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 KHRT ND News

KHRT ND NEWS - FRIDAY - 05/23/14 - NOON EDITION

A Belcourt man accused of stealing a Bureau of Indian Affairs squad car and smashing it into a light pole says he will plead guilty....

    MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A Belcourt man accused of stealing a Bureau of Indian Affairs squad car and smashing it into a light pole says he will plead guilty.  John Champagne is charged in federal court with damage to government property. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
 
     The incident happened in December. Authorities say Champagne took off in the vehicle while police were responding to a domestic incident.  The collision caused more than $8,000 worth of damage to the patrol vehicle.

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    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - On the exposition floor of this week's Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, it wasn't just oil technologies and services that were being touted.  A&A Engraving Inc.'s booth was offering a look at their customizable firearms. Many of the weapons are engraved with things related to the world of oil.
 
     A chrome-plated AR-15 assault rifle with "3 Forks" engraved on it was one of the firearms on sale. "3 Forks" refers to an oil formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada.  A nearby shotgun has a Nabors Drilling logo carved into its stock, but sales director Haines says the oil industry represents only a small part of his sales. He says he's sold firearms everywhere from the Indy 500 to the Babe Ruth World Series.

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    UPHAM, N.D. (AP) - The J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge in northern North Dakota is dealing with flooding, as snowmelt and spring rains have pushed up the level of the Souris River.  Frank Durbian with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that the moderate spring flooding has the potential to destroy bird nests on the 100-square-mile refuge.
 
     Water also has encroached on a parking lot and on hay meadows harvested by area ranchers. Durbian says the hay meadows could suffer from weed infestations later on.

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    MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The South Prairie School District south of Minot has started construction on a $12 million high school.  Voters in the K-8 district late last year overwhelmingly approved a bond measure to pay for the addition. Ground was broken for the project on Thursday and dirt work is to begin next week.
 
     Superintendent Wayne Stanley says student numbers in the district have nearly doubled in the last half dozen years. School board members determined it would be more cost-effective to build a high school than to continue to pay tuition to send students to other area schools.  The 48,000-square-foot high school should be ready for the 2015-16 school year.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Some North Dakota middle school students are pushing lawmakers to further address some of the problems linked to the booming oil industry in the state.
 
     Students from West Fargo's Cheney Middle School displayed presentations addressing problems related to oil at the recent Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck. The students are part of the Science Technology Engineering and Math program at their school.
 
     The students have created online petitions aimed at state representatives calling for action on topics such as the state's high natural gas flaring rate and the stresses the oil boom has put on some towns. Those were hot topics during the Legislature earlier this year.
 
     Eighth-grade science teacher Candida Braun says she encouraged her students to embrace problems that they feel need to be addressed.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Swiss firm Stropiq is planning a $500 million mixed-use development in Williston.  Stropiq partner Jones Lang LaSalle says the Williston Crossing project will incorporate 1 million square feet of retail, entertainment and hotel space. The project also will include space for housing and offices.
 
     Jones Lang LaSalle senior director of retail development Larry Jensen says there are no comparable retail developments within a 125-mile radius. He says he expects Williston Crossing to become the premier retail destination in the area.
 
     North Dakota's oil boom has made Williston the fastest-growing micropolitan area in the nation in recent years. But development has often lagged behind growth. Many residents complain about a lack of shopping and entertainment options.

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    WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - City officials in Wahpeton have lifted water restrictions put in place while they dealt with a faulty well.  Water usage had been limited to drinking and cooking. The restrictions were lifted late Thursday afternoon after only a couple of hours.

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     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Leaders of two North Dakota companies that make products out of bio-based materials say most of their customers rate price and performance first and view the green aspect as a bonus.
 
     Fargo-based C2renew takes various types of thermoplastics and combines them with agricultural byproducts such as flax fiber, sunflower hulls and sugar beet pulp to create bio composites. Ultra Green's Devils Lake plant makes food containers out of wheat straw, which is the leftover stubble from the wheat harvest.
 
     Ultra Green CEO Mack Traynor and C2renew Chief Technology Officer Chad Ulven say the two companies make products that are better than their plastic counterparts and cost about the same or less.  Ulven says about 15 percent of his customers are "selling the heck out of the green."

 

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

 

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