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North Dakota's secretary of state has declined to give voter information to a commission looking at election fraud....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's secretary of state has declined to give voter information to a commission looking at election fraud.
     Al Jaeger notified President Donald Trump's commission this week that the state won't release the information. Jaeger says in a letter released Thursday that North Dakota can't release some of the information because it doesn't apply to the state because it has no voter registration. Jaeger says North Dakota law also forbids the state from releasing details about voters.
     The state had considered handing over the information earlier after the commission pledged not to make public individual voters' information. But the state now has decided against it.
     Separately, Jaeger did provide responses Tuesday to a series of questions posed by the voting commission on the state's views and recommendations about voting integrity.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Gov. Doug Burgum met Thursday with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to advocate for drought relief and other North Dakota priorities, continuing to build on the collaborative relationship with Cabinet officials in the Trump administration.

    Burgum thanked Perdue for recent actions taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help North Dakota farmers and ranchers hit hard by drought, including the release of Conservation Reserve Program acres for haying and grazing. Today's U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly half of North Dakota is still experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions.

    The governor also sought support for his Aug. 7 request for a presidential major disaster declaration for drought, which could make direct disaster assistance available to affected farmers and ranchers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently considering the request.

    Other issues discussed with Perdue included the importance of a strong crop insurance program in the next federal farm bill and the need for more accurate data when reporting crop conditions.

    In a separate meeting with Zinke, Burgum advocated for Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation approval of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project intake permit from Garrison Diversion's McClusky Canal. They also discussed the department's important land, water and minerals management role, especially as it pertains to collaboration on tribal lands.

    "We're grateful for this administration's ongoing willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue on topics important to all North Dakotans, and we look forward to working together to find solutions to current and future challenges," Burgum said. "With all of the natural disasters impacting U.S. cities, farms and forests, we know there's huge demand for federal resources, and we deeply appreciate the assistance North Dakota has received as well as our congressional delegation's ongoing work with FEMA and the agriculture secretary on the drought issue."


     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A Grand Forks man has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison on child pornography charges. Thirty-eight-year-old Eric Basile pleaded guilty earlier to a pair of charges, including receiving and distributing child pornography.
     Authorities say the case came to the attention of law enforcement after two University of North Dakota students complained that Basile had engaged in inappropriate behavior. Basile had been a flight instructor at the school.
     U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson also ordered Basile to serve 15 years of supervised release and pay $24,000 to a crime victims' fund.


     MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has blocked construction work on a Red River flood control project in the Fargo-Moorhead area. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim ruled Thursday the project needs to obtain the necessary permits from Minnesota before construction can proceed. Minnesota so far has rejected the permits.

    The $2.2 billion proposal calls for a diversion channel to carry floodwaters around the Fargo area. The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority and Army Corps of Engineers want to proceed with work on the North Dakota side without waiting for Minnesota's approval.

    Tunheim says there's no question that Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, need permanent flood protection. He urged the parties to work together to find common ground and serve the interests of both states and the affected communities.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Hunters in North Dakota can now access the updated guide to private land in the state that's open to public hunting. The Game and Fish Department's Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2017 is available online at the agency's website and at most vendors throughout the state. It's not available by mail.

    The program funded by hunter license fees is better known by the acronym PLOTS. It pays landowners who agree to keep their property open to public hunting. PLOTS land is marked by yellow inverted triangular signs. The free guide features about 737,000 PLOTS acres.




   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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