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A former Minot horticulturalist has filed a grievance with the city park district, claiming he was fired after he filed a complaint on behalf of a female employee who said she was being harassed....

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A former Minot horticulturalist has filed a grievance with the city park district, claiming he was fired after he filed a complaint on behalf of a female employee who said she was being harassed.
     The Minot Daily News reports that Director of Horticulture Steve Wharton was dismissed July 15th.  Wharton says that one of his employees told him she was being sexually harassed by a supervisor. He says he checked out the claim and filed a complaint as required by his job.
     Soon after the Minot Park Board met in executive session and decided to terminate Wharton. The board says he was fired because of poor job performance.  Wharton alleges it was retaliation. He says they didn't properly investigate the claim and the supervisor in question is still employed.
     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Striking workers at the J.R. Simplot Company potato processing plant in Grand Forks are entering a third week picketing.  WDAZ-TV reports the workers have rejected the company's latest contract offer mainly over newly implemented 12-hour shifts.  Union business agent Brian Nowak says the new shifts could easily result in unreasonably long hours.
     A Simplot spokesperson told the station that the company may move employees working in other U.S. factories to the one in Grand Forks if the strike isn't settled by full fall production.
     Nearly 200 union employees walked off the job August 4th. The contract disputes also include health care premiums and retirement plan changes.  Simplot is based in Boise, Idaho. The Grand Forks plant makes french fries and other potato products for fast food restaurants.

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Authorities say the Cass County Courthouse in Fargo has been vandalized for the second time in one week.  The county's sheriff's office says deputies found the glass doors of the main entrance on the east side broken on Sunday. A passer-by reported the incident around 9 am.  A report for criminal mischief was filed and an investigation has begun.
     Sunday's report came as authorities investigate an earlier incident of vandalism at the courthouse.  On Tuesday, rocks were thrown through windows on the main entrance doors. The sheriff's office says the rocks were wrapped in paper with the words "Nazism" and "fascism" written on them, though misspelled.
     No suspects have been identified in either incident.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Portland, ND woman has died after being struck by a pickup truck while biking.  The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the 54-year old victim was thrown from her bike. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  The patrol says charges are pending against the 34-year-old driver of the pickup while the crash remains under investigation.  The driver and the two child passengers were not hurt.

     STANTON, N.D. (AP) - The superintendent of the only national site in the United States that preserves the homelands of the Northern Plains Indians says it's time to deal with nature-made threats to the site's archaeology.
     Wendy Ross is the superintendent of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Ross tells the Bismarck Tribune that erosion, flooding and trees with invasive roots are damaging the site.
     Ross has begun a management plan to fully detail those threats and how to deal with them. She says stopping the threats could mean bank stabilization on the river and rerouting a county road. Other changes could involve restoring native grasses to the village sites and not mowing or bringing on the herbicides.
     Park service archaeologist Jay Sturdevant says the damage in parts of park is severe.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A state guide that maps tracts of private land open to hunting in North Dakota is available online at the state Game and Fish Department website.
     The free PLOTS guides also will be available at most hunting license vendors throughout the state beginning in early September. PLOTS stands for Private Lands Open to Sportsmen.  The program pays landowners who agree to keep their property open to public hunting. License fees paid by hunters funds the program.
     This year's guide will feature about 735,000 acres, down from 760,000 acres last year. PLOTS land is marked by yellow inverted triangular signs.

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

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