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Thursday, October 23rd 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Here is the latest North Dakota news from The Associated Press
(Information in the following story is from: KZZY-FM, http://lrradioworks.com)

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — A former manager of a McDonald's in Devils Lake is accused of stealing more than $20,000 from the business. Amber Aldinger-Cross is due in court in early December. She is accused of taking the money from the restaurant's cash deposits over several months earlier this year.

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

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — An Idaho truck driver convicted in a deadly crash in North Dakota has been sentenced to three years in prison. Fifty-eight-year-old Clark Christensen was convicted in August of negligent homicide. Authorities say Christensen was driving a semitrailer that plowed into several vehicles stopped at a red light near Minot in May 2013. Twenty-one-year-old Megan Shoal was killed.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says fall turkey licenses remain in Unit 25. The unit covers McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties. The remaining licenses are for hunters who do not have a license, or for those who want additional licenses.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An analysis shows that supporter and opponents of a state conservation fund have spent more than $618,000 on television ads to date. The numbers released today by the Center for Public Integrity show supporters of spending a bigger portion of North Dakota's oil tax revenues on conservation projects have spent nearly $485,000 on TV advertisements. A group that opposes the measure has spent $133,600.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, October 23rd 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Here is the latest North Dakota news from The Associated Press
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Law enforcement officials in Moorhead, Minnesota, have returned a Corvette and nearly $10,000 in alleged drug proceeds to a Fargo man after a judge threw out the case. Police found four pounds of marijuana when the car was impounded after Thomas Schultz was pulled over in June for reckless driving. A judge dismissed the case because of a state Supreme Court ruling and a new law that bans forfeitures before a conviction.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says fall turkey licenses remain in Unit 25. The unit covers McHenry County and portions of Pierce and Ward counties. The remaining licenses are for hunters who do not have a license or for those who want additional licenses.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Rural communities in North Dakota are receiving more than $4.5 million in federal funding to help expand high-speed Internet access. Daktel Communications will receive a grant of about $2.4 million to establish a fiber-to-the-home network. BEK Communications Cooperative will receive about $2.1 million to create a fiber-to-the-home network that will aid parts of Morton County and Oliver County.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An analysis shows that backers and foes of a state conservation fund have spent more than $618,000 on television advertisements to date. The numbers show that supporters of spending a bigger portion of North Dakota's oil tax revenues on conservation projects have spent almost $485,000 on TV ads. A group that opposes the measure has spent more than $133,000.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, October 23rd 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Here is the latest North Dakota news from The Associated Press
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved a permit for a new coal mine in the west-central part of the state. Regulators on Wednesday approved the permit for Coyote Creek Mining Company a subsidiary of Dallas, Texas-based North American Coal Corporation. Regulators say the company's proposed Coyote Creek Mine near Beulah is the first major mine to be permitted in North Dakota since the late 1970s.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota oil patch officials and leaders are asking the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for help dealing with high housing costs. HUD chief Julian Castro toured western North Dakota communities yesterday with U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (HYT'-kamp). He later heard about housing concerns in a roundtable discussion.

TOWNER, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a 32-year-old Towner man died around 11:30 a.m. yesterday after he was struck and killed by a BNSF train in his pickup truck. The railroad crew was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.

SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) — A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to the 2012 murder of a Montana teacher in the oil boom town of Sidney. Montana District Judge Richard Simonton yesterday accepted the guilty plea from 25-year-old Michael Keith Spell on a count of deliberate homicide. A charge of attempted kidnapping was dropped under a plea agreement.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, October 23rd 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
HOUSING SECRETARY

HUD chief visits North Dakota oil patch

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota oil patch officials and leaders are asking the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for help dealing with high housing costs.

HUD chief Julian Castro toured western North Dakota communities Wednesday with U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (HYT'-kamp). He later heard about housing concerns in a roundtable discussion.

The oil boom has driven housing costs up in the area. Newer one-bedroom apartments in Williston often rent for $2000 a month or more.

Castro also announced the HUD approval of emergency waivers for fair market rents in nine western North Dakota counties.

Fair market rents determine government rent subsidies to qualifying low-income renters. But Heitkamp has said that fair market rents determined by HUD for North Dakota counties previously did not reflect the rising cost of housing.

