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Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Sunday, December 21st 2014 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

Decline in oil prices could hit ND revenues

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) The abrupt decline in oil prices stands to be bad news in North Dakota, a state that has reaped billions in tax revenue as new drilling techniques made it the second-leading producer in the U.S. behind Texas. But a lot of factors will determine how great that impact is.

North Dakota's petroleum industry could see a big tax cut if crude continues to slide, and if that happens, it means the state will be missing out on billions of dollars. One of the state's two taxes on wells is a 6.5 percent extraction tax. A state law forgives that tax if the five-month average price of a barrel of oil slips below a "trigger" price. Legislators first endorsed the concept in the mid-1980s, during a time of depressed oil prices.

The current trigger is $52.58 a barrel based on prices for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark set at Cushing, Oklahoma.

WTI was at about $54 a barrel on Friday after spending much of December around $60.

North Dakota is banking on $8.3 billion in oil tax revenue when the next budget cycle begins on July 1st.


Northwest ND industrial fire costs owner $12.7M

(Information in the following story is from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com)

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) The fire at an oil field supply company in northwest North Dakota in July has cost the owner $12.7 million.

The Williston Herald reports insurance didn't cover the incident at Williston's Red River Supply facility, which stored dozens of chemicals used by oil companies. Fire officials ruled the blaze an accident.

Officials say an open flame caused plastic sheeting that employees were using to smolder, which led to the ignition of other materials. An employee told authorities he used a propane torch as part of his job.

Company president Rich Vestal says the facility's $400,000 annual insurance policy didn't cover the accident. Vestal says he believed the policy included an errors and omissions clause to cover incidents not expressly mentioned in the coverage. But Vestal's agent switched carriers, and that clause didn't carry over.


ND man loses bid to have election results scrapped

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A frequent North Dakota political candidate has lost a bid in the state's high court to have the results of the 2012 gubernatorial race thrown out.

Paul Sorum ran as an independent gubernatorial candidate. Sorum wanted his Republican and Democratic challengers removed from the ballot because of a technicality.

Sorum argued that the candidates didn't fill out forms correctly because they didn't list their running mates.

The North Dakota Supreme Court issued an opinion on the case this week. Justices declined to consider Sorum's claims that his constitutional rights were violated.

Governor Jack Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) won the election. Democrat Ryan Taylor finished second. Sorum got less than 2 percent of the vote.

The Bismarck man also has unsuccessfully sought GOP endorsements to run for the U.S. Senate and governor.


Firefighters donate toys to hospitalized children

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota firefighters have donated at least 100 toys to children who've been hospitalized.

KXMB-TV reports Bismarck firefighters have given the toys to children hospitalized at Sanford and St. Alexius.

Fire Captain Luke Teagle says this is the third year that firefighters have come together to give out presents.

Newborn Lendora Bello received a stuffed Mickey Mouse. Lendora's mom, Lenita, says the firefighters' visit was an "honor." Lendora will be two weeks old on Tuesday.

Teagle says this year's donation is the biggest yet.


President Obama signs Montana wilderness law

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) President Barack Obama has signed wilderness legislation that preserves large areas of land in the North Fork of the Flathead and on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana hailed the legislation as a victory both for Montana and for bipartisanship.

The Missoulian reports that Obama signed the measure shortly after Tester met with wild land advocates in the North Fork to celebrate their success.

The measures were added as riders to the National Defense Authorization Act. Tester and Sen. John Walsh worked with Senator-elect Steve Daines to include the wilderness designations and six other Montana lands bills in a broader lands package. The legislation passed the Senate last week by a vote of 89 to 11.

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Friday, December 19th 2014 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

Some UND boosters say no school nickname is fine

FARGO, N.D. (AP) Members of a committee working on a new nickname for the University of North Dakota say there's a lot of support for no nickname at all.

The University of North Dakota has been without a moniker for the last three years, after the school retired its Fighting Sioux nickname. A task force that has been talking with alumni, athletes and other people about a new nickname has a December 31st deadline to give recommendations to UND President Robert Kelley.

