Senator: Venezuela frees 4 North Dakota missionaries
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — Senator John Hoeven says Venezuela has released four missionaries from North Dakota who were detained several days ago.
Hoeven says in a statement his office learned from pastor Bruce Dick of the Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Devils Lake that Venezuelan authorities released the missionaries Saturday. U.S. Embassy Press Director Glenn Guimond said the missionaries boarded a plane out of the country Saturday morning and would not be allowed back for two years.
The missionaries were apparently detained Wednesday while working in conjunction with a church west of Caracas. They had been in the country for several days providing medical assistance. They've been making trips for several years.
Hoeven's spokesman, Don Canton, says Dick confirmed the group was headed to nearby Aruba on Saturday. Dick didn't travel with the group.
OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING-UND
UND police officer involved in early morning shooting
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Authorities in Grand Forks say a University of North Dakota campus police officer has been involved in a shooting in a hospital parking lot.
Grand Forks Deputy Police Chief Michael Ferguson says the shooting happened in the parking lot of Altru Hospital around 12:45 a.m. Saturday. He says it followed a pursuit that involved a state trooper, Grand Forks Police and the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department.
Neither Grand Forks police nor the university has said whether anyone was shot or injured.
The state crime bureau is in charge of the investigation.
FARGO MALL ATTACK
Teenager accused of attacking woman to be tried as adult
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo teenager accused of trying to rob and kidnap a woman at a local mall is to be tried as an adult.
The Cass County State's Attorney's office says juvenile court authorities have approved to transfer the case against Abdirahman Sahel to adult court.
Sahel is charged with felony robbery, criminal attempt and terrorizing. He also faces a simple assault misdemeanor.
KFGO-AM reports that prosecutors pushed for the transfer because of the severity of the crimes.
Police say Sahel tried to rob and kidnap a woman as she was getting into her car in September. He allegedly flashed a gun and punched the woman in the head.
Census office: Dip in oil prices doesn't change projections
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Census officials say the recent drop in oil prices have not affected its population projections.
Office manager Kevin Iverson says he expects the state's population to reach 800,000 within the next five years, or more than 60,000 people who currently live in the state.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that North Dakota's population peaked around the time of the Great Depression and did not recover until 2012, when the state reached 700,000 people for the first time.
The Census office in 2012 projected the population to reach 842,000 by 2025.
Williams County to study Williston Crossing development
(Information in the following story is from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com)
WILLIISTON, N.D. (AP) — A Williams County planning committee has voted to study a proposed $500 million mixed-use development amid concerns over infrastructure and emergency services.
The Williston Herald reports that county commissioners on the zoning and planning committee voted Thursday to form an ad hoc committee to study the Williston Crossing project. Swiss development firm Stropiq says the project will incorporate 1 million square feet of retail, entertainment and hotel space. The project also will include space for housing and offices.
Williston Planning Director Kent Jarcik says the city's resources for extending infrastructure like roads, fire service and water are already stretched thin.
Williston Mayor Howard Klug says he's concerned the project is to be located off the city's truck bypass, which was built alleviate traffic for trucks.
ST CLOUD ST-NORTH DAKOTA
Top-ranked North Dakota beats St. Cloud St. 3-1
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Connor Gaarder had a goal and an assist and goalie Zane McIntyre made 26 saves as North Dakota secured at least a share of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference championship with a 3-1 win Saturday over St. Cloud State.
UND's win, combined with Denver's 6-2 win over second-place Miami, gives North Dakota a six-point lead in the race for the Penrose Cup heading into the last weekend of the regular season.
UND plays at Miami next weekend. The best Miami could do is earn a tie with top-ranked UND with a series sweep, but UND hasn't lost two straight games all season.
North Dakota remains unbeaten in hockey games played on Saturdays this season.
S UTAH-NORTH DAKOTA
Southern Utah tops North Dakota 71-65
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Trey Kennedy scored 13 points and Southern Utah topped North Dakota 71-65 on Saturday.
