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Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Sunday, April 26th 2015 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

ND Legislature misses goal of finishing session early

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature has missed its goal of finishing its work five days before the constitutional 80-day limit.

Monday is Day 76. Lawmakers had hoped to bank five days so that they could return to the Capitol to address additional impacts from oil price swings.

The session opened in January with 853 measures.

Data from the Legislative Council show 31 bills awaited action late Friday.

North Dakota's Legislature ended its longest session ever in 2013, when it logged 80 days. Lawmakers met for more than 20 hours straight on the last day of that session.


State says monitoring to continue at Ward County Jail

(Information in the following story is from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com)

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota director of jail inspections says correcting compliance issues in the Ward County Jail is going to take some time.

Steve Engen with the state Department of Corrections sent a letter this week to Ward County commissioners after they asked for a timeline for bringing jail compliance monitoring to a close. The county is responsible for paying for a state compliance officer.

The state began monitoring the jail after it released an investigative report in December.

The Minot Daily News reports the investigation found the jail had been violating state laws and rules. Some of the violations included not providing medical physicals to inmates as required and consistently operating above inmate capacity with insufficient staffing.

Engen says the monitoring is necessary to avoid closing the jail.


Fargo police looking for suspect who robbed area bank

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Fargo police are looking for a man they say robbed an area bank Saturday.

Authorities say the man entered the Gate City Bank on South University Drive around 12:20 p.m. and gave a bank teller a note demanding cash.

The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on food.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot, 6-inch white man with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, dark colored baseball hat, black gloves, blue jeans, and wire rimmed glasses.


Williston man dies after car strikes back of semi near Tioga

TIOGA, N.D. (AP) — A Williston man has died following a crash with a semitrailer near Tioga.

KXMB-TV reports the man driving the Honda Accord was traveling east on U.S. Highway 2 when his car struck the back of the semi that slowing down to turn.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

The drivers of both cars have not been identified.


Oakes student being recognized nationally for excellence

OAKES, N.D. (AP) — An Oakes student is being honored nationally for academic excellence.

Eighteen-year-old Brittany Roney is among four national student semifinalists in ACT's College and Career Readiness campaign. The other three semifinalists are students from California, Hawaii and Virginia. The four will be honored at a gala in Washington, D.C., on June 3rd.

Roney is an honor student and active in the FFA, student council and National Honor Society. She plays volleyball and basketball. She does extensive volunteer work in her community and holds down part-time jobs during the school year — all while battling thyroid cancer.

She plans to attend Valley City State University to study business administration.

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says Roney "really exemplifies the type of student that we have in North Dakota."


Native youth kick off Generation Indigenous challenge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Janay Jumping Eagle is on a mission to curb teen suicide in her hometown on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Dahkota Brown of the Wilton Band of Miwok Indians in California wants to keep American Indian and Alaska Native students on track toward graduation.

The teenagers are at the heart of Generation Indigenous, or Gen-I, a White House initiative that kicked off this week with a brainstorming session that coincided with thousands of indigenous people gathering in New Mexico for North America's largest powwow.

The initiative stems from a visit last year by President Barack Obama to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The goal is to improve the lives of tribal youth by challenging them to tackle some of the problems that have plagued Indian Country for decades.


Steele woman accused of forging $250,000 on company account

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota woman has been charged with forgery for allegedly cutting herself a $250,000 check on the dime of a cooperative in Linton.

Forty-year-old Michelle Biegler was charged this week with felony forgery.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Mandan police were notified after KEM Electric reported a forged check on its bank account.

A police investigation found that Biegler was an employee of a Mandan-based company and had access to the KEM's account information. She allegedly used that information to forge a check worth a quarter of a million dollars.

Biegler allegedly took the check to a bank in Steele and used part of the money to purchase a home. The rest was deposited in a bank account.

The Steele woman is being held at Morton County Correctional Center.


Creator of Scooby, Popeye bringing art exhibit to Bismarck

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The man responsible for creating countless beloved cartoon characters is showcasing his work at an art exhibit in Bismarck.

