Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — Wisconsin is sending up to 40 sheriff's deputies to North Dakota to help local authorities responding to protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Morton County Sheriff's Department said Friday, Oct. 7. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier requested the additional manpower from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national mutual aid agreement that allows for sharing of resources across state lines during emergencies and disasters. Gov. Jack Dalrymple approved the request.
BISMARCK — A McHenry County social worker avoided jail time but must resign and surrender her social work license after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from a drowning-related investigation that also led to charges against several state Department of Human Services officials. Cheryl Johnson's sentencing last week concluded a far-reaching case that has spurred ongoing efforts to reform how child care facilities are licensed and regulated in North Dakota.
BISMARCK — Despite delays caused by protesters, the North Dakota leg of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline was 87 percent complete at the end of September, up from 68 percent in August, according to the monthly construction report filed with the state Public Service Commission late Wednesday, Oct. 5.
BISMARCK — Taxable sales and purchases fell to their lowest second-quarter level since 2010 in North Dakota as reduced oil activity and low commodity prices continued to push the key economic indicator to pre-oil boom levels, state Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said Wednesday, Oct. 5.
BISMARCK — An elementary school was on lockdown and authorities were blocking the main road into St. Anthony on Wednesday, Oct. 5, to prevent Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from passing through the small town to get to pipeline construction sites, a Morton County spokeswoman said.
BISMARCK — Dozens of Dakota Access Pipeline opponents briefly turned North Dakota's second gubernatorial debate into a protest rally Monday, erupting into shouts and heckles after the three candidates opined on whether the pipeline was properly permitted and should be completed. About 15 minutes into the hour-long debate sponsored by the North Dakota Newspaper Association, an unidentified woman rose from her seat and started down the aisle toward the Belle Mehus Auditorium stage, leading about 50 protesters in a coordinated chant of "Mni Wiconi! Water is life!"
BISMARCK — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to end North Dakota's membership in a multistate group that develops tests aligned with the Common Core education standards, but the state is withdrawing anyway as it prepares to adopt revised academic standards and testing to match.
BISMARCK — Less than six years after North Dakota residents voted to sock away oil and gas tax collections for future generations, the Legacy Fund has topped $4 billion in value, a "phenomenal" feat the state's chief investment officer said speaks to the state's fiscal conservatism. The pile of unencumbered cash presents a tempting option for state lawmakers who face a bleak budget situation when they convene in January. But House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said the Legislature must be "very cautious" about dipping into the trust fund's earnings.
NEAR CANNON BALL, N.D. — For camp leader Everett Iron Eyes Sr., the sea of tents, teepees and vehicles dotting the landscape along the Cannonball River represents a concerned people expressing their free speech rights to stop a crude oil pipeline they fear will spoil their water supply and disturb sacred sites.
BISMARCK — A ballot measure aimed at expanding the rights of North Dakota crime victims and listing them in the state constitution would cost taxpayers nearly $2 million per year, according to an estimate presented to lawmakers Thursday. Marsy's Law for North Dakota spokeswoman Lacee Anderson disagreed with the fiscal note, saying it wrongly assumes all crime victims will opt for notification services. "It assumes there's going to be more people signing up, which we haven't seen in other states," she said.