COAL MINE PERMIT

North Dakota regulators approve coal mine permit

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved a permit for a new coal mine in the west-central part of the state.

Regulators on Wednesday approved the permit for Coyote Creek Mining Company, a subsidiary of Dallas, Texas-based North American Coal Corporation.

Regulators say the company's proposed Coyote Creek Mine near Beulah is the first major mine to be permitted in North Dakota since the late 1970s. The company still needs federal permits before the mine is built.

Coyote Creek Mining wants to begin delivering coal to the Coyote Power Station in May 2016. Regulators say the power plant would use about 2.5 million tons of coal from the mine each year.

FARGO FLOOD PROTECTION

Fargo lawmaker pushes water projects bill for city

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Republican House majority leader is proposing to spend $275 million on flood protection and water projects in his home city of Fargo.

Al Carlson made the announcement Wednesday on what he calls historic legislation. The bill would include $125 million for neighborhoods impacted by chronic flooding and $150 million for a project to transport water from the Missouri River to the Red River Valley.

Carlson says Fargo has always had a water problem, either "too much or too little."

Carlson and Republican Bette Grande are up for re-election in a south Fargo district. One Democratic opponent, Pamela Anderson, says she thinks it's "interesting" that Carlson decided to unveil the plan two weeks before the election and says he won't be able to fulfill his promise if he loses.

MONTANA TEACHER KILLED

Colorado man pleads guilty to oil patch murder

SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) — A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to the 2012 murder of a Montana teacher in an oil boom town where residents say their lives were forever altered by the crime.

Montana District Judge Richard Simonton on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea from Michael Keith Spell on a count of deliberate homicide. A charge of attempted kidnapping was dropped under a plea agreement.

Prosecutors are recommending a 100-year sentence. They want Spell to serve his time in prison.

Attorneys for Spell want the mentally disabled 25-year-old from Parachute, Colorado committed to a state institution for the disabled.

Spell admitted that he and an accomplice killed Sherry Arnold during an attempted abduction as the 43-year-old Sidney High School math teacher was out for a pre-dawn jog. The accomplice pleaded guilty last year and is awaiting sentencing.

STEALING FROM NEIGHBOR

Agent who stole from neighbor losing license

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo man who pleaded guilty to stealing cash and jewelry from the home of a neighbor and family friend is losing his real estate license for three years.

The North Dakota Real Estate Commission tells KFGO radio that Charles Carney agreed to a three-year suspension of his license.

Carney was sentenced in September to three months in a halfway house and one year of probation after pleading guilty to felony theft. He also was ordered to pay back the victim, who estimated her losses over several years to be at least $100,000.

Carney said he developed two personalities after he began to drink and gamble following medical issues and a cancer diagnoses.

TRAIN DEATH

Man struck, killed by train while driving

TOWNER, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a Towner man died Wednesday after he was struck and killed by a BNSF train in his pickup truck.

Authorities have yet to identify the 32-year-old man that died around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The Highway Patrol says the man attempted to cross the tracks when he was struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The railroad crew was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, October 22nd 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
FIRST LADY-BOOK

N. Dakota first lady writes book on gov. residence

North Dakota first lady Betsy Dalrymple has written a book on the history of the North Dakota Governor's Residence.

Dalrymple is slated to unveil the book on Wednesday at a press conference at the home for North Dakota's first family.

The book is titled, "Building a House, Making a Home: A History of the North Dakota Governor's Residence."

The current Governor's Residence has stood since 1960. The prairie-style home is the second official residence that has been built for North Dakota's governors.

The original Governor's Mansion, built in 1884, is a few blocks south of the Capitol.

BABY SCARE

Exterminator mistakes lifelike doll for dead baby

Devils Lake police say a report of a dead baby turned out to be a case of a lifelike doll.

KZZY radio reports that an exterminator called authorities Monday afternoon after coming across what he thought was a dead baby in an apartment.

Police say the exterminator described what he thought was a body as being cold to the touch.

Emergency crews sent to the scene quickly discovered it was a doll.

TRAIN COLLISION

Canadian Pacific train, truck collide by Fessenden

FESSENDEN, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a southeast bound Canadian Pacific Railway train that collided with a semi-truck near Fessenden did not derail and no cargo was lost.

