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A federal judge says a man accused in a 2011 triple murder on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation is likely to be committed to a psychiatric institution after he was found incompetent to stand trial.....

     BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge says a man accused in a 2011 triple murder on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation is likely to be committed to a psychiatric institution after he was found incompetent to stand trial.
     Wednesday's incompetency ruling from U.S. District Judge Susan Watters came after a government psychologist testified that 25-year-old defendant Sheldon Bernard Chase suffers from a combination of schizophrenia and depression.
    Authorities say he took a rifle from his mother's house in North Dakota and shot his grandmother, cousin and the cousin's boyfriend in October 2011, near Lodge Grass.
     He's been held since January 2013 at a Bureau of Prisons psychiatric hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Prison psychologist Elizabeth Tyner says attempts to involuntarily medicate Chase to restore his mental health were unsuccessful.
     First degree murder charges against Chase would remain in place if he were committed.


    BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) - Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in the state and the nation, but the latest study shows that progress is being made, and health professionals credit ongoing initiatives in North Dakota.

    Shelly Arnold, manager of trauma, stroke and cardiac care at Sanford Health in Bismarck, says one key in improving outcomes locally has been the establishment of statewide systems of stroke and cardiac care.

    "It goes all the way from the very beginning of when a patient has any types of signs and symptoms," she explains. "Getting those patients to the right hospital, the hospital that can provide the best level of care, as well as working with both the small and the larger hospitals in the state of North Dakota on having standardized protocols."

    According to new research in the American Heart Association journal "Circulation," hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease and stroke in the U.S. dropped significantly in the last decade.

    In addition to the improvements in quality of care, also contributing to the decrease were public awareness, prevention strategies and improved lifestyle.  Arnold says in North Dakota that includes the smoke-free law, which bans smoking in all enclosed areas of public places and places of employment.

    "Some of our biggest risk factors for patients with any type of cardiovascular disease is smoking so anytime that we can decrease the amount of smoking and get rid of smoking and any type of tobacco use, the better it is for all of the patients," she says.

    Arnold adds another major risk factor is high blood pressure.  "Hypertension is a big problem: identifying it and treating it and staying on your meds," she says. "So the more work that we can do around hypertension, it really does impact our cardiovascular system and helps with any of those diseases that impact that as well."

    Arnold urges folks across the state to learn the signs of stroke and heart attack and to call 911 as quickly as possible upon onset of symptoms.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Health care and marijuana-related public policy experts are set to speak at a behavioral health conference hosted by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.  They'll join mental health and addiction treatment professionals at the September conference in Bismarck.
     The agency says speakers will share information about child traumatic stress, prescription opioid addiction, prescription drug overdose, mental health advance directives and gambling disorders.
     The department says psychiatrist David Mee-Lee will discuss how the cost of chronic illnesses can be reduced by switching to a system that focuses on wellness and health.
     The event is geared toward councilors, social workers, nurses, therapists, psychologists and others in the health care field, but the general public is also allowed to attend.

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The public works director in the oil patch hub of Williston says he needs help finding workers. David Tuan is asking the city to allow him to create a human resources manager position. Tuan says there currently are 30 open positions in the department.

     TIOGA, N.D. (AP) - Oklahoma-based Oneok Partners is continuing to increase its natural gas processing capacity in the North Dakota oil patch. The company says its Garden Creek II plant in eastern McKenzie County is now operational and capable of processing 100 million cubic feet of natural gas daily. Oneok President and CEO Terry Spencer says the Garden Creek plant will help reduce flaring.

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Federal authorities are providing $3 million in grants to address violence against women in rural and tribal communities in the oil patch of North Dakota and Montana. The money from the Office on Violence Against Women will be used to help provide services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. Among the groups receiving the grants are the North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services and the First Nations Women's Alliance.

     FESSENDEN, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Department of Transportation says roadwork is set to begin tomorrow on U.S. Highway 52 between Harvey and Fessenden. Department officials say motorists should be advised of oil and loose rock on the road. North Dakota Highway 3 also will be affected north of Harvey.

   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press and Prairie News Service.  All Rights Reserved.)


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