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 KHRT ND News

KHRT ND NEWS - WEDNESDAY - 07/23/14 - PM EDITION

Supporters of a measure that would give fathers additional claims to child custody in divorce disputes have turned in enough signatures to appear on the North Dakota ballot this year.....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Supporters of a measure that would give fathers additional claims to child custody in divorce disputes have turned in enough signatures to appear on the North Dakota ballot this year.

    The North Dakota Parental Rights Initiative would amend state law to create a legal presumption that both parents in a child custody case would be fit, barring "clear and convincing evidence" to the contrary. Both parents would be awarded equal parenting rights and equal custody of children without compelling arguments otherwise.

    Backers of the measure turned in 15,001 signatures in June, and this week Secretary of State Al Jaeger said his office had verified 14,400 of those signatures, more than the over 13,000 required to make the November ballot.

    Backers say current state law unfairly favors mothers in custody disputes.  Opponents said current state law focuses on the children involved in the dispute, rather than the parents.  North Dakota voters rejected a similar measure back in 2006, by a 56 to 44 percent margin.

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    BISMARCK, N.D. - A 54-year-old Bismarck man scheduled for a jury trial on a felony luring charge changed his plea and was sentenced this morning in South Central District Court.  Thomas Bortness had faced a Class B felony charge of luring minors by computer after his arrest in January.

    Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Nesvig said the trial was cancelled after Bortness pleaded guilty to a modified charge of solicitation of a minor, a Class C felony.

    Bortness was sentenced to three years in prison with all but 11 days suspended for three years and was ordered to register as a sex offender and receive psychological treatment.

    He was accused of having sexual conversations via text messages with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl and making plans to meet her at a Bismarck location.  He was actually texting an undercover detective and was arrested when he showed up at the location.

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    JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - A proposal to reduce the number of days that Jamestown residents can shoot off fireworks has fizzled out.  Jamestown residents can shoot off fireworks for nine days over the Fourth of July holiday period. Resident Danielle Schmidt earlier this month asked the City Council to reduce the time period to a maximum of five days, saying nine was excessive.  A five-day proposal presented at a city committee meeting on Tuesday failed on a 2-2 vote, with one councilman absent.

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    ANTLER, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have temporarily closed the border station at Antler because of a propane leak.  The Antler port of entry is located north of Minot on U.S Highway 256 and Canada Highway 256. It is normally open seven days a week.  Authorities say travelers should take an alternate route into Canada, either at the Sherwood port to the west or the Westhope port to the east.

 


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

 

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