Patrol Sgt. Tom Herzig says the driver of the truck didn't see the train coming and his truck was struck in the right rear as it crossed the tracks. The truck came to rest upright in the ditch. No one was injured.

Breanne Feigel is a spokeswoman with Canadian Pacific. She says the train involved in the collision was a "mixed freight" train.

Damages to the semi-truck are estimated at $20,000.

Herzig said as of Tuesday evening the train had been released and was moving again.

The crash remains under investigation.

MONTANA TEACHER KILLED

Man plans to plead guilty in oil patch killing

SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) — A Colorado man plans to plead guilty to killing a Montana teacher in a case that drew attention to the darker side of the Northern Plains' oil boom.

A plea agreement with prosecutors filed Tuesday calls for a 100-year sentence for 25-year-old Michael Spell on a charge of deliberate homicide.

Spell is charged with the 2012 murder of Sherry Arnold, a 43-year-old Sidney high school teacher who disappeared while jogging. Her body was found buried in a North Dakota field.

Spell is due in court Wednesday before District Judge Richard Simonton in Sidney.

Prosecutors want Spell to serve his time in prison. The defense will ask for him to be sentenced to the state health department, which would allow Spell to be sent to a facility for the mentally disabled.

MISSING WOMAN-FOUND

Missing woman shows up at sheriff's office

WATFORD CITY, S.D. (AP) — A McKenzie County woman who was reported missing has shown up safely at the sheriff's office in Watford City.

The McKenzie County sheriff's office asked the public Tuesday morning for information on 48-year-old Sandra Leist. Leist's family said they had not heard from the woman since Sunday morning.

Leist showed up at sheriff's office in Watford City on Tuesday afternoon.

DOG ATTACKS DOG

Dog severely injured in dog-on-dog attack put down

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck border collie who wound up severely hurt after fending off two loose dogs has been euthanized by his owners.

Jane and Ron Veitz's dog, Chance, wound up in surgery in September after the two dogs bit off one of his ears and severed the other ear. Chance had multiple bite wounds on his torso and head.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the 10-year-old dog had a successful surgery but was still having issues walking. The family told the paper Chance would've also had to have another surgery on his hip.

The Veitz are still waiting to see if the Bismarck city attorney will bring charges against the owner of the two dogs.

Jane Veitz says they have more than $2,000 in bills because of the incident.

DAKOTA-DINOSAUR DEAL

North Dakota reaches deal to keep dinosaur mummy

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Dakota the duckbilled dinosaur might have found permanent digs in Bismarck.

State Historical Society Director Merl Paaverud (PAH'-vur-ood) says officials have reached a $3 million deal to keep the rare mummified fossil on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center.

Paaverud says the deal means that the state can begin to pursue fundraising. He says the money must be raised within four years "or the deal is off."

Paaverud says he's optimistic the money can be raised from private donations.

Tyler Lyson (LEE'-suhn) discovered the dinosaur on his uncle's ranch in southwestern North Dakota in 1999.

Researchers say Dakota is one of the most important dinosaur discoveries in recent times. The petrified beast has been the subject of a children's book and an adult book, and National Geographic television programs.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, October 21st 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
HUD SECRETARY VISIT

HUD chief to visit North Dakota oil patch

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is set to host U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro in western North Dakota on Wednesday.

Heitkamp hopes to show Castro the housing challenges facing North Dakota's oil patch and Indian Country. The two will take driving tours of the area and sit on roundtable discussions in Belcourt and Williston.

Tens of thousands of people have moved to communities in western North Dakota in just the past few years seeking high-paying oil field jobs. Housing has often lagged behind the population growth and the area now has some of the most expensive rents in the country.

Castro was the mayor of San Antonio from 2009 until July of this year when he was sworn in as HUD secretary.

HUNTERS-WATER SAFETY

Waterfowl hunters reminded to wear life jackets

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding duck hunters to think safety on the water.

The agency says eight people have drowned in North Dakota since 1998 while hunting from a boat. None of the hunters were wearing life jackets.

Nancy Boldt is the Game and Fish Department's boat and water safety coordinator. She says capsizing and falling overboard are the most common causes of fatal boating accidents for hunters.

