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Local and Regional News Archives for 2013-02

ATM stolen, recovered, in Williston

An ATM reported stolen from Williston's 4 Mile Bar on February 23rd has been recovered.


The ATM was recovered near Riverside Drive in Williston on Wednesday, busted open, with all it's contents stolen.


Detective Caleb Fry with the Williams County Sherriff's Office says the amount of money stolen is still being invesitigated, and asks that anyone with information on the theft please contact the Williams County Sherriff's Office at 701-577-7700.

French filmmaker visits Bakken

The Bakken formation has received plenty of national attention over the last few years. 


Now that attention has made its way overseas. 


Pascal Vasselin is a French filmmaker who came to the Bakken this week to put together a documentary film for the management of the French based multinational oil company, “Total.”


Pascal spent Wednesday visiting and taping in the Tioga and Williston area.


He says that people in the area have described to him that what is happening is a “revolution” rather than a “boom,” and says that what he has seen so far, confirms that.

Convicted sex offender sentenced to time served

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A convicted sex offender who moved to North Dakota from Utah has been sentenced to time served.
     Authorities say Troy Kartchner had been living in a Watford City trailer park for about four months before he was arrested last summer. He failed to tell authorities about his relocation, as required by law.
     Defense attorneys say in court documents that Kartchner mistakenly concluded that moving to a different state for employment purposes would not require a registration in North Dakota.
     Kartchner was ordered to register as a sex offender as part of his December 2004 conviction in Utah for forcible sexual abuse.
     U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ordered Kartchner to serve five years of supervised release.

Williston PD asking for public's help in gas drive off


The Williston Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating the truck/driver involved in a Williston gas drive off on February 23rd.


The incident occurred at Horizon Resources.


The police department has provided these photos in hope that someone can identify the vehicle or driver responsible.


If anyone has information please call the Williston Police Department at 701-577-1212 or Crimestoppers at 572-TIPS (8477). 





ND synfuels plant marks carbon shipping milestone

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Great Plains Synfuels Plant in central North Dakota has reached a milestone of shipping carbon dioxide to Canada, where it's used for enhanced oil recovery.
     Bismarck-based Basin Electric Cooperative owns the Great Plains plant near Beulah. The company says the 25 millionth metric ton of carbon dioxide arrived in Canada on Sunday.
     The factory makes natural gas from coal and has been capturing CO2 since 2000. The carbon dioxide is piped 205 miles to oil fields in southern Saskatchewan, where it's pumped underground to force oil to the surface.
     Carbon dioxide emissions are widely blamed for global warming.

Nominations set for 2013 ND Cowboy Hall of Fame

     MEDORA, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame has set its 2013 ballot.
     Fourteen individuals have been nominated for induction into the honor club. Trustees will vote on the nominees by mail-in ballots and the recipients will be announced this spring.
     The group's board of directors also selected two people to be recognized with the Legacy Award. They are the late Harold Schafer, founder of the Gold Seal Co. and longtime Medora booster, and Russ Danielson, of Fargo, head of NDSU's animal science program and former Hall of Fame board member.
     The induction ceremony is June 22 in Medora.
     The Cowboy Hall of Fame showcases the history of ranchers, rodeo cowboys, Native Americans and the western lifestyle of the Plains and Badlands.

Country star McGraw set to kick off ND State Fair

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Country star Tim McGraw is set to kick off this summer's North Dakota State Fair in Minot.
     Other headliners for the July 19-27 event are country performers Scotty McCreery, Sawyer Brown, Brantley Gilbert and Toby Keith.
     The Minot Daily News reports ( that two rock concerts are planned and will be announced at a later date.
     In addition to the music, NPRA championship bull riding is scheduled July 22-23 and stock car races are set for July 23.
     Information from: Minot Daily News,


Morton County auctioning 22 rescued mules

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Morton County plans to sell 22 mules seized in an animal abuse case at public auction on Saturday.
     Sheriff Dave Shipman tells The Bismarck Tribune ( ) that the county hopes to recoup some of the $11,000 spent on the investigation and animal rescue by selling the mules.
     Officials in Morton and Burleigh counties seized more than 150 horses and mules from properties belonging to William Kiefer last month after finding 96 dead animals on property northwest of New Salem and three more dead on pasture east of Bismarck. Kiefer has been charged with several counts of animal mistreatment in both counties.
     The 22 mules will be sold on Saturday at Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue in Mandan.

Officials say hunter education classes filling up

 BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Game and Fish Department officials say hunter education classes are filling up quickly.
     Officials say there's high demand for classes held before June because hunters need to complete the course before the deer application deadline.
     North Dakota law requires anyone born after Dec. 31, 1961, to pass a certified hunter education course to hunt in the state.
     Hunter education is mandatory for youth who are turning 12 years old. Children can take the class at age 11.
     Interested hunters can sign up online at under the online services tab.

ND Senate rejects chancellor buyout

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Senate has rejected a proposal to buy out the contract of University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani, who has been on the job for less than a year.
     Republican Sen. Tony Grindberg of Fargo offered a floor amendment Tuesday to the higher education funding bill to buy out the final two years of Shirvani's three-year contract, at a cost of about $854,000.
     Grindberg has questioned Shirvani's leadership style.
     Shirvani has been in charge of the university system since last July. His contract runs through June 2015. He is paid $349,000 annually.

ND burn victim has yet to see newborn daughter

     DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota farmer who has been in critical condition and unable to speak since he was burned in an accident a month ago has a newborn daughter waiting for him.
     Brian Chorne, who lives with his wife and family on a farm near South Heart, is hospitalized at a Colorado burn center. Details of the accident are not clear because he hasn't been able to talk about it.
     His wife, Melody Chorne, gave birth to Kenzie on Valentine's Day. Because children under the age of 12 are not allowed on the burn center floor, Brian has yet to see his daughter.
     The couple has two other daughters and four children from previous relationships.
     Melody tells the Dickinson Press ( that her husband is doing "amazingly well" under the circumstances.

Minot AFB officials looking into chopper 'mishap'

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot Air Force Base officials are describing an emergency helicopter landing south of Parshall as a mishap.
     Officials say two of five crew members on board received minor injuries when the UH-1N "Huey" helicopter went down in a remote area Monday morning. Three other crew members were not injured.
     Col. Bryan Haderlie, commander of the 91st Operations Group, tells the Minot Daily News ( it was a "landing that you would characterize as a mishap." He gave no further details.
     Haderlie says the extent of the damage is not known. The helicopter remains at the scene.

