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Wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying asleep.
Wrapped in a servant's towel, washing feet.

Wrapped in linen burial cloth, dead in sin.
Wrapped in risen glory, coming again.

- Duke Kwon


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U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to send more workers to western North Dakota....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to send more workers to western North Dakota. The North Dakota Democrat says understaffed Farm Service Agency offices are dealing with an overwhelming workload exacerbated by a summer of crippling drought.
     USDA has declared numerous North Dakota counties to be disasters, paving the way for a variety of federal aid. Heitkamp's office reports complaints of wait times at the offices of a month or more. Acting FSA Administrator Steven Peterson says the agency is committed to "prompt, courteous service."
     USDA in midsummer sent additional staff to help reduce wait times at FSA offices in McHenry, Mountrail, Bowman, Golden Valley, Hettinger and Stark counties. But Heitkamp says those workers stayed only until Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says he will plead guilty to drunken driving.
     The 34-year-old Republican says he was arrested by the North Dakota Highway Patrol in Mandan on Sept. 30. A report provided by Rauschenber showed he had blood alcohol content of 0.206, which is more than twice the state's 0.08 legal limit. Rauschenberger called The Associated Press to report his arrest. Troopers say the case is still under investigation and it can't provide details.
     Rauschenberger says he showed poor judgment. He says he's taking steps including treatment for alcoholism. Rauschenberger publicly revealed his alcoholism soon after he was appointed in 2014 by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple. He underwent treatment at a Minnesota facility that same year during a successful run to be elected to the post.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Two men accused of ramming a private security officer's truck during protests in North Dakota against the Dakota Access pipeline last October have avoided trial. Michael Fasig and Israel Hernandez faced felony charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. They'll have those charges dismissed if they successfully complete probation on lesser misdemeanor counts. A judge in July dismissed a felony terrorizing charge against co-defendant Brennon Nastacio in connection with the incident.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A search committee reviewing applicants for a new North Dakota land commissioner has narrowed the field to eight people. The committee narrowed the selection from 32 applicants Thursday. The names of candidates were not named under a new state law that took effect Aug. 1. Interviews are scheduled next week. Incumbent Lance Gaebe was appointed in 2010 by then-Gov. John Hoeven and his term expires at the end of the year. He reapplied for the position.

     WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - The Richland County Commission is paying back the Federal Emergency Management Agency for flooding projects. The Wahpeton Daily News reports that the county will likely pay $125,000 to FEMA that was allocated to repair township and county roads. The agency says it was excess money given to the county for repair from floods in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.


   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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