AROUND NORTH DAKOTA: Barnes County attorneys switch ,... N.D. native joins Iditarod ... More Dickinson ER cases ... moreBarnes County State’s Attorney Brad Cruff will continue to be a county prosecutor, though not the lead one.
By: Associated Press/Forum Communications,
Barnes County attorneys switch
VALLEY CITY — Barnes County State’s Attorney Brad Cruff will continue to be a county prosecutor, though not the lead one.
Cruff made an unsuccessful bid for a district judgeship in the Nov. 2 election, and Assistant State’s Attorney Lee Grossman was elected state’s attorney.
Grossman told KOVC radio that Cruff will now become his assistant. The County Commission unanimously approved the move.
Cruff’s salary will drop from $64,000 to $56,000, and Grossman’s salary will rise from $48,000 to $60,000.
N.D. native to join Iditarod race
BISMARCK — Bismarck native Heather Siirtola plans to make another Iditarod run.
Siirtola skipped this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska for several reasons, including that she had moved her kennel to a new home near Talkeetna, Alaska, during the time of year when she normally would be training her team.
She had competed in the previous three races and finished all of them, though she was never in the running for the win. In her last Iditarod, she finished 37th in a field of 67 teams. Siirtola told The Bismarck Tribune that she’s focused on improving her finish.
The 1,150-mile trek gets under way March 5.
Hospital sees more ER cases
DICKINSON — A hospital in the heart of western North Dakota’s booming oil patch is seeing a 50 percent increase in emergency room cases.
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center spokesman Dennis Cannon said emergency room visits have increased from 800 per month last year to 1,200 per month this year.
The Dickinson Press reports that the hospital with 357 employees is recruiting two emergency physicians, two general surgeons, an orthopedic surgeon, a nurse practitioner and a physician’s assistant. The hospital recently hired a radiologist.
Hoeven, Berg to attend training
FARGO — Every job has its training — even U.S. senators and congressmen.
Sen.-elect John Hoeven and Rep.-elect Rick Berg won’t be sworn in to office until January, but both Republican North Dakotans are off to Washington today to begin their transition into becoming members of the U.S. Congress.
Hoeven and Berg are spending this week on Capitol Hill participating in a series of orientation sessions with other newly elected members from their respective chambers.
During the week, members in both chambers also will elect party leaders, determine seniority among the members and run a lottery to determine which offices incoming legislators will get on the Hill.
Natural gas plant decision is delayed
DICKINSON — The final OK for a natural gas plant slated for construction near Watford City has been delayed after the state’s Public Service Commission tabled review of the application during a meeting Friday in Bismarck.
Bear Paw Energy LLC, a subsidiary of ONEOK Partners LP, is vying to construct a $150 million to $175 million natural gas processing facility eight miles northeast of Watford City.
Dubbed the Garden Creek Gas Plant, the facility would process gas developed from the Bakken Formation in eastern McKenzie and southwestern Mountrail counties, with the capability of recovering about 25,000 barrels of natural gas liquids a day, according to a letter of intent filed with the PSC.
Gas would travel through a low-pressure gas gathering system and compressor stations where it is then routed to the Garden Creek Plant to be processed for natural gas liquid extraction, according to the letter.
The product would then be transported via pipeline to Bear Paw’s Riverview rail terminal near Sidney, Mont., for further transport via railcar or pipeline to various facilities for further processing.
The PSC was slated to make a final vote on Bear Paw’s application Friday, but a Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. rate hearing took twice as long as anticipated.
Former school to be ‘castle’ motel
REGENT — A former Regent school could become “The Castle” by next hunting season after an area foundation placed the highest bid Monday during a Regent City Council meeting.
After the city of Regent took over ownership of the now-vacant school in March or April 2009, it became too expensive to heat the nearly 30,000-square-foot building, so it was put up for a bid, City Auditor Karen Kouba said.
The highest bid of $66,000 belonged to the Enchanted Highway Foundation.
Conjuring up a motel idea for nearly 10 years, two other ideas did not pan out as needed, so when the school went up for bid, Enchanted Highway metal sculpture artist and Foundation President Gary Greff knew this was the chance.
Work on the soon-to-be motel began Wednesday.
Pride of Dakota today in Minot
MINOT — The State Fairgrounds is showcasing North Dakota products this weekend.
The All Seasons Arena on the Minot fairgrounds continues hosting a Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase today.
State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said there are more than 130 booths — the most ever for a Minot showcase.
Pride of Dakota is a program administered by the state Agriculture Department that helps more than 400 businesses promote products made in the state. Holiday showcases also are upcoming in Fargo and Bismarck.
Oil firm responds to blast lawsuit
BISMARCK — A company that owns and operates oil wells in North Dakota said it’s not responsible for a man’s injuries allegedly suffered in an oilfield explosion.
Trevor Armes, of Colstrip, Mont., has filed a federal lawsuit against Petro-Hunt LLC, claiming the company failed to maintain safe working conditions.
Armes said the August 2008 explosion at an oil well near Keene injured his back and worsened his post-traumatic stress disorder that was a result of the Iraq war.
Petro-Hunt said any injuries suffered in the explosion were the fault of Armes and Sanjel Corp., which was working on a project when the well exploded.
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