Attempted check fraud leads to pursuit, arrest, in Williston

   An attempted check fraud leads to a pursuit and arrest in Williston.


   A Washington state man attempted to pass a fraudulant check at the main branch of 1st National Bank Monday afternoon, when bank staff contacted police.


   When police arrived on the scene, the man fled in his vehicle, placing several pedestrians in the area in danger.


   The man abandoned his vehicle in the parking lot of the Vegas hotel, and authorities located him in the liquor establishment located inside.


   Wendell Winfree of Spokane, Washington, was arrested for reckless endangerment, fleeing, reckless driving, and providing false information to law enforcement.


   Police are still investigating the check fraud.


   The Williston Police Department, Williams County Sherriff's Department, and North Dakota Highway Patrol all aided in the arrest.

ND oil tax "Legacy Fund" hits $850M in assets

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's oil tax fund now has about $850 million in assets. 
     The Legacy Fund gets 30 percent of the state's oil tax collections. None of the money can be spent until 2017, and even then it takes a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to dip into it. 
     North Dakota Treasurer Kelly Schmidt says 57.8 million has been deposited into the fund this month. It's been collecting oil tax revenue since September of 2011. 

Officials: ND was growing before oil boom

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - State leaders say North Dakota would have grown with or without oil - just not as rapidly.
     Tax Commissioner Cory Fong tells the Bismarck Tribune ( ) that the state was growing steadily since the middle of 2003, long before the oil boom that brought prosperity and infrastructure concerns.
     Greater North Dakota Chamber president Andy Peterson says that "oil of course propelled" the state's economy. But he says the state was still "well on track."
     Based on taxable sales and purchases, industries other than oil have seen an uptick. That includes retail trade, manufacturing and wholesale trade between businesses. Agriculture also remains a major player in the economy.
     North Dakota Grain Growers Association executive director Dan Wogsland says agriculture is a $35 billion industry and an "economic engine" in North Dakota.

Former Sen. Conrad mourns death of dog Dakota

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Former North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad is mourning the death of Dakota, his beloved dog that had become a fixture on Capitol Hill.
     The bichon frise died last week due to complications of lymphoma. Dakota was diagnosed with the disease in 2011.
     Conrad tells The Forum ( ) that Dakota was a fighter and had battled the disease valiantly for more than a year.
     Conrad and his wife, Lucy, adopted Dakota in spring 2009 from a rescue shelter when the pooch was about 10 years old.
     The dog had become very popular in Washington and was dubbed the "101st senator" by NBC's Brian Williams.
     Conrad says people loved having an animal in that setting because it made them feel more at home.

Education board members say they back chancellor

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Members of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education say they're disappointed that a student group has come out against Hamid Shirvani, the chancellor of the state university system.
     The North Dakota Student Association, which represents more than 48,000 public university students, gave Shirvani a vote of "no confidence" during a meeting over the weekend.
     Shirvani has served in the position for seven months.
     The president, vice president and immediate past president of the higher education board issued a joint release Sunday in support of Shirvani.
     Duaine Espegard, Kirsten Diederich and Grant Shaft say Shirvani has "worked tirelessly to engage all of our constituencies with a passion that has been absent for some time."
     State Sen. Tony Grindberg, of Fargo, had proposed an amendment to buy out Shirvani's contract.


ND congressman talks guns in 1st public forum

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota freshman Rep. Kevin Cramer says he picked guns as the topic for his first public forum because he wanted a place where the discussion would remain civil.
     The Republican congressman got what he wanted for the most part Friday, when a panel of advocates and about a dozen citizens in the Fargo audience gave their opinions on guns and violence.
     Cramer says fellow lawmakers warned him about inviting a fight he didn't need, but he was happy with the way participants in the event were able to "calm it down" and stick to the issues.
     The congressman says he believes some sort of background checks on gun buyers might have merit, but he doesn't see a "great legislative agenda that solves this problem, certainly not the cultural problems."

Welfare drug test bill killed by ND House

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's House has killed a proposal to require drug testing for some North Dakota welfare recipients.
     The House defeated the bill 72-19 on Friday.
     The measure would have required applicants of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to submit to drug testing before getting assistance.
     Officials say fewer than 1,800 North Dakotans participate in the program, and about 45 percent are children.
     Social services officials have been critical of the measure, saying it unfairly targets the poor and might be unconstitutional.
     Budget analysts estimated the measure would have cost the state more than $595,000 over the next two years to implement, including $100,000 that would have been set aside for legal challenges.

Railroad shipments of crude oil triple in 2012

     OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The amount of crude oil U.S. freight railroads hauled last year more than tripled as shale oil production surged in North Dakota and other locations.
     The Association of American Railroads trade group said Thursday that U.S. freight railroads hauled 233,811 carloads of crude oil in 2012. That's up from 65,751 carloads the previous year.
     Crude oil shipments still represent less than one percent of all the carloads railroads haul, but it has been growing significantly in recent years. Each railroad tank car holds about 700 barrels of crude oil.
     The railroads have been an attractive option for oil producers because pipelines like the controversial Keystone XL project haven't been built to keep up with production, and railroads offer the ability to ship crude to different destinations.

Man sentenced to nearly 3 years on weapons charge

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A man who was arrested after a fight at a Minot bar has been sentenced on an illegal weapons charge.
     Federal authorities charged Shawn Larkin, of Milwaukee, with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty in October.
     Authorities say the 30-year-old Larkin was living in Minot at the time of July 14 incident. Police were investigating a fight at Rooster's Bar when a witness reported that Larkin had a gun in his possession.
     Larkin had previous felony convictions for theft and assault on a peace officer.
     U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Larkin to two years and seven months in prison.


ND Senate endorses hunting, fishing fee increase

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Senate has endorsed a measure to increase hunting, fishing and boating fees.
     The state Game and Fish Department requested the increase to fees to maintain services and increase habitat. The fees would increase an average of about 15 percent.
     The Senate approved the measure Thursday. It now goes to the House for review.
     Agency Director Terry Steinwand has said license sales and fees have not kept up with inflation, and some haven't been raised in more than 30 years. The proposed fee increase would raise about $5 million over the next two years.
     The agency receives no money from the state's general fund. It is supported by state licensing fees and federal tax money from the sale of firearms, ammunition and other sporting equipment.

Some visitor restrictions lifted at ND hospitals

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A Minot-based hospital system is lifting some restrictions it placed on visitors to its hospital and nursing home following a flu outbreak.
     The Minot Daily News reports ( that Trinity Health is lifting its visitor restrictions at Trinity Hospital and Trinity Hospital-St. Joseph's. The hospital system had put the restrictions in place a month ago following an outbreak of the flu.
     The restrictions are still in effect at Trinity Homes.
     Director of Nursing Jennifer Mitchell says people are still asked to refrain from visiting unless necessary. Visits are also restricted to immediate family members.

