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One suspect has been arrested and two more are being sought in a drug diversion case.....

    MINOT, ND - One suspect has been arrested and two more are being sought in a drug diversion case. In January 2017 the Minot Police Department says they received information from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regarding a drug diversion investigation that was initiated in September 2014.

    The drug diversion occurred between December 2012 and September 2014, involving nurses from Trinity's Home Health and Hospice Program. As a result of the new information the Minot Police Department reopened the investigation. As a result, arrest warrants were obtained for three former Home Health and Hospice nurses.

    One suspect, 39-year old Jennifer Napora, was arrested Thursday in Minot and charged with Theft of Property. Police are still attempting to locate 45-year old Kim Kochel and 39-year old April Beckler.

    The charges vary for each of the suspects depending on their involvement in the case, but consist of Endangering a Vulnerable Adult (B felony), Conspiracy (C felony), and Theft of Property (C felony).
    Police say that Trinity Hospital staff cooperated with supplying information for the investigation to the best of their ability.


    BISMARCK, N.D. - State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says the Education Department has approved North Dakota's new education plan. The plan replaces the outdated No Child Left Behind education law.

    Baesler says the new plan emphasizes academic improvement for all students over time. She says it has better measurements of school quality. And more information will be available for North Dakota parents and taxpayers.

    The new Every Student Succeeds Act says states have to write plans to carry out the law. Baesler put together a group of more than 50 education stakeholders to write the plan.  It took almost two years to write.

    The superintendent says the Every Student Succeeds Act has much greater flexibility for state and local education planning and innovation. She says the old No Child Left Behind law focused on test scores and high school graduation rates for school rankings.


    BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum applauded Friday's announcement by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to appoint Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford and North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms to the Department of the Interior's Royalty Policy Committee.

    The committee, which meets for the first time on Oct. 4, will advise Zinke on policy and strategies to improve management of Interior's federal and American Indian mineral revenue program.

    "As a national energy leader, North Dakota is fortunate to have two members appointed to this committee, and we couldn't ask for two people better suited for the role," Burgum said. "North Dakota and the entire nation will gain from Secretary Zinke choosing Lt. Gov. Sanford and Director Helms to help find ways to improve the mineral leasing process and reduce delays that prevent taxpayers and tribes from enjoying the full benefits of minerals on public lands. Brent's first-hand experience as a leader in western North Dakota oil country and Lynn's vast expertise in energy development and regulation are a valuable asset to our state, and now to the federal government as well."

    Sanford, who previously served as mayor of Watford City, spoke directly with Zinke in June during a White House summit on infrastructure, advocating for shorter permitting periods for oil and gas wells on federal lands.

    "We're grateful North Dakota has a seat at the table to help shape future policy for federal natural resources management," Sanford said. "In North Dakota, we have long known the stark difference in process and timeline between development of resources on federal and tribal lands compared to private lands. More rules and longer timelines don't necessarily equate to better stewardship, let alone revenue realization. We believe this committee can provide valuable insight to help modernize our public resources management with a common-sense approach."

    State law requires that mineral royalties and leasing fees generated from federal lands be shared equally between the state and the county in which the revenue was generated. The state's general fund received $29 million from mineral royalties and leasing fees on federal lands during the two-year budget cycle that ended June 30, and the oil-producing counties received the same amount.

    "This committee is a great opportunity to maximize the value of federal royalties for North Dakota citizens. North Dakota has a long history of oil, natural gas and coal production from federal lands, and royalties from those lands are a large part of revenue returned to the state, counties and tribes," Helms said. "It's great to have Secretary Zinke recognize the important role North Dakota plays and the value our state can bring to the discussion. It really demonstrates this administration's desire to work with the states and to hear what the states have to say about federal policy and federal rules."


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Research from North Dakota State University shows the state's five tribal colleges have contributed more than $190 million to the state's economy during fiscal year 2016. The Bismarck Tribune reports the university's study also included the social and economic effects of education. It's the second study of its kind to be completed by the university.
     The North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges ordered the study to measure the combined impact of the state's tribal colleges. Those colleges include Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College and United Tribes Technical College. University researchers studied the state and local economic impacts using the colleges' operations expenditures and student spending.


     DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - A company with a deep history in North Dakota is one of the four firms awarded contracts to build a prototype for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it will award one of the contracts to Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., founded more than 60 years ago in southwestern North Dakota and headquartered in Dickinson.
     CBP is providing few details of the concrete prototypes and says funding for four other prototypes for a see-through structure will be awarded next week. The prototypes will cost a total of $3.6 million and will be built in San Diego. The Trump administration is moving forward on the wall, even though funding for the overall project is uncertain.


    BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum has announced the hiring of Cheri Schoenfish as state government's first Chief People Officer (CPO), seeking to build upon a culture of high-performing, citizen-focused team members and transform and unify human resources practices.

    Schoenfish is taking a one-year civic leave of absence from her current position as Microsoft's director of global talent management to fill the CPO position, starting Oct. 9.

    As CPO, Schoenfish will be the state's workforce strategist and organizational development leader, with a focus on enhancing performance and productivity as she coaches and advises the governor's leadership team. She also will spearhead a strategic initiative with the human resources team across cabinet agencies to facilitate a unified approach and spur innovation in processes involving recruitment, hiring, goal-setting and performance management, talent management, succession management, rewards systems, team member relations and related areas.

    "A major theme of this administration is reinventing government, and that begins with a focus on people," Burgum said. "Cheri's broad business background and global expertise in talent management will be invaluable as she works with leadership on furthering their skills and employee development strategies. We must continue to invest in people to deliver the 21st century services and experiences our citizens expect."

    Schoenfish earned a bachelor of art's degree in Business Administration with a math minor from Dickinson State University and worked for 14 years in training and human resources at Great Plains Software in Fargo. Since Microsoft acquired Great Plains in 2001, she has served in a variety of human resources leadership roles at the national and global levels. Her duties as CPO also will include leading the further development of the "Team North Dakota" culture.

    "I'm thrilled to join the Burgum administration and look forward to building upon the existing culture to help team members and leaders reach their full potential for the benefit of all North Dakotans," Schoenfish said.

    A Fargo resident, Schoenfish currently serves on the board of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo and is a past board member of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp and the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm.



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


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