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Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Friday, November 28th 2014 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

Tribes to revamp plans for proposed oil refinery

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

MAKOTI, N.D. (AP) Leaders with the Three Affiliated Tribes in western North Dakota plan to revise their plan for an oil refinery on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Tribal chairman Mark Fox tells the Minot Daily News that the project has been at a standstill while the tribe deals with environmental measures and other procedural items.

Fox says the group's business council and others involved in the project will put together the revised development plan and take it to communities on the reservation.

The tribes broke ground for the Thunder Butte Petroleum Services project in May 2013. It is planned on land about 2 miles west of Makoti, in southwest Ward County.


North Dakota APUC funding 4 projects this quarter

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota's Agricultural Products Utilization Commission is funding four projects this quarter.

The group better known as APUC funds developers of North Dakota farm products. It's a program of the state Commerce Department.

The largest grant this quarter is going to North Dakota State University's Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Researchers are getting nearly $88,000 for work on an influenza vaccine for pigs.

NDSU's Department of Plant Sciences is getting more than $54,000 for flaxseed research.

Two Hettinger companies also are getting money. Renuvix LLC is getting more than $59,000 to promote its soybean oil products, and Trojan Hoist Company is getting $25,000 to develop equipment.

APUC's next meeting is February 19th, in Bismarck.


Stenehjem says sheriff's office did not break law

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEN'-jem) says the Morton County sheriff's office did not violate open records law concerning a request for information about a deputy's whereabouts.

Stenehjem says a citizen had asked for records regarding the reason a sheriff's deputy was at a particular address. The attorney general says there no records to turn over in the case, and therefore no violation of law.

The ruling says the sheriff's office did tell the requester that a deputy was on the property to serve civil papers, but the department does not keep copies of the civil papers it attempts to serve.

Stenehjem says the department "went beyond the legal requirements" of the open records law.


Man debates Supreme Court appeal in drug dog case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) Attorneys for a Fargo man who was arrested when police took a drug-sniffing dog into his apartment complex without a warrant are deciding whether to appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The North Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to reconsider the case of Matthew Nguyen, who was arrested in December 2012 and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The court earlier ruled that the search was legal.

Police got into Nguyen's secured apartment complex when one of the officers grabbed the door after a woman opened it to enter or leave. Nguyen says it's a violation of privacy.

Defense attorney Mark Friese, of Fargo, said Thursday that Nguyen's representatives are "evaluating the options."

Nguyen has 90 days to petition the U.S Supreme Court.


Fargo man facing 9 counts in sexual abuse case

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) A federal grand jury has indicted a Fargo man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old child and using the child for pornography.

Thirty-year-old Duane Barth is charged with nine counts, including sexual exploitation of minors and distribution of child pornography.

KFGO radio reports that Barth was arrested by Fargo police in October after they received a tip from Homeland Security agents in Tennessee.

The indictment says Barth possessed numerous images and video files of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.


ND man sentenced to prison for child pornography

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A Dickinson man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison on a child pornography charge.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that 26-year-old Logan Diebel was taken into custody Wednesday and will be transported to federal prison by U.S. marshals.

Authorities say Diebel was in possession of more than 600 photos involving minors.

Diebel must serve five years of supervised release after getting out of prison and register as a sex offender.


Jury convicts Fort Yates man in sexual abuse case

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A jury has convicted a North Dakota man in a sexual abuse case that goes back 17 years.

Sixty-three-year-old Donald Luger, of Fort Yates, was charged in federal court with aggravated sexual abuse by use of force. Authorities say the assault took place against a 12-year-old girl in 1997.

The four-day trial included testimony from people who said they were previously sexually assaulted by Luger.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Thursday, November 27th 2014 

5 hospitalized in ND after man assaults them

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) Police in Bismarck are looking for a suspect in an aggravated assault incident at a mobile home that resulted in five people being hospitalized.