ND man sentenced to 17 years for attempted murder

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for kicking another man in the head until he was bleeding and unconscious.
     The Forum reports ( that Sha Littlewind of New Rockford pleaded guilty to attempted murder in Cass County on Tuesday.
     Littlewind, who is either 25 or 26 years old, had been on probation for previous violent felonies at the time of the Oct. 10 attack.
     According to a police affidavit, Littlewind told police he got into an argument and then started kicking and stomping the victim's face. A witness told police that Littlewind had consumed about a half a gallon of vodka the day of the assault.
     Court documents say he also told police he wanted to kill the victim.
     Information from: The Forum,

State to host ND Medal of Honor recipient

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Jack Dalrymple and other state officials have slated a reception Thursday for Medal of Honor recipient and former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha.
     President Barack Obama awarded the medal this month to Romesha for his courageous leadership during a daylong firefight in Afghanistan.
     Romesha left the Army in April 2011 after nearly 12 years of service. He lives in Minot with his wife and three children.

Downed de-icing trucks briefly delay Minot flights

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Air traffic at Minot International Airport came to a brief halt this weekend after four de-icing trucks were all down for repair.
     DGS is the Delta-owned ground handling service that provides de-icing at the airport.
     Delta spokesman Michael Thomas tells the Minot Daily News that DGS had its fourth and final truck break down early Saturday morning. De-icing resumed after 9 a.m., but flights were delayed and one Delta flight was canceled.
     DGS increased the number of available de-icing trucks in Minot after truck breakdowns grounded planes on Nov. 10 and 11. At the time, DGS had only a primary and a backup unit in Minot.
     The airport reported Tuesday that mechanics flown in by Delta had three of the trucks operational again. A fourth truck remained down.
     Information from: Minot Daily News,

Former SD legislator Diedtrich dies in Williston

     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Former South Dakota legislator Elmer Diedtrich has died. He was 85.
     Diedtrich, formerly of Mina and Aberdeen, served from 1989-1992 and 1999-2000 in the South Dakota House of Representatives. He served from 2001-2002 in the state Senate.
     He passed away Tuesday in Williston, N.D.
     His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Aberdeen.
     Gov. Dennis Daugaard has ordered the flag lowered to half-staff at the State Capitol on Saturday.

UND radio announcer suspended for 2 games

      GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The University of North Dakota says it has suspended men's basketball play-by-play radio announcer Paul Ralston for two games due to comments he made after Saturday's game against Northern Arizona.
     The Grand Forks Herald reports that Ralston used the words "choke job" in his interview session with UND coach Brian Jones after the team's 74-72 overtime loss at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
     North Dakota held a narrow lead in the final minute of regulation, but Northern Arizona rallied to force overtime and win.
     Athletic director Brian Faison says Ralston will not call UND's Big Sky Conference game at Northern Colorado on Wednesday or the Bracketbuster game Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha.
     Associate athletic director Kyle Doperalski will handle the play-by-play duties for those games.

Fargo building firm named ND exporter of the year

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Fargo manufacturing firm has been named North Dakota exporter of the year.
     Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented the award Tuesday to Legacy Steel Buildings. The 40-year-old company makes steel buildings and ships them to markets around the world.
     Officials say the company increased their exports by 70 percent last year and expanded into markets including Colombia, Bolivia and Australia.
     The Exporter of the Year Award is presented to one North Dakota business each year that expands and supports international markets.

Man sentenced to 51 months for assault on dad

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for attacking his dad with a baseball bat.
     Felix Wallette Jr., of Rugby, is charged in federal court with two counts, including domestic assault by a habitual offender. He pleaded guilty in September.
     Authorities say the younger Wallette assaulted Felix Wallette Sr. in September 2011.
     The defendant was eligible for the habitual offender charge because of at least two previous convictions for domestic assault.
     U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Felix Wallette Jr. to 51 months in prison and ordered nearly $3,800 in restitution.

Grafton schools training for shooting event

     GRAFTON, N.D. (AP) - Middle and high schools in Grafton will be participating in a mock shooting event Thursday to practice the school's emergency plan.
     High school Principal Darren Albrecht tells the Grand Forks Herald ( that the school decided to take advantage of the free day, which was set aside for faculty professional development.
     Several victims with simulated injuries will be treated by city first responders and teachers. The plan includes a lockdown.
     Grafton schools held a similar event five years earlier.
     Consulting firm Wenck Co. will be coordinating the event. Manager Derek Hanson says the emphasis is the response of school officials and first responders. He says it's an "all-hazard approach" that would be useful in the situation of a gunman or a chemical spill.

Williston eyes ordinance to ban downtown man camps

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - City officials in the booming oil town of Williston are working on projects to renew the downtown area and keep out so-called man camps.
     That might include changing an ordinance that allows people to have residences behind, below and above commercial businesses downtown. The ordinance was created before the city's population skyrocketed with oil-related development.
     Planning and Zoning Director Kent Jarcik says the current rules could be exploited to create crew camps downtown. City commissioners last week approved the first reading of an ordinance to thwart that kind of development.
     Commissioner Howard Klug tells the Williston Herald ( ) the goal is also to keep people from living in poor conditions, such as basements.
     He says, "We need places to live in Williston, but who really needs to live like that?"

Dalrymple signs North Dakota water projects bill

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed a bill that makes $31 million immediately available for rural water projects in North Dakota.
     Dalrymple announced the signing Tuesday. He says the bill passed with an emergency clause so that the funding is available to complete design work before the 2013 construction season.
     Dalrymple says $21 million of the total is dedicated to the expansion of the Southwest Water Pipeline, which serves several communities in southwestern North Dakota and provides water to about 50,000 people.
     The remaining funds are slated for rural water projects in Stutsman, McLean and Sheridan counties and in north-central North Dakota.

One dead in weekend accident near Watford City

   Treacherous road conditions claim another life in North Dakota.


   An Idaho man was killed over the weekend in a head on collision near Watford City.


   Arden Mecham was traveling westbound on Highway 23, about 12 miles outside of Watford City, when his Honda Accord was struck head on by a pickup driven by Reed Logan of Wyoming.


   Logan’s pickup had lost control due to the icy road conditions and traveled across the center line, striking Mecham’s vehicle, sending the Accord into the north ditch.


