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Wednesday, December 11th 2019

Associated Press North Dakota News

ABORTION-NORTH DAKOTA

Group files brief in defense of North Dakota abortion law

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An anti-abortion group has filed a brief in defense of a North Dakota law that requires doctors to inform women that they can reverse the procedure when it is carried out with medication, even though the science behind that claim is disputed. Heartbeat International Inc., and their attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the brief in federal court on Tuesday. The group says the hormone progesterone may stop an abortion after a woman has taken the first of two medications needed to complete the abortion. Abortion rights proponents dispute that claim.

FARMERS UNION-PRESIDENT

Farmers Union president to retire after 11 years in role

A North Dakotan who has led the National Farmers Union for more than a decade says he won't seek re-election. Roger Johnson said Tuesday he will retire when his current term ends next year. Johnson has led the organization for 11 years. During his tenure he led efforts to fight corporate consolidation in the agriculture industry, help farmers adapt to climate change and develop fair international trade agreements. Johnson is a third-generation family farmer from Turtle Lake, North Dakota. He says it's time for him to spend more time with his wife and four grandchildren.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA-NORTH DAKOTA

Eighth, final medical marijuana dispensary opening in ND

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — The final medical marijuana dispensary is set to open this week in North Dakota. The eighth dispensary is expected to open in Dickinson on Friday. Division of Medical Marijuana director Jason Wahl says medical marijuana program has issued more than 1,850 identification cards to qualifying patients. Wahl says North Dakota is the first state in the nation to add an electronic option for patients, caregivers and agents of dispensaries and manufacturing facilities. Other dispensaries are located in Bismarck, Devils Lake, Fargo, Jamestown, Grand Forks, Minot and Williston.

MISSING WOMAN

Search underway for missing Buchanan woman

BUCHANAN, N.D. (AP) — A search is currently underway for a missing Buchanan woman. The Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office says 63-year-old Sonia Heinle has been missing since Sunday night. Officials say she did not return home after visiting her son's house about two miles away. A search has been underway since Monday. Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser says they've been searching by land, water and air, but still have no clue on her whereabouts. Officials believe she was driving a tan 2003 Buick LeSabre with North Dakota plates 183-AVF.

TRIBAL RECOGNITION

Montana tribe's quest for recognition advances in Congress

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers say Congress is on the cusp of approving legislation to recognize the state’s Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The proposal is included in the final language of a defense spending bill released Monday night by the U.S. House. The measure would provide the Little Shell 200 acres for a reservation and make its members eligible for health care benefits, education support and federal economic development programs. Final votes on the measure by the House and Senate are expected in the near future. The Little Shell tribe has around 5,400 enrolled members and was recognized by the state of Montana in 2000. It members have fought for decades to be recognized by the federal government and given the basic treaty rights offered to other American Indian tribes.

LIMITING REFUGEES

North Dakota county votes to take limited number of refugees

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county on Monday voted to accept no more than 25 refugees next year, after initially signaling it would be the first to ban them since President Donald Trump ordered that states and counties should have the power to do so. The 3-2 vote by the Burleigh County Commission, which included a provision for further study of the issue, came a week after a vote was postponed when the audience overflowed the county's usual meeting space. If commissioners had voted no, refugee resettlement groups say they believe Burleigh home to about 95,000 people and the capital city of Bismarck would have been be the first local government to do so since Trump's executive order in September.

Tuesday, December 10th 2019

Associated Press North Dakota News

AP-US-LIMITING-REFUGEES

North Dakota county votes to take limited number of refugees

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county on Monday voted to accept no more than 25 refugees next year, after initially signaling it would be the first to ban them since President Donald Trump ordered that states and counties should have the power to do so. The 3-2 vote by the Burleigh County Commission, which included a provision for further study of the issue, came a week after a vote was postponed when the audience overflowed the county's usual meeting space. If commissioners had voted no, refugee resettlement groups say they believe Burleigh home to about 95,000 people and the capital city of Bismarck would have been be the first local government to do since Trump's executive order in September.

BURNED CHURCH-NORTH DAKOTA

ND man sentenced to 2 years in reservation church burning

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for burning down a vacant church on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Twenty-three-year-old Rode Wayne Vocu pleaded guilty to arson in the April fire that destroyed the Memorial Congregational Church near White Shield. The church was built in 1926 in Elbowoods and moved as floodwaters from construction of the Garrison Dam approached. His federal public defender says Vocu has accepted responsibility for the fire, but because of mental health and substance abuse issues he can’t recall what happened the day the church burned.

