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Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Wednesday, July 1st 2015 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
TAXABLE SALES

ND 1st-quarter taxable sales increase 2.2 percent

North Dakota's taxable sales and purchases increased 2.2 percent during January, February and March when compared to the same three months a year ago.

North Dakota's Tax Department says the state recorded $5.8 billion in taxable sales and purchases during the first quarter.

Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says the more than $200 million increase from the first quarter in 2014 came despite slumping oil prices and decreased drilling activity.

Rauschenberger says nine of the North Dakota's 15 economic sectors grew during the first quarter.

The retail trade sector is most often a measure of consumer confidence. Rauschenberger says that sector increased $43.5 million.

BBC-HOME RUN DERBY-CAMPBELL

UND slugger Campbell to compete in College Home Run Derby

University of North Dakota slugger Jeff Campbell is participating in this year's TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby.

Campbell is to compete Thursday in Omaha, Nebraska, against players from schools including Texas Tech, Brigham Young and Wake Forest.

Campbell led UND in home runs in each of his four seasons. The Clearwater, Florida, native slugged 32 homers in his college career, third most in school history. He was a first-team All-WAC selection his senior year.

Tres Barrera from the University of Texas won the derby last year.

BODY FOUND

Police identify man whose body was found in Red River in ND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Authorities have identified the man whose body was found in the Red River near downtown Grand Forks Monday night.

The Grand Forks Police Department on Tuesday said the body is that of 25-year-old Aaron Pigeon of Badger, Minnesota. The body was found hours after authorities began searching the river for Pigeon, who was last seen leaving the Level 10 Bar in Grand Forks Saturday night.

Authorities launched a search of the Red River and nearby riverbanks Monday afternoon. They also conducted an extensive search and neighborhood canvas.

NEW LAWS-TAXES

July 1 brings more dollars for oil-impacted ND communities

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Some North Dakota communities will be getting more revenue from oil and gas production to help them deal with the impacts of energy development.

Most of the 2015 Legislature's tax and spending bills become law on Wednesday, including a change to a formula that's used to distribute oil and gas tax revenue.

Until Wednesday, 80 percent of the annual production tax revenue above $5 million was divided between the state and local governments, in a 75-25 split favoring the state. The Legislature amended the formula that will now give 70 percent to the state and 30 percent to local governments.

The reworked formula is expected to generate $631 million to local governments over the next two-year budget cycle. That's an increase of $133 million over the past budget cycle.

ROLLING EMERGENCY ROOM

North Dakota's emergency room on wheels aimed at disasters

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has a new self-contained emergency room on wheels that can be used for statewide disasters.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and state health officials unveiled the new Mobile Medical Unit on Tuesday at the state Capitol in Bismarck.

The semitrailer has been remodeled into an emergency room that can accommodate up to 16 patients. It's designed to be used in areas where hospital emergency services are unavailable.

The $1.5 million unit originally was purchased by Minnesota using federal grant money. North Dakota acquired the unit at no cost from Minnesota.

Dalrymple called the rolling emergency facility "a great acquisition" for the state.

PRESCRIBED BURN-CLAIMS

APNewsBreak: $50 million in claims for grasslands fire

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Ranchers and landowners filed more than $50 million in damage claims over a prescribed burn that veered out of control and burned 16,000 acres in North Dakota and South Dakota.

That's according to a letter from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in which he denies the claims. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter to Sen. John Thune — sent last week— on Tuesday.

Sixteen landowners filed claims after the Pautre (PAW-tree) Fire burned out of control in April 2013. The fire began as a 130-acre controlled burn by the U.S. Forest Service on the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands.

In explaining the denial, Vilsack said the forest service relied on forecasts from the National Weather Service in Rapid City, South Dakota, that ultimately proved inaccurate.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Tuesday, June 30th 2015 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
JUDGE APPLICANTS

7 lawyers apply for new South Central District judgeship

Seven lawyers have applied for a newly created judgeship in Mandan.

The Supreme Court created the judgeship in the South Central District after the Legislature earlier this year approved four new judgeships around the state.

The applicants are Brian Grosinger of Mandan, Daniel El-Dweek of Williston and five attorneys from Bismarck: John Grinsteiner, Wade Mann, Mandy Maxon, Matthew Sagsveen and Todd Schwarz.

Whoever is selected will be required to run for election two years after taking the bench.

FARGO CHAPEL

Diocese closes chapel near ND's only abortion clinic

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The Catholic bishop in Fargo has ordered the closure of a chapel that was purposely opened four years ago near North Dakota's only abortion clinic.

