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The top federal prosecutors in the Dakotas say that not enough people in the two states are getting the message about the threat of human trafficking and related crimes.....

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The top federal prosecutors in the Dakotas say that not enough people in the two states are getting the message about the threat of human trafficking and related crimes.
     U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson from South Dakota and U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon from North Dakota are sponsoring a three-day conference next week in hopes of raising awareness of the issue.  Johnson says many people believe human trafficking originates overseas and don't realize there are homegrown victims. He says his office has indicted 20 people in the last four years on human trafficking charges.
     Purdon points to a single weekend in Dickinson, North Dakota, when 11 men were arrested when they believed they were going to have sex with teen girls. He says that shows there's a market for human traffickers.


     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota attorney general is warning of a phone scam involving customers of a Minot utility company.  Wayne Stenehjem says some customers of Verendrye Electric Cooperative have received phone messages telling them there is an unpaid balance due and services will be disconnected unless payment was made immediately.
     Stenehjem calls it a "blatant attempt" by thieves to steal credit card numbers and personal information. He says that even though this particular scheme involves local customers, it's not uncommon for scammers to pick a different business in North Dakota once warnings for one company are issued.  Stenehjem says scam artists use random dialer equipment so people who numbers are on the "do not call" list still receive calls.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Jack Dalrymple has asked President Barack Obama for a federal disaster declaration to help nine North Dakota counties and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation recover from a series of torrential rainstorms that led to flooding in late June.
     Dalrymple is seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for public infrastructure repairs in Benson, Bottineau, Divide, Eddy, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward counties, as well as the reservation.
     The storms dropped as much as a foot of rain in some areas. Damage to public infrastructure is estimated at a little more than $1 million. Dalrymple wants FEMA to cover 75 percent of that.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Representatives of the Italian milling industry are visiting North Dakota to learn more about hard red spring wheat, the state's staple crop.  The North Dakota Wheat Commission says the Italian team includes a representative of the largest spring wheat broker in Italy and also officials with medium-size, family owned milling companies in that country.  Today's schedule included visits to North Dakota State University and the Northern Crops Institute in Fargo and to an area grain elevator.
     Italy imported nearly 10 million bushels of U.S. hard red spring wheat in the 2013 marketing year, up from the five-year average of 7.3 million bushels. The country typically accounts for about half of the spring wheat demand in the European Union.


     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot Air Force Base will be getting more personnel through an effort to strengthen the military's nuclear mission. U.S. Senator John Hoeven says 69 of the new positions will be with the 5th Bomb Wing and 234 with the 91st missile wing. The Minot base oversees 150 missiles buried in silos across the countryside.

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A Job Service North Dakota report shows the state has had at least 200,000 jobs available for six straight months. The report says North Dakota had 23,500 open jobs last month. North Dakota Economic Development Foundation chairman Wally Goulet says the job numbers speak to the strength and growth of the state's economy.

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


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