Southern Utah (9-18, 6-10 Big Sky) built an 18-8 lead over the first 12 ½ minutes of the game, including a 3-pointer by John Marshall, as North Dakota missed 16 of its first 19 shots in the contest.
North Dakota trimmed the deficit to four, 57-53, on Lenny Antwi's 3-pointer with 6:03 to go. But a few moments later, Southern Utah made a 9-0 run — including A.J. Hess' 3-pointer — to push the lead back to 13 with just over two minutes remaining.
Southern Utah shot 50 percent on 48 attempts and was 6 of 14 beyond the arc. Despite the win, the Thunderbirds were outrebounded 35-25.
Quinton Hooker led North Dakota (8-20, 4-13) with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting in Grand Forks.
Fargo manufacturing plant to lay-off 80 full-time workers
(Information in the following story is from: KFGO-AM, http://www.kfgo.com)
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo company that manufactures agricultural and construction equipment is planning another round of layoffs.
CNH Industrial spokeswoman Kathleen Prause tells KFGO-AM that it will cut 80 full-time workers starting next month. The company cut 40 full-time employees in late 2014.
Prause says the layoffs are in response to "market conditions."
The indefinite layoffs at the CNH plant are expected to begin next month and be completed by the end of April. Employees were notified Thursday.
Texas releases details on crude shipments from Bakken region
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As many as 10 trains weekly have been coming into Texas carrying a million gallons or more of Northern Plains crude oil that's been involved in fiery derailments in the U.S. and Canada.
Details on the shipments were released Friday by the Texas Attorney General's Office under a public records request from the Associated Press.
They show BNSF Railway hauling up to six trains weekly into the Houston area. The Fort Worth-based railroad reported two to four trains weekly along a second route through Tarrant and McLennan Counties.
Kansas City Southern Railway reported hauling up to one train a month into Nederland, Texas.
A train carrying crude from the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota derailed and sparked a spectacular fire last week in West Virginia. Hundreds of families were forced to evacuate.
RIG COUNT-NORTH DAKOTA
US rig count decreases 43 to 1,267
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Incorporated says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 43 this week to 1,267 amid depressed oil prices.
The Houston-based company said Friday in its weekly report that 86 rigs were exploring for oil and 280 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago 1,769 rigs were active.
Among the major oil- and gas-producing states, North Dakota's count fell by 11.
It was the 12th straight week of rig count declines. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for April closed the week at $49.76 a barrel.
Native American tribes converge to discuss pot legalization
TULALIP, Wash. (AP) — Tribal representatives from around the country are converging in Washington state to discuss the risks and rewards of marijuana legalization.
Tribes have been wrestling with the issue since the U.S. Justice Department announced in December that it wouldn't stand in their way if they want to approve pot for medical or recreational use. The agency said tribes must follow the same law enforcement priorities laid out for states that legalize the drug.
Representatives of dozens of tribes are attending a conference Friday at the Tulalip Indian Tribe's resort and casino north of Seattle.
Topics under discussion include the big business potential for pot, as well as concerns about substance abuse on reservations and the potential creation of a tribal cannabis association.
US Marshals arrest Mandaree man in connection with killing
(Information in the following story is from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com)
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 31-year-old man from Mandaree has been arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in connection with a December killing.
The Bismarck Tribune reports charges were filed against the man Feb. 4 in the U.S. District Court for North Dakota in Bismarck. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Thursday.
The man is accused of killing Toby Young Bear. He was listed as being held at Burleigh County Detention Center.
HARVEY APARTMENT FIRE
Apartment building fire in Harvey displaces residents
(Information in the following story is from: KXMC-TV, http://www.kxnet.com)
HARVEY, N.D. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that displaced residents of an apartment building in Harvey.
KXMC-TV reports that the blaze began Thursday afternoon, and it took firefighters several hours to bring it under control. The building was destroyed.
It was not immediately known how many people lived in the building. Two nearby hotels offered free housing to those who were displaced.
American Red Cross volunteers from Minot, Jamestown and Fargo were traveling to Harvey on Friday to open a center to help the affected families.
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