   Mecham died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.  Both vehicles were totaled; Logan was also injured and transported to Watford City Hospital.

Hill: 1 more fight in ND to thank state

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota boxer Virgil Hill says he wants one more fight in the state to thank the fans.
     Hill made the announcement on Thursday at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Hill says he doesn't have an opponent yet but he wants the fight to take place in North Dakota where he grew up.
     The five-time world champion is to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this summer. The 49-year-old Hill says he's been training in Los Angeles, California for the past year and feels fit.
     Hill won an Olympic silver medal as a middleweight, and won 50 fights as a pro. His last victory came over Valery Brudov in 2006.

Several items, including hot dog stand, reported stolen near Williston

   Nearly $40,000 of property reported missing in the Williston area the last two days.


   On February 14th, RBB Electric and Q&Z Enterprises reported a Genie GS lift and a gray trailer missing from 13878 West Front Street.  Also reported missing was a Ridgid Pro Press, a type of plumbing tool.  The estimated value on the missing items is nearly $30,000.  The Williams County Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone with information please contact their office at 701-577-7700.


   Theft of Property also reported north of Williston.  Mark Simons reported missing a flat-bed trailer, a long barrel cutting torch, and miscellaneous tools and hardware.


   Also stolen was a hot dog stand.


   The alleged thefts occurred sometime between the 13th and 14th of February.  Estimated value of the items is $7,300.  Anyone with information on the missing hot dog stand, or any other items, is asked to please contact the Williston Police Department at 701-577-1212.

OSHA administrator promotes safety in ND oil patch

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The regional administrator for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration kicked off a safety campaign in the North Dakota oil patch by urging operators to end fatalities.
     OSHA leader Gregory Baxter led the discussion Thursday in Minot to highlight what the industry calls a safety stand down. Companies are being asked to shut down for a period of time to conduct inspections or provide safety training.
     Baxter told the group that "the nation's eyes are on you" and said companies need to stop the "injuries, illnesses and deaths."
     The Forum says ( the presentation pointed out recent North Dakota oilfield fatalities, including a 22-year-old who fell 75 feet to his death and a 38-year-old who died after a boiler explosion.
     A webcast of the speech was aired in four cities.

Sexual discrimination bill fails in ND Senate

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Senate has rejected a measure that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, government, public services and the workplace.
     The bill was defeated 26-21 on Thursday.
     The measure was sponsored by a group of lawmakers that includes Fargo Rep. Josh Boschee, the state's first openly gay legislator.
     Similar legislation introduced in 2009 passed the Senate but failed in a House committee.
     Boschee told The Forum ( ) that it's easier for lawmakers who don't experience discrimination to vote against such measures.

Rescued horses set to arrive in Red River Valley

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - At least 20 horses rescued recently from neglect on two western North Dakota ranches are headed for new homes in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.
     Authorities in Morton County last month seized 199 horses and officials in Burleigh County confiscated 38 horses, after the discovery of 99 dead horses.
     Tracy Tschakert (CHAK'-urt), a horse trainer from Barnesville, Minn., says several "lifelong horse people" in the Fargo and Moorhead, Minn., area have volunteered to adopt the horses.
     The horses are set to arrive at a facility in Hawley, Minn., on Saturday.
     Tschakert tells the Grand Forks Herald ( that area horse lovers "just wanted to run out there and help" after hearing about the abuse.
     Authorities are considering criminal charges in the case.

ND House votes to lift bottle rocket sale ban

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota House has voted to lift a four-year-old ban on selling bottle rockets.
     The House voted 53-47 to lift the ban on Wednesday. The measure now goes to the Senate.
     Eye doctors helped the Legislature see the need to ban bottle rocket sales in 2009, saying the fireworks cause eye injuries. An effort to overturn the ban failed in 2011.
     The current law still allows people to possess and shoot off bottle rockets but businesses in North Dakota can't sell them.

City in ND oil patch looks for better traffic flow

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A city in the heart of the North Dakota oil patch is looking at ways to improve traffic flow.
     North Dakota Department of Transportation counts show a dramatic increase in the number of vehicles on the streets of Minot, in northwest North Dakota.
     Traffic near a popular south side shopping area was up 79 percent from 2008 and 31 percent from the spring of 2011. Vehicle counts near the city's airport increased 31 percent from spring 2011.
     The state is providing a $75,000 grant for a $90,000 traffic study, which is expected to take a year to complete.
     The Minot Daily News reports ( that the city's engineering department will be reviewing proposals from firms interested in conducting the study and will make a recommendation to the city council.

ND delegation reacts to State of the Union address

 BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Republican members of North Dakota's congressional delegation say the approach to the nation's debt problem that President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address won't get the job done.
     Sen. John Hoeven says in a statement that more taxes, more spending and more regulation won't work. Rep. Kevin Cramer tells The Dickinson Press that he doesn't think Obama recognizes the extent of the debt crisis and out-of-control spending.
     Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says in a videotaped response that she hopes Obama's speech Tuesday night is "the beginning of a dialogue" and that bipartisanship will prevail.

Annexation prompts RV park in Williston to close

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The city of Williston's recent annexation of about 7.5 square miles of land north of the city means residents of about 30 recreational vehicles have to find a new place to live.
     Housing is short in the oil patch, and many people live in RVs. But living in the vehicles is illegal in city limits, so the owner of an RV camp in the newly annexed area is shutting it down. Kenny Willard tells The Forum ( ) that he fears he'll be subject to fines.
     Mayor Ward Koeser says city leaders haven't forced the campers to move or begun enforcing any other ordinances in the new area. He says the city will give people time to respond if they need to make changes.

Man sentenced to 11 years in prison on meth charge

     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on a federal drug charge in North Dakota.
     Tomas Dieguez pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver a controlled substance. Authorities say Dieguez and Arnaldo Guerrero sold meth in the Fargo area in July.
     Guerrero has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in March.
     Prosecutors asked that Dieguez be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Defense attorney Jesse Lange argued for a term of not more than nine years.

ND governor sees no need for new mansion

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple sees no need for a new governor's mansion but some lawmakers want to build him one.
     The North Dakota House is slated to vote on a measure Wednesday that would authorize the construction of a new governor's residence on the state Capitol grounds, along with a so-called executive conference center. The measure would authorize $3 million for the new dwelling and allow another $3 million from "private donations or other sources." 
     Dalrymple spokesman Jeff Zent says the governor believes the current Governor's Residence is fine.  The residence was completed in 1960 and is an example of prairie style architecture.
     A major renovation was completed in 2000.

