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Tuesday, April 28th 2015
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

San Diego man accused of hunting crimes in North Dakota

A California man is accused of hunting crimes in southwestern North Dakota.

Myron Rick, of San Diego, is accused of several violations including guiding without a license and exceeding a possession limit. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.

KXMB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1QzMZYi) that Rick was caught last fall with more pheasants than legally allowed. He's also accused of helping conceal unlawfully taken game.

Authorities used two undercover hunters in the investigation.

Rick is scheduled to make his initial court appearance in June. He could face more than three years in prison and $13,500 in fines if convicted.


Elderly victim testifies in 1st trial of alleged scammers

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An elderly woman from North Dakota who was identified by investigators as the first victim in a Jamaican lottery scam says she lost $300,000 and cashed in her insurance policy.

Sanjay Williams is one of 32 defendants charged in a global case that allegedly involves at least 72 victims, most of them elderly. Several defendants have pleaded and others are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams is the first person to go to trial.

Eighty-six-year-old Edna Schmeets of Harvey, North Dakota, testified Monday that scammers told her not to tell anybody about the lottery until she collected her prize. She says she planned to give the money to her children.

Defense attorney Charlie Stock told jurors it's difficult to believe witnesses because a lot of them used fake names and IDs


ND House overrides governor's oil trust fund veto

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the GOP-led Legislature are at odds over how earnings should be budgeted from the state's trust fund for oil taxes.

The Legislature passed a measure this session that bars the governor from considering money from the fund's principal when crafting budgets.

Dalrymple vetoed the legislation but the House voted 67-23 Monday to override the veto. It now goes to the Senate.

North Dakota voters approved the Legacy Fund in 2010. The fund gets 30 percent of the state's oil and gas tax collections. None of the money can be spent until 2017, and only then if the Legislature decides by a two-thirds vote to dip into it.

The fund is expected to top $3 billion this month.


Jury to enter day 2 of deliberations in ND teacher's trial

(Information in the following story is from: WDAY-TV, http://wday.com)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The jury in the sexual misconduct trial of a former North Dakota teacher of the year will continue to discuss the fate of the educator for a second day Tuesday.

Jurors in Aaron Knodel's (kah-NOH'-dehl's) case didn't reach a verdict Monday after the defense and prosecution finished their closing arguments.

The 36-year-old West Fargo High School English teacher is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student over a period of several weeks in early 2009. He's pleaded not guilty to five counts of felony corruption or solicitation of a minor.

Knodel and the student testified during the trial.

Knodel was named North Dakota teacher of the year in 2014, before the allegations surfaced. He was suspended without pay when the charges were filed.


North Dakota Legislature OKs state-run rail safety program

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature has approved funding for a state-run rail safety pilot program intended to supplement federal oversight of burgeoning oil train traffic.

Senators and House members voted Monday to fund the $523,000 program that includes two rail safety inspectors. The funding is part of the Public Service Commission's $22.2 million budget.

The Senate had approved the program in the commission's budget in February. But the House Appropriations Committee removed the funding from the agency's budget earlier this month.

Opponents of the funding have said the additional state inspectors are not needed because it would duplicate federal efforts.

A House-Senate conference committee had been deadlocked for several days about the proposal, but finally decided to resolve the differences and fund the program.


Investigators release records of fiery Casselton derailment

CASSELTON, N.D. (AP) — Federal investigators have released hundreds of pages detailing the fiery 2013 oil train derailment near Casselton, North Dakota, that forced 1,400 to evacuate for several days.

Interviews with the BNSF workers operating the two trains in the derailment are included in what the National Transportation Safety Board posted online Monday.

The two men onboard the BNSF oil train describe losing sight of the tracks in a cloud of blowing snow shortly before seeing a derailed grain car lying across the tracks. Emergency brakes were applied, but the train was still moving faster than 40 mph when it collided.

Everyone aboard both trains escaped unharmed. But just a couple minutes after conductor Pete Rigpl exited the oil train he looked back to see flames engulf the locomotive he had been in.


Fargo police: Bank robbery suspect arrested in Minnesota

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Police in Fargo say the man who they suspect robbed a Gate City Bank over the weekend has been arrested in Minnesota.

