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KHRT ND NEWS - THURSDAY - 01/23/14 - PM EDITION

A defense official says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is going to summon the military's most senior leaders to the Pentagon....
     WASHINGTON (AP) - A defense official says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is going to summon the military's most senior leaders to the Pentagon to discuss serious missteps, leadership lapses and personnel problems in the U.S. nuclear force.
 
     The officials said Hagel also will order an independent review of the nuclear force to determine whether a string of setbacks, including numerous missteps revealed by The Associated Press, reflect endemic failures that could harm the performance of the nuclear mission and the safety and security of the nation's nuclear weapons.
 
     The official disclosed Hagel's plans to the AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss them by name. Earlier today Hagel talked to the Air Force's top civilian official about setbacks in the nuclear missile force.  Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James visited the three bases that care for the arsenal this week, including a visit to Minot Air Force Base yesterday.

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     BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Attorneys a for a Colorado man charged with killing a Sidney, Montana teacher are asking a judge to declare the defendant incompetent to stand trial.
 
     The attorneys for 24-year-old Michael Keith Spell today filed a request with District Judge Richard Simonton to hold a competency hearing for their client in mid-March. They want the criminal proceedings against Spell suspended and for him to be institutionalized because of mental disabilities.
 
     Prosecutors say the Parachute, Colo., man strangled or asphyxiated 43-year-old Sidney High School teacher Sherry Arnold when he attempted to abduct her as she was jogging on Jan. 7, 2012.
 
     Spell was returned to the Richland County jail last week after a two-month competency evaluation at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs. The results have not been released.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall says he wants justice in the case of a Spokane, Wash., man killed in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme.
 
     Doug Carlile was shot by an intruder Dec. 15 at his home. Court documents show that James Henrikson, who had oil business dealings with Carlile on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Reservation, is under investigation for allegedly defrauding a company owned by Hall.  Henrikson was arrested Saturday in Mandan on a weapons charge. He hasn't been charged in Carlile's death, though another man faces a murder charge.
 
     The tribe's Business Council issued a statement yesterday saying the tribe itself hasn't had any dealings with Henrikson. Hall issued a statement today saying he's cooperating with investigators. He didn't address the alleged defrauding of his company, Maheshu Energy.

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    MINOT, ND - It's not too late to get a flu shot, and if you're in your 20s, 30s or 40s health officials say you may want to make a point to do so.  Dr. Casmiar Nwaigwe, Director of Infection Control for Trinity Health, says Minot, like other communities, has experienced a surge in flu activity, and it's younger adults who are being hardest hit
 
    "Generally we talk about children and elderly people as those who are most vulnerable to the flu virus, but that hasn't been the case this season," Dr. Nwaigwe said.  "The reason for this likely has to do with the strain of influenza that is prevalent this year - the H1N1 strain, which tends to affect younger adults."  
 
    Flu vaccines available this season protect against the H1N1 virus.  Dr. Nwaigwe urges people of all ages to get vaccinated.  "People who are young and healthy may feel that they don't need a flu shot.  But this particular strain seems to affect young adults quite severely," he added.  
 
    Sue Niebuhr, Coordinator of Infection Prevention and Control at Trinity Hospital, confirms that the demographics of this flu season are trending younger.  "We're seeing that young to middle-age groups are more prone to getting the flu.  We've had a number of patients in this hospital who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s.  Some are getting hit pretty hard."
 
    There is good news.  Fewer people have been hospitalized so far this week compared to the last two weeks for illnesses related to influenza, Niebuhr added.  



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

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