Man camp operator in ND selling properties

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The largest man camp operator in North Dakota's oil patch is selling its properties to a multinational company for $625 million.


The Bismarck Triune reports ( that the sale of Target Logistics' Bakken properties to Algeco Scotsman is expected to close at the end of the month. Algeco Scotsman owns modular worker housing and storage facilities in several countries.


Target Logistics operates man camps in Tioga, Williston, Watford City and Dunn County. More than 3,400 workers are housed in the facilities.


Target Logistics' spokesman Randy Pruett says there won't be any immediate changes for the company because of the purchase.


Pruett says Target Logistics' name and logo will remain intact. A tag mentioning Algeco Scotsman will be added.

ND man to plead guilty in drunken driving crash

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota man has signed a plea agreement in a drunken driving crash that killed an 84-year-old woman.
     Merrill Mann Jr., of New Town, is charged in federal court with involuntary manslaughter. He faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison.
     Authorities say Mann's blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit when he caused a crash west of New Town on April 20.
     The accident killed Roberta Kiwimagi, who was a passenger in a van that collided with Mann's pickup.
     A plea hearing has not been scheduled.

ND spring turkey license apps due this week

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Time is running out for hunters to submit license applications for North Dakota's spring wild turkey season.
     The state Game and Fish Department says midnight Wednesday is the deadline.
     Game and Fish is offering 5,930 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunt. They're available only to North Dakota residents. The season opens April 13 and runs through May 19.

Farm values make big jump in North Dakota in 2012

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A new report shows that farmland values in North Dakota last year jumped 46 percent on average over the year.
     The report is from the North Dakota Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Agweek reports ( ) that it is based on the observations of professionals and on documented sales.
     Society board member Charles Peterson says land values doubled from 2009 to 2012 in nearly all regions of the state.
     Peterson says more investors are looking to buy land because they hope land values and rental rate returns will beat other investments like CDs that aren't keeping up with inflation.
     North Dakota State University farm management specialist Andy Swenson also says farmers have had six good years of profitability, and have the cash to buy land.
     Information from: Grand Forks Agweek,

Stranded UND hockey team makes it back home

     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The University of North Dakota hockey team is back home in Grand Forks, after being stranded in South Dakota over the weekend because of a blizzard.
     The team was traveling back from Omaha, Neb., and had to stop in the northeastern South Dakota city of Sisseton when Interstate 29 was closed.
     Assistant Athletic Director Jayson Hajdu says the team left Sisseton about 2:30 p.m. Monday and arrived home about 6 p.m.

Bismarck bishop surprised by Pope's resignation

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bismarck says Pope Benedict XVI's announcement to resign is a testament to his "holiness and humility."
     The pope announced Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28. The 85-year-old said his advanced age undermines his ability. Benedict is the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years.
     Bismarck Bishop David Kagan says he is both surprised and saddened by the announcement. Kagan had been appointed by Benedict. He says he understands the decision because the pope's schedule is quite grueling.

ND bill requires wait, counseling before divorce

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota lawmaker says parents seeking divorce should have to wait at least six months and undergo mandatory counseling before breaking up.
     Rep. Naomi Muscha told the House Judiciary Committee on Monday that it's easier to get divorced in North Dakota than it is to get married. She says the bill is aimed at helping parents understand responsibilities before the split is final.
     Bismarck divorce attorney Sherry Mills Moore says many couples seeking divorce have already had counseling. She says delaying a divorce leaves children in limbo.
     Moore also says counseling is expensive and many residents don't have easy access to counseling services.
     A similar measure failed in the Legislature two years ago. That bill required a yearlong wait and 10 hour-long counseling sessions before the split was final.

Measure fails to suspend North Dakota income tax

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota House has defeated a measure that would have given residents a break from paying state income tax this year and next.
     The House voted 63-23 to kill the bill Monday.
     Republican Rep. Scott Louser of Minot sponsored the measure. He says it's an attempt to decrease the tax burden on people living in oil-rich North Dakota.
     Tax analysts estimated that North Dakota's treasury would have taken a more than $1 billion hit over the next two years if the measure passed.

Army vet receiving Medal of Honor for Afghan fight

     WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is awarding the Medal of Honor to an Army veteran for his courageous leadership during a day-long firefight in Afghanistan. 
     Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha is being recognized Monday at the White House for his actions during the attack on Oct. 3, 2009, on Combat Outpost Keating in the mountains near the Pakistan border. About 50 U.S. troops were at the outpost when it came under fire by hundreds of Taliban fighters. Romesha led a fight against the enemy to protect the camp.
     Romesha also served twice in Iraq and will be the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
     He now lives in Minot, N.D., with his wife and three children and works in oil field safety.


Spring light goose season licenses available in ND

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Game and Fish Department says hunting licenses are available for the spring light goose season.
     The season opens Feb. 16 and runs through May 5. Officials say huntable numbers of geese usually aren't around until late March or early April but with this winter's mild weather the birds could arrive earlier than normal. Game and Fish will provide migration updates once geese have entered the state.
     State residents can hunt during the spring season if they have last fall's 2012-13 bird licenses. If they don't, hunters need to purchase either a 2013-14 combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license. Nonresidents need a 2013 spring light goose season license.
     More information can be found on the Game and Fish website, at .

ND man hopes 3rd time's the charm in Iditarod

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota native is set to compete for the third time in the famed 993-mile Iditarod sled-dog race.
     Kelly Maixner is a Golfa native who now lives in Big Lake, Alaska, where he works as a pediatric dentist. He's hoping to fare better than he has in past years, when he finished in 30th and 32nd place.
     This year's race begins March 2 with a ceremonial start in Anchorage. Maixner moved to Alaska in 2007. He tells the Bismarck Tribune ( ) that he began a kennel with two bred female Alaskan huskies. Now he has about 60 dogs.
     There are about 70 so-called mushers listed on the official Iditarod website. Maixner is the only North Dakotan on the roster.
     He says he hopes to finish in the top 20.

Blizzard disrupts travel in the eastern Dakotas

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Interstates that were shut down by a blizzard in the eastern Dakotas are starting to reopen.
     Interstate 29 remains closed between Sioux Falls, S.D. and Fargo, N.D., but it has reopened between Fargo and Grand Forks to the north. I-94 in North Dakota has reopened between Fargo and Jamestown. I-90 in South Dakota has reopened between Sioux Falls and Wall.
     The storm that brought heavy snow and strong winds contributed to numerous accidents, including a seven-vehicle chain-reaction crash on I-94 in southeastern North Dakota. The Highway Patrol says there were only minor injuries.
     Patrol troopers and snowplow drivers rescued several stranded motorists in the region. Officials in the southeastern North Dakota town of Fairmount opened an emergency shelter for nearly three dozen stranded motorists.