The 34-year-old man was arrested on an initial charge of robbery. Authorities say they used information from the man's cellphone to locate him in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where he was taken into custody Sunday.

Authorities say the man entered the bank on South University Drive around 12:20 p.m. Saturday and gave a bank teller a note demanding cash.

The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot.

The man of Litchfield, Minnesota, will remain at the Stearns County Correctional Center until he is extradited to Fargo.


Bismarck woman dies in single-car crash on foggy highway

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 26-year-old Bismarck woman is dead after a single-car rollover in Burleigh County.

The Highway Patrol says the woman failed to negotiate a curve on state Highway 1804 in foggy conditions about 6:30 a.m. Monday. Her car went into the ditch, struck an approach, because airborne, landed and rolled before coming to rest on its wheels.

The woman died at the scene. Authorities did not immediately identify her. She was alone in the vehicle.


Land board awards more than $12M in Energy Impact Grants

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Board of University and School Lands has awarded more than $12.3 million in Energy Impact Grants.

The grants go to political subdivisions that have been impacted by rapid development in the state's oil and gas counties. More than 130 grants were awarded during the current grant round to.

The Legislature provided nearly $240 million in Energy Impact Grants for the current two-year budget cycle. Other grant rounds include cities, fire districts, emergency medical services, K-12 schools, higher education, airports and law enforcement.


North Dakota Democrats hire Robert Haider as new director

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Democratic Party has hired Burlington native Robert Haider as its new executive director.

The party says it approved Haider's hiring at a meeting in Bismarck on Saturday.

Haider will succeed Chad Oban, who has served as executive director since December 2012. Haider will start work on May 1.

Haider is a graduate of the University of North Dakota's law school.

He managed Ryan Taylor's unsuccessful campaign for agriculture commissioner last year. He also managed Corey Mock's failed bid for secretary of state in 2010.

Haider has run successful legislative campaigns for Rep. Mock, Rep. Kylie Oversen and Sen. Mac Schneider.

Monday, April 27th 2015
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

Hemp backers say bill gives momentum, especially for tribes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Some observers say a bill passed this session by the North Dakota Legislature that sets down guidelines for industrial hemp provides important momentum for growing the crop and could help create an industry for Indian tribes. However, it could take a while to sort out federal policies.

Hemp is used to make clothing and other products, but growing it has been illegal under federal law because the plant is related to marijuana. The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. David Monson allows hemp to be grown through state agriculture departments and college research stations.

Former U.S. attorney from North Dakota Timothy Purdon says recent Department of Justice policy changes in response to states that have legalized marijuana could open the door for industrial hemp, especially on tribal lands.


Miss Indian World crowned at Albuquerque powwow

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A North Dakota State University student has won the title of Miss Indian World.

Pageant officials say 22-year-old Cheyenne Brady was crowned Saturday night at the 32nd annual Gathering of Nations at the University of New Mexico arena in Albuquerque.

Brady, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe, was chosen among 21 Native American women from different tribes and traditions.

As Miss Indian World, Brady will travel around the world and serve as a cultural ambassador for a year.

The crowning closed three days of festivities at what is considered North America's largest powwow. The event draws hundreds of competitive dancers and tens of thousands of spectators from across the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico.


Williston Basin Petroleum Conference set in Canada this week

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The Williston Basin Petroleum Conference is being held this week in Canada.

The annual event alternates between locations in U.S. and Canada. This year's conference is Tuesday through Thursday in Regina, Saskatchewan. Last year's conference drew a record 4,500 people to Bismarck.

The conference enables people in the energy industry to learn about scientific and technological advances. It brings together engineers, geologists, investors, CEOs and government officials for seminars and marketing.


Clean-up events organized for ND oil patch towns

BISMARCK (AP) — The North Dakota Petroleum Council's "Pick Up the Patch" campaign is under way in several communities and will run throughout May.

The effort is aimed at cleaning up garbage that's littering the oil patch in western North Dakota.

The Petroleum Council started the clean-up campaign in 2012 after complaints about the growing trash problem spurred by the oil boom.


Williston State offering free ride to Williams County grads

(Information in the following story is from: KEYZ-AM.)

