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Wednesday, July 30th 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary


Company plans ND oil patch developments worth $65M

A New York company is planning residential and commercial developments worth at least $65 million in the North Dakota oil patch town of Watford City.

Coltown Properties principal Israel Weinberger says his company is planning two projects on Watford City's Main Street. The Madison Heights development will consist of seven apartment buildings and cost between $45 million and $50 million. The first three buildings will be ready for occupants this fall.

Coltown is also planning a pair of buildings at Watford City's entrance that will house retail space and offices. Weinberger says that project will cost between $20 million and $25 million and will be ready by late 2015 or early 2016.

Watford City's population has grown significantly in recent years as a result of North Dakota's oil boom.


Bike race slated in western ND's badlands

A 100-mile bicycle race is being held in western North Dakota's Badlands along the Maah Daah Hey Trail.

The Maah Daah Hey 100 is being held on Saturday. It's the third year for the event.

This year, the race will include options for teams and shorter distances of 25, 50 and 75 miles.

The trail is open to other users during the race.


North Dakota farmer dies in grain bin accident

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

NAPOLEON, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota farmer has died in a grain bin accident.

A Logan County sheriff tells KXMB-TV (http://bit.ly/1o03RtD ) that Marvin Grenz of Napoleon died Saturday after being buried in grain for nearly 40 minutes.

He was found by family members who called police. Emergency responders say they retrieved his body after eight minutes.

The sheriff says everyone will miss the Grenz's smile.

It's the second grain bin death the town has seen in less than a year.


Sen. Heitkamp confident in new VA secretary pick

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she thinks Robert McDonald will bring a new outlook as secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

McDonald was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of 97-0.

Heitkamp says the job will be tough because McDonald will have to restore the public's trust in the VA after the recent scandal. But she says his experience in the military and as a CEO of a global company will renew transparency, accountability and reforms within the VA.

She met with McDonald last week to discuss how he would reform the VA, restore trust and focus on reaching out to veterans in rural areas. Heitkamp said he promised to work with her to improve access to services and benefits for North Dakota veterans, including Native Americans.


Stenehjem: NDSU foundation broke open records law

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The state attorney general says the North Dakota State University Development Foundation broke the law when it failed to provide a citizen with a copy of the group's expenditures.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says in an opinion that the foundation must release the records that conservative blogger Rob Port requested under the state's open records law.

Stenehjem says the foundation denied the request "on incorrect legal grounds." He says the foundation "delayed its response by months, even after acknowledging that it had responsive records."

The NDSU Development Foundation is a nonprofit. But Stenehjem says the foundation "is a public entity subject to open records laws because it performs governmental functions on behalf of NDSU."

Foundation President and CEO Douglas Mayo was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.


ND hospital, national nonprofit talk affiliation

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck is pursuing an affiliation with the Catholic Health Initiatives nonprofit.

The hospital and nonprofit say the goal would be to enhance services and improve care. Officials say that if a final agreement is reached, the affiliation could occur by the end of the year.

Catholic Health Initiatives is based in Colorado, with a division based in Fargo. It has several facilities in North Dakota, but none in Bismarck.

St. Alexius serves residents of central and western North Dakota, eastern Montana and northern South Dakota through its Bismarck hospital and facilities in several other cities. It is associated with the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck.


Man receives 11-plus years for role in drug death

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — One of two men accused of supplying methamphetamine that led to the death of a Mandan woman has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison.

Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Senger pleaded guilty earlier for the February 2013 overdose death of his girlfriend, 59-year-old Cheri Bettis of Mandan. Brock Fish also has pleaded guilty in Bettis' death and is scheduled for sentencing in October.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland on Monday sentenced Senger to 11 years and seven months in prison.

The federal case involves 13 defendants in North Dakota and South Dakota. Fish and Billie Jo Kirkpatrick also are charged in the December 2012 overdose death of 39-year-old Douglas Peterson, of Pollock, South Dakota.

Tuesday, July 29th 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

ND tribes get $900K workforce training grants

North Dakota tribes and United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck are getting federal workforce training grants totaling more than $900,000.

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp says the money is intended to "provide low-income and struggling Native Americans with employment and training opportunities."

She says the funds will be used to help individuals develop the academic, occupational and literacy skills to make them more competitive in the workforce.

The funds are authorized by the U.S. Department of Interior. A total of more than $58 million was awarded to 180 Native American entities nationwide.