Minot zoo gets gray wolves from SD's Black Hills

  MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot's Roosevelt Park Zoo has introduced its new wolves - a pair of year-old female grays that came from a tourist attraction in South Dakota's Black Hills.
     The zoo presented Luna and Denali to the public on Friday. They were obtained last November from Bear Country USA, a drive-through wildlife park in western South Dakota.
     Employees of Enbridge Pipelines got to name the wolves. About 75 employees from the Bakken oil patch firm volunteered more than 600 hours to the zoo's rebuilding efforts after the flood.

Devils Lake man scammed out of $50,000

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - A Devils Lake man is out $50,000 after being caught up in a sweepstakes scam.


Police say that the man, who is in his 80s, reportedly made several payments in the last few months to the phony company. He was told he won a $48.5 million, but he had to pay fees in order to collect the money.


Police say it's a common scam. The scammers used a legitimate company name in this case, but had money sent to a different address.

UND professors study oil patch man camps

TIOGA, N.D. (AP) - A team made up of University of North Dakota professors, an archaeologist and a photographer are touring North Dakota's booming oil patch to study the area's man camps.


Researchers are visiting Tioga, Wheelock, Williston and Watford City to study the social and material conditions of workforce housing.


The researchers are studying three types of camps: the large, organized crew camps; less formal RV parks and trailer courts with water and sewer hookups; and the camps that lack water and electricity.


One of the goals of the group is to document the living conditions of the oil boom so people in the future will know what it was like.

ND gets $220,000 in settlement on foreclosures

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) says North Dakota's share of a multistate settlement with one of the nation's biggest mortgage processing companies is just under $220,000.
     Lender Processing Services Inc. has agreed to pay $121 million to resolve states' claims that it wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.
     State attorneys general alleged that the company engaged in unlawful practices including "robo-signing," in which it automatically signed off on foreclosures without properly reviewing documents.

Bill to OK silencers puts legal practice on books

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Some North Dakota lawmakers were surprised to hear about a bill to allow silencers on hunting rifles. Turns out the devices have always been legal.
     Fargo Republican Rep. Joe Heilman sponsored the proposal. He says lawmakers want to get the practice on the books in case state Game and Fish Department officials decide one day to eliminate suppressors. The department would then have to go through the Legislature.
     Some hunters say silencers get a bad rap because they conjure up images of Hollywood characters firing weapons that barely make a sound.
     Fargo hunter Dan Liane (lee-AHN') says a gun with a suppressor will still make a "fairly loud crack," but it is still easier on the ears than shooting without one.
     Suppressors are legal in many states, including South Dakota.

Dickinson getting Minneapolis flights in June

     DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says Delta Air Lines will begin twice-daily flights between Dickinson and Minneapolis-St. Paul beginning June 10.
     The Delta flights will be operated by SkyWest using 50-seat regional jets. Tickets will be available starting Feb. 23.
     United Airlines announced earlier this week it is beginning twice-daily flights between Dickinson and Denver on June 6. Those flights will be operated by ExpressJet, also using 50-seat regional planes.
     Great Lakes Airlines already flies between Dickinson and Denver.

Williston businesses giving back to those in need

Two area businesses have teamed up to give back to children in need.


JMAC has partnered with Home of Economy to provide winter clothing to grade school kids new to the oil patch area, who have never experienced the harsh winter temperatures of the Northern Plains.

The idea originated around Christmas time.


Judy Billehus of JMAC says the items will benefit students in Williston School District 1, District 8, St. Joes, Trinity Christian school, and also Watford City grade school.


The clothing drive will benefit 120 students.


JMAC will be presenting the clothing to school administrators on Monday at 9 AM at Williston's Home of Economy store.

Basin United Way 2012 campaign sets record

The final numbers are in from the Basin United Way's 2012 campaign.


The Basin United Way closed out its 2012 fundraising drive with $180,400.00, a 46% increase over the 2011 campaign.


The total raised is the largest in the organization's 60 year history.  The funds will be distributed in 2013 to support programs operated by 32 local, non-profit agencies serving Williams, McKenzie and Divide counties.

99% of every donation stays in the community to provide services to address pressing health and human service issues in the three county area.

The campaign opened in October and ended January 31st.

Pick-up falls through ice near Williston

A pickup falls through the ice outside of Williston.


The Williams County Sherriff's office responded to a call of a pickup falling through the ice around 4:30 Thursday afternoon.


The incident happened near Lund's Landing.


Upon arrival, deputies say the vehicle was partially submerged in the ice.  Driver Matthew Ecklund of Minnesota, and occupants Jeremy Chell of Wisconsin and Robert Laumann of Minnesota were able to exit the vehicle unharmed.


Deputies says it appeared that the vehicle went through the ice as it traveled near a large pressure ridge.

MDU Resources Group to build ND diesel refinery

  BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - MDU Resources Group Inc. announced Thursday that it will build a diesel refinery near Dickinson in western North Dakota's booming oil patch.
     The Bismarck-based company says the refinery could cost up to $300 million. It would operate nonstop, producing 20,000 barrels of diesel and kerosene daily.
     Officials say it would employ 100 people and help meet demand for diesel in the region.
     North Dakota has only one oil refinery, Tesoro Corp.'s facility in Mandan.
     Gov. Jack Dalrymple says developing another refinery has been a long-time goal of the state.

Lottery held for Minot low-income housing project

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot's newest affordable housing development is about to open its doors and the Minot Housing Authority is drawing names to see who gets to move in.
     The Minot Daily News reports that the housing authority is conducting a lottery through next week for  people interested in the two- three- or four-bedroom units at Washington Townhomes.
     Based on family size and income, applicants will be entered into lottery pools for the 16 townhomes. A drawing will determine the winner of each pool.
     Minot Housing Authority Director Tom Pearson says the agency hopes to begin leasing the units next month.

Williston neighborhood victim of spray paint vandalism

A series of vandalisms reported in Williston earlier this week.


Several residents on 15th Avenue West reported spray paint vandalism to vehicles and property.


The incidents took place between February 5th and 6th.


Oscar Quarne reported that his garage had been vandalized.  Gary and Michael LaPrae reported that two of their vehicles were spray painted, and Valerie Abelman reported that her Honda received spray paint damage as well.


The vandalisms add up to over $2,000 in damages.  Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to please contact the Williston Police Department.

