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For the past four years, North Dakota's economy has continued to outpace all other states....

    BISMARCK, N.D. - For the past four years, North Dakota's economy has continued to outpace all other states, according to information released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Factors driving the state's robust economy include continued growth in economic production, new jobs and rising wages.

    North Dakota's gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of total economic production, increased 9.7 percent last year to top economic growth among all states for the fourth straight year.  Mineral resources, including oil and gas extraction and coal mining, contributed 3.6 percent to North Dakota's GDP growth.

    "It's very encouraging that our continued economic growth stems from nearly every business sector and that no single industry tells the whole story of the great progress we're making," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. "Moving forward, we will continue to support economic growth through low taxes, a sensible and effective regulatory environment and a state government that is responsive to the needs of its people and businesses."

    In 2013, North Dakota's economy produced a record $49.8 billion.  In the past four years, North Dakota's economy has averaged an annual growth rate of about 12 percent compared to the national economy's growth rate of 2 percent.

    Wyoming produced the nation's second strongest state economy in 2013, with a growth rate of 7.6 percent. The nation's GDP growth rate slowed to 1.8 percent last year, after increasing 2.5 percent in 2012, the BEA reports.

    North Dakota's continued economic growth is reflected in many areas of commerce including manufacturing, agriculture, the energy industry, construction, transportation, wholesale trade, retail trade and the finance and insurance sectors. The BEA report can be viewed at

Other statistics that detail the state's economic progress include:

    North Dakota has created 116,600 net jobs since 2000.  

    North Dakota's per-capita personal income of $57,084 represents the strongest income growth in the nation. In 2000, North Dakota's per-capital personal income ranked 38th in the nation. Today, North Dakota's personal income ranks second among all states.

    The state continues to have the nation's lowest unemployment rate, at just 2.6 percent.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A man is accused of raping and killing a woman on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.  Lance Summers is charged in federal court with murder and sexual abuse in the March 18 death of Natalie White Lightening. Summers has pleaded not guilty.  The indictment says White Lightening was physically incapable of communicating her unwillingness to have sex with Summers.  Trial has been scheduled for Aug. 19 in Bismarck. No further details are available.
     The head of the federal public defender's office says officials are just beginning their investigation. He says Summers is presumed innocent.  The Standing Rock Reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border.


     JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - A 27-year-old Jamestown man is in a Bismarck hospital after crashing a motorcycle while trying to flee police.  Authorities say the man led officers on a chase Wednesday that at times reached speeds in excess of 120 mph. They allege that he threw items from his pockets during the 36-mile chase on Interstate 94.
     The pursuit ended near Crystal Springs when the man lost control of the motorcycle. KSJB radio reports that he suffered injuries to his back, an arm and a leg. His condition was not known.  Formal charges are pending in the case.


     DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - Some Dickinson-based North Dakota National Guard soldiers have been notified that they might be called to serve in Afghanistan.  The Guard says more than 150 members of the 816th Engineer Company have been put on alert for a possible mobilization early next year. The unit has a detachment in Mott.  Members of the unit deployed to Iraq from late 2003 to early 2005.
     Some Army and Air Guard soldiers with other North Dakota units currently are serving in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Southwest Asia.


     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A faith-based group is spearheading efforts this summer to restore about 40 Minot homes damaged by the 2011 Souris River flood.  The Minot Daily News reports the project involves funding, equipment or logistical help from the United Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Catholic churches. The Hope Village volunteer center that shut down last fall is donating money it had left over.
     A major contributor is NOMADS, which stands for Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service. The organization of retirees under the umbrella of the United Methodist Committee on Relief will bring workers to Minot throughout the summer. Project coordinator Bob Lower says five mobile homes will accommodate teams of up to 10 people.  Minot Air Force Base also has been signing up weekend volunteer teams.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota National Guard is hosting lawmakers today at the Camp Grafton Training Center near Devils Lake.  The military says the Legislative Day is a chance for lawmakers to tour the facility and get a firsthand look at combat equipment.  The military says lawmakers also will be among Guard soldiers who are undergoing annual training.

     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The University of North Dakota is starting work on a new medical school.  A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled this afternoon at the site of the future School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
     The $122 million school will be northwest of Ralph Engelstad Arena. The 325,000-square-foot facility will put all of the medical school's departments under one roof.  The state Legislature last year approved money for the project. Construction is expected to wrap up by July 2016.


     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A University of North Dakota junior is the recipient of the 2014 Dru Sjodin Memorial Scholarship.  Maggie O'Leary is a Billings, Montana, native who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in English. She helped establish a new student organization called the Third Wave, which recognizes social inequities based on gender, sexual identity, social and economic background, and physical ability.
     The scholarship is named in memory of a former UND student who was kidnapped and killed more than 10 years ago.  The award, which was established by the UND Alumni Association Foundation, provides funding for tuition and fees for a full academic year.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Authorities in Fargo are removing dozens of cats from a home after discovering what they say is an extreme case of animal hoarding.  KFGO radio reports that 68 cats have been taken from the home, and police say the total might eventually reach 100. They say some of the cats are feral and have to be trapped. Lt. Joel Vettel says it's the worst case of animal hoarding he can recall.
     Some of the cats are being taken to shelters. Those that are sick or too wild to be adopted are being euthanized.  Police say it's unlikely the homeowner will be cited because of health issues.


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


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