FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A man suspected in a 2020 drive-by shooting that killed a 41-year-old Fargo man was arrested at a private residence on the city’s south side. Jesse James Burnett was taken into custody Friday morning by police and the Red River Valley SWAT Team. The 29-year-old Burnett appeared in court on charges of intentional murder, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. Burnett, of Fargo, is accusing of shooting Santino Manjadit Makur Marial on the evening of Aug. 28, 2020, while Marial was gathered with friends outside an apartment garage. Another suspect in the case, 30-year-old Joshua Brooks, was arrested in September on charges of accomplice to murder and accomplice to aggravated assault. Preliminary hearings are scheduled Nov. 2 for Brooks and Nov. 16 for Burnett.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Supreme Court has extended to Oct. 31 the deadline for a lower court judge to reconsider his decision to prevent the state’s abortion ban from taking effect, after the judge cited workload and health factors. The state’s highest court earlier this week ordered Judge Bruce Romanick to weigh an abortion clinic’s chances of winning a lawsuit in reconsidering whether his decision to temporarily halt enforcement of the ban was correct. Romanick says the original Monday deadline was difficult “given the many duties of any judicial officer throughout the state.” To compound matters, he was diagnosed Thursday with COVID-19. The Supreme Court agreed to give Romanick more time to decide the lawsuit arguing that the state’s constitution grants the right to abortion.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man accused of storing more than 1,000 pounds of homemade explosives in his garage is now facing criminal charges. Court records show 28-year-old Ross Petrie, of Williston, is charged with a felony called ‘release of destructive forces.’ An affidavit of probable cause says law enforcement officers began serving a series of search warrants at Petrie’s residence Oct. 10 after being informed that a narcotics lab could possibly be in operation. According to the affidavit, authorities discovered it was actually an explosives manufacturing operation in the garage of a townhouse complex. Officials say they evacuated more than 10 people from the building in which Petrie’s townhouse was located.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A campaign over whether to impose term limits on North Dakota lawmakers and the governor is a mismatch so far — at least financially. Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Term Limits, has contributed more than $810,000 in the past two years to get the ballot proposal before voters. Lawmakers and opponents complain they can’t keep up with out-of-state interests. Opponent say there has been no time to organize and raise funds before the vote. Last month the North Dakota Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the measure should be placed on the November ballot.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say more than 1,000 pounds of homemade explosive materials have been recovered in a residence in northwestern North Dakota. Police say multiple chemicals and powders were also found in the apartment in Williston, located in the North Dakota oil patch near the Montana border. No arrests have been made, although police say they have identified a person of interest. Bomb squads from Williston, Minot and Bismarck were disposing of the explosive materials at the Williston landfill. The process was suspended Wednesday afternoon due to high winds and fire danger. Police say explosions could be heard in some parts of the city as the devices were detonated.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota judge who refused to allow the state’s abortion ban to take effect while a clinic’s legal challenge is pending has been ordered to take another look at that decision. The state Supreme Court late Tuesday ordered Judge Bruce Romanick to weigh the clinic’s chances of succeeding and reconsider whether his earlier decision was correct. Romanick last month denied a request to lift his stay of a law banning abortion while a challenge to the law’s constitutionality is pending. The Red River Women’s Clinic, the state’s only abortion clinic, argues that the state’s constitution grants a right to abortion. Attorney General Drew Wrigley’s argued that the judge didn’t sufficiently consider whether the clinic’s suit would succeed.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota voters in November will decide whether to impose term limits on the governor and state lawmakers. It’s a change supporters say would bring in new blood and term-limit foes decry as a blow to institutional knowledge of the Legislature. Measure 1 would add a new article to the state constitution, imposing term limits of eight cumulative years each in the House and Senate. The governor could not be elected more than twice. Term limits would not be retroactive and the measure does not affect Congress. Measure Chairman Jared Hendrix says he’s found a general sense that people don’t feel well represented.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s five American Indian tribes want exclusive rights to host internet gambling and sports betting throughout the state utilizing servers located on their reservations. The tribes are turning to Republican Gov. Doug Burgum to approve the idea, under tribal-state agreements known as a compacts. The current compacts expire at the end of this year and only Burgum can approve them. The governor wouldn’t comment on the proposal because negotiations are ongoing. Tribes argue the provision is needed because of the explosion of electronic pull tab machines across the state that have hurt their casinos, which are central to many tribes’ economies.

An addiction counselor who helped defeat a marijuana legalization proposal in North Dakota four years ago has launched a fresh opposition group seeking to do it again this November. The group, Healthy and Productive North Dakota, is forming less than five weeks before Election Day and after some major funders of the 2018 opposition had announced they would sit out the 2022 fight. The measure would allow people over age 21 in North Dakota to use and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to three marijuana plants. Luke Niforatos, who helped launch the group, said opponents didn’t see an organized effort take hold so they are stepping forward now. He said he’s not concerned that legalization supporters have a big cash advantage.