ND sheep industry continues to see record lows

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's sheep and lamb industry continues to see record-low numbers.
     The federal Agriculture Department says in a new report that the sheep and lamb inventory on Jan. 1 totaled 74,000 animals, up 1,000 from the previous year's record low.
     Breeding sheep were still a record low, at 55,000 head. Market sheep and lambs totaled 19,000, up 3,000 from a year ago.
     The 2012 lamb crop also was a record low, at 60,000 head, and wool production was a record low 520,000 pounds, down 20,000 pounds from 2011.

Hearing to determine fate of seized horses in ND

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Officials in Burleigh and Morton counties who seized 157 horses from a New Salem man because of alleged neglect have requested a court hearing on whether the man can adequately care for the animals.
     The horses were seized after authorities found 99 dead horses on the man's property in the two counties. Two of the rescued horses have since died.
     The man has not been criminally charged.
     The Bismarck Tribune ( ) reports that if a judge deems the man incapable of caring for the horses they will be sold, adopted or euthanized.
     Information from: Bismarck Tribune,


ND chancellor dispute involves alleged comment

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A state lawmaker says North Dakota University System Chancellor Ham Shirvani has told some legislators that five of the 11 public college presidents in the state are unqualified or insubordinate and likely will be relieved of duty.
     Shirvani tells The Forum newspaper ( ) that he never made the statement.
     Bismarck Rep. Bob Martinson says the alleged comment is an example of Shirvani's overbearing style of leadership that has rankled some state lawmakers.
     Fargo Sen. Tony Grindberg says he plans to introduce an amendment to the higher education budget bill that would provide funding for the state Board of Higher Education to buy out Shirvani's contract. Board President Duaine Espegard says the board supports Shirvani.
     Shirvani says he is "under absolute microscopic examination."
     Information from: The Forum,


ND AG gets arrest warrants for 2 Utah contractors

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) has obtained arrest warrants for two Utah men he says were unlicensed contractors working at a Dickinson construction site where a fatality occurred.
     Stenehjem says Kevin Parkin and Clint Petersen have failed to cooperate with officials investigating the December 2011 worker death that occurred when a water and sewer pipe trench caved in at a home construction job site. The victim was identified as Casimiro Medina, also of Utah.
     Stenehjem says a third contractor, from Idaho, cooperated with the investigation and paid a $2,000 fine for operating without a license.


Xcel plans to tap more wind power

     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Xcel Energy plans to capitalize on what could be a buyer's market for wind energy this year.
     The Minneapolis-based utility has told regulators in the Dakotas, as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin, that it will look for up to 200 megawatts of wind power by April 1. The federal tax credit for wind production has been extended to next January.
     Xcel regional vice president Laura McCarten tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press ( ) the utility could buy a wind farm outright or just purchase power from it. But McCarten says the utility is under no obligation to buy any wind power if it doesn't find the right deal. Xcel has no need for additional wind power until 2017 at the earliest.
     Xcel needs to generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

ND recognized for organ donors

North Dakota is being recognized for its high number of organ donors.

On Tuesday, the state received a national honor of Excellence in Donor Designation for its achievement in increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors.

North Dakota currently has one of the highest rates for organ and tissue donation in the country.  Around 70 percent of the state's drivers take part in the program compared to 43 percent nationally.

Citizens can register as a donor on their driver's license or state ID card, or online at

Bismarck conference focuses on housing

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Housing around North Dakota is the focus of a conference in Bismarck this week.
     The 22nd Annual Statewide Housing Conference was being hosted by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday and Thursday. Executive Director Mike Anderson says it's an opportunity for leaders in housing and community development to discuss ways to meet the state's housing challenges.
     Adequate housing is a particular concern in the booming western oil patch. Economist Sean Snaith will give a presentation at the conference on the impact of energy development, and State Demographer Richard Rathge (RATH'-gee) will give an overview of housing needs in the state.

Worker who died at ND oil rig ID'd a Montana man

     WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - Authorities have identified a Montana man who died after an incident at an oil drilling rig in western North Dakota.
     Forum Communications ( ) reports that 20-old Kyle Winters, of Kalispell, Mont., died Thursday.
     The initial report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says he was crushed by a set of power tongs, which is equipment used to handle pipe going in and out of well holes.
     The incident happened at a rig north of Watford City. OSHA says Winters died while receiving treatment from paramedics who were preparing to fly him to a Bismarck hospital.
     Information from: The Forum,

Former tribal officer pleads not guilty to charges

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A former officer with the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota has pleaded not guilty to roughing up suspects during two separate arrests.
     A grand jury in December indicted Lindrith Tsoodle on four counts, including two charges of civil rights violations. He allegedly assaulted one man in November 2010 and another man in December 2010.
     Tsoodle is also charged with witness tampering and false statements. The indictment says he attempted to convince a witness not to report one of the incidents to other law enforcement officials and lied to a federal agent about the assault.
     Trial is scheduled for March 12 in Bismarck.
     Neil Fulton, spokesman for the federal public defender's office in the Dakotas, says defense attorneys are reviewing government evidence and conducting their own investigation into the case.


ND man convicted on 4 counts of murder

     (Information in the following story is from: Minot Daily News,
     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota man accused of killing the mother of his child and three other people in Minot two years ago has been convicted on four counts of murder.
     The Minot Daily News reports that the jury found 28-year-old Omar Mohamed Kalmio guilty on the four counts of murder in the Jan. 2011, shooting deaths of 19-year-old Sabrina Zephier, her mother, brother and mother's boyfriend.
     Kalmio is a Somali national who says he is in the U.S. under political asylum. He was working in the western North Dakota oil patch at the time of the killings.
     His sentence is pending.
     Kalmio's trial began Jan. 23.

ND bill pushes drug tests for welfare recipients

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - State and social services officials say a proposal to require drug testing for certain recipients of public assistance in North Dakota might be unconstitutional.
     Rep. Dennis Johnson is the prime sponsor of the bill. The Devils Lake Republican told the House Human Services Committee that the bill is intended to provide an incentive to keep people off drugs.
     The state could deny public assistance for one year after the date of a positive drug test, and three years after the date of a second positive test.
     The measure would not affect assistance for children. A third-party would manage the aid if a parent or guardian tested positive for illegal drugs.

