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Senate supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline have introduced legislation authorizing its immediate construction...

     WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline have introduced legislation authorizing its immediate construction and say they expect the measure will come to a vote in the coming days.
     The legislation was introduced by Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.  In a statement, they said it has the support of all 45 Senate Republicans and 11 Democrats.
     The legislation is the latest response in Congress to the Obama administration's recent announcement that it was delaying a decision on the pipeline indefinitely, citing a Nebraska court case relating to the project.
     The House has voted previously to approve construction of the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the United States, where it eventually would reach Gulf Coast states.


     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A judge says a Kenmare woman will stand trial for murder after her 13-year-old son died weighing just 21 pounds.  Jessica Jensen's attorney argued at a preliminary hearing today that the teenager died of an untreated disease, not deliberate starvation.  Judge Gary Lee said that argument was a matter of semantics and that the state had more than met the burden of proof to try the 35-year-old mother.
     Detective Laura Forbes testified today that Jensen's mother believed Jessica did not want her son. Forbes said Jensen admitted she had previously locked her son in a room in her home. Forbes said the room had boarded up windows, was filled with trash and smelled like urine and feces.  A pre-trial conference is set for September.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Federal officials say 10,597 North Dakotans have chosen health plans through the new insurance marketplace created by the nation's health care law, falling just shy of expectations.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report today with enrollment figures that cover most of the open enrollment period that ended March 31.
     The federal government had projected that 11,000 North Dakota residents would enroll during the six-month period.  Data show that 16,627 North Dakotans were found eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan, and 11,974 were eligible to receive financial assistance for those plans.  The health care law requires nearly every American to have insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty of either $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Education Department says Minot State University is among 55 colleges and universities currently facing a Title IX investigation over their handling of sexual abuse complaints.
     Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions' handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their schools failed to protect them.
     Minot State University spokeswoman Alysia Huck says the school "is in full cooperation" with the investigation. She declined further comment.
     The federal agency says a school's appearance on the list does not mean that it has violated the law, but that an investigation is ongoing.  


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A North Dakota woman is facing prostitution and drug charges in Sioux Falls.  Police tell KSFY-TV that 30-year-old Tara Kochneff of Fargo made a deal with Sioux Falls officers to sell sexual services for money.  Police say officers found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her possession.
     Police say after Kochneff was arrested, her pimp then called to tell her that he was coming to pick her up. Officers stopped that vehicle and arrested 33-year-old James Soto and 27-year-old Yeavonne Favors. The pair from Fargo were charged with pimping.

     WASHINGTON (AP) - Witnesses are telling a Senate panel that rural communities need to sell what they are, not what they are not in order to thrive economically.  They also say government support is important for growth and that small cities and towns should band together to maximize their potential.
     A subcommittee of the Senate Agriculture Committee focused today on how to boost rural economies. Witnesses included business and community leaders from North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
     Mark Tilsen is the chief executive officer of Native American Natural Foods based in Kyle, South Dakota. He says his company has studied other rural businesses to plan for success. But he says that for his business to succeed, the government has to follow through on programs designed to boost rural economies.


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Anglers are heading to muddy riverbanks in northwest North Dakota as this year's paddlefish season officially opens.  Theoretically, the season runs through the end of May, but with a harvest cap of 1,000 fish, the season is often much shorter.
     North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries division chief Greg Power says high water levels in the state's rivers this year may help extend the season by making it more difficult to catch the ancient paddlefish.
     Paddlefish are large fish with a long flat snout protruding from their heads. They are found in 22 states. The fish can live for more than sixty years.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - History buffs in northeastern North Dakota are encouraging people to donate money to buy a 1925 Case Model X Suburban Coupe that belonged to one of the state's premier farmers, businessmen and philanthropists.
     The rare car that belonged to G.B. Gunlogson is slated to be auctioned in Maryland in June. It would be on display at the Pembina County Historical Museum and used for special occasions at Icelandic State Park.
     Gunlogson's parents immigrated to North Dakota from Iceland. He left the homestead near Akra as a young man and eventually became sales manager of the Case Motor Car Division.  Park and museum officials say bringing the car home would be a good way to honor Gunlogson, who donated money to several groups in the county.  Gunlogson died in 1983.


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


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