Diocese spokeswoman Aliceyn Magelky (muh-GELL'-kee) says Bishop John Folda made "the tough decision to stop using the chapel" because of a change in building ownership and lease terms. Donations paid for the costs of running the chapel.

The chapel gained national attention when former Bishop Samuel Aquila established it in 2011. The chapel was open on days when abortions are performed at the clinic.

Magelky says services that were scheduled to coincide with abortions at the clinic are now being held at the diocese headquarters in south Fargo.

STANDOFF-BODY FOUND

SWAT team in Fargo finds man's body after standoff ends

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A SWAT team in Fargo has found the body of a man inside an apartment after a standoff ended.

Authorities used a robot Monday to go into the apartment. Fargo Police Lt. Mike Mitchell says the man shot himself as officers were outside the apartment building.

Officers responded to the apartment around 11:30 a.m. after receiving a call for a welfare check. When police tried to go into the apartment, they found a mattress barricading it.

Authorities have not released the man's identity.

VAN WITH CHILD STOLEN

3-year-old boy sleeping in stolen van in Fargo found safe

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Fargo police say a 3-year-old boy who was in a minivan that was stolen has been found and is safe.

Authorities say the child was sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle when it was taken by 33-year-old Ali Hashi shortly after 9:30 p.m. Sunday. The boy's mother had left the van running while she went into a food store where her husband works.

Sgt. Shane Aberle tells KFGO-AM that the alleged theft was random — a "crime of convenience." Authorities were preparing to issue an Amber Alert when officers located Hashi, who then guided them to the vehicle. Officers found the boy unharmed.

Lt. Mike Mitchell says police believe Hashi was unaware that boy was inside.

Hashi has been charged with theft of property. His court record doesn't list an attorney.

GAY MARRIAGE-LAWSUITS

ND judge sides with gay marriage lawsuit plaintiffs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against North Dakota's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued the ruling on Monday, saying the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and invalid. The state did not oppose the plaintiffs' motion.

The ruling comes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide.

The Supreme Court issued its ruling on Friday, and some North Dakota counties began issuing same-sex marriage licenses the same day.

FEDERAL WATER RULE-LAWSUIT

13 states sue over rule giving feds authority on state water

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — More than a dozen states are challenging a new rule that gives federal authorities jurisdiction over some state waters.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) says the "Waters of the U.S." rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers is "unnecessary" and "unlawful." He says it does nothing to increase water quality in North Dakota and other states.

Federal officials say the new rule aims to clarify which wetlands, streams and other waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act.

Stenehjem says a lawsuit seeking to have the rule thrown out was filed Monday in federal court in North Dakota.

The other states joining the lawsuit are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.

ESCAPED JUVENILES

2 escapees from Youth Correctional Center back in custody

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — Two juveniles who escaped from the Youth Correctional Center in Mandan over the weekend are back in custody.

The Highway Patrol says 15-year-old Skyler Johnson and 17-year-old Joseph Lever escaped Saturday. They were apprehended without incident shortly before midnight Sunday. Officers acting on a citizen tip found the boys at an underpass.

The agency did not provide details of the escape or say why the two boys were incarcerated. Officials had cautioned members of the public not to approach the boys.

GUARD-VALLEY CITY

Guard launching $13M building project in Valley City

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota National Guard is starting work on two buildings in Valley City.

The $13 million project will create a vehicle maintenance shop and a vehicle storage building. The Guard says it will create 45,000 square feet of work space for soldiers.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled Tuesday morning. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and state Guard commander Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk (sprihn-suh-NAT'-ihk) are scheduled to attend.

The project is to be complete by July 2017.

REFINERY DEDICATED

Grand opening held for $430M oil refinery at Dickinson

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Officials have formally dedicated a new oil refinery in western North Dakota.

Bismarck-based MDU Resources Group and Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners built the $430 million Dakota Prairie Refinery near Dickinson.

Officials on Monday held a grand opening celebration. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp were on hand.

Crews broke ground on the refinery in March 2013. It can process 20,000 barrels of oil each day into diesel fuel and other products. It began selling the fuel in May.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Monday, June 29th 2015 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
HUMAN TRAFFICKING-HEITKAMP

Heitkamp, McCain focusing on ND's trafficking challenges

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — Longtime anti-human trafficking advocate Cindy McCain and U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (HYT'-kamp) has toured western North Dakota to look at the state's human trafficking challenges.

Cindy McCain is the co-founder of the McCain Institute and wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee U.S. Senator John McCain. She joined Heitkamp in Watford City on Sunday to hear firsthand about the unique challenges the state is facing and the work being done to combat human trafficking.

The Watford City gathering follows others previously held in Bismarck and Williston. It will bring together advocates, victims' services, health care professionals, law enforcement and community leaders.

