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More than 60 North Dakota lawmakers want to appeal a federal judge's ruling that overturns a state law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - More than 60 North Dakota lawmakers want to appeal a federal judge's ruling that overturns a state law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.  U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled last month that the law is "invalid and unconstitutional."
     In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Republican Rep. Bette Grande urged Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to appeal Hovland's ruling. The letter was signed by 61 GOP lawmakers and two Democrats.
     The state's only abortion clinic in Fargo filed a lawsuit in July against the measure that would ban abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be first detected.
     Grande says most North Dakotans support the law, which was among four pro-life bills Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law last year with overwhelming support from the state's GOP-led Legislature.   


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The country's largest labor federation says North Dakota's death rate in the oil, gas and mining sector was more than six times the national average in 2012.  

    AFL-CIO says North Dakota had 104 deaths per 100,000 workers in the oil, gas and mining industry that year. The national rate for the industry was 15.9 deaths per 100,000.  North Dakota's construction fatality rate was nearly 10 times the national rate for that industry, at 97.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.
     AFL-CIO says North Dakota also had the highest overall worker fatality rate in the nation in 2012, with 17.7 deaths per 100,000 workers. The national rate was 3.4 deaths per 100,000.  The sharp growth in worker death rates in the state correlates with its oil boom in recent years.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Officials say a $27 million expansion of the Bismarck Civic Center is not yet complete but it's ready to host an oil conference later this month.  The Bismarck Tribune reports that the center's exhibit hall is enclosed and is ready for the 600 vendors expected at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference on May 20-22.  City officials, contractors and architects on Thursday led a media tour of the 50,000-square-foot expansion.  Official say the entire project is about 60 percent complete.

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A company accused of falsely advertising the health benefits of its nationally distributed Dreamfields Pasta has agreed to pay $5 million to consumers as part of a class-action settlement.  The complaint accuses Carrington-based Dakota Growers Pasta and its parent company of bogus claims that the product was a low-carbohydrate alternative to traditional pasta.
     The plaintiffs say the pasta was more expensive than most brands and they wouldn't have shelled out the money if they knew the pitch about low carbs was false.  A federal judge in New Jersey on Friday signed a preliminary approval order for the settlement. A hearing to finalize the deal is scheduled for September 24th.
     Dakota Growers vice president and general manager Ed Irion (EAR'-ee-on) says he cannot comment on the case.

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot State University President David Fuller is getting ready to call it a career.  Fuller is retiring at the end of June. The school held a retirement party for him last week, and he will oversee his final graduation ceremony on Friday.
     Fuller was named the school's eighth president in 2004. He says it's been a fun 10 years and he's proud of where he leaves the school. He also says he's confident that the school will be in good hands with incoming president Steven Shirley, the current president at Valley City State.
     Fuller says he plans to work on various projects in his retirement, including research and writing, and working with groups that help animals and homeless people.


     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elected a new bishop.  The Rev. Terry Brandt was elected Sunday. He had been an associate to Bishop William Rindy, who did not seek a second six-year term. Brandt starts his duties in August.  The synod oversees more than 100,000 Lutherans in 207 congregations in the eastern third of North Dakota.


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


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