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N.D. NEWS: Panel opposes DU buy ... Guard soldiers return ... Mail carrier gets probation ... more

<Panel opposes DU buy A group that advises the governor on land buys by nonprofits is recommending denial of a proposed purchase by Ducks Unlimited in McLean County. The Natural Areas Acquisition Advisory Committee met by telephone Thursday. D...

<Panel opposes DU buy

A group that advises the governor on land buys by nonprofits is recommending denial of a proposed purchase by Ducks Unlimited in McLean County.

The Natural Areas Acquisition Advisory Committee met by telephone Thursday.

Ducks Unlimited wants to buy 321 acres of land near Mercer from the California man who owns it.

Gov. John Hoeven will have the final say. The McLean County Commission and a township in the county also oppse the deal.


In February, Hoeven rejected a proposed Ducks Unlimited land buy in Kidder County involving nearly 600 acres, following the recommendation of the advisory group and the County Commission.

Hoeven will have about 30 days to make a decision on the McLean County proposal.

Guard soldiers return

The North Dakota National Guard said seven soldiers returning from Iraq after extending their duty there are finally back in North Dakota.

Two flights that were to bring the soldiers from Chicago to Fargo were canceled Wednesday because of severe weather. A flight was arranged Thursday morning.

The seven soldiers are members of the 191st Military Police Company, which is headquartered in Fargo with units in Bismarck and Mayville. It mobilized in January 2008 and its members returned early this year.

The Guard said the unit has 182 soldiers from 40 communities, who worked on security in the Baghdad area.

Mail carrier gets probation


A mail carrier and former sheriff has been sentenced probation for delaying and destroying about 4 tons of mail over a 10-year period.

Authorities said Allen Prochnow, Wahpeton, reached a plea deal in November that called for five years of probation.

Authorities said he failed to deliver the mail while he was a rural mail carrier from 1998 to 2008. The mail was seized by federal agents when they searched Prochnow's home.

Prochnow, a former Richland County sheriff, also must pay more than $17,500 in restitution.

Burglars hit Dickinson bar

Dickinson authorities are looking for suspects in a bar burglary.

Police said someone broke into the Southside Saloon on Tuesday morning, damaged equipment and stole cash, alcohol and cigarettes.

Owner Curtis Haider saidwhoever broke in drilled a hole through a door so they could get the latch open, and also removed two electric meters to shut off power to the building. Haider said the stolen items and damage add up to about $1,000.


Emergency director quits

Williams County's emergency services director has resigned.

Mike Casler said he was "blindsided" when two county commissioners asked him to step down based on reasoning he said was "vague." County Commissioner David Montgomerysaid Casler's job performance was the issue.

Sheriff Scott Busching and Williston Fire Chief Alan Hanson have volunteered to help out until a new director is hired. Casler had been in the job only a few months.

Boys Ranch: Annex us

The Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is getting a second chance at having land it owns on the south edge of Fargo annexed into the city as part of its plan to build a new residential treatment facility for area youths.

The Fargo Planning Commission is recommending approval of the agency's request to annex 36 acres, and the City Commission is expected to vote on it Monday.

Last June, the commission denied an annexation request.


Tim Eissinger with Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch said there were concerns over utilities, and police and fire service. He said some area homeowners also protested.

The city has changed since then. The city annexed land for a new high school, and that action included four acres of Boys and Girls Ranch land.

The Boys and Girls Ranch wants to consolidate its four Fargo facilities into one.

The agency helps youths ages 11 to 17 with emotional, behavioral and educational problems.

Housing task force forms

A task force has been formed to help North Dakota communities with housing issues that resulted from spring flooding.

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is leading the effort.

Gov. John Hoeven said the task force already is contacting communities such as Linton, Valley City, Jamestown and Kathryn.


Missouri River patrols

The state Game and Fish Department is joining with sheriff's departments in Burleigh and Morton counties to put more officers on the water.

The Missouri River patrol effort is getting another $200,000 from the state budget over the next two years.

Morton County Sheriff Dave Shipman said safety is the main goal but the patrols also will watch for alcohol use, littering and unsafe operation of watercraft.

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