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota junior college has a senior statesman on its football team. North Dakota State College of Science has a 49-year-old backup defensive lineman named Ray Ruschel. He is a freshman who is a year older than his coach. The Army veteran is a night-shift mechanic at a local sugar beet factory. He is seeking a degree in business management after his most recent deployment with the National Guard. He hopes to become a supervisor at work. For now, he is holding his own with 19- and 20-year-old football players on a team with national title hopes.

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (AP) — A man charged in a crash last year that killed two teens in northwestern Minnesota has pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder. Twenty-one-year-old Valentin Mendoza was charged in the June 2021 crash on Highway 220 near East Grand Forks. A crash report showed Mendoza was going 75 mph in a 45 mph zone when he crossed the center line and hit the teens vehicle head on. Seventeen-year-old Ethan Carsen and his 16-year-old passenger, Damien Powell, both from Grand Forks, died of their injuries days after the crash. Mendoza previously had pleaded not guilty to the two charges, but changed his pleas Wednesday in an agreement with prosecutors.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s state crime lab is working to help identify a man whose body was found in a rural area of Ward County. Sheriff’s officials say the man whose body was found Oct. 1 along Highway 83 south of Minot was likely dead for six weeks. Officials were unable to find any identifying information at the scene and the man does not match any current missing persons in the Ward County area. An autopsy done Oct. 4 by the North Dakota State Medical Examiner did not find evidence of foul play. DNA samples have been delivered to the crime lab to help with identification.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota woman has been convicted in the death of her husband in what prosecutors said was the result of a love triangle and an attempt to collect insurance money. Jurors on Tuesday returned guilty verdicts on three conspiracy charges, including murder, arson and evidence tampering, against Nikki Entzel. The body of 42-year-old Chad Entzel was found Jan. 2, 2020 after a house fire northeast of Bismarck. Authorities said Entzel died of gunshot wounds to the head and the fire was set to cover up the slaying. Entzel and Earl Howard were accused of plotting the victim’s death and starting two fires at the home.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A trial has been set in a federal lawsuit brought by two Native American tribes that allege North Dakota’s new legislative map dilutes tribal members’ voting strength. The bench trial is scheduled for June 12, 2023. A bench trial means the verdict is up to the judge alone. The lawsuit filed in February by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Spirit Lake Tribe alleges that the state’s new legislative map violates the Voting Rights Act. An attorney for the tribes says about half of the 14-member GOP-led redistricting committee will be called as witnesses in the trial.

(AP) A North Dakota man who prosecutors say intentionally ran over an 18-year-old at a street dance has been charged with murder. Shannon Brandt was initially charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the Sept. 18 killing of Cayler Ellingson. But that charge has been dropped and prosecutors announced the upgraded charge against the 41-year-old on Friday. Brandt is also charged with leaving the scene of a crash. Brandt initially told authorities that there had been a political argument and that Ellingson was part of an “extremist group.” But investigators say the case is not political. A man who knows the family has said Ellingson was not a political person.

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — Officials say the pilot of a small helicopter was killed in a crash in southeastern South Dakota. The Federal Aviation Administration said the AG-915 Spartan helicopter went down Tuesday morning near the Chan Gurney Municipal Airport in Yankton. Officials say only the pilot was on board. Yankton Assistant Fire Chief Larry Nickels tells WNAX radio the aircraft was destroyed upon impact. Nickels says the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board have been called to investigate because a fatality is involved.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — When Cara Mund was competing to become Miss North Dakota, a key part of her platform was increasing the number of women elected to political office. After she went on to win Miss America, she traveled the country to encourage women to use their voice to make an impact. Now, the recent Harvard Law School graduate is taking on the job of candidate herself in a run for North Dakota’s House seat as an independent. Mund is gambling that her primary issue — support for abortion rights — plus her outsider status and her celebrity can win over enough voters to overcome a far-better-funded incumbent, Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — There is little indication that an 18-year-old who died after being struck by an SUV in North Dakota was a political extremist like the driver claimed. Investigators say none of the witnesses they have interviewed support the idea that there was a political argument beforehand. Shannon Brandt struck Cayler Ellingson with his vehicle on Sept. 18 in McHenry. A family friend said the teen wasn’t active in politics. Court documents said Brandt told a 911 dispatcher that he felt threatened after having a political argument with Ellingson, and that he believed the teen was part of a “Republican extremist group.” North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind says authorities have talked to dozens of witnesses, and the confrontation doesn’t appear political at all.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota judge has denied a request to lift his stay of a law banning abortion while a challenge to the law’s constitutionality is pending. Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick on Friday rejected Attorney General Drew Wrigley’s argument that he hadn’t sufficiently considered whether a Fargo abortion clinic would succeed with its lawsuit. The Red River Women’s Clinic argues that the state constitution grants a right to abortion. Though it continues to pursue that claim, it closed its Fargo location in August and opened a clinic in neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion remains legal. When Romanick blocked the law from taking effect, he acknowledged the clinic had moved but noted that doctors and hospitals would still be affected by the statute.

