus in Grand Forks County.



Teenage passenger dies in stolen pickup crash near Jamestown

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say a 17-year-old from Belcourt has died after a pickup rolled over east of Jamestown.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol say a Dodge driven by a 54-year-old Fargo man was traveling east on Interstate 94 when it entered the median and rolled early Tuesday. The 17 year-old passenger was thrown from the pickup and died at the scene. His name was not released. The driver was injured and taken to Jamestown for medical treatment.

After the driver was released, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. KQDJ radio says the pickup was reported stolen from a rural residence near Spiritwood.

The Stutsman County Sheriff's Office is assisting the Highway Patrol with the crash investigation and is the lead agency regarding the stolen vehicle.


Postal worker accused of stealing money signs plea deal

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former postal employee in Rugby accused of stealing money and gift cards from the mail has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The deal calls for Tomi Kiele to plead guilty to misappropriation of postal funds, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. In return for the plea, a charge of theft of mail by a postal employee will be dropped.

Authorities say customers contacted the Rugby Post Office about missing mail between August and November of last year. Kiele allegedly hit mail under her shirt, in a bag, in a garbage can and among postal mailing supplies. Authorities believe she took home $20 to $30 per day.

The plea agreement asks Kiele to pay back nearly $2,400.


Petition would end North Dakota Sunday shopping restrictions

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota residents may soon have a chance to sign onto a petition to repeal longstanding Sunday business restrictions.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger (JAY'-gur) said Tuesday he is reviewing the ballot initiative to end the state's so-called blue laws. Once the petition is approved for circulation, it will need signatures from about 13,500 North Dakotans to put it to a statewide vote next year.

Fargo business owner Brandon Mendenwald is heading the effort. He believes repealing the state's Sunday shopping ban has broad support.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says about a dozen states have some form of Sunday sales laws, but only North Dakota prohibits shopping on Sunday morning.

The Legislature has defeated several measures over the years to end the Sunday morning shopping prohibition.


This story has been corrected to show that the petition is being reviewed, and has not yet been approved to circulate.


Months needed for additional study of Dakota Access pipeline

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers says additional environmental review of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline is likely to take the rest of the year.

The federal agency, Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners and energy trade groups also are advocating for keeping the line operating during the study.

The $3.8 billion North Dakota-to-Illinois pipeline that's opposed by American Indian tribes has been operating since June 1. But U.S. District Judge James Boasberg last month ordered the Corps to do more study on its impact on the Standing Rock Sioux.

He's taking arguments on whether the pipeline should be shut down in the meantime.

The tribe says a shutdown is warranted. The company says a shutdown would impact oil producers and refiners, workers, customers, consumers and government tax revenue.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.