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Burke County sheriff's deputies say the death of a woman whose body was discovered a recreational area near Flaxton was accidental....

     BOWBELLS, N.D. (AP) - Burke County sheriff's deputies say the death of a woman whose body was discovered a recreational area near Flaxton was accidental. The sheriff's office said today 50-year-old Melissa Osterberg accidentally drove into the water near a boat ramp at the Northgate Dam Recreation Area sometime between the evening of September 25th and the following morning. Osterberg was found dead the afternoon of September 26th when her pickup was recovered from the water. Sheriff's investigators say the Tolley woman accidentally drowned due to the motor vehicle accident.

    BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum today directed all government agencies to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff until sunset Friday, Oct. 6, and encouraged North Dakotans to do the same at their homes and businesses, as a mark of respect for the victims of Sunday's tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas. The governor's directive is in accordance with a proclamation issued today by President Donald Trump.

    "Kathryn and I extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by this horrific act of violence in Las Vegas," Burgum said. "With heavy hearts, we grieve the victims of this tragedy, send our thoughts and prayers to their families and friends and express our gratitude to the first responders and law enforcement officers for their swift action."


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An environmental activist is due to stand trial for targeting an oil pipeline in North Dakota as part of a broader effort to draw attention to climate change. Michael Foster's trial is scheduled to start today in Pembina County. He was among 11 activists arrested when they tried to shut down pipelines in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Washington state last October.

    The defendants are trying to use what's known as the necessity defense, or justifying a crime by arguing it prevented a greater harm. The prosecutor in Foster's case wants the judge to disallow it. The defense was rejected in the Washington and Montana cases. A decision is pending with the Minnesota cases. Foster says he wants to "challenge the jury to use their conscience to consider my act of conscience."


     WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - Trial has been moved from Wahpeton to Jamestown for a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a State College of Science student found dead while working as an undercover drug informant.
     Tammy and John Sadek last year sued the Richland County sheriff's department, a deputy and the county over the 2014 death of their 20-year-old son Andrew. He was found dead in a river with a bullet in his head and a backpack of rocks tied to his body. No arrests have been made. His parents are seeking unspecified money damages.
     Court documents show both sides agreed to the change of venue due to concerns over seating an impartial jury in Richland County. Judge Jay Schmitz approved the move in August. The trial is scheduled next April.


     FLORENCE, Wis. (AP) - Authorities in northern Wisconsin say the woman killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash was a student at North Dakota State University. The Florence County Sheriff's Office says 21-year-old Ellie Helm died after crashing the ATV into a tree Friday night. Passenger Justin Krause was injured.

    Officials say speed, inexperience in operating an ATV and alcohol were all contributing factors in the crash. The university says Helm was a sophomore majoring in psychology. She was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and was a Bison cheerleader. Both Helm and Krause are from Fish Creek.


     OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A monthly survey of business leaders suggests economic conditions are still improving for nine Midwest and Plains states.

    A report released today says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 58.2 in September from 57.5 in August and 56.1 in July. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says international sales, strong profit growth and low interest rates boosted the economic outlook among supply managers in the nine-state region.

    The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor. A score below that suggests decline.

    The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.


     JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - The University of Jamestown has named a new president, and its first female leader. School Executive Vice President Polly Peterson will succeed current President Robert Badal when he retires next February.
     Peterson currently oversees the university's offices of Institutional Advancement and Business Affairs. She also has led the school's $60 million capital campaign that includes the recent construction of Harold Newman Arena. Peterson will become the university's 14th president. She will be the school's first female president in it's 134-year history. Badal has been president since 2002.


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


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