FATAL HOUSE FIRE-NORTH DAKOTA

Man dies in house fire in New Salem

NEW SALEM, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say a 59-year-old man is dead after a house fire in New Salem. The Morton County Sheriff's Office was called about a house explosion shortly before noon last Thursday. Authorities found the body of Richard Doll and some parts of the house damaged by smoke and fire. The Fire Department inspected the home and determined there was no explosion but there had been a fire. The sheriff's office is investigating along with the North Dakota fire marshal, but no foul play is suspected in the death.

OIL SPILL-NORTH DAKOTA

Well spills oil near Watford City after tank bolt comes off

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — A vibration in an oil tank apparently caused a bolt to come off and spill more than 20,000 gallons of oil in western North Dakota. The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division says the spill happened Saturday at a well about 6 miles west of Watford City. Newfield Production Co. reported Sunday that the oil was released after an equipment failure at the location. All of the spilled oil has been recovered. The spill was contained by dikes. A state inspector has been to the site and will continue to monitor the cleanup and remediation.

YOUTH RISK BEHAVIOR

Teens drinking and smoking less, but more feel hopeless

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — New survey results about the health behavior of North Dakota's high school students shows they're drinking less and using less tobacco, but more young people are having extended periods of feeling sad or hopeless. State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said Monday fewer high school students reported being bullied at school, either electronically or personally. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey was developed in 1990 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is given in the spring of odd-numbered years to students in grades 7-8 and 9-12.

WINTRY WEATHER-UPPER MIDWEST

Deep freeze headed for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Dakotas

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A wintry storm system is expected to generate 10 inches of snow or more near Lake Superior before a deep freeze settles into the region. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin Monday. The port cities of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin are still digging out from more than 20 inches of snow last weekend. Near record cold temperatures are expected to descend on the region after the snow moves out. Forecasters expected the high temperature to stay below zero in Fargo, North Dakota Tuesday and Wednesday. Blowing and drifting snow was making travel difficult in South Dakota where some schools have delayed the start of classes Monday.

Monday, December 9th 2019

Associated Press North Dakota News

YOUTH RISK BEHAVIOR

Teens drinking and smoking less, but more feel hopeless

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — New survey results about the health behavior of North Dakota's high school students shows they're drinking less and using less tobacco, but more young people are having extended periods of feeling sad or hopeless. State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said Monday fewer high school students reported being bullied at school, either electronically or personally. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey was developed in 1990 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is given in the spring of odd-numbered years to students in grades 7-8 and 9-12.

WINTRY WEATHER-UPPER MIDWEST

Deep freeze headed for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Dakotas

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A wintry storm system is expected to generate 10 inches of snow or more near Lake Superior before a deep freeze settles into the region. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin Monday. The port cities of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin are still digging out from more than 20 inches of snow last weekend. Near record cold temperatures are expected to descend on the region after the snow moves out. Forecasters expected the high temperature to stay below zero in Fargo, North Dakota Tuesday and Wednesday. Blowing and drifting snow was making travel difficult in South Dakota where some schools have delayed the start of classes Monday.

LIMITING REFUGEES

North Dakota county may become US's 1st to bar new refugees

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county commission is set to vote on whether to bar further refugee resettlement. If the Burleigh County commission votes Monday to bar refugees, it could be the first local government to do so since President Donald Trump issued an executive order in October making such a refusal possible. Commission Chairman Brian Bitner says public opinion in the county, which includes the state capital Bismarck, is strongly against taking any additional refugees. Many local governments and governors around the country have said they will keep accepting refugees.

ICE FATAL-NORTH DAKOTA

Sheriff: Man dies after falling through ice in North Dakota

MEDINA, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say a man has died after falling through ice near Medina. The man's utility vehicle had been seen on the ice about 4 miles east of Medina since last Monday. Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser says the man was reported missing and possibly in the ice Saturday. Crews searched past dark but could not find anything. Kaiser says the man's body was found when the search resumed Sunday morning. The cause of death is pending. Authorities are withholding the man's name until his family is notified.

