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Thursday, August 21st 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

Ag commissioner puts farmers on alert for flooding

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's agriculture commissioner says farmers and ranchers in the western and central parts of the state should take steps to protect livestock and other property in advance of possible flooding.

Doug Goehring says the forecast calls for between 3 and 6 inches of rain through the weekend in some areas. He says producers should consider moving animals to higher ground and moving hay bales from low-lying areas.

Goehring also suggests that residents check that weather radios and communication equipment are working.


Tribe official: Tests not shared on brine spill

The environmental director of an American Indian tribe says he's been shut out of the tribe's response to a massive saltwater spill on its North Dakota reservation.

Edmund Baker is the environmental director of the Three Affiliated Tribes. He says he hasn't been allowed to see water or soil tests from the spill area even though he's in charge of making sure the tribe is upholding its environmental code.

He says the public is still "in the absolute dark" after an underground pipeline spewed 1 million gallons of saltwater near Mandaree in July.

The tribe's natural resources administrator, Claryca (kluh-RISS'-uh) Mandan disputed Baker's claim, saying he never requested the documentation. She also questioned his motives, noting he is running for tribal chairman.


Williams County saltwater spill blamed on piping

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Oil and Gas Division authorities say a saltwater spill in Williams County has been contained.

Kodiak Oil and Gas reported that 300 barrels of saltwater was released and recovered at one of the company's disposal wells about 15 miles east of Williston.

Authorities believe a piping leak caused the spill.


3 barrels of oil spill into slough near Westhope

WESTHOPE, N.D. (AP) — State officials are monitoring cleanup of an oil spill in a slough six miles southeast of Westhope, in north central North Dakota.

The state Health Department said Wednesday that three barrels of oil and a small amount of saltwater spilled from a broken pipe at a well owned by Enduro Operating. A barrel holds 42 gallons.

The company estimated that two barrels of oil had been recovered by a vacuum truck. The rest will be burned off with state approval, and affected soil will be removed from the site.


Hunter man charged with manslaughter in bike fatal

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man has been charged in connection with a June crash that killed a man who was riding his bicycle.

Twenty-six-year-old Justin Jalbert of Hunter is charged in East Central District Court with felony manslaughter.

The accident killed 50-year-old David Hawkinson of West Fargo. The Highway Patrol says Jalbert was driving a pickup that ran into the back tire of Hawkinson on Highway 81 north of Grandin.

Court documents do not list an attorney for Jalbert.

Traill County States Attorney Stuart Larson says Jalbert has not been arrested.


6-year-old Rolla girl riding bike killed by pickup

ROLLA, N.D. (AP) — A 6-year-old girl is dead after being struck by a pickup truck while riding her bicycle in Rolla.

The Highway Patrol later identified the girl as Kee Leigh Chase of Rolla.

Authorities say the girl was crossing U.S. Highway 281 in Rolla's city limits about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when she was struck by a pickup driven by a 72-year-old city resident. The driver was not cited.

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.


ND students' ACT scores below national average

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota students continue to score slightly below the national average on the ACT college entrance exam.

Students in the state had an average composite score this year of 20.6, below the national average of 21.0. The state score was up from 20.5 last year.

The ACT tests students in the areas of English, math, reading and science. The best possible score on the exam is 36. The test is commonly used by colleges and universities as a benchmark for college readiness and entrance.

One-hundred percent of North Dakota's 2014 graduating class took the exam.


St. Alexius to partner with national nonprofit CHI

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bismarck-based St. Alexius Medical Center is aligning itself with the Catholic Health Initiatives nonprofit.

Officials announced on Wednesday that St. Alexius will become a direct affiliate of the CHI system, which is based in Colorado and has a division based in Fargo.

The deal should close by the end of the year, pending state approval. The two organizations plan to form a regional health system of hospitals and clinics in western and central North Dakota.

Catholic Health Initiatives has several facilities in the state. St. Alexius serves residents of central and western North Dakota, eastern Montana and northern South Dakota. It is associated with the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck. That will not change, and St. Alexius will retain its local board of directors.


US drug czar boosts treatment with personal story

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The nation's drug czar says the shift in his office from a justice-driven to a treatment-driven strategy hits home with him.

Michael Botticelli is the acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy who recently celebrated his 25th year of sobriety. He says addiction continues to be highly stigmatized and it's important for him and other people to tell their stories.

Botticelli was in North Dakota this week to talk about the administration's focus on combatting drug crimes in the oil patch. He also talked about the difficulty of getting treatment programs up and running in rural areas like North Dakota.

Botticelli says federal funding for prevention, treatment and recovery is at its highest level in 12 years, and he hopes his own experience helps others.

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

Wednesday, August 20th 2014
Associated Press North Dakota News Summary

Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

Fargo residents might face vote on raising 911 fee

Fargo voters might be asked to approve a 50-cent increase in the monthly 911 fee assessed to their phone bills.