Boldt says there are no excuses for not wearing a life jacket. She says many hunting coats have life jackets built in and they are light and comfortable.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF INCIDENTS

30 criminal mischief calls tallied in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Grand Forks Police Department officers say they tallied 30 criminal mischief calls over the weekend.

Most of the complaints were regarding car windows being shot out. At least two home picture windows were similarly damaged.

The incidents happened between Friday and Sunday. Police say the suspects used either a pellet or BB gun. No injuries were reported.

The department is asking the public's assistance in identifying any suspects. Authorities are asking that people with information about the incidents contact the police department.

OIL WELL SPILL

Leaking North Dakota oil well contained

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota oil regulators say a well that leaked oil, gas and brine for more than two days has been brought under control.

Oil and Gas Division spokeswoman Alison Ritter says the XTO Energy Inc. well in McKenzie County was under control by 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The well had been leaking since at least Thursday afternoon.

The North Dakota Department of Health says the incident resulted in the release of 650 barrels of oil and 520 barrels of brine. Brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil production that is many times saltier than sea water.

Ritter says inspectors are on site trying to figure out the extent and impact of an unknown amount of mist that moved off of the well location.

CHASE-SENTENCE

Woman involved in 2013 high-speed chase sentenced

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A New Mexico woman who was the passenger in car involved in a high-speed chase near the North Dakota-Montana border last year has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

U. S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon says 32-year-old April Lacey has been sentenced for possession of firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

Authorities say the 40-mile chase on September 2013 ensued after the male driver refused to pull over for a traffic stop. Montana authorities then asked for help when the car crossed into North Dakota.

The driver and Lacey surrendered near Arnegard. Officers found about 2 ounces of methamphetamine and a .380 caliber pistol in the car.

Lacey was banned from legally possessing a firearm due to four previous felony convictions.

It's unclear whether Lacey has legal representation.

CONGRESS HELP-TRAFFICKING

Attorneys general letter targets human trafficking

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee urging passage of three bills targeting human trafficking.

Stenehjem and more than 50 other state and territorial attorneys general signed the letter sent to the committee Monday.

The letter asks the committee to approve the Stop Advertising Victims Exploitation Act. The measure would add more oversight for websites that offer adult services.

Stenehjem says that for every predator authorities "take down," dozens more are hiding behind the anonymity of websites.

The letter also addresses the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2013, which would promote a victim-centered approach to cases.

Senators are also being encouraged to approve the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act. The proposal would increase federal penalties and victim restitution.

PIPELINE BREAK-NORTH DAKOTA

Cleanup continues on oil spill in farmer's field

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Cleanup continues around-the-clock and one year after a pipeline break spilled more than 20,000 barrels of oil in a farmer's field in northwestern North Dakota.

The massive spill from a Tesoro pipeline was discovered by a Tioga farmer last autumn. The spill has been called the worst in state history.

Tesoro and the state Health Department say it may be at least another year before the cleanup is completed. Only about 6,000 barrels of oil have been recovered in the past year.

Tesoro blames a lightning strike for causing the rupture.

The company originally estimated the cleanup cost at $4 million. The cost is now pegged at more than $20 million.

HUD HEAD

HUD secretary to visit North Dakota on Wednesday

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is bringing federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro to North Dakota this week to get a firsthand look at the housing challenges in Indian Country and in the western oil patch.

Heitkamp and Castro will take driving tours of Belcourt and Williston on Wednesday before meeting with community leaders in the two cities.

Castro is considered a potential vice presidential nominee in 2016.

VALLEY CITY WELLNESS CENTER

VCSU students approve fee for wellness center

(Information in the following story is from: Valley City Times-Record, http://www.times-online.com )

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — Students at Valley City State University have approved a student fee increase to help fund the operating expenses of the proposed Valley City Health, Wellness and Physical Education Center.

The Valley City Times-Record (http://bit.ly/1x0Lre1 ) reports that 64 percent of students who voted this month favored the idea. University Marketing Director Greg Vanney says the fee would be about $11 per credit hour, capped at 12 credits.

The $16 million wellness center project still needs the approval of city voters. They'll decide during the Nov. 4 general election whether to dedicate a portion of sales tax revenue to the construction and operation of the wellness center.

The facility would be a joint effort of the university, the city's Parks and Recreation Department and CHI Mercy Health hospital.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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