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 KHRT ND News

KHRT ND NEWS - WEDNESDAY - 05/21/14 - NOON EDITION

Minot's fired city attorney has filed a whistleblower complaint, alleging she was dismissed for refusing orders that she believed broke the law....

     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot's fired city attorney has filed a whistleblower complaint, alleging she was dismissed for refusing orders that she believed broke the law.  Colleen Auer was fired May 2 after only about a month on the job for alleged insubordination. She already has filed grievances with state and federal agencies saying she was harassed and wrongfully terminated, and seeking to be reinstated.
 
     Auer has now filed the whistleblower complaint with the state Labor Department, saying she was asked to do unlawful things regarding contracts and documents and was fired and publicly humiliated when she refused.
 
     The City Council has concluded that Auer's allegations of harassment by the city manager were unfounded. The city is not commenting on pending complaints because of the possibility of litigation.

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     NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) - Authorities are working to identify a body found in the Missouri River near the 4 Bears Casino Marina at New Town.  The McKenzie County Sheriff's Office tells KXMC-TV that the body was discovered about 8 a.m. Monday. The state medical examiner in Bismarck conducted an autopsy on Tuesday.  The investigation has been turned over to Three Affiliated Tribes police.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the more than 4,000 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference underway in Bismarck are wise for looking to learn about the opportunities being created in North Dakota.
 
     Dalrymple says the oil boom has created unparalleled opportunity and growth in the state. But he also says it's not easy being the fastest-growing state in the nation and trying to keep pace with development.
 
     The governor says the state is fighting a daily battle against natural gas flaring. He says he welcomes developments to reduce flaring such as the upgraded Hess gas plant in Tioga. But he says more needs to be done.  North Dakota burned off 33 percent of natural gas produced by its wells in March, the latest month for which figures are available.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's top energy industry regulator says he expects April's oil production figures to be over 1 million barrels daily.  State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms spoke today at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, which has drawn more than 4,000 people for three days of events. He says he expects oil production to increase from 977,000 barrels daily in March.
 
     Helms says the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana is "an exclusive club." He says that out of the 65,000 oil fields worldwide, only 150 including the Bakken have exceeded 1 billion barrels of oil. North Dakota has generated more than 850 million barrels of Bakken crude, and Montana has produced more than 150 million barrels through the first quarter of this year.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's governor has reappointed the Board of Higher Education chairwoman and also selected a Fargo optometrist to serve his first four-year term.  Gov. Jack Dalrymple named Kirsten Diederich to a second term and named Dr. Kevin Melicher to replace Duane Espegard, who has served since 2007. His term expires June 30.
 
     Melicher served on the Fargo School Board for eight years and has practiced optometry for 38 years. He received his undergraduate degree at North Dakota State University and his doctor of optometry from Illinois College of Optometry.
 
     Diederich was first appointed to the board in July 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's in entomology and a doctorate in zoology from NDSU. She is a retired biology professor.

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     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A member of Williston's park board who was caught up in a dispute over the suspension of the city parks director has resigned.   The Williston Herald reports that Nick Johnson resigned at the beginning of Tuesday's board meeting and immediately left the meeting.
 
     A group of residents had called for Johnson and another board member to step down, saying the suspension last month of Executive Director Darin Krueger that was nullified because of a technicality undermined the board's integrity.

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     VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) - A suspect in a Valley City hotel burglary is in custody.  Police say 26-year-old Paul Myles, of Valley City, turned himself in early today.
 
     An arrest warrant had been issued Tuesday for the former employee of the AmericInn. Authorities allege that he entered the hotel shortly before 4 a.m. Monday, grabbed an undisclosed amount of cash from the front desk till and took a safe from the office area - later dropping the safe while fleeing on foot.
 
     Myles was arrested on charges of burglary, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. Formal charges were pending.

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     DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers are cracking down on traffic violations around school buses in the Devils Lake School District.
 
     The patrol brought its "Trooper on a Bus" program to the city today. Troopers ride on buses, and if they observe motorists violating traffic laws such as failing to stop for a school bus they radio the information to other troopers in squad cars.
 
     The program has been used throughout the state in recent years. The goal is not only to catch violators but also to raise awareness about safety.  Troopers partnered with Mandan school officials on Tuesday, and observed one violation.

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     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The Grand Forks Police Department is warning of a scam on an Internet classified advertising site.  The scheme involves people who are offering to sell or rent property on Craigslist. Police say the potential buyer will send a check for more than the asking price and then ask the seller to wire the excess money. The original check turns out to be bogus.
 
     Police say it is difficult to identify a suspect because all interaction between the buyer and seller takes place via email or text messaging, and the buyer is out of state and using false identifying information.
 
     Authorities say any seller who receives a check for much more than the asking price should contact the financial institution listed on the check to confirm the account is valid.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Residents of the Mott-Regent School District in southwestern North Dakota have rejected a $14.5 million bond measure to build a new K-12 school.  The Bismarck Tribune reports that preliminary results of Tuesday's election show 60 percent of the 838 people who voted were opposed to the project. The measure needed 60 percent approval to pass.  The school board will meet next week to canvass the ballots and make the election official.

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     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Sanford Health is deploying the first of two mobile clinics in the western North Dakota oil patch.  The Dakotas-based health network will send the first clinic on wheels into the region in June, providing on-site care for oil workers. The 45-foot-long rig will be staffed by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, a nurse and a driver who also is a medical technician or radiology technician. It will provide services ranging from physicals to X-rays.  Sanford also is putting a modular clinic in Watford City.
 
     The health network is investing $2.7 million in the project. Annual operating expenses are estimated at $4.8 million.  Sanford Health is based in Fargo, North Dakota and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It bills itself as the largest, not-for-profit rural health care system in the nation.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Transportation Department says most seasonal load limits are being lifted.  The agency says load restrictions were being removed Wednesday on the majority of state highways south of U.S. Highway 2.  The weight restrictions are put in place to guard against damage to roads made susceptible by the spring thaw.  Current seasonal load restriction information can be found on the Transportation Department website or by dialing 511.
 
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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota National Guard is honoring the state's fallen service members and their families at the state Capitol.  The Guard's Service Member and Family Support Division today is honoring nine service members and their families. Families are being presented the Sacrifice for Freedom Tribute.  Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Guard commander Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk are scheduled to attend.

 

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

 

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