North Dakota getting $7 million in FEMA grants

North Dakota is getting more than $7 million in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bolster safety and emergency preparedness programs.

The state's congressional delegation says the FEMA grants are for local, state and tribal government and law enforcement agencies.

The goal is to help them better address threats to public safety ranging from terrorism to weather events.


ND man sentenced to prison for assaulting woman

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A northwest North Dakota man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for assaulting a woman he had been dating.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon on Monday announced the sentence against 29-year-old Christopher McMillan.

Authorities say McMillan in late 2013 assaulted and caused severe injuries to the woman. The New Town man pleaded guilty in April to one count of assault of a dating partner resulting in substantial bodily injury in Indian Country.

Purdon's office says the charge against McMillan was created by Congress as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.


ND to get funding for sex offender registry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The office of the attorney general in North Dakota will receive more than $30,000 in federal funding for the implementation of sex offender registry programs.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer on Monday announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will grant the funds.

The money is meant to help the state develop and improve programs mandated by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006.

The federal law established a comprehensive national system for the registration of sex offenders to prevent children and adults from sexual exploitation and violent crime, prevent child abuse and promote internet safety.


ND man pleads on Internet crime charges

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

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A Minot man accused of making illegal contact with minors on the Internet has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

KXMC-TV (http://bit.ly/UH4I6L ) reports that 20-year-old Nicholas Thiel entered his plea on Monday. Thiel is facing 14 felony charges and two misdemeanors.

Authorities have accused Thiel of making a majority of contacts on Facebook using an alias and providing sexually provocative pictures of himself to several underage girls.

Authorities say Thiel also tried to get underage girls to send him sexually provocative pictures and made threats to an underage child.

Thiel is in custody in the Ward County Jail.


Man arrested after threatening family with knife

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Police in Bismarck say a man is facing a terrorizing charge after threatening family members with a butcher knife.

Police say 39-year-old Craig Yazzie made stabbing motions with the knife toward relatives, which included three children.

News outlets report the family ran out of a mobile home and called police.

The man is in custody at the Burleigh County Detention Center. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.

The terrorizing charge is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.


Former DMV operator in Wahpeton sentenced

(Information in the following story is from: KFGO-AM, http://www.kfgo.com )

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — The former manager of the state Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle office in Wahpeton has been sentenced for financial misconduct.

KFGO radio reports (http://bit.ly/X4zbxs ) that 72-year-old Catherine Muehler pleaded guilty Monday to felony misapplication of entrusted property and was sentenced to three year of probation and $109,000 in restitution.

Muehler ran the DMV branch for several years as an independent contractor. The office was closed last May and then taken over by the Wahpeton-Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce.

Catherine Muehler is the wife of Harlan Muehler, who had served as Richland County's sheriff for 14 years when then-Gov. John Hoeven removed him from office in August 2001 in part due to illegal spending.


Sheriff's deputy hurt in scuffle with DUI suspect

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — A Richland County sheriff's deputy suffered minor injuries in a scuffle with a drunken driving suspect over the weekend.

The sheriff's office says 49-year-old Darrel Loeb, of Breckenridge, Minnesota, fought with deputies while being handcuffed during a traffic stop on Interstate 29 in southeastern North Dakota on Saturday evening.

The deputy who was injured was treated at a hospital in Breckenridge and released. The sheriff's office didn't name him.

Loeb faces several charges including drunken driving, simple assault on a law officer and trying to disarm a law officer. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.


Police can't confirm shot fired at Williston girl

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Williston police say they can't confirm that a gunshot was fired at a girl on a bicycle last week but the investigation is continuing.

Police received a report that two men fired a single shot from a vehicle at the 7-year-old girl on Thursday night. Detective David Peterson says neither a bullet nor a bullet casing has been found, and authorities can't confirm a gunshot was fired.

Peterson says there is damage to the bike but he's unable to confirm if it is from a bullet or another projectile. He says forensic testing is being done to determine what caused the damage.

Police say responding officers noticed minor injuries on one of the girl's knees. Peterson says authorities don't know what caused them.


Fair enforcement effort leads to 166 citations

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a special enforcement effort during the State Fair in Minot led to 166 citations.

The agency says 13 of the citations were for drunken driving, and four were for other alcohol violations. There was one fatality traffic crash that was alcohol-related.

The patrol used extra troopers and overtime pay for the enforcement effort during the nine-day State Fair, which ended over the weekend.

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