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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota health officials are gauging interest among laboratories in the state in testing medical marijuana...

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota health officials are gauging interest among laboratories in the state in testing medical marijuana.
     The state Health Department is seeking non-binding letters of intent from laboratories by the close of business on Aug. 25.
     The agency is establishing a system for making medical marijuana legally available to patients. North Dakota voters last November approved the drug and state government earlier this year approved regulations.
     The Health Department earlier this summer sought letters of intent from groups and businesses interested in producing or dispensing medical marijuana, and received nearly 100 responses.
     Health officials hope medical marijuana can be available to patients by late spring or early summer next year. The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act allows the use of the drug for 17 medical conditions, along with terminal illnesses.


RIVERDALE, N.D. (AP) - A drainage system is being replaced this summer at the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota.
     Army Corps of Engineers project manager Todd Lindquist says the system that manages natural seepage at the dam was losing effectiveness.
     The project has included drilling a series of wells and pumping water down them to create a dry area for installing drain pipe.
     Lindquist says the level of the Lake Sakakawea reservoir behind the dam isn't affected.
     The Minot Daily News reports that the work is expected to be completed later this year.


WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - Wahpeton Mayor Meryl Hansey has stepped away from his public duties as he battles cancer.
     The Daily News reports that Hansey has been absent due to illness since June. Members of the City Council said he's being treated for cancer.
     City Financial Director Darcie Huwe says Council President Steve Dale is handling the mayoral duties until Hansey's return, which is expected sometime in the fall.


GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Authorities have arrested a man who led them on a pursuit with a baby in his vehicle.
     Sheriff's deputies chased the man from Walsh County to Grand Forks Tuesday night. Officials did not say why they were pursing the vehicle. KFGO reports the 21-year-old man ditched the vehicle in Grand Forks and was caught after a short foot chase.
     Officers say a 4-month-old child was found in the vehicle. Child endangerment is among the charges recommended by police.


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Authorities say a 71-year-old man from California was arrested with 183 pounds of marijuana in his car when he was pulled over on Interstate 94 in North Dakota.
     The North Dakota Highway Patrol says Harold Miller, of Antelope, California, was stopped for traffic violations Monday in a construction zone between Mandan and Bismarck. Troopers say they detected a strong odor of marijuana in the Dodge minivan.
     A search of the vehicle discovered drugs with a street value of $700,000.
     Miller is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.


FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Police have named a man who drowned in the Red River in Fargo.
     The Fargo Police Department named him Tuesday as 32-year-old Hari Kumar Pradhan, of Fargo.
     Fire Chief Steve Dirksen says he was swimming across the river Monday afternoon when he went under water. Dirksen says the search was complicated by submerged trees and other obstacles in that section of the river.
     The search began around 1:30 p.m. His body was recovered about 6 p.m. It's the third drowning in the Red River this summer in the Fargo area.


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - American Indian tribes fighting the Dakota Access pipeline want a federal judge to shut down the line while more environmental review is done.
    Judge James Boasberg in June ordered federal officials to do more study on the pipeline's impact on the Standing Rock Sioux - even though the $3.8 billion line began moving North Dakota oil to Illinois June 1.
    Boasberg is now considering whether to shut down the line while the review is done. Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners and the Army Corps of Engineers don't want that.
    Tribal attorney Jan Hasselman says the pipeline should be shut down to ensure tribal safety. He also "reluctantly" proposed "alternative relief" including implementation of a spill response plan at the Missouri River's Lake Oahe reservoir, from which the tribe draws water.

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