Police say they are investigating a homicide at a motel in North Dakota’s capital city Friday. According to a statement from police, officers responded to the Motel 6 in Bismarck about 12:40 a.m. on a report of a person who had been shot in the chest. Police found a 28-year-old man dead from an apparent gunshot wound. According to the statement, officials believe it was a targeted attack and that there is no danger to the public. Police did not say if detectives have identified a suspect. It’s the fifth homicide in Bismarck this year.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota prison guard was fired over the suicide of a man who was serving life sentences for killing four people. Sgt. Deandre Adams violated corrections policy in failing to adequately check on Chad Isaak, according to a termination letter from the warden at North Dakota State Penitentiary. Adams was fired Thursday. Warden James Sayler noted that Adams had received two previous written reprimands, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Isaak died July 31. An investigative report from the state Highway Patrol released last month found that Adams said he failed to adequately check on Isaak twice.

(AP) — North Dakota’s attorney general is condemning the violent death of an 18-year-old allegedly struck by a man who said he drove his SUV into the victim after a political argument. Attorney General Drew Wrigley also offered to help a county attorney prosecute the case. According to a probable cause affidavit, Shannon Brandt told a 911 dispatcher that he struck Cayler Ellingson early Sunday because the teenager was threatening him, and that the teen was part of a “Republican extremist group.” Investigators say they have been unable to confirm Brandt’s claims. He has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death. Officials say a breath test Sunday showed Brandt’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit to drive.

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley issued the following statement about the violent death of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.

“The loss of a young life is always a tragedy, under any circumstances.  Outrageously, in this case, it is alleged that the suspect admitted that his actions were motivated by a dispute over political beliefs.  There is no place in civil society for this hateful violence. I call on all North Dakotans to join me in praying for Cayler Ellingson and his family and condemning any and all politically motivated crime.”

“I also call on all Americans, including political leaders, to end this type of rhetoric. Political violence has become all too common and must come to an end.

“As with all crimes of this nature, jurisdiction originates with the independently elected State’s Attorney.  That protocol was followed in this instance as well.  As my office has made clear to the Foster County State’s Attorney’s office from the earliest hours following this incident, I stand ready to assist with the resources of the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, including the use of my assistant attorneys general to help prosecute the case.  Our Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been working on this investigation from the beginning and will continue to do so.”

MADDOCK, N.D. (AP) — A woman who brought a wild raccoon into a North Dakota bar, prompting state health officials to issue a warning about potential rabies exposure, is facing criminal charges. Thirty-eight-year-old Erin Christensen is charged with three misdemeanors, including unlawful possession of furbearers. Christensen said her family found the raccoon on the side of a road about three months ago and named it Rocky. Christensen took animal to Maddock Bar on Sept. 6 during happy hour and showed the raccoon to customers. That prompted the North Dakota’s Health and Human Services Department to issue a warning asking anyone who may have been bitten or had contact with the raccoon’s saliva to seek medical care. Authorities euthanized the animal, which tested negative for rabies.

CHENRY, N.D. (AP) — Court documents say a driver charged with fatally striking an 18-year-old in North Dakota allegedly told investigators he purposely hit the teen with his SUV after they had a political argument. Cayler Ellingson was struck and killed following a street dance in McHenry early Sunday. The driver accused of striking Ellingson in an alley, 41-year-old Shannon Brandt, is charged in Foster County with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death. A probable cause affidavit says Brandt told investigators he had been drinking alcohol before striking Ellingson and thought the teen was calling people to do him harm after they argued and that he felt threatened. Brandt was released from jail Tuesday after posting $50,000 bond.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s attorney general says officers were justified in their use of deadly force against a man police say was having a mental health crisis. Attorney General Drew Wrigley, Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner and other officials held a news conference Monday to provide additional information on the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Andrew Martinez in Mapleton on Aug. 1. Wrigley says four officers fired their weapons when Martinez, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, appeared in the doorway of a residence and pointed the weapon at them following a four-hour standoff. Jahner says no shots were fired at officers.

Rodgers, Packers lean on Jones, take care of Bears 27-10

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and caught a scoring pass from Aaron Rodgers, who continued his domination of the Chicago Bears by leading the Green Bay Packers to a 27-10 victory. Green Bay bounced back from a season-opening 23-7 loss at Minnesota and beat the Bears for a seventh straight time, matching its second-longest win streak in the 205-game history of the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Packers built a 24-7 halftime lead by dominating the second period, then made a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter to thwart a Bears comeback attempt. Rodgers went 19 of 25 for 234 yards and two touchdowns.

