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- Duke Kwon


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Federal officials say a fugitive who escaped custody in Wyoming four years ago is being sought for the illegal dumping of radioactive oilfield waste in North Dakota....

     BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Federal officials say a fugitive who escaped custody in Wyoming four years ago is being sought for the illegal dumping of radioactive oilfield waste in North Dakota.
     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that James Kenneth Ward is considered violent and dangerous and should not be approached. Ward was indicted in April in U.S. District Court in Montana on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
     Prosecutors say he was paid by a company to dispose of hundreds of pieces of radioactive oil field waste known as filter socks, which are used to strain the sometimes-radioactive fluids produced during oil and gas exploration. Instead of brining the socks to a licensed landfill, prosecutors say Ward dumped them inside an abandoned North Dakota gas station.


     MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Correctional officers from eight agencies in North Dakota are working toward their certification through a program created by Ward County to address its own training concerns.
     The Minot Daily News reports that 23 correctional officers are wrapping up their three-week, 120-hour training program. It's the first course to serve a large number of correctional officers from outside agencies. The correctional officers represent agencies in northern North Dakota, from Williston to Grafton.
     The program was developed after the state issued an order of noncompliance to the Ward County Jail in December 2014 for violations that included lack of adequate staff training.
     Ward County Sheriff Bob Barnard says the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has discontinued providing courses, prompting agencies to seek other options. He says the program has also served to train the department of corrections' staff.

    BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Mark Dosch of Bismarck to chair the Board of Trustees for the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System (NDPERS), while also recognizing outgoing chairman Jon Strinden for his service and congratulating NDPERS Executive Director Sparb Collins on his upcoming retirement.

    Dosch's appointment is effective immediately. He replaces Strinden, who served on the Board of Trustees for 16 years before resigning as chairman after the board's May 18 meeting.

    A Bismarck native, Dosch is the owner and president of Expressway Inn & Suites in Bismarck. He served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 2001 to 2016, including as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and on the advisory board of Job Service North Dakota.

    Dosch earned a bachelor's degree in banking and finance from the University of North Dakota in 1982 and graduated from the Dakota School of Banking in 1986. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Grand Forks-based Edgewood Real Estate Investment Trust, which provides multi-family and senior housing across seven Midwest states. He and his wife of 30 years, Deb, have three children and three grandchildren.

    "Our employees are our most valuable resource in state government, and Mark Dosch has the experience and leadership skills necessary to ensure a strong retirement and benefits system that will help us recruit and retain the talent needed to reinvent government and provide North Dakotans with the highest levels of service," Burgum said.

    "I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, to make sure that the state retirement and health insurance systems are best positioned to assure continued benefits to those who are retired from service to our state, and at the same time reflect and adapt to changes in the retirement and health systems of today to provide for sustainable and affordable benefits in the future," Dosch said.

    Burgum expressed his deep gratitude for Strinden's many years of service on the board. He also expressed his appreciation for Collins' 28 years as NDPERS executive director. Collins announced his retirement in May, and his last day with NDPERS will be Oct. 31.

    Sharon Schiermeister, chief operating officer of NDPERS, will act as interim director during the board's search for a new executive director. The job opening announcement will be shared in the coming weeks.

    The nine-member NDPERS Board of Trustees consists of the chairman appointed by the governor, one member appointed by the Attorney General's staff, an appