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AROUND NORTH DAKOTA: Minot-based Trinity getting $6.6M from trust ... Nine illegal farm workers guilty ... more

Minot-based Trinity getting $6.6M from trust

MINOT -- A charitable trust established by the late hotel and real estate baroness Leona Helmsley is giving nearly $6.6 million to the Minot-based Trinity Health Foundation.

The money from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust over three years will be used to expand Trinity's CancerCare Center and add new technology.

Trinity Health CEO John Kutch said the total cost of the project is $7.9 million.

The CancerCare Center diagnoses and treats more than 500 patients per year, with 80 percent of them traveling to the center from outside of Minot.

The money awarded to Trinity is part of the Helmsley Rural Health Program, which over the last two years has announced more than $65 million in grants to institutions and organizations in the upper Midwest.

Nine illegal farm workers guilty

FARGO -- Nine of 32 Oakes, N.D., farm laborers detained in May have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and been turned over to immigration officials for deportation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Chase said nine men entered pleas to charges of either re-entry after deportation or possessing counterfeit documents. They were sentenced to time served.

Chase said the other farm laborers were turned over to immigration officials upon their May 19 arrests at Four Star Ag in Oakes, N.D. He wasn't sure whether any of the men had been deported yet.

Four Star Ag owner Barry Vculek said he hired the men through a labor contractor and didn't know they were in the country illegally.

2 S.D. residents arrested after 2-state chase

FARGO -- Police say two South Dakota residents were captured after they jumped from a vehicle in Fargo at the end of a two-state chase.

Fargo police say the chase began in South Dakota early Monday morning and was picked up on Interstate 29 in North Dakota by a Richland County deputy and a state trooper.

The two people bolted from their vehicle after it stopped in Fargo. They were found about 30 minutes later, hiding in bushes outside a church around 10:30 a.m.

The vehicle they were in was believed to be stolen.

The driver was identified as Glenn Palacio, 19, of Agency Village, S.D. His passenger was identified as Serena Brent, 18, also of Agency Village.

They remain in custody. Case records don't list their attorneys' names.

State not relying on stimulus money for budget

BISMARCK -- State budget director Pam Sharp says North Dakota should finish its two-year budget cycle with an $800 million surplus.

Some states aren't as fortunate and had been hoping for extended federal stimulus aid. Congress was poised to extend some stimulus funding to states, but the measure died in the Senate last month. States that counted on the money must now make up the difference in their budgets.

North Dakota has taken about $600 million in federal stimulus money that has been used for such things as road repairs, teachers' salaries and social programs.

Sharp says the state has never relied on federal stimulus funds and has never counted on them.

The state's two-year budget cycle ends next June 30.

Man receives probation for false statements

BISMARCK -- A Williston man has been sentenced to a year of probation and a $5,000 fine for lying to a federal grand jury in an illegal-weapons case.

Prosecutors say Donald Radke III testified last year that he bought four weapons from Lucas Clausen for $2,000. Court documents show that Radke did not buy guns from Clausen. Radke also admitted lying about whether Clausen had other weapons in his possession.

Radke pleaded guilty to false statements.

Clausen pleaded guilty last year to possession of firearms by a person convicted of domestic violence and was sentenced in December to three years of probation.