Cartoonist Ron Campbell is hosting a live art show at the Bismarck Arts and Galleries Association this weekend, where he will exhibit and sell his artwork.

KXMB-TV reports Campbell's cartoon creations include Scooby Doo, Popeye, the Flintstones and dozens of others.

Campbell says now in retirement that he realizes how much his work has had an impact on the kids who watched his characters growing up.

At his art show, Campbell will recreate some of his old favorite cartoons and talk about his experiences with fans.

Campbell says nobody should buy art online. Rather, "you should see it."

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Saturday, April 25th 2015 
AP-ND--Right Now/852
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment


Bird flu confirmed in second North Dakota poultry flock

UNDATED (AP) —The presence of bird flu has been confirmed in a second poultry flock in North Dakota.

The state Agriculture Department says the H5 virus is in a commercial flock in LaMoure County that includes about 69,000 turkeys and about 2,000 chickens. The operation has been quarantined and the flock will be destroyed.

The state is still waiting on confirmation of whether the virus is the H5N2 strain that has cost Midwestern chicken and turkey producers more than 7 million birds since early March. But the Agriculture Department says whatever strain it is, it is highly contagious.

The H5N2 virus was confirmed at a Dickey County poultry farm earlier this month. The 40,000 turkeys are being destroyed.


North Dakota Legislature OKs new oil tax framework

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's House has agreed to Senate amendments on a measure aimed at restructuring oil taxes.

The House voted 66-26 on Friday to shave the state's oil tax rate from 11.5 percent to 10 percent. The Senate endorsed the bill on Thursday.

It now heads to Governor Jack Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) for his signature.

The legislation abolishes tax breaks based on low oil prices. The bill also bumps the state's oil tax from 10 percent to 11 percent if crude prices rebound above $90 for three consecutive months.

GOP lawmakers say the bill will provide a stable and predictable tax policy. Democrats say it will cost the state billions of dollars in tax revenue in the long run.


ND allowed to join Wyoming lawsuit against fracking rules

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal court has allowed North Dakota and Colorado to intervene with Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging new rules for oil and gas drilling on federal land.

The Obama administration announced in March that it will require companies that drill on federal lands to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The rule takes effect in June.

The three states assert the move is unlawful in part because it interferes with their own regulations that address the process.

Wyoming filed its lawsuit last month. A federal judge this week granted permission for both North Dakota and Colorado to intervene alongside Wyoming.

North Dakota regulators say the new federal rule could add years to the permitting process and hamper the drilling of thousands of wells in the state.


States take on Common Core test makers as schools stop exams

LAS VEGAS (AP) — States are positioning themselves to hold the test makers accountable over the botched Common Core assessments.

Nevada, Montana and North Dakota officials say they are discussing legal options with their state attorneys general.

Nevada has also filed breach of contract notices and is unlikely to meet a federal testing mandate after its largest school district said it won't attempt to test anymore without a problem-free guarantee.

Montana says it may require the test makers to reimburse the state for any future federal funding lost.

Testing in the states was halted last week after a widespread system crash caused by capacity issues with New Hampshire-based Measured Progress.

The company is contracted to administer the tests linked to hotly disputed, federally backed education standards. It has apologized for the technical problems.


West Fargo teacher denies sexual relationship with student

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Former West Fargo High School teacher Aaron Knodel says he never had a sexual relationship with an underage student.

Knodel took the stand in his defense Friday.

The 36-year-old teacher is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student over a period of several weeks in early 2009. He's pleaded not guilty to five counts of felony corruption or solicitation of a minor.

Knodel said despite what the alleged victim says, he never had a sexual relationship with her and she was never inside his home. He told the jury that he was helping the student deal with a series of personal and family issues.

Knodel was named North Dakota teacher of the year in 2014, before the allegations surfaced.


Fargo lawmaker helps produce children's coloring book

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State Sen. Tim Flakoll has helped produce a coloring book to entertain children and promote his home area.