The McCain Institute, based at Arizona State University, is working to create the first comprehensive estimate of human trafficking in the U.S. and establish a web-based clearinghouse on trafficking information.

STUDENT SECURITY SYSTEM

New security service at NDSU can be activated with 1 touch

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State University students and staff will have access this year to a safety and security service that will allow dispatchers to track their whereabouts at all times and let users call for help by swiping the smartphone screen.

The app was used by some students in the spring in a pilot program and will be available this fall to everyone affiliated with the campus. The system works both on and off campus on a 24/7 basis and it is integrated with the current NDSU technology that provides centralized electronic locks and a surveillance camera system.

Safety has been in the forefront at NDSU since freshman Thomas Bearson was killed by an unknown assailant in September and two students were raped at an off-campus apartment in December.

HIV TESTING-ND

At-risk North Dakotans urged to get HIV testing

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota health officials are urging people at risk for HIV and AIDS to get tested.

The state Health Department has recorded 396 confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS in North Dakota.

Health officials say about one-fourth of the people estimated to be HIV positive are believed to be unaware of their infection and they could unknowingly be transmitting the disease.

The Health Department says HIV testing is available at no charge throughout the state, and results are available in 20 minutes.

GAME AND FISH-PAYMENTS

ND Game and Fish Department pays $533,500 to counties

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has paid $533,500 to counties in which it owns or leases land, about $52,500 more than for the previous year.

The payments are in lieu of property taxes. The payments for 2014 ranged from less than $90 in Ward and Griggs counties to more than $54,000 in Sheridan, McLean and Wells counties.

The department manages more than 200,000 acres for wildlife habitat and public hunting in 51 counties. The department does not own or manage any land in Traill or Renville counties.

HOCKEY OFFICIAL

Devils Lake grad gets award for pro hockey officiating

(Information in the following story is from: Devils Lake Journal, http://www.devilslakejournal.com)

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — A 1990 graduate of Devils Lake High School has won an award for his officiating in a mid-level professional hockey league.

The Devils Lake Journal reports Scott Senger was honored by fellow East Coast Hockey League officials earlier this month with the Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award.

Senger got his start as an official in Devils Lake and got into it more when he moved to Las Vegas. He says everything fell into place when he moved to South Carolina, and he has been working as a part-time official for the past six years. He's also a strength and conditioning coach for the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The ECHL has teams across the country, including the Rapid City Rush.

SCOUT AWARD-SKATING LESSONS

Bismarck teen gets Girl Scout honor for skating lessons

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck teen has won the highest honor for a Girl Scout by sharing her passion for ice skating with others.

The Bismarck Tribune reports Christina Feland earned the Gold Award through her project called "It's Never Too Late to Skate." The project helped students in their teens or older learn to skate.

Feland says she knew many friends who wanted to learn to skate, but didn't want to be in classes along with little children.

During the project, Feland taught an 8-year-old one-on-one how to skate. She says he went from not being able to skate to scoring the winning goal for his team at a state championship.

Feland hopes she can teach a hockey skills class in Grand Forks when she starts at the University of North Dakota next year.

VULNERABLE ADULT-TELEPHONE

North Dakota launching vulnerable adult telephone hotline

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is launching a telephone hotline to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.

The state Department of Human Services says the hotline will be in place on Wednesday. The number is 1-855-462-5465.

Officials say if a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger of serious injury or death, people should call 911.

Officials say the department received about 1,500 reports of possible abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults last year.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT-LETTERS

DSU publishes online images of Theodore Roosevelt letters

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Dickinson State University is publishing online a collection of images that includes letters from President Theodore Roosevelt to cartoonist John McCutcheon and from Edith Roosevelt to writer Octave Thanet.

The letters published online by the university's Theodore Roosevelt Center come from the Newberry Library, an independent research library based in Chicago.

The center has been creating a digital library of items related to the life and presidency of Theodore Roosevelt since 2008. The latest addition expands the items available digitally to nearly 30,000.

The images can be found online at WWW DOT TheodoreRooseveltCenter DOT org. The digital collection includes correspondence to and from Roosevelt, diary entries, notes, political cartoons, scrapbooks, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Roosevelt, speeches and photographs.

OFFICER ASSAULT

Woman accused of biting officer sentenced to 10 months

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A woman accused of biting a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer on the arm has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Jesse Grant, of Fort Yates, pleaded guilty in March to assaulting a federal officer. Authorities say the assault happened in August 2014 on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Grant had been in custody since March when her release was revoked for failing to report for supervision.

Grant's court-appointed lawyer had asked for a sentence of 15 months in prison.


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