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The Ward County Sheriff's Department has released the name of the man whose body was found near a running ATV in Burlington.....

    BURLINGTON, N.D. - The Ward County Sheriff's Department has released the name of the man whose body was found near a running ATV in Burlington. They identified the man as 39-year-old Paul Staskywicz of Burlington.

    Officers responded to the 10000 block of 62nd Avenue NW shortly before 10:45 Wednesday morning for a report of a possibly deceased man. They located an ATV near Staskywicz's body that was running and in gear but not damaged. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident remains under investigation. An autopsy is being done.


     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot officials are debating whether residents should be allowed to raise chickens and keep snakes.
     The Daily News reports that one proposed ordinance would permit chickens within city limits. Proponents say larger cities like Fargo and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, allow backyard hens and there have been few complaints. Opponents are worried the chickens would attract feral cats, weasels, hawks and fox.
     Another proposal would lift a ban on all snakes except those that are poisonous or dangerous, such as rattlesnakes, boa constrictors and pit vipers. Minot resident Merle Baisch argued against the idea and said if people want snakes they should move out of town.
     The city's animal ordinance committee recommended that the city council lift the ban on snakes. The group did not vote on the chicken proposal.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Obstruction and disorderly conduct charges have been dismissed against a photo journalist covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protest last year. Sara Lafleur-Vetter was working for The Guardian, a London-based news outlet, when she was arrested Oct. 22 with 140 other people at the pipeline easement near state Highway 1806.
     Defense attorney Amanda Harris argued there was no evidence against Lafleur-Vetter and that photos show she had cameras and equipment and was working. Harris says Lafleur-Vetter identified herself as a journalist when she was arrested.
     Surrogate Judge Thomas Merrick dismissed the misdemeanor charges against Lafleur-Vetter Wednesday following testimony from several law enforcement officers who said they did not distinguish journalists from others during arrests. The Bismarck Tribune says four other defendants on trial with Lafleur-Vetter return to court Thursday.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The federal government is giving North Dakota more time to get driver's licenses in line with federal identification requirements for boarding a plane and getting into federal facilities.
     The state Transportation Department says federal Homeland Security has given North Dakota a waiver until October 2020 to comply with the Real ID Act. The state earlier had received an extension that expired in October 2018. State officials estimate that Real ID-compliant credentials will begin being issued in North Dakota next summer.


     OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years.
     The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.
     Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices.
     Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.


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


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