|Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment
SYNTHETIC DRUG OVERDOSES
Texas man receives 11 years in synthetic drug case
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Texas man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in a synthetic drug operation traced to the deaths of two North Dakota teenagers.
Twenty-six-year-old John Polinski, of Houston, is the last of 15 people to be convicted in a case that federal authorities dubbed "Operation Stolen Youth." He is the 14th person to be sentenced.
Eighteen-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, died within a week of each other in June 2012.
Authorities say Bjerk and Stai ingested hallucinogens that were manufactured from chemicals bought from Houston-based Motion Resources LLC. Prosecutors say Polinski handled information technology and other business operations for Motion Resources.
The owner of Motion Resources, Charles Carlton, is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 28.
MINOT CITY MANAGER
New Minot city manager to start in mid-September
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Minot City Council President Mark Jantzer says the experience of the incoming city manager will be valuable as the community continues its recovery from the 2011 Souris River flood.
Fifty-seven-year-old Lee Staab graduated with an engineering degree from the West Point military academy and later earned his master's degree in engineering from the University of Illinois.
He worked for the Corps of Engineers for 28 years before spending more than seven years in private industry. He has made more than 50 trips in connection with his work to Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The City Council officially hired Staab for the city manager job at a special meeting on Friday. He'll replace the retired David Waind. He starts his duties on Sept. 15.
Governor says Wahpeton lawmaker improved education
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker from Wahpeton has died.
The North Dakota governor's office says Rep. John Wall died Friday. He was 70.
Wall was elected to the North Dakota House in 2004. That came following his retirement from a 34-year career of teaching high school English and journalism.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple says Wall worked hard on improving education funding for kindergarten through high school and on education policy in general.
Dalrymple says Wall was an "outstanding legislator" and a "kind and thoughtful person."
Most crops continue to thrive despite dry week
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Most crops across North Dakota were in good shape despite a week without rainfall.
The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that subsoil moisture is 94 percent adequate or surplus because of abundant precipitation in the spring. Topsoil moisture was rated 86 percent adequate or surplus.
Conditions for durum, spring wheat, barley, oats and canola were all reported to be at least 80 percent good or excellent.
Pasture and range conditions were rated 25 percent excellent, 60 percent good, 12 percent fair, 2 percent poor and 1 percent very poor.
MEDINA BANK ROBBERY
Dickinson man sentenced for Medina bank robbery
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Dickinson man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for robbing a Medina bank at gunpoint.
Forty-one-year-old Rendell Hardy was charged with bank robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He pleaded guilty in April.
Authorities say Hardy and Satrone Boyd were wearing Halloween masks when they held up Northland Financial in Medina on Oct. 25. They were later identified by video at a truck stop near Jamestown, where authorities say they threw the masks and a set of keys into a dumpster.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson on Monday sentenced Hardy to 12 years and six months in prison.
Boyd was sentenced earlier to seven years and six months behind bars.
NORTH DAKOTA SALTWATER SPILL
Official: Saltwater spill cleanup could take years
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A tribal official says the cleanup of a 1 million gallon saltwater spill on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation could take years.
Three Affiliated Tribes natural resources director Claryca Mandan says a precise timeline has yet to be determined. She says secondary contamination is continuing to kill trees as toxic brine finds its way into root systems.
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP says a pipeline near Mandaree spewed 1 million gallons of saltwater into the North Dakota Badlands around the Fourth of July weekend. Crestwood subsidiary Arrow Pipeline LLC owns the pipeline.
Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production that is up to 30 times saltier than seawater. It is considered an environmental hazard by the state.
Man who guided UND to 1st hockey title dies at 87
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The coach who guided the University of North Dakota to its first NCAA hockey championship has died.
Dr. Robert May was 87.
May coached the program in the 1957-58 and 1958-59 seasons and led UND into the NCAA title game both years. UND defeated Michigan State 4-3 in the 1959 championship.
May's record with UND was 45-17-2.
A former defenseman for UND, May played in 47 games and served as team captain in 1950-51. He received his bachelor's degree from UND in 1951.
May later became a dentist in Minnesota and served a stint as team dentist for the Minnesota North Stars. His hockey coaching career included stops with the Minneapolis Roosevelt boys and the Wayzata, Minnesota, girls.
May is a member of the UND Letterwinners Association Hall of Fame.
Former NDSU hoops standouts to play in Europe
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Former North Dakota State University men's basketball standouts Taylor Braun and TrayVonn Wright have signed contracts to play professionally in Europe.
Braun has signed with a team in Belgium's top league, and Wright with a team in Austria's top league.
Braun, of Newberg, Oregon, was the Summit League player of the year this past season and an honorable mention selection for The Associated Press All-America basketball team. Wright, from Waterloo, Iowa, was an All-Summit League second-team selection last season.
PARENTAL RIGHTS MEASURE
Parental rights measure OK'd for November ballot
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved for the ballot an initiated measure on parental rights.
Jaeger says supporters needed to submit 13,452 valid petition signatures, and they submitted 1,000 more than the required amount. He says the measure will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
The proposed law would give both parents equal rights and decision-making responsibilities in child custody cases. A similar measure failed in 2006.
Many supporters of the initiated measure are from Walsh County, where voters passed a similar law in 2012 that has been challenged by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem as usurping state authority.
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