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North Dakota's Health Department has unveiled proposed administrative rules for a medical marijuana system in the state....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's Health Department has unveiled proposed administrative rules for a medical marijuana system in the state. The agency is taking public comments through December 26th, and has scheduled public meetings in six cities next month.
     Voters approved medical marijuana in November 2016. State lawmakers earlier this year crafted regulations that Gov. Doug Burgum approved in April. But the Health Department doesn't expect the drug to be available to patients for another year. The advocacy group Marijuana Majority says a two-year lag between voter approval and drug availability is too long.
     State Medical Marijuana Director Jason Wahl says North Dakota looked at numerous states' regulatory systems when crafting its proposed rules. And he says officials placed a priority on ensuring medical marijuana isn't able to be diverted for illegal use.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Doug Burgum is setting his sights on the state's higher education system. Burgum has scheduled a news conference today to make an announcement he says is aimed at ensuring the system is best able to meet the state's education and workforce needs. No other details were provided.
     Burgum has said he believes the state's 11 colleges and universities can deliver a more affordable product and need to be more flexible and understanding of technology. He said the most successful schools are those that can spur other economic development.
     The North Dakota University System is managed by the state Board of Higher Education. Voters in 2014 turned down an initiative that would have replaced the board with a three-member commission that reports to the governor.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority is appealing a ruling by a federal judge that halted construction of the Red River diversion.

     U.S. District Judge John Tunheim of Minnesota issued the order in September, saying the diversion authority and Army Corps of Engineers did not have the required permits from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Tunheim granted a preliminary injunction sought by the Minnesota DNR and the Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, a group of upstream residents who have sued to block the project.
     Lawyers in the case say the notice filed Monday with the 8th U.S. Circuit of Appeals is a protective appeal because the two sides have agreed to suspend legal proceedings while a task force works on solutions to the dispute. The task force has a December 15th deadline.


    MINOT, ND - A six-block section of Burdick Expressway East will reopen to vehicle traffic later this week after the completion of a major construction project.

    City of Minot officials, including Mayor Chuck Barney, City Manager Tom Barry and City Engineer Lance Meyer, are scheduled to join representatives from the North Dakota Department of Transportation and others to mark the road's official reopening at a ribbon cutting Thursday at 3 p.m. The event will be held at the intersection of Burdick Expressway and 13th Street NE, which is the main entrance to Roosevelt Park Zoo.

    "Burdick Expressway is a key route for east-west traffic in Minot, and we're pleased that this project is substantially completed and traffic will be flowing again this week," said Meyer. "We appreciate the patience of everyone in this area as we've worked to upgrade this critical infrastructure and improve this section of roadway."

    Burdick Expressway from 9th Street NE to 15th Street NE was upgraded, including new water lines, sewer pipes and storm sewer lines. Many of the underground utilities were 100 years old and in dire need of replacement. The stretch of Burdick Expressway now has new concrete sidewalks, curb and gutter, and updated signage and traffic signals. In addition, a small section of Burdick Expressway East near the intersection with 9th Street Southeast was slightly realigned to improve traffic flow and safety, and left turn lanes were added at 9th Street SE and 13th Street SE.

    As part of the project, the traffic signal at the intersection of Burdick Expressway and 13th Street SE has been removed. There are overhead flashing signals that accompany pedestrian crossings at the intersection. Temporary traffic signals at the intersection of Valley Street and 13th Street SE and at the intersection of Valley Street and 27th Street SE will soon be deactivated and removed. Some finishing work on the project will be completed next spring, including planting trees and shrubs.

    The NDDOT and the Minot City Council awarded the $4.3 million project to Keller Paving and Landscape in April 2017. The City of Minot's share was $1.4 million.



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


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