Chase and shooting in Minot leads to charges

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A car chase and shooting in Minot over the weekend has led to several charges against three people.
     Police say 19-year-old Stephen Brewer was chased early Saturday by a vehicle containing the three suspects, and that a bullet went through his windshield and struck him below his left eye. The injury was not life-threatening.
     The Minot Daily News reports ( ) that 19-year-old Nathan Schlosser is charged with attempted murder, terrorizing and reckless endangerment. Eighteen-year-old Tegan Lamotte is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, terrorizing and reckless endangerment. Nineteen-year-old Kayla Wright is charged with terrorizing.
     Attorneys for Schlosser and Lamotte did not immediately respond to Associated Press requests for comment Tuesday. Court documents did not list an attorney for Wright.
     Information from: Minot Daily News,

ND group tries again for investigation of governor

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Dunn County residents seeking a grand jury investigation of Gov. Jack Dalrymple related to campaign contributions from the oil industry have submitted a second petition.
     The Forum newspaper reports ( ) that the case has been assigned to Judge William Herauf - the same judge who dismissed a similar petition late last year because he said it didn't have enough signatures and was filed in the wrong venue. The state Supreme Court last month rejected an appeal.
     The Dunn County petition alleges that oil industry contributions to Dalrymple's gubernatorial campaign could be considered bribery. Dalrymple's campaign called the allegations baseless and politically motivated.
     Citizen-initiated grand juries are uncommon. A bill in the state House this session would make it harder for citizens to convene a grand jury.
     Information from: The Forum,

2-year-old identified

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 2-year-old boy who died over the weekend after being found outside north of Williston.
     Williams County Sheriff's Detective Caleb Fry said Trip Dahl was flown to Fargo for medical care after being found Saturday morning by a family member. Fry said authorities are not treating the case as an intentional death. He said the weather Saturday morning was cold, snowy and windy.

Trial for man accused in ND slayings wrapping up

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Testimony has wrapped up in the trial of a man accused of killing the mother of his child and three other people in Minot two years ago.
     Attorneys on both sides were making closing arguments to the jury on Monday in the murder trial of Omar Mohamed Kalmio. He is accused in the Jan. 28, 2011, shooting deaths of 19-year-old Sabrina Zephier, her mother, brother and mother's boyfriend.
     Kalmio is a Somali national who says he is in the U.S. under political asylum. He was working in the western North Dakota oil patch at the time of the killings.
     Kalmio's trial began Jan. 23.

2-year-old boy found outside near Williston dies

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A 2-year-old boy who was found outside north of Williston over the weekend has died.
     Williams County Sheriff's Detective Caleb Fry told the Williston Herald ( ) on Monday that the boy was flown to Fargo for medical care after being found Saturday morning. He did not immediate identify the boy or provide details about the incident.
     Fry says the sheriff's office continues to investigate.

North Dakota has 2 new state champion trees

     BOTTINEAU, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota has two new state champion trees.
     State Forester Larry Kotchman says a weeping white birch owned by Anton Kautzman of Mandan has replaced the former champion owned by the Dybwad family of McHenry.
     A white pine owned by Levi Nenow of Jamestown has replaced a tree owned by Carlee O'Dell of Fargo.
     The Champion Tree Program in North Dakota is sponsored by the state Forest Service and the Dakotas Society of American Foresters. The largest and second-largest trees of each native and nonnative species in the state can be found in The North Dakota Register of Champion Trees or online at .

UND professor unveils man-made ice climbing wall

      GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A University of North Dakota professor and adventure sports enthusiast has unveiled a 40-foot ice climbing wall.
     Jim Grijalva billed his grand opening over the weekend as "North Dakota's first ice climbing festival." The man-made wall is located west of Grand Forks near Turtle River State Park.
     Several climbers strapped crampons on their boots and grabbed ice picks to make the ascent to the top. None of them made it.
     Fellow climber Andy Magness says it was a tough climb because the below-zero temperatures caused the ice to splinter off. He tells the Grand Forks Herald ( that ideal climbing conditions would be in slightly warmer weather.
     Says Magness, "When it's around 20 degrees, you'll swing the pick and you'll get a nice solid 'thunk,' and it will stick better."

One injured in four vehicle accident near Watford City

A four vehicle accident Sunday morning closed a section of Highway 85 for around two hours. 


The accident occurred around 11:00 AM just two miles outside of Watford City.


50-year-old Maria Gamez of Denver, CO, was headed westbound on Highway 85.  Trying to navigate through icy conditions, Gamez slowed her vehicle and came to a stop in the roadway.


After stopping in the roadway, Gamez was rear ended by Jeremiah Potthoff of Watford City, who was not able to stop his Silverado in time.


Potthoff was then struck by a Freightliner driven by Stanley White of Harris, Texas.  The impact caused Potthaff’s truck to strike Gamez’s vehicle a second time.


After that, the Freightliner was then hit by a 2005 Kenworth driven by Lorin Good, also of Watford City.


Gamez received injuries as a result of the accidents.  The accidents totaled approximately $30,000 in damage.

ND documentary on Germans from Russia wins award

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A documentary produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting in cooperation with a North Dakota State University collection on Germans from Russia has been honored in an independent television competition.
     NDSU officials say the video "At Home in Russia, at Home on the Prairie" is one of 27 documentaries in the country to receive an Aurora Award. It received Platinum Best of Show in the historical category.
     Michael Miller, director of the NDSU Libraries' Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, says the documentary shows the lives of Germans from Russia after their journey to the Northern Plains, including North Dakota.
     Miller and Bob Dambach, director of television at Prairie Public Broadcasting, produced the documentary.

Jailhouse witness says ND murder suspect confessed

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - An inmate in the same cell block as Omar Mohamed Kalmio has testified that he heard the Somali man admit to killing people in Minot, and a co-worker of Kalmio's in the oil fields has testified that Kalmio revealed details of the crime not released to the public.
     Kalmio is on trial for murder in the Jan. 28, 2011, shooting deaths of 19-year-old Sabrina Zephier, the mother of his child, and her mother, brother and mother's boyfriend. Kalmio is a Somali national who says he is in the U.S. under political asylum.
     Defense attorneys maintain that the inmate is seeking a reduction in his jail time for his story, and that information about the crime that was not released to the public could have been available through social media.

Worker dies in western North Dakota oil patch

Worker dies in western North Dakota oil patch
     WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - A worker in the western North Dakota oil patch has died of injuries suffered in an incident at a rig north of Watford City.
     McKenzie County Sheriff Ron Rankin says the 22-year-old man was struck in the chest by a piece of metal hydraulic equipment on Thursday afternoon. Rankin says the man suffered cardiac arrest while being flown to a Bismarck trauma center and was pronounced dead at a Watford City hospital.
     Rankin says authorities are not releasing the man's name at the request of his family. He did not know where the man was from or what company he was working for.
     The sheriff says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.


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