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The Williams County Commission plans to rule tomorrow on whether to hit an oil services company with nearly $30 million in fines.....

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The Williams County Commission plans to rule tomorrow on whether to hit an oil services company with nearly $30 million in fines on allegations of a crew camp violating zoning regulations in North Dakota's oil patch.
     The Williston Herald reports that Western Petroleum LLC representatives were unable to attend last week's meeting and requested that it be moved to Tuesday.
     The commission in June said that Western Petroleum had been operating employee housing on a plot of land off Highway 2 without renewing a condition use permit for two years. Commissioners said the company had built unsanctioned buildings, and there is no record of Western Petroleum paying crew fees for the past two years.
     An attorney representing the company suggested the fines are egregious.

     ANTLER, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection reopened the U.S.-Canadian border at Antler on Sunday after water receded from Highway 256.  Both U.S. Highway 256 and Canada Highway 256 had been closed due to overland flooding.
     The North Dakota Department of Transportation says the roadway is now safe and has been reopened for travel.  The Lyleton, Manitoba port of entry operated by the Canada Border Services Agency also reopened on Sunday.  The Antler port of entry is open seven days a week, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - One of North Dakota's two U.S. senators is urging the United States Postal Service to keep a mail processing facility open in Minot to help handle population increases in recent years.
     Republican Congressman John Hoeven says it's crucial the Minot Area Mail Processing facility stay open. The USPS announced Monday that it planned to close as many as 82 mail processing facilities by the start of 2015. The Minot facility in that announcement.
     Hoeven spoke with USPS Vice President of Operations Drew Aliperto last week. He says Aliperto will reevaluate the Minot site further at his request.  Hoeven says the Minot area needs the processing facility to keep up with North Dakota's rapid growth in the oil patch.
     Last week a second postal office opened Williston.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Some parts of northern North Dakota are seeing river flooding from high releases from Lake Darling and southern Canada, but officials say most of the affected area is agricultural land along the Souris River.
     Bill Abeling is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. Abeling says high releases from the Lake Darling Dam and Alameda Dam in Saskatchewan have caused parts of the Souris to flood moderately at several points.  Abeling says there is major flooding from the Souris River near Westhope, but says no houses have been affected.
     The meteorologist says there's also still overland flooding across Renville County and parts of northern Ward County. Abeling says that's primarily leftover water from heavy rains that continues to drain. An areal flood warning continues through Sunday.

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Foreign investors more familiar with projects in emerging markets in Eastern Europe and tropical escapes of Southeast Asia are finding a new destination for their dollars and francs: Western North Dakota's oil patch.
     Government foreign investment initiative SelectUSA says the state has drawn at least 31 publicly announced foreign investment projects since 2003 worth more than $1 billion.  Now two foreign companies are planning a pair of large mixed-use oil patch developments worth $800 million.
     Swiss firm Stropiq is planning a $500 million residential and commercial development in Williston. Company co-founder Terry Olin says the oil patch is similar to emerging markets overseas.
     Singaporean firm Barons Group of Companies is plotting a $300 million project in Dickinson. Its other projects are in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.


     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Head Start programs in Grand Forks are getting nearly $2.5 million in federal money.  U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says the money will help the program provide services as it increases the number of children it can help. Last year it helped 333 children and this year the number is increasing to 357.  Head Start programs provide affordable early childhood education.

     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The Northeastern North Dakota Heritage Association is getting state money to help fund the expansion of an exhibit at Icelandic State Park.  The $14,665 grant from North Dakota Tourism will be used to expand the Natural History Exhibit at the park's Pioneer Heritage Center. The exhibit features interactive displays.
     The center's exhibits tell the history of the settlement era, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  The Heritage Association must match the state grant with an equal amount of its own money.


     DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - Five anglers from Wisconsin have been caught with 100 walleye over the state limit at Devils Lake and are each facing fines of more than $1,700.  North Dakota Game and Fish wardens say they got a tip about a group of men who were overfishing and staying in a rental home in Devils Lake.
     WDAY-TV reports a warden found 25 whole walleye in one of the fishermen's vehicles. Another 135 cleaned and frozen walleye were found in their rental house.  The daily limit in North Dakota is 10 walleyes per person.  Each angler faces fines of more than $1,700.  The group has a court date set for August 18.


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


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