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The trial of an Idaho man accused of gunning down a Williston resident outside of a strip club in 2013 is being moved to the other side of the state.....

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The trial of an Idaho man accused of gunning down a Williston resident outside of a strip club in 2013 is being moved to the other side of the state.  The Williston Herald reports district judge David Nelson agreed to move Jonathan Hovarth's murder trial to Wahpeton, in southeastern North Dakota. Wahpeton is a seven hour drive from Williston.
     Hovarth allegedly shot 28-year-old Derrick Spiegel outside a Williston strip club in March 2013. A massive manhunt ensued after Hovarth fled the area after the shooting. He was eventually arrested near Billings, Montana.
     Hovarth faces a murder charge along with two counts of terrorizing, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and reckless endangerment.  The trial is set to begin on Wednesday.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A group of North Dakota lawmakers is suggesting legislation that would devote more oil tax money to highway corridors impacted by energy development.  The 12-member Energy Development and Transmission Committee unveiled draft legislation Tuesday that would set aside $75 million each two-year budget cycle. The proposed bill would give priority to U.S. 85, the main north-south highway in western North Dakota's oil patch.
     The state has earmarked more than $300 million to make the 46 miles between Williston and Watford City four lanes. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.
     Sen. Rich Wardner is chairman of the Energy Development and Transmission Committee. The Dickinson Republican says using additional oil tax revenue for highway improvements would not affect other funding needs for cities, counties or school districts.


     DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - The president of the Dickinson Catholic Schools would one day like to see justice for whoever burned down part of Trinity High School, but says for now he's focusing on rebuilding the school and their community.
     President Steve Glasser says construction crews are on track to reopen the school by the start of the 2014 academic year. The school will use some temporary classrooms.  Glasser estimates the insurance claim will be somewhere between $17 million and $20 million when the cleanup and repairs are complete.
     Former Principal Thomas Sander was accused of setting fire to the school in March. A judge on Monday dismissed the charges almost a week after he ruled that statements the defendant made to police were improperly obtained and couldn't be used at his trial.


    BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) - North Dakotans can take comfort in knowing they live in one of the safer states in the nation.  An analysis from WalletHub ranked North Dakota 18th for safety, using measures such as home and community stability, workplace and financial, which chief executive Odysseas Papadimitriou said has become increasingly important in recent years.

    "If you do not have any savings," he said, "then you are just one emergency away from starting to default, getting late fees, interest rates skyrocketing, and getting into a vicious cycle of financial destruction."

    The report ranked North Dakota third best in the nation for financial security, but for driving safety the state came in a dismal 48th.  Another category examined was emergency preparedness, with which North Dakota has had plenty of experience dealing; that showed a ranking of 12th. Papadimitriou said natural disasters are a growing concern across the country.

    "It's interesting," he said. "In some places you see, on a regular basis, a tornado passing through and just leveling homes in that area. and it's not something that happens once, every seven to 10 years. It's almost on an annual basis."

    Papadimitriou said the safest state in which to live is Massachusetts, and at the bottom of the rankings is Nevada.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. Department of the Interior is giving about $400,000 to North Dakota for conservation and outdoor recreation projects.  The money comes from the department's Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund collects money from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.
     U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven both separately announced the funding today.  The money will be given to North Dakota. It's up to the state to decide how to disperse the funding.


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


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