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 KHRT ND News

KHRT ND NEWS - WEDNESDAY - 07/09/14 - NOON EDITION

Job Service North Dakota data show counties that produced oil last year held nine of the top 10 spots in average annual wages.....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Job Service North Dakota data show counties that produced oil last year held nine of the top 10 spots in average annual wages. Research analyst Michael Ziesch says North Dakota's average annual wage increased about 4 percent last year to almost $48,000. Ziesch says the state's average wage still lags behind the national average of just over $49,000.
 
     Job Service figures show that oil-rich Williams County ranked first last year with an average annual salary of $78,390.  Eleven counties topped the statewide average last year, and 10 of them produced oil.  Coal-rich Oliver County ranked fifth in wages in 2013 and was the only non-oil producing county to crack the top 10.
 
     Sheridan County, in central North Dakota, had the state's lowest average wage of $26,611 last year.
 
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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Two North Dakota law enforcement agents are being recognized for their work in a wide-ranging synthetic drug case that covered five states and resulted in 15 arrests.
 
     The case was dubbed Operation Stolen Youth. The investigation was launched in Grand Forks in 2012 when two teenagers died and three others were hospitalized after ingesting unknown substances.  All but two of the defendants charged in the case have been sentenced.
 
     U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon will present commendation awards to forensic scientist Charlene Keller of the state crime laboratory and special agent Steve Gilpin.  The ceremony is scheduled for this afternoon at the state attorney general's office in Bismarck.
 
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     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The White House has singled out the oil patch of northwestern North Dakota and northeastern Montana as part of its 2014 national drug control strategy.  The report released today says dramatic increases in crime in the Bakken oil-producing region has overwhelmed state, local and tribal agencies working with limited resources.
 
     The document says the FBI and other federal agencies will continue to work with state and local police on "law enforcement, quality of life, women's safety and tribal issues" in oil country.
 
     U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon of North Dakota says there's a growing threat from organized drug traffickers in the Bakken and he's happy the Obama administration is making the issue a priority.  

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The judge overseeing a homicide trial in Bismarck is questioning whether prosecutors filed the right charge in the case.  20-year-old Joshua Clark is on trial on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. Authorities allege that Clark and 26-year-old Theo Crowe conspired to kill 18-year-old John Swain, who had recently moved to Bismarck from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when he was killed and dismembered last year.
 
     Crowe pleaded guilty in the case last October. On Tuesday he refused to testify against Clark. Judge Bruce Haskell questioned whether an accomplice or facilitation charge might be more appropriate against Clark. But he denied a defense motion that Clark be acquitted on the conspiracy charge.
 
     Authorities allege Clark and Crowe killed Swain, cut off his legs and hid his body in Montana.

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     JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - A woman in Jamestown is asking the City Council to change an ordinance that allows residents to shoot off fireworks for nine days.  Danielle Schmidt thinks that's excessive and she wants the number of days reduced to between two and five.  Fireworks are allowed in Jamestown from June 27 through July 5. KQDJ radio reports that Mayor Katie Andersen is assigning a committee to study the issue.

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     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Federal grants totaling $1.5 million are being awarded to a rural elderly care program and University of North Dakota's School of Nursing.  U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven announced the grants on Tuesday.
 
     Bismarck-based Northland Healthcare Alliance will receive around $1.15 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a rural elderly care program.
 
     The University of North Dakota will receive $350,000 in federal funds from the Health and Human Services' Nursing Workforce Diversity program. The money will provide stipends and scholarships to people from disadvantaged backgrounds and groups that are underrepresented among registered nurses.

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     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley is taking a month off to study faculty tenure issues.  In a statement, Kelley says that he has been approved for a leave of absence of up to 30 days for professional development. That's allowed under North Dakota University System policy if a president has been in office for at least five years.
 
     Kelley says he will be on leave from mid-July through mid-August. He will be back to preside over the school's Aug. 8 summer commencement ceremony.  Provost Tom DiLorenzo will oversee the Grand Forks university in Kelley's absence.

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     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota gardeners are being urged to donate fruits and vegetables to a program that helps feed hungry people around the state.  The Hunger Free ND Garden Project is in its fifth year. In the first four years, the partnership of the state Agriculture Department and the Great Plains Food Bank generated nearly 500 tons of produce for food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
 
     State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the need for food aid continues to grow, and North Dakota gardeners can help meet that need by planting an extra row of fruits or veggies.
 
     Great Plains Food Bank Program Director Steve Sellent says more than 80,000 people rely on the organization for nutrition help.

 


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

 

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