Arizona rallied to beat North Dakota State 31-28

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Jayden de Laura threw for 229 yards and a touchdown, ran for another score, and Arizona rallied to beat North Dakota State 31-28. The Wildcats snapped North Dakota State’s FBS win streak at six games, dating to 2010. The Bison have won nine out of the past 11 national championships at the FCS level and boast several NFL alumni. Arizona was trailing 28-24 midway through the fourth quarter but got a crucial stop on fourth-and-2 at its own 23 to flip momentum. The Wildcats then drove the field and took a 31-28 lead on de Laura’s perfectly placed 22-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Cowing.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tommy Schuster connected with Jack Wright on a flea flicker for a 23-yard touchdown with 53 seconds left to help North Dakota beat Northern Arizona 27-24. Northern Arizona had taken a 24-20 lead with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter after an 11-play, 78-yard drive capped by R.J. Martinez’s 12-yard completion to Coleman Owen. UND answered with a five-play, 75-yard drive. NAU held a 14-13 lead entering the fourth after the teams combined for three punts in the third frame before the scoring happened down the stretch. Schuster was 21 of 32 for 206 yards and two touchdowns for North Dakota (2-1). Tyler Hoosman carried it 12 times for 102 yards. Martinez threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns for Northern Arizona (1-2). Owen finished with nine grabs for 136 yards and two scores.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former state Senate Democratic minority leader McLain “Mac” Schneider has been nominated by President Joe Biden for the state’s top federal prosecutor job. He would replace acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl. Schneider must be confirmed by the Senate. North Dakota Republican Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer issued a joint statement Thursday congratulating Schneider. Hoeven stopped short of saying if he would support Schneider’s nomination. Cramer said he would. Schneider currently has a private practice in Fargo and Grand Forks. He served in the state Senate from 2009 until his defeat for re-election in 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court’s judgment that ordered Cody W. Davis of Arnegard, ND, to pay $74,000 restitution to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department for poaching a trophy mule deer buck in December 2015. The restitution included $20,000 for the out of season killing done without a license plus $54,000 reimbursement to the department for the extensive investigation required for the case. A hotline tip to the Game and Fish began the investigation after a headless deer carcass was found near Lindrith, New Mexico. Conservation officers went to the scene and located the stashed head and trophy antlers. Officers set up around-the-clock surveillance and said a North Dakota man was seen retrieving the head four months later.

(AP) Arizona hosts perennial North Dakota State on Saturday in Tucson. The Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse North Dakota State has won nine of the past 11 national championships. It’s their first game against an Bowl Subdivision opponent in six years. They’ll go against an Arizona team that got a big win over San Diego State in the season opener but fell to Mississippi State last weekend. North Dakota State has a 9-3 record against FBS opponents and has won six in a row since 2010.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation is accusing North Dakota officials of tampering with the tribes’ efforts to collect royalties from oil and gas production underneath a riverbed on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The state says the tribes have no legal claim. The latest grievance is part of an ongoing dispute that has seen the rights for minerals exchange hands four times in the last five years. The last turnover was in February when the Biden administration ruled that the royalties belonged to the Three Affiliated Tribes. The U.S. Department of Interior followed up by demanding that energy companies provide a detailed account of royalties and bonuses from mineral production. The state responded with a letter to oil companies dismissing the ruling and title.