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Williams County high school students can earn a free ride to college.

The high school students are eligible to apply for a scholarship at Williston State College that covers tuition, fees and books purchased on campus.

Kaylyn Bondy with Williston State tells KEYZ-AM that the scholarship will cover the costs of two consecutive years of college starting this fall.


North Dakota trying to address worsening ag teacher shortage

(Information in the following story is from: Wahpeton Daily News, http://www.wahpetondailynews.com)

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and school districts across the state are working to address a worsening shortage of agriculture education teachers.

The Daily News in Wahpeton reports some school officials have been scrambling to fill openings in their ag programs. Four out of 79 programs across the state were without instructors and Future Farmers of America advisers at the beginning of the school year, and about 16 percent of the state's educators teaching ag education are eligible for retirement.

In addition, there are fewer teachers studying the topic in college. The state Department of Public Instruction hopes to change that by offering a Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program.

North Dakota State University currently is the only in the state to offer a degree in agriculture education.


UND President Kelley taking part in US-Canada conference

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley is planning to participate in a conference of government and educational leaders from the U.S. and Canada.

Kelley is traveling to Minneapolis on Monday for the Canada-U.S. round-table at the University of Minnesota. The event will focus on how central and western Canada and the Upper Midwest of the U.S. can become a priority region for higher education partnerships.

Fourteen university leaders from the two countries will participate, along with Canada's governor general and consul general for the Upper Midwest.


UND band, percussion ensemble to present 'pops' concert

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota University Band and Percussion Ensemble will be presenting a "pops" concert with music from various countries.

"Music from Around the World" will include pieces from Argentina, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Russia and the United States.

The ensembles will close the program with a performance of "Mambo Cubano."

The event is scheduled for Tuesday at the school's Memorial Union Ballroom. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens, and $12 per family. Free pop and popcorn will be provided.

The deadline to apply is Friday.


Collaboration between health entities garners national award

(Information in the following story is from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two health entities in central North Dakota are being recognized for collaborating in an effort to improve their bottom lines.

The Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen and the Coal Country Community Center in Beulah have been chosen to receive the "Outstanding Rural Health Organization" award from the National Rural Health Association. Although the two flagship medical entities operate separately, the 18,000-member association is honoring them as it would a single institution.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the clinics have experienced financial healing since coming together as the country's first hospital-clinic combination about four years ago.

They now have the same chief administrator and two mutual members on each of their boards, which share resources, training and health care providers.


Training planned for forage inspectors in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is hosting a free training workshop for forage inspectors.

State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the course and its final examination are required for current inspectors and anyone interested in getting certified as an inspector.

The course will address inspection procedures as well as national and state lists of designated noxious weed and undesirable plant species.

Goehring says inspectors are needed to help producers of weed seed-free forage meet the growing demand for certified hay, straw and mulch. He says the state Agriculture Department now has 18 forage inspectors under contract.

The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday at the Northern Great Plains Research Center in Mandan.


North Dakota zoo taking steps to keep bird flu away

(Information in the following story is from: KXMB-TV, http://www.kxnet.com)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Employees at the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck are working to keep out of their facility the deadly virus that has rapidly spread among poultry in the Midwest.

Assistant zoo director Rod Fried tells KXMB-TV that employees have emptied water sources to try to eliminate the number of wild birds that flock to the zoo for food and shelter. He says the zoo would be inviting wild ducks and geese if it had its ponds full.

The H5N2 virus has cost producers more than 7 million turkeys and chickens so far this year. Federal agriculture officials say the deadly strain of bird flu could be a problem for the poultry industry for several years.

The zoo also asked employees to be particularly careful if they have birds of their own.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, April 26th 2015
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

ND Legislature misses goal of finishing session early

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature has missed its goal of finishing its work five days before the constitutional 80-day limit.

Monday is Day 76. Lawmakers had hoped to bank five days so that they could return to the Capitol to address additional impacts from oil price swings.

The session opened in January with 853 measures.

Data from the Legislative Council show 31 bills awaited action late Friday.

North Dakota's Legislature ended its longest session ever in 2013, when it logged 80 days. Lawmakers met for more than 20 hours straight on the last day of that session.