Sherri Kleinssaser Stockmoe, co-chair of the task force, said after a committee meeting Thursday that many people have said they are fine without a nickname, but noted that they have yet to hear the options for a new logo.

Others are still unhappy the Fighting Sioux nickname was dropped.


FBI: Man fatally stabs cousin in Fort Yates

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) Federal authorities have charged a Cannon Ball man in his cousin's stabbing death on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Twenty-six-year-old Ryan Ironroad is charged with felony murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in the death of 29-year-old Clay Hagel of Fort Yates.

A Bureau of Indian Affairs dispatcher received a report of a stabbing in Fort Yates on November 22nd. Witnesses say Ironroad demanded money before cutting Hagel on the arm and stabbing him in the stomach with a serrated knife. Hagel died in a hospital.

Authorities say Ironroad denies killing Hagel. He was arrested December 11th and is being held in the Burleigh County jail. Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.

Hagel and Ironroad are members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.


ND won't limit deer gun licenses to 1 per hunter

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota wildlife officials have eliminated a proposal to limit deer gun licenses to one per hunter in 2015.

North Dakota's Game and Fish Department proposed the license distribution plan change last month in response to a declining deer population and high demand for licenses.

Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand says the decision to not move forward with the proposal involved several factors, including substantial public input and significant costs needed to put the new system in place.

Deer hunters will again be able to apply for deer gun and muzzleloader lottery licenses, and also purchase an archery license.

Wildlife division chief Jeb Williams says about 30,000 people who applied for a deer gun license this year didn't get one in the lottery.


250-barrel spill contained at Divide County well

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota's Oil and Gas Division says a 250-barrel oil spill has been contained at a well in Divide County.

Continental Resources Incorporated reported a failed tank on Wednesday at the site about 10 miles northeast of Wildrose.

Regulators say a state inspector has been to the site, and the spilled oil was contained and recovered.

A barrel holds 42 gallons.


Mandan man pleads guilty to sex assault charge

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A 30-year-old Mandan man accused of sexually assaulting a woman has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Derek Wisham pleaded guilty on Thursday to sexual imposition, which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Wisham originally had been charged with felony gross sexual imposition, which carries a potential life sentence.

Wisham is accused of sexually assaulted a woman who was at his house for a bonfire party in June.

Wisham also pleaded guilty Thursday to simple assault, which is a misdemeanor.

A sentencing date has not been set.


3 dead following 3-vehicle crash in western ND

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) Three men are dead following a three-vehicle crash on Highway 85 in western North Dakota.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol on Thursday identified the fatal victims as 37-year-old Gregory Madden of Monroe, Louisiana; 36-year-old Robert McGowen of Boaz, Alabama; and 34-year-old Timothy Reese of Albertville, Alabama.

The Highway Patrol says Madden lost control of the Ford pickup truck he was driving on the icy highway Sunday evening. The vehicle rotated counterclockwise and got into incoming traffic. A Dodge pickup truck then struck Madden's vehicle on the passenger side. Right after, a truck tractor was unable to stop and hit the Dodge on the back side.

McGowen and Reese were passengers in Madden's pickup truck. The Highway Patrol says the three men were not wearing seatbelts.


4 North Dakota high school coaches being honored

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) Four coaches are being inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Darrell Berglund of Hazen, Dan Carr of Linton, Denny Dinius of Langdon and Greg Hoeckle of Carrington will be inducted during the association's convention in late July in Mandan.

Berglund coached basketball, golf and football. Carr coached basketball and golf. Dinius and Hoeckle both coached track and football.


More All-America honors for NDSU's Haeg, Emanuel

FARGO, N.D. (AP) North Dakota State University junior offensive lineman Joe Haeg and senior defensive end Kyle Emanuel have been named to another All-America team.

The Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association announced the team Thursday, in coordination with the 13 FCS conference offices.

Haeg and Emanuel earlier were named to the American Football Coaches Association FCS All-America Team. Emanuel this week also was named winner of the Buck Buchanan award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS.

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