MADDOCK, N.D. (AP) — A woman walked into a North Dakota bar carrying a raccoon, leading health officials to warn those who had contact with the animal about possible rabies exposure. Bartender Cindy Smith said she was serving drinks at the Maddock Bar last week when a local resident brought in the animal during happy hour. There were about 10 people in the saloon at the time. Smith says she immediately asked the woman to leave but instead she took the raccoon around the bar to show another customer. The woman eventually departed with the animal after about five minutes. Health officials are asking anyone who may have been bitten or had contact with the raccoon’s saliva to seek medical care. Rabies has a nearly 100% fatality rate.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum wants the North Dakota Legislature to spend up to $80 million in state savings over the next two years to address child care in the state. The GOP-led Legislature meets again in January and will consider the governor’s plan that also includes a child care tax credit for low- to middle-income families, expansion of child care assistance and matching money for businesses that offer their employees child care. Burgum says the lack of available and affordable child care for families contributes to workforce shortages that have hamstrung the state’s economy. Democratic lawmakers expressed support for the proposal but said more may be needed.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An accused former hitman for a Mexican drug cartel has been transferred to face federal charges in North Dakota, nearly 11 years after he was apprehended in Tijuana. Juan Francisco Sillas-Rocha appeared Friday in Fargo on three charges, including conspiracy to commit murder for a continuing criminal enterprise. Authorities say Sillas-Rocha was a top lieutenant for the Arellano Felix cartel, which for decades smuggled cocaine, marijuana and other drugs into the United States. Federal officials in North Dakota began gathering incriminating evidence on the Felix cartel after one of its members killed a man over a drug debt. The Felix cartel was a longtime competitor of the Sinaloa cartel led by notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Sept. 19 will be a holiday so that federal employees can mourn Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her state funeral. Trudeau also said he’s working with the provinces on a possible public holiday for other workers but Canada’s two most populous provinces declined to make it a holiday. The late queen was the head of state for 45% of Canada’s existence and visited the country 22 times as monarch. Though Canadians are somewhat indifferent to the monarchy, many had great affection for Elizabeth, whose silhouette marks their coins. Overall, the antiroyal movement in Canada is minuscule, meaning that Charles will almost certainly remain king of Canada.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state health official says legalizing recreational pot in North Dakota could cut the number of people who are registered to use the drug as medicine by at least 80%, due to easier access to bigger quantities and more varied products. Medical Marijuana Division Director Jason Wahl says thousands of patients holding medical pot cards likely will opt to purchase from recreational sources if the measure is approved. Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana in North Dakota succeeded last month in bringing the matter to a public vote. The state has issued more than 8,200 identification cards to qualifying patients since voters approved medical marijuana in 2016.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A $4.2 million dollar project to install metal poles with reflective markers along two-lane highways across North Dakota has been put on hold because of worries about how the new poles affected farmers driving large equipment. The posts installed this summer will be removed as the Department of Transportation redesigns the project. State Sen. Janne Myrdahl, who complained about the problems the posts were causing farmers, said the hard metal posts will likely be replaced with flexible ones. It wasn’t immediately clear how the changes will affect the cost of the project that is being paid for with federal money.

CANDO, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say a dispute between two brothers led to a triple murder and suicide last month in a North Dakota wheat field. Towner County Sheriff Andrew Hillier said autopsy results and evidence at the scene suggests 59-year-old Robert Bracken killed his brother, his own son and a third man before shooting himself on Aug. 29. The dead included Bracken’s 64-year-old brother Richard Bracken; Robert’s 34-year-old son, Justin Bracken; and 56-year-old Douglas Dulmage. The Brackens had been working the harvest for Dulmage in his field south of Cando. Hillier says an investigation found that Robert and Richard Bracken had been in a dispute “which had been escalating for a week or more” before the shootings.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two American Indian tribes in South Dakota have agreed to purchase 40 acres of land near the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The Oglala Sioux tribe will pay $255,000 and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe will pay $245,000 for the site. The agreement ends a decades-long dispute over land that is the site of the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890 in which hundreds of Lakota men, women and children were killed by U.S. soldiers. Victims were buried in a mass grave in a nearby Catholic cemetery.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former Miss America Cara Mund has qualified to appear on the November ballot as an independent candidate for North Dakota’s sole U.S. House seat. Mund is challenging Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong, who is seeking a third term. The secretary of state’s office announced Friday that Mund had met the 1,000-signature threshold for listing on the ballot. Mund entered the race in August and said her support for abortion rights motivated her candidacy. Democrat Mark Haugen announced Sunday that he was quitting the race, citing pressure from some in his own party to make way for Mund. The secretary of state’s office also said that state Rep. Rick Becker had qualified for the ballot as an independent challenging U.S. Sen. John Hoeven.


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota attorney general’s office has asked a judge to lift his stay on a trigger law banning abortion, arguing he failed to make the state’s lone abortion clinic show a likelihood of prevailing in the case. Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick last month granted the request for a preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit brought by the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo. State lawyers argue the judge made no “findings towards the substantial probability of succeeding on the merits,” which is a factor needed to evaluate preliminary injunctions. The ban was set to take effect last month.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A woman accused of fatally stabbing her roommate 15 years ago in North Dakota pleaded not guilty Thursday after a judge determined there was sufficient evidence to send her to trial on felony murder. Thirty-four-year-old Nichole Rice appeared in Ward County District Court in connection with the 2007 death of 18-year-old Anita Knutson. The Minot State University student was found face down in her bed and had two stab wounds to the chest, according to court documents. Minot Police Chief John Klug has said Rice was always a person of interest, but until this year there had not been enough evidence to arrest her.