State says monitoring to continue at Ward County Jail

(Information in the following story is from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com)

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota director of jail inspections says correcting compliance issues in the Ward County Jail is going to take some time.

Steve Engen with the state Department of Corrections sent a letter this week to Ward County commissioners after they asked for a timeline for bringing jail compliance monitoring to a close. The county is responsible for paying for a state compliance officer.

The state began monitoring the jail after it released an investigative report in December.

The Minot Daily News reports the investigation found the jail had been violating state laws and rules. Some of the violations included not providing medical physicals to inmates as required and consistently operating above inmate capacity with insufficient staffing.

Engen says the monitoring is necessary to avoid closing the jail.


Fargo police looking for suspect who robbed area bank

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Fargo police are looking for a man they say robbed an area bank Saturday.

Authorities say the man entered the Gate City Bank on South University Drive around 12:20 p.m. and gave a bank teller a note demanding cash.

The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on food.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot, 6-inch white man with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, dark colored baseball hat, black gloves, blue jeans, and wire rimmed glasses.


Williston man dies after car strikes back of semi near Tioga

TIOGA, N.D. (AP) — A Williston man has died following a crash with a semitrailer near Tioga.

KXMB-TV reports the man driving the Honda Accord was traveling east on U.S. Highway 2 when his car struck the back of the semi that slowing down to turn.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

The drivers of both cars have not been identified.


Oakes student being recognized nationally for excellence

OAKES, N.D. (AP) — An Oakes student is being honored nationally for academic excellence.

Eighteen-year-old Brittany Roney is among four national student semifinalists in ACT's College and Career Readiness campaign. The other three semifinalists are students from California, Hawaii and Virginia. The four will be honored at a gala in Washington, D.C., on June 3rd.

Roney is an honor student and active in the FFA, student council and National Honor Society. She plays volleyball and basketball. She does extensive volunteer work in her community and holds down part-time jobs during the school year — all while battling thyroid cancer.

She plans to attend Valley City State University to study business administration.

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says Roney "really exemplifies the type of student that we have in North Dakota."


Native youth kick off Generation Indigenous challenge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Janay Jumping Eagle is on a mission to curb teen suicide in her hometown on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Dahkota Brown of the Wilton Band of Miwok Indians in California wants to keep American Indian and Alaska Native students on track toward graduation.

The teenagers are at the heart of Generation Indigenous, or Gen-I, a White House initiative that kicked off this week with a brainstorming session that coincided with thousands of indigenous people gathering in New Mexico for North America's largest powwow.

The initiative stems from a visit last year by President Barack Obama to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The goal is to improve the lives of tribal youth by challenging them to tackle some of the problems that have plagued Indian Country for decades.


Steele woman accused of forging $250,000 on company account

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota woman has been charged with forgery for allegedly cutting herself a $250,000 check on the dime of a cooperative in Linton.

Forty-year-old Michelle Biegler was charged this week with felony forgery.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Mandan police were notified after KEM Electric reported a forged check on its bank account.

A police investigation found that Biegler was an employee of a Mandan-based company and had access to the KEM's account information. She allegedly used that information to forge a check worth a quarter of a million dollars.

Biegler allegedly took the check to a bank in Steele and used part of the money to purchase a home. The rest was deposited in a bank account.

The Steele woman is being held at Morton County Correctional Center.


Creator of Scooby, Popeye bringing art exhibit to Bismarck

(Information in the following story is from: KXMB-TV, http://www.kxnet.com)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The man responsible for creating countless beloved cartoon characters is showcasing his work at an art exhibit in Bismarck.

Cartoonist Ron Campbell is hosting a live art show at the Bismarck Arts and Galleries Association this weekend, where he will exhibit and sell his artwork.

KXMB-TV reports Campbell's cartoon creations include Scooby Doo, Popeye, the Flintstones and dozens of others.

Campbell says now in retirement that he realizes how much his work has had an impact on the kids who watched his characters growing up.

At his art show, Campbell will recreate some of his old favorite cartoons and talk about his experiences with fans.

Campbell says nobody should buy art online. Rather, "you should see it."

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