CAR DEALERSHIP-TERRORIZING

Man accused of threatening Grand Forks car dealer employee

A Grand Forks man is under arrest for allegedly threatening an employee of a car dealership with a knife. Police were called Saturday to Rydell Chevrolet about a man threatening an employee. When the first officer arrived the man ran away. Police found him about a half-hour later in a nearby apartment building. The 31-year-old suspect is accused of terrorizing, a felony, and misdemeanor refusing to halt. Police say they recovered a knife from the suspect. He was taken to the Grand Forks County jail.

SCHOOLS-ARMED RESPONDERS

North Dakota seeks input on arming responders in schools

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota officials are seeking public input on new rules that have been created to govern a program to arm first responders in schools. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is hosting a meeting Monday at the Capitol to hear from the public. The Legislature passed a law earlier this year that allows a school board to designate an armed first responder who may carry or have access to a concealed weapon at a specific school. Under the proposed rules, an armed first responder can't be a teacher or anyone with direct supervision of children at a school.

Monday, December 9th 2019

Associated Press North Dakota News

From The Williston Herald
A 40-year-old man was arrested Saturday, Dec. 7, after a standoff between him and the Williams County SWAT Team.

At approximately 6 a.m. on Saturday, the Northwest Crisis Negotiations Team and the Williams County SWAT Team were called to the 600th block of Main Street in Williston. Jeremy Lee Swenson, 40, barricaded himself in his home after he'd assaulted his girlfriend, according to Sgt. Detective Caleb Fry with the Williams County Sheriff's Office. The girlfriend was not in the residence at the time of the barricade.

The standoff between Swenson and police lasted about an hour, according to a news release about the incident. After an hour or so, Swenson came out of the home and was arrested by the Williston Police Department.

A formal charge of aggravated assault, a class C felony, is pending, police said.

Monday, December 9th 2019

Associated Press North Dakota News

IMITING REFUGEES

North Dakota county may become US's 1st to bar new refugees

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county commission is set to vote on whether to bar further refugee resettlement. If the Burleigh County commission votes Monday to bar refugees, it could be the first local government to do so since President Donald Trump issued an executive order in October making such a refusal possible. Commission Chairman Brian Bitner says public opinion in the county, which includes the state capital Bismarck, is strongly against taking any additional refugees. Many local governments and governors around the country have said they will keep accepting refugees.

ICE FATAL-NORTH DAKOTA

Sheriff: Man dies after falling through ice in North Dakota

MEDINA, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say a man has died after falling through ice near Medina. The man's utility vehicle had been seen on the ice about 4 miles east of Medina since last Monday. Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser says the man was reported missing and possibly in the ice Saturday. Crews searched past dark but could not find anything. Kaiser says the man's body was found when the search resumed Sunday morning. The cause of death is pending. Authorities are withholding the man's name until his family is notified.

CAR DEALERSHIP-TERRORIZING

Man accused of threatening Grand Forks car dealer employee

A Grand Forks man is under arrest for allegedly threatening an employee of a car dealership with a knife. Police were called Saturday to Rydell Chevrolet about a man threatening an employee. When the first officer arrived the man ran away. Police found him about a half-hour later in a nearby apartment building. The 31-year-old suspect is accused of terrorizing, a felony, and misdemeanor refusing to halt. Police say they recovered a knife from the suspect. He was taken to the Grand Forks County jail.

SCHOOLS-ARMED RESPONDERS

North Dakota seeks input on arming responders in schools

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota officials are seeking public input on new rules that have been created to govern a program to arm first responders in schools. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is hosting a meeting Monday at the Capitol to hear from the public. The Legislature passed a law earlier this year that allows a school board to designate an armed first responder who may carry or have access to a concealed weapon at a specific school. Under the proposed rules, an armed first responder can't be a teacher or anyone with direct supervision of children at a school.

CHILD ABUSE-RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Charges: Bismarck man hit girl with broomstick over beliefs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck man has been charged with felony child abuse for allegedly hitting his stepdaughter with a broomstick because she wouldn't wear clothing in line with his religious beliefs. According to charging documents, 33-year-old Youness Moussaid caused several bruises and also hit the girl's head against a wall. Police say Moussaid wants the teenage girl to follow his Muslim beliefs, including wearing dresses and a hijab. But the girl changes clothes at school. Court documents say Moussaid is barred from having contact with the girl. Court documents don't list an attorney for him.

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