STANLEY, N.D. (AP) — Federal, state and local investigators in northwest North Dakota are looking into the cause of an oil rig explosion and fire that sent three workers to the hospital. The crew members were taken to a burn center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The well site in Mountrail County is owned by Chord Energy, which said the three contract workers are in stable condition. The blast and fire happened Friday night near Stanley. According to authorities, the fire was contained to the site location. Emergency crews from Stanley and New Town were among those responding to the scene.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Supreme Court has ordered a ballot measure asking whether voters want term limits on the governor and legislators should be placed on the November ballot. Supporters of the measure asked the high court to compel a vote after Secretary of State Al Jaeger rejected the measure in March. Jaeger cited alleged irregularities including handwriting discrepancies and bonuses paid to petition circulators per signature. The Bismarck Tribune reported the Supreme Court found that Jaeger “misapplied the law” when he determined that a pattern of notary violations on some petitions justified invalidating all the petitions sworn before the same notary. The high court reversed a state district court judge who last month found that Jaeger’s rejection of the measure was done properly.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration has reached a legal settlement that requires officials to re-examine potential climate damages from oil and gas leases put up for sale under the Trump administration. The settlement with environmental groups involves public lands in Montana and North Dakota totaling 91 square miles. Similar deals were reached in recent weeks for prior lease sales covering thousands of square miles public lands in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Environmentalists want the Biden administration to curb drilling after climate damages and other future pollution are considered. But the agreements don’t cancel any leases or prevent companies from developing them.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Democrat Mark Haugen has suspended his campaign for a U.S. House seat from North Dakota, saying he was pressured by his party to step aside for former Miss America Cara Mund. Mund entered the race in August as an independent, citing her support for abortion rights as a major reason. The Bismarck Tribune reports that Haugen opposes abortion and that he said his stance cost him support in the party. He said he didn’t see a path to win. Democratic-NPL Party Chairman Patrick Hart said in a statement that he doesn’t “tell anyone what to do,” but that he supports Haugen’s decision to drop out.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former Miss America Cara Mund’s entry into North Dakota’s U.S. House race has led the Democratic candidate to drop out, citing pressure from his own party to step aside. Mund entered the race in August as an independent, citing her support for abortion rights as a major reason. The Bismarck Tribune reports that Democrat Mark Haugen said that his opposition to abortion rights cost him support in the party. Democratic-NPL Party Chairman Patrick Hart said in a statement that he doesn’t “tell anyone what to do,” but that he supports Haugen’s decision to drop out. The conservative state’s only House seat is held by Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong.

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Carson Wentz is undoubtedly the starting quarterback for the Washington Commanders despite being on his third team in as many years. Coach Ron Rivera told Wentz on the eve of training camp that he was wanted by the organization. The 29-year-old Wentz is tasked with stabilizing the most important position in football for a team that has cycled through eight different quarterbacks over the past three seasons. The second overall draft pick in 2016 has been traded twice over the past two offseasons after initially going from Philadelphia to Indianapolis. The Commanders are hoping Wentz leads them back to the playoffs.

Russia has imposed sanctions on 25 Americans, including actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller. Moscow says that the move is in response to U.S. sanctions against Russians because of the conflict in Ukraine. Other Americans cited Monday were Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Rick Scott of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The group included business leaders, academics and government officials, who would be banned from entering Russia. Previous rounds of Russian sanctions against Americans have included President Joe Biden, lawmakers and business leaders. The U.S. has sanctioned numerous Russians. Penn and Stiller have criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal authorities reviewing a Chinese company’s purchase of land in North Dakota for a wet corn milling plant say more information is needed before they can decide whether project is detrimental to national security. Fufeng Group’s planned $700 million project in Grand Forks is near a U.S. Air Force base, prompting opponents to raise the concerns about potential for espionage. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States told Fufeng this week that the information it’s provided is “insufficient.” The company says it will comply with the government’s request for more information. The Grand Forks city administrator said Friday that infrastructure work being done for the project will be halted until the review is done.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Supreme Court has reversed a lower court decision that had sided with an energy company in a dispute involving oil and natural gas royalties. The case stems from a lawsuit Newfield Exploration filed against the state after the Department of Trust Lands conducted an audit in 2016 that claimed the company was underpaying royalties to the agency. Judge Robin Schmidt’s ruled last year that the state’s claim of a breach of contract could not be proven. In a unanimous ruling Thursday, justices said the lower court should have focused on state’s position that the company underpaid royalties.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The head of North Dakota’s economic development and finance division at the state Commerce Department has been named to lead the agency. Gov. Doug Burgum announced Thursday that he has appointed Josh Teigen as Commerce Commissioner, effective Sept. 6. He succeeds James Leiman, who resigned from the position in June, but continues to work part-time for the agency on economic development projects in the state. Teigen will be the fourth director of the agency since Burgum took office six years ago. The Commerce Department has four divisions, overseeing tourism, economic development, workforce development and community services.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — University of North Dakota President Andrew Armacost has apologized for the school’s possession of Native American artifacts and human remains that should have been returned to tribes decades ago under federal law. He says the school is working to repatriate the artifacts and remains to several tribal nations, though the process could take several year Faculty and staff at the school first raised the issue months ago. Armacost says partial skeletal remains from dozens of individuals, as well as about 250 boxes of sacred artifacts were found in March. The process of searching for sacred items at the school began late last year.


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Volunteers are organizing in North Dakota to finish the harvest work started by a farmer found dead in his wheat field along with three other men in a case investigators describe as a murder-suicide. The Towner County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday identified the four found Monday as Douglas Dulmage, 56; Justin Bracken, 34; Richard Bracken, 64, all from Leeds and Robert Bracken, 59, of Cando. Officials say a .357 caliber revolver at the scene. Pat Traynor, a close friend of Dulmage said Dulmage owned the property and was shot in his combine while harvesting wheat in his field south of Cando.


CANDO, N.D. (AP) — Sheriff’s officials say they are investigating the deaths of four people found shot in a wheat field in rural northeast North Dakota as a murder-suicide. The Towner County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to the field south of Cando, the county seat, about 6 p.m. Monday for a report of four unresponsive individuals. Responding deputies found four bodies and secured the scene with the help of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and other law enforcement agencies. The sheriff’s office says a firearm was found in possession of one of the individuals.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A North Dakota man convicted of shooting two police officers in Wisconsin in 2020 will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. A judge in Waukesha County on Monday added another 80 years to the 50-year sentence Nathanael Benton is already serving for trying to kill an inmate in jail with a sharpened toothbrush. In November 2020, officers from Delafield and Hartland responded to a possible hit-and-run crash at the Holiday Inn in Delafield. After speaking with Benton at the scene and a woman he was with, Benton produced a handgun and shot the officers at close range. He was arrested after a seven-hour search.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bird flu has returned to the Midwest earlier than authorities expected after a lull of several months. Officials say the highly pathogenic disease was detected in a commercial turkey flock in western Minnesota’s Meeker County after the farm reported an increase in mortality last weekend. Tests confirmed the disease Tuesday evening. The flock has been euthanized to stop the spread. It is the first detection of avian influenza in Minnesota since May 31, and the first in the Midwest since an infection in Indiana on June 9. However, there have been several in western states in July and August, plus a few in some eastern states.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Attorney General Drew Wrigley says a Fargo police officer was justified in fatally shooting a man at an apartment complex in July. Wrigley says Officer Adam O’Brien fired his gun at 28-year-old Shane Netterville after Netterville ignored police commands and sped out of a garage in a stolen van, narrowly avoiding officers. Netterville suffered a chest wound and died at a hospital several hours later. Wrigley and Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski showed dash and body cam video of the incident on Monday in Fargo. O’Brien was placed on paid administrative leave while the case was being reviewed. O’Brien will return to duty on Sept. 7.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Authorities have identified the woman who died after she crashed head-on into a school bus in central North Dakota Friday afternoon. The state Highway Patrol said Danelle Germain, 35, of Harvey, died after the crash on State Highway 200 just east of Pickardville that caused the bus with nine children aboard to overturn. The Patrol said Germain was driving east in a Chevrolet Impala when she crossed the center line and hit a trailer being towed by a pickup truck before crashing into the Turtle Lake/Mercer district school bus. The bus driver, Melinda Neff, 47, of Mercer, got the children off the bus and they sustained only bruises and scrapes. The 79-year-old man driving the pickup was not hurt.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s largest cities outside the oil-producing region in the western part of the state are awaiting millions of dollars for infrastructure projects. The state’s smallest towns that haven’t benefited from oil production will at least get a few hundred dollars each under a major spending initiative approved by the Legislature in 2019. Fargo will get nearly $24 million under “Operation Prairie Dog.” Ruso, the state’s smallest incorporated town of just three people, will get $463.37, according to state data estimates. Estimates show Bismarck will receive $14.7 million followed by Grand Forks at $12.7 million, West Fargo at $10.7 million, and Mandan at $7.4 million.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Judge temporarily halts trigger law that was set to outlaw abortion in North Dakota on Friday. More information later.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Four more Republican-led states will ban almost all abortions this week. It’s another result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. To date, 13 states have passed so-called trigger laws that were designed to outlaw almost all abortions if the high court threw out the constitutional right to end a pregnancy. The majority of those states began enforcing their bans soon after the June 24 decision. But Idaho, Tennessee and Texas had to wait 30 days beyond when the justices formally entered the judgment, which happened several weeks after the ruling was announced. That deadline is up Thursday. Meanwhile, North Dakota’s trigger law is scheduled to take effect Friday.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Police say a mother from Tennessee fatally shot her adult son at his place in Bismarck before taking her own life. Lt. Luke Gardiner says officers went to son’s residence about 3 p.m. Tuesday after police received numerous requests from family members for a welfare check on the woman and her son. Officers entered the residence and found the bodies of 45-year-old Michelle Myers of Chattanooga, Tennessee and her 25-year-old son, Dylan Myers. Police are investigating what may have triggered the murder-suicide. Autopsies have been ordered.