Bismarck Police Sergeant Mark Buschena says the suspect on Wednesday assaulted two adults and three juveniles. Buschena says the male suspect used a baseball bat to hit at least one person.

Two of the victims are in the intensive care unit at a local hospital; one of them suffered a head injury.

Buschena says the suspect is the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims, who lives in the mobile home where the incident occurred.

The suspect is described as a 57-year-old Native American man, approximately 5 foot 8 inches tall with brown eyes and black hair.


2 suspects arrested in Grand Forks burglaries

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) Grand Forks police have arrested two suspects and are looking for a third in connection with a string of home burglaries.

Authorities say they have investigated several daytime residential burglaries in the past week in which thieves gained entry by breaking through glass patio doors.

Police on Tuesday arrested a 16-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man. An arrest warrant was being obtained for another male juvenile suspect.

Authorities say they also recovered some of the stolen property.


Company signs letter of intent with drone park

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) North Dakota's congressional delegation says Northrop Grumman has signed a letter of intent with Grand Fork's Grand Sky aerospace tech park.

The aerospace company will become the anchor tenant at Grand Sky, a business complex for unmanned aircraft systems that will occupy 217 acres adjacent to Grand Forks Air Force Base. The company had previously been named the park's first tenant, but the letter now allows the Air Force to finalize a lease for the land with Grand Forks County.

The Federal Aviation Administration has designated Grand Forks as one of six drone test sites in the nation.

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (HYT'-kamp) says the business park will allow the Grand Forks community to "harness the potential of this emerging and exciting technology."

Drones are among the technology manufactured by Northrop.


Firm hired to analyze ND's oil incident response

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services is hiring an emergency preparedness firm to analyze the state's ability to confront oil incidents.

Witt O'Brien's, LLC will prepare a report examining North Dakota's readiness to deal with oil incidents and making recommendations for improvements. The company will look at the state's ability to prevent and respond to oil incidents involving rail, roadways, pipelines and water.

The report will also present recommendations on regulations.

The Department of Emergency Services says the report will take about eight months to complete and will cost $350,000.

In less than 14 months, North Dakota has seen a one million gallon saltwater spill, an 840,000 gallon oil spill and a fiery train derailment.


ND reduces fine in oil waste dumping case by $780K

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

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) The state's top oil regulator has reduced to $20,000 an original $800,000 fine against a company linked to the illegal dumping of radioactive oil waste in rural North Dakota.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Department of Natural Resource Director Lynn Helms has signed the agreement with Zenith Produced Water LLC. The operator has been linked to the dumping of oil filter socks in an abandoned gas station found in February in Noonan.

Helms didn't immediately return calls for comment Wednesday from the Associated Press. It's unclear why the fine was drastically reduced.

Oil filter socks are tubular nets that strain liquids during the oil production process.

U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon says there is still an open federal investigation into the incident that involves his office, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.


Snowmobiler dies in southern Montana avalanche

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) A snowmobiler has died in an avalanche near Cooke City in southern Montana.

Park County Undersheriff Scott Hamilton says authorities received a report of the slide in the Henderson Peak area at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The snowmobiler, identified only as a 31-year-old man from North Dakota, was buried by about 8 feet of snow. His snowmobiling partner dug him out in about 20 minutes and began CPR, but the man died at the scene.

The snowmobilers were equipped with beacons and rescue equipment.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning Wednesday morning for the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison Ranges along with the Lionhead area outside West Yellowstone and the mountains around Cooke City.


Fargo bust nets 11 pounds of pot, $8,000 in cash

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) Fargo police say one man was arrested in a drug bust that netted 11 pounds of marijuana and $8,000 in cash.

KFGO-AM reports that 36-year-old Sokholine Meas (sohk-uh-LEEN mees) is charged with possession with intent to sell marijuana, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested Wednesday morning in a south Fargo apartment.

Court documents do not list an attorney for Meas.

Associated Press North Dakota News Summary
Wednesday, November 26th 2014 
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

St. Michael man sentenced on child neglect charge

A man has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to care for his children on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.