The Fargo legislator recently teamed with artist Steve Stark and other supporters to design a youth activity and coloring book that promotes the Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, area.

Flakoll came up with the idea while watching his niece become engrossed with coloring in a hospital waiting room while his mother was having surgery.

The 50-page book includes illustrations on landmarks, museums, colleges, events, sports and area history.

Flakoll says it's something he's always wanted to do and he was happy to learn that the printing was finished earlier this week.

Flakoll is the provost of the Tri-College University, a partnership among Fargo-Moorhead colleges.

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

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Friday, April 24th 2015 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

ND Senate amends proposed oil tax rewrite bill

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Senate has approved amendments to a House bill aimed at restructuring oil taxes.

The Senate voted 32-15 Thursday after a nearly three-hour floor fight to shave the state's oil tax rate from 11.5 percent to 10 percent.

The House proposal would permanently lower an extraction tax on oil instead of allowing a tax exemption to take effect if oil prices continue declining.

Under the Senate's proposal, the state's so-called trigger exemptions would expire in December. And if oil prices rebound above $90 for three months, the state's oil tax would increase from 10 percent to 11 percent.

Tribal and oil industry officials say the Senate's version of the bill is more acceptable than the original House version but it still is far from perfect.


Negotiators on K-12 education bill agree on per-pupil money

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Senate and House negotiators are polishing off amendments to a 105-page, nearly $2 billion bill on funding for North Dakota schools.

The last major issue that was resolved late Thursday centered on per-pupil funding, which is distributed according to a formula based on how many students a school district has, along with weighted factors for various needs.

The two sides have tentatively agreed on an increase of 3 percent for the first year and 3 percent for the second year of the biennium over the base per-pupil funding. Lawmakers say the increase is needed primarily because of an influx of students related to the state's economy.

Fargo Sen. Tim Flakoll says said it generally takes a few days to finish drafting, reviewing, adopting, and passing the bill in both chambers.


Fellow teacher testifies in educator sexual misconduct trial

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A fellow teacher of a West Fargo High School educator accused of sexual misconduct says Aaron Knodel and his female accuser spent a lot of time together.

But Shawn Krinkie also testified Thursday he never had any suspicions that something might be going on between the two. Krinkie's classroom is next door to Knodel's.

KFGO radio reports a close friend of the student testified she was suspicious about the relationship. She said her then-17-year-old friend seemed depressed, lost weight and quit answering phone calls around the time of the alleged sexual activity five years ago.

The friend also said Knodel spent extra time with many students.

Knodel was named North Dakota teacher of the year in 2014, before the allegations surfaced. He's pleaded not guilty to felony corruption charges.


UND student tabbed for 1-year term on higher education board

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota junior Brett Johnson has been selected as the student representative on the state Board of Higher Education.

The one-year appointment is effective July 1st. Johnson will replace Christopher McEwen, whose term expires June 30th.

Governor Jack Dalrymple announced the appointment Thursday. He says Johnson has diverse leadership experience with both students and administrators and has served on numerous statewide and campus committees.

Johnson is the vice president of the UND student body.

The higher education board consists of seven citizen members who are appointed by the governor to serve four-year terms and one student appointed to serve a one-year term. The board is the governing body for the state's 11 publicly-supported colleges and universities.


Fort Yates man accused of sexual abuse must stay in custody

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

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered that a North Dakota man accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was later found dead must remain in custody for now.

Thirty-four-year-old Richmond White Eagle was charged Monday with felony sexual abuse of a person physically incapable of declining participation. He was arrested after the body of Jessie Manley was found outside an apartment complex in Fort Yates.

The Bismarck Tribune reports Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme argued Thursday in U.S. District Court that White Eagle has a history of substance abuse and failing to abide by court orders.

Defense attorney William Schmidt asked judge Charles Miller Junior to allow White Eagle to stay in a halfway house during court proceedings.

Miller said returning him to the community is "not an answer now."

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