BISMARCK,N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum has proposed eliminating state income taxes for lower-earning North Dakotans while shrinking them for higher earners to a small flat tax, which he says would save taxpayers about $250 million annually. Flanked by Republican lawmakers and other state officials at the state Capitol, Burgum touted the proposal Wednesday as an economy-driver and an inflation relief package that will be considered by the Legislature when it reconvenes in January. Under the plan, income tax would be eliminated for people with an adjusted gross income of $54,725 or less. Burgum says that’s about 388,000 people, or about 60% of the state’s taxpayers. Those with higher incomes would pay a flat 1.5% tax.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The group working to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota has more than a half-million dollars to press its case. Meanwhile, an oil industry group that helped fund opposition four years ago says it will sit on the sidelines this time. North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness says the group will not contribute money to fight the pot legalization effort because it only has “so many resources.” Ness says one in five North Dakota jobs are directly or indirectly tied to the state’s oil industry. He says most oilfield jobs require drug testing, and legalizing pot would likely shrink the employment pool

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators are investigating a massive spill of oilfield wastewater from a broken pipeline in the northwest part of the of the state. Karl Rockman, of the state Department of Environmental Quality, says Hess Corp. reported the saltwater spill near Ray on Aug. 15. The company believes the spill may have start July 21 but it was not detected or reported until mid-August. Hess originally estimated its size to be 8,400 gallons but bumped the estimate Monday to 1.4 million gallons, or enough to more then fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools. It wasn’t immediately known what caused the leak.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Lawyers for North Dakota’s only abortion clinic asked a judge Friday to delay a trigger law set to ban abortion starting next week, while they pursue a lawsuit challenging the ban on constitutional grounds. The ban is to go into effect Aug. 26. The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo argued Friday for a preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit that says the ban violates the state constitution. Burleigh County District Judge Bruce Romanick said he would make a decision on the motion by the end of next week. The clinic has already moved its services from Fargo to neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion remains legal.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The school board in North Dakota’s most populous city has reversed course on its decision to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at its monthly meetings. The group decided to reconsider at a special meeting Thursday following complaints from lawmakers and widespread bashing from citizens. Seven of the nine members of the Fargo Board of Education, including four newcomers who took office in June, voted to nix a previous board decision to recite the pledge that passed a couple of months before the election. The new board said the oath did not align with the district’s diversity and inclusion code. All but one of the board members voted to reinstate the pledge, saying the controversy was a distraction to the district.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new audit shows North Dakota’s Department of Human Services continues to fall short of establishing timely contact with individuals when investigating extreme cases of child abuse. The state analysis found the department averaged 13 days before staff had face-to-face contact in those cases, instead of within 24 hours as its policy requires. State Auditor Josh Gallion says if the department had addressed the delays when first identified in 2018, “577 cases of severe child abuse for extended amounts of time may have been avoided.” Human Services Executive Director Chris Jones said the agency is asking for additional funding and resources in its next budget to deal with the delays.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An investigation into the prison suicide of a man convicted in a 2019 quadruple slaying in North Dakota found that he had covered his cell window with cardboard and a guard failed to follow proper procedures in conducting required checks. The investigation report from the state Highway Patrol said 48-year-old Chad Isaak was found hanging in his cell July 31. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. Isaak was appealing his convictions and life sentences for the killings of four people at a Mandan property management company. Prison spokeswoman Kayli Richards said Wednesday that Sgt. Deandre Adams has been placed on administrative leave until an internal investigation at the prison is completed. Adams declined comment. The Highway Patrol says no charges against Adams are expected.


FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The school board in North Dakota’s largest city will reconsider its decision to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before each of its meetings, after the move drew harsh criticism and threats of retaliation by some conservative state lawmakers. Fargo Board of Education President Dr. Tracie Newman told board members in a memo that she believes the pledge should be reinstated because the onslaught of “negative local and national feedback” could cost time and resources ahead of the new school year. She called a special meeting for Thursday. The board voted 7-2 last week to nix a previous board edict that started in April to repeat the pledge before each meeting.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum says he’ll work with legislators on a bill next session to “guarantee that the opportunity exists” for students and elected governing bodies to say the Pledge of Allegiance, if they choose. The Republican governor’s announcement comes after the Fargo School Board last week announced plans to stop reciting the pledge on the grounds that it doesn’t align with the district’s diversity code. Under current state law, governing bodies and schools can’t be required to recite the pledge. A Burgum spokesman says the governor’s aim is to ensure that those who wish to say it may legally do so.