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North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has asked agencies to stick to their current spending plans when crafting new budgets for the next two years....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has asked agencies to stick to their current spending plans when crafting new budgets for the next two years.  Dalrymple addressed agency administrators on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Bismarck.
     Dalrymple says the guidelines apply to ongoing state programs. He says they won't affect one-time spending on road repairs and other essential projects.
     North Dakota departments will use the outline to write spending plans for the next two-year budget cycle.  Dalrymple will use the proposals to craft his own spending recommendations to the Legislature when lawmakers meet in January.
     The state's current two-year, $6.8 billion general fund budget has more than doubled since 2009.

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The head of the U.S. Census Bureau says challenges need to be addressed to ensure an accurate count of North Dakota's oil patch in the next census.  Director John Thompson visited Williston on Wednesday.
     Tens of thousands have arrived in the oil patch in the past five years. But Williston Mayor Ward Koeser says many living in the area didn't want to be counted as North Dakota residents in the 2010 census. He says people were afraid they would lose privileges in their home states.
     Koeser and Thompson say more education on the bureau's duties is needed to combat the problem. Thompson says the bureau's job is only to count. He says people who identify themselves as living in North Dakota will not lose rights at home.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Tucson, Arizona, man accused of robbing a Bismarck bank has been charged with felony theft.  Thirty-seven-year-old Sean Nichols appeared in court Wednesday. He was arrested Tuesday evening, just hours after the robbery at Dakota Community Bank. Authorities say Nichols entered the bank and demanded cash, fleeing on foot with an undisclosed amount. He did not display a weapon.
     Judge Gail Hagerty in Burleigh County set his bond at $20,000. Court records do not list an attorney for Nichols.  The charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


    BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) - With the North Dakota primaries now just about a month away, an important deadline is looming for those who plan to cast a ballot. With changes approved by the 2013 Legislature, state law now requires voters to have a valid form of identification.

    Josh Askvig, associate state director for advocacy at AARP of North Dakota, said those residents who have a valid ID but haven't updated an old address have until Saturday to get it fixed.

    "You don't have to go get a new driver's license or new ID," he said. "What you can do is log in to the Department of Transportation system and update your address in the system, which is the official record, allowing you to vote in that precinct."

    Five forms of identification can be used for voting: a North Dakota driver's license, a North Dakota non-driver's ID card, a tribal-issued ID card, a student ID voting certificate and a long-term care ID certificate.

    "So, if you have a family member or you happen to live in a long-term care facility, and you don't have a driver's license or you don't have a non-driver ID that indicates that address, you can request a certificate from your long-term care facility," Askvig said. "They'll print you a certificate that you can take to the poll that would serve as a valid identification for you, for voting purposes."

    Those needing to update their address can do so online at Saturday also is the deadline for residents who are new to the state to apply for an ID in order to vote in the North Dakota primaries, set for June 10.

    Residents also can call the Department of Transportation at 701-328-2600 or 1-855-637-6327.


     WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats are refusing to let supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline use an energy efficiency bill as a vehicle to attempt winning congressional approval for the project. Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked a Republican amendment on the pipeline and a measure to prevent the EPA from imposing new greenhouse gas regulations on coal-burning power plants.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A company plans to open a liquefied natural gas processing facility in Tioga this summer. North Dakota LNG says the facility will have 30 workers and will produce up to 76,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas daily by early next year. The fuel will be used to offset the use of diesel during oil drilling operations.

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A judge is standing behind a 2006 agreement allowing North Dakota State University police to write tickets off campus. The issue came up after a Fargo attorney asked the judge to throw out evidence in a drunken driving arrest made a few blocks away from the campus.

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


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