Forty-two-year-old Nathan Jones Jr., of St. Michael, pleaded guilty in August to felony child abuse and neglect.

Authorities say Jones, who is the parent of six children, admitted to leaving his children unsupervised on three separate occasions because he was drunk.

Jones is also accused of failing to bring a child to dental appointments, resulting in the removal of the child's teeth, and failing to provide treatment for a child's severe skin condition, resulting in bleeding wounds.

The tribe's child protection system has been the subject of numerous inquiries resulting from cases of abuse or neglect on the reservation.


Panel presents findings in Fargo Police probe

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

FARGO, N.D. (AP) An independent panel that has been reviewing the Fargo Police Department's disciplinary policies and morale has presented its findings.

KFGO-AM reports the panel's recommendations include improving communication among staff, setting up a balanced disciplinary procedure with checks and balances, providing a strong message of support to staff and examining pay scales.

The findings presented to the City Commission come two weeks after the resignation of Police Chief Keith Ternes.

The panel was established after some former officers raised concerns about morale and administrative oversight. The board interviewed 90 current and former officers, as well as several others from other law enforcement agencies.

The five-member panel includes retired Highway Patrol Superintendent Jim Prochniak, retired Cass County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Jim Thoreson and Clay County, Minnesota, Administrator Brian Berg.


ND to receive $25,000 in life insurance settlement

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm says the state is set to receive more than $25,000 as part of a multi-state life insurance settlement with Symetra Life and Symetra National Life Insurance Companies.

Hamm on Tuesday said seven states including North Dakota have reached a $1.2 million agreement with the insurer related to its use of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File.

Authorities say Symetra used the file to search for and stop payments to annuity holders, but didn't use it to identify deceased life-insurance policyholders to pay their beneficiaries.

The insurer has agreed to implement a number changes under the settlement. It will use the Social Security's death records on a timely basis to search for deceased policyholders and make payments to their beneficiaries.


Judge puts prior conviction on hold in spud case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) A judge says a previous conviction against one of two brothers accused of scamming the federal government out of $2 million in crop insurance payments cannot be used as evidence in trial for now.

Aaron and Derek Johnson, who grew potatoes in the Carrington area, have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to receive illegal payments by intentionally damaging the spuds. Trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Fargo.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ruled Tuesday that Aaron Johnson's 1995 conviction for submitting a fraudulent disaster claim should not be introduced as evidence, but the judge said he might revisit the issue depending on how the trial unfolds.

The Johnsons are accused of applying chemicals and adding spoiled and frozen potatoes to their stored crop to increase deterioration.


Suspicious death investigated on reservation

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

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) The FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are investigating what authorities say is the suspicious death of a man on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

FBI spokesman Kyle Loven tells the Bismarck Tribune that the man died Saturday night in Fort Yates. No charges were immediately filed.

Loven did not release any more information Tuesday, citing the ongoing investigation.


3 companies ordered to stop doing business in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has ordered three companies to stop doing business in North Dakota.

Stenehjem says CS Companies Inc., of Horace, allegedly did not complete construction work for which it was paid.

He says Texas-based Hyper-Phonebank allegedly made illegal telemarketing calls.

And the attorney general says Florida-based Epiphany Management Systems allegedly made phony offers to lower interest rates on credit cards.


Food drive honors student killed while hunting

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

MINOT, N.D. (AP) Students at Minot High School's Central Campus packed up more than 8,500 canned goods and other food items to honor the memory of a classmate who was killed while hunting.

Fifteen-year-old Alex Lutes was killed Nov. 8 while hunting with his father in McLean County. Authorities said the death appeared to be accidental.

The Minot Daily News reports that Lutes was president of the school's Key Club, which holds an annual food drive. Vice President Thea Bonebrake says the drive was held Monday in honor of Lutes, by students who donned T-shirts with "Alex's Army" on them.

The food will be given to charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army.

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