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Seven same-sex couples have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in North Dakota.....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Seven same-sex couples have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in North Dakota, the last remaining state without a court challenge.  The clerk of the court confirmed that the lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court in Fargo.
     It challenges both North Dakota's constitutional ban on gay marriage and its refusal to recognize marriages of same-sex couples who legally wed in other states.
     The lawsuit means cases are currently pending in all 31 states with gay marriage bans. Judges have overturned several of those bans since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.
     Minneapolis-based attorney Josh Newville, who is representing the North Dakota same-sex couples, also filed a lawsuit on behalf of South Dakota same-sex couples in May.


     STANTON, N.D. (AP) - Hidatsa members of North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes are marking the return of ancestral lands to the tribe. Tribal elders Reba and Tillie Walker, who are sisters, bought the Knife River Ranch near Stanton and donated it to the tribe. A ceremony was held this afternoon.  Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall says the tribe plans to open a cultural interpretive center on the site in order to "further preserve the traditions and legacy of the Hidatsa people."

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Commercial air service has resumed in the cities of Devils Lake and Jamestown with SkyWest Airlines launching flights. Great Lakes Airlines pulled out of Devils Lake and Jamestown earlier this year, and leaders in both cities endorsed a switch to SkyWest to provide federally subsidized air service. Federal officials agreed to the switch, and local media outlets report flights resumed yesterday afternoon.

     BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Railroads being forced to turn over details of their crude oil shipments are asking states to sign agreements not to reveal the information. But North Dakota and some other states are refusing, saying the information should be public. The railroads facing a government disclosure deadline today say the information is security sensitive.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Don't have a North Dakota fishing license? Not a problem, at least not this weekend.  The state Game and Fish Department says anglers can fish for free on Saturday and Sunday. The agency holds one such weekend every year.  While no fishing license is required, all other regulations still apply.


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


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