Dec 15, 2018 12:20AM (GMT 07:20) - 864 words
Farmers buoyed but cautious as China resumes buying soybeans
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The resumption of soybean sales to China is encouraging to American farmers who've seen the value of their crop plummet amid a trade war with the world's second-largest economy.
But producers see it only as a small step toward normalcy as they continue monitoring the unsettled trade relations between the countries and call for more federal aid.
Private exporters have reported sales of 1.43 million metric tons of soybeans to China less than two weeks after the Trump administration reached a three-month truce in the trade war.
The American Soybean Association says it's positive news but didn't significantly boost prices and farmers need more help.
Both the association and the National Farmers Union are pushing for more federal aid through a $12 billion federal program created to compensate producers for trade-related losses.
North Dakota oil production sets record in October
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators say the state's oil production set a record in October.
The Department of Mineral Resources says the state produced an average of 1.39 million barrels of oil daily in October. That's up from 1.35 million barrels in September.
North Dakota also produced a record 2.56 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in October, up from 2.52 billion cubic feet in September. There was a record 15,344 producing wells in October, up from 15,287 in September.
The October tallies are the latest figures available.
There were 67 drill rigs operating in North Dakota on Friday, up two from the October average.
US land management bureau names new Nevada state director
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The agency that manages vast stretches of federal land in the U.S. West has named a new state director in Nevada.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Thursday that Jon Raby will take over the new job in January.
Raby has been acting director of the bureau's Montana and Dakotas area.
Bureau Deputy Director Brian Steed cited Raby's more than 25-year career in federal service including 20 years with the BLM.
He previously worked at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Forest services.
In Nevada, he will oversee management of 75,000-square-miles (194,250 square kilometers) of public land and more than 92,000-square-miles (238,280-square-kilometers) of federal mineral resources.
Raby replaces John Ruhs, who left the Nevada position in February to head the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
Landowners lose appeal over Dakota Access pipeline easements
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota landowners who unsuccessfully sued the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline over land easements have lost their appeal.
The 21 landowners sued for more than $4 million in 2017, saying a company formed by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and a hired land acquisition consultant used deception to acquire unfair private land easements.
A federal judge last year ruled that they didn't prove their case, in part because the fraud-based claims required a higher standard of proof.
They took their case to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which on Thursday upheld the judge's ruling.
The pipeline has been moving North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois since June 2017.
AG Stenehjem supports decriminalizing small amounts of pot
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's top law enforcement officer says he will support legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) says it would reflect the reality of what's already happening in state courts.
Fargo GOP Rep. Shannon Roers Jones is drafting legislation that would fine someone $200 for possessing an ounce or less of pot. Currently, it's a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
Roers Jones also is crafting separate legislation to seal the records of people previously convicted of some misdemeanor crimes, if they avoid unlawful behavior for a few years.
Stenehejem says he also would support such a measure so that the people convicted of minor crimes could move on with their lives.
CHILD CARE CHECKS
North Dakota child care providers get relief under waiver
(Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com)
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new waiver is providing some relief to North Dakota child care providers that were scrambling to comply with a federal requirement to conduct criminal background checks before new employees can start work.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that the North Dakota Department of Human Services recently received approval for a waiver that'll delay when child care centers need to implement the fingerprint-based background check process. Providers through next September will be allowed to hire employees immediately under direct supervision until background checks are complete.
The state implemented the new federal requirement on Oct. 1. But providers expressed concerns that new employees weren't able to start work right away.
The department's early childhood services administrator, Amanda Carlson, says some providers were struggling to fully staff their facilities. She says the department is looking into expediting the process.
AP-ND--2nd Right Now
Dec 14, 2018 5:20AM (GMT 12:20) - 700 words
Human skull discovered in Dickinson; source is unknown
(Information from: KFYR-TV, http://www.kfyrtv.com/)
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the discovery of a human skull in northeast Dickinson.
Stark County Sheriff Terry Oestreich tells KFYR-TV that the skull was found Tuesday. A forensics analysis determined it belonged to a white man in his teens to early 20s.
Maj. Fern Moser says the remains don't look recent. Authorities are working to determine if the skull might be tied to any missing person case.
Voters in TGU school district reject $8.9 million bond issue
TOWNER, N.D. (AP) — Voters in the Towner-Granville-Upham school district have rejected the idea of raising property taxes to fund school upgrades.
Unofficial results show that nearly two-thirds of voters in Wednesday's election opposed an $8.9 million bond referendum to pay for upgrades and new construction in Granville and Towner.
Had the measure passed, the owner of a $100,000 house would have paid about $130 more in taxes per year.
There are 205 students enrolled in K-12 at Towner and 126 students in K-12 at Granville.
North Dakota governor proposes military tax exemption
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum wants to exempt military pay and pensions from North Dakota income taxes, arguing in part that retaining veterans could help the state fill thousands of open jobs.
Legislators have ignored similar pleas in the past, but supporters say the economic benefits of keeping veterans in the state would more than make up for lost revenue.
North Dakota has more than 13,000 unfilled advertised jobs, though Burgum believes the number of all open jobs is at least twice that.
Military members generally may retire after 20 years, leaving many of them in their late 30s or early 40s in search of a new career.
BOTTINEAU SCHOOL VOTE
Bottineau school district voters OK $7.6M school upgrade
BOTTINEAU, N.D. (AP) — Voters in the Bottineau school district have overwhelmingly approved a $7.6 million school upgrade.
Nearly 1,000 people voted Wednesday, and unofficial results show 85 percent of them favored a bond issue to fund the project. Sixty percent approval was required.
Superintendent Pat Renden says the district will build a new preschool through second grade addition onto its existing elementary and high school. Officials hope to break ground in the spring and have the project complete by the fall of 2020.
The district covers Bottineau County as well as parts of Rolette, Pierce, and McHenry Counties. Brenden says the owner of a $200,000 home will pay about $59 more per year in taxes to pay off the bond.
Standing Rock veterans cemetery getting more federal money
FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is getting $291,000 from the federal government to expand and improve the All Nations Veterans Cemetery in Fort Yates.
The money is through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency last year gave the tribe nearly $5 million to build the cemetery.
The 8-acre cemetery is expected to serve more than 2,200 tribal veterans and their families.
Minot museum evicted from fairgrounds to move to Burlington
(Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com)
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A museum that's being evicted from the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot will be relocated just outside the city.
The Minot Daily News reports that the Ward County Historical Society announced on Tuesday that the Pioneer Village Museum will be moved to Burlington, 8 miles west of Minot. The museum must be removed from the fairgrounds after the historical society lost a long-running legal dispute with the State Fair Association in August.
The association has wanted the museum to leave the property to make room for other plans, but the historical society has resisted because of a lack of funding.
The society's president Dave Leite says the group hopes to relocate the 12 buildings off the grounds as soon as possible, but they haven't raised enough money to make the move yet.