The fee is currently $1, which goes to fund the Red River Regional Dispatch Center. City finance director Kent Costin (CAW'-sten) says increased operational costs and the loss of landline phone fees will leave the center with a $630,000 deficit this year.

KFGO radio reports that a decision will have to be made by early September to get the question on the November ballot.


Fewer turkey licenses available in ND this fall

North Dakota's Game and Fish Department is making 3,805 hunting licenses available for the fall turkey season, 215 fewer than last year.

The season is Oct. 11 through Jan. 4.

An experimental season will continue for the federal Northern Great Plains Research Lab at Mandan. A state license and federal permit are required.

An experimental bow season will be held on state Corrections Department land south of Bismarck. A state license and Corrections access permit are required.

Experimental turkey bow hunting seasons will be held in Bismarck and Fargo. Hunters need a state license and a city archery permit.

Hunting units 21 in Hettinger and Adams counties and 53 in Divide and Williams counties will remain closed to hunting because of low turkey numbers.


FEMA approves disaster declaration for 9 counties

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved funding to help nine North Dakota counties and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation recover from a series of torrential rainstorms that led to flooding in late June.

FEMA on Tuesday approved North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple's request for a federal disaster declaration.

The funding will go toward public infrastructure repairs in Benson, Bottineau, Divide, Eddy, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward counties, as well as the reservation.

The storms dropped as much as a foot of rain in some areas. Damage to public infrastructure is estimated at a little more than $1 million.


Grand Forks seeking selfies for 2015 calendar

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Grand Forks is seeking selfies that capture families, friends and the city for its 2015 calendar.

The city says it wants to give the calendar a "contemporary twist" for 2015.

A selfie is a self-portrait generally taken with a camera-equipped phone or webcam.

The calendar will be distributed to all Grand Forks homes in December. The calendar has a different theme each year.

Sharyl Simeone with the city's Public Information Center says all photos will be considered for the calendar. The deadline to submit a photo is Sept. 26.


Minneapolis man killed in ND construction zone

HILLSBORO, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a Minneapolis man was killed when he sped through a construction zone and lost control.

It happened Monday evening north of Hillsboro, about halfway between Fargo and Grand Forks.

The patrol says 22-year-old Elyas Abdulkadir Ali was going south on Interstate 29 in an area that was restricted to one lane.

Witnesses say he passed on the shoulder while speeding, lost control passing a tractor-trailer, entered the ditch and rolled several times.


ND man admits assaulting sister over toilet seat

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man has admitted to assaulting his sister over a toilet seat.

WDAY-TV in Fargo (http://bit.ly/1qn4j2l ) reports that 24-year-old Thaddeus Morgan has changed his plea to guilty to charges of simple assault and interference with telephone during emergency call.

Records show the fight started when Morgan forgot to put the seat down, which made his sister mad. Morgan then pushed and hit her, and tried to stop her from calling 911.

Leah Viste is an assistant state's attorney in Cass County. Viste tells the station that the case was "simply a sibling fight that got out of control."

Court records show Morgan has been sentenced to one year of supervised released and ordered to take anger management classes.


4 men get interviews for athletic director at NDSU

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The committee searching for North Dakota State University's next athletic director has chosen four candidates for on-campus interviews.

Gene Taylor announced in June that he was leaving NDSU to take the No. 2 position in athletics at Iowa.

Candidates to replace him who will get on-campus interviews are NDSU senior associate athletic director Troy Goergen, Colorado State senior associate athletic director David Crum, Stony Brook senior associate athletic director Matthew Larsen and St. Bonaventure athletic director Stephen Watson.

NDSU said Tuesday that the campus interviews were still being scheduled.


Long-awaited VA clinic opens in Devils Lake

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — A Veterans Affairs clinic has opened in Devils Lake, meaning area military veterans will no longer have to travel to VA headquarters in Fargo for treatment.

The federal government last September awarded Mercy Hospital the contract to house the clinic.

U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp took part in the opening celebration on Monday. They say the clinic will provide primary care, along with mental health and specialty services via telemedicine.

Hoeven says bringing a VA clinic to Devils Lake has taken about a decade. The VA system in North Dakota also has clinics in Bismarck, Dickinson, Grafton, Jamestown, Minot and Williston.


Man accused of fleeing police with kids in vehicle

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 41-year-old Bismarck man is facing charges after allegedly fleeing police with two young children in his vehicle.

John Flaska is charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor reckless endangerment. He could face up to six years in prison if convicted. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.

Police say Flaska was spotted shortly after midnight Sunday driving at a high rate of speed, with his headlights off. They say he abandoned the vehicle after officers gave chase and fled with the 5- and 14-year-old children on foot. They were found hiding behind a garden shed.

The children are in the custody of social services.

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

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