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A former Minot State University football player accused of attacking two police officers during a traffic stop told a jury that he's innocent....

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A former Minot State University football player accused of attacking two police officers during a traffic stop told a jury that he's innocent.  KXMC-TV reports that Jesse Ili took the stand in his own defense Thursday in district court.  Ili is accused of beating two officers who responded to a report of suspected drug use in a parked vehicle off campus in Minot last year.
     Prosecutors say Ili ran away and then bashed the head of one officer against a pole several times. He's also accused of punching another officer in the head.  Ili told jurors he pushed one of the officers but only after one of them pulled his hair. Ili also testified that he had not been smoking marijuana in the vehicle.  Closing arguments are scheduled for today.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A traffic stop in Bismarck resulted in police recovering 31 pounds of marijuana and edible THC and hashish.  The Bismarck Tribune reports 37-year-old Clifton Walker of Indiana and 21-year-old Tyler Asbach of Washington, were charged Thursday with felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.  South Central District Judge David Reich set bond for both Walker and Asbach at $150,000 cash.
     Police Sgt. Mark Buschena says officers stopped a vehicle driven by Asbach Wednesday afternoon for a traffic violation.   Asbach and Walker gave officers consent to search. They found three large duffel bags of marijuana in the trunk, along with a large vacuum sealed container of with edible versions of THC and hashish.


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A convicted felon working as a bounty hunter in the North Dakota oil patch has been arrested on an illegal weapons charge.  Steven Goldmann, who was living in Williston, is charged in federal court with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He has not been asked to enter a plea.
     Goldmann was pulled over by Williston police on March 21 on a felony warrant from Tennessee. Authorities say Goldmann admitted to having a firearm in the console next to the driver's seat and officers found nine rounds of .40-caliber hydro shock hollow point bullets in the driver's side door.  Police say Goldmann was outfitted with a holster for a firearm, a police-style badge on his hip, handcuffs, pepper spray and a T-shirt with a K-9 logo.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Authorities say police from five North Dakota cities, including Minot, issued 114 citations for texting while driving in April.  The state Transportation Department says the statewide crackdown last month was the first of its kind in North Dakota.
     The agency says the effort cost about $40,000 and was funded with a federal grant that pays for overtime for officers to enforce distracted driving laws.  The North Dakota Legislature approved the texting while driving ban in 2011. A state violation is a $100 fine.  The ban applies for accessing or sending electronic data while operating a motor vehicle - even while at a stoplight.
     Officials say the traffic stops for texting drivers last month also netted numerous other citations and arrests, including for warrants, drunken driving and possession of drugs.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Dive teams and a Bismarck towing service have recovered a stolen pickup that was dumped in the Missouri River in January.  The Bismarck Tribune reports that the truck was pulled from the river after an all-day effort on Thursday.
     Officials say a 15-year-old reported seeing a pickup drive across ice and plunge into the river on Jan. 26.  Dive teams first attempted to retrieve the pickup from the river last month but quit after a cable snapped.  The first attempt at pulling the pickup from the river was at the expense of its owner.
     The state Water Commission agreed to pay for Thursday's recovery, which cost $500.


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Members of the North Dakota Petroleum Council and seven communities will hold clean-up events in the state's oil patch throughout May as part of the Oil Can Pick up the Patch! campaign.  The North Dakota Petroleum Council says the campaign is aimed at picking up trash left behind after the winter's snow has melted and at encouraging a culture against littering.
     In a statement North Dakota Petroleum Council government affairs manager Alexis Brinkman says that while many challenges in western North Dakota's fast-growing communities will take time to solve, the trash pick-up campaign can have an immediate impact.  Last year the campaign collected more than 1,600 bags of trash.
     The North Dakota Petroleum Council is a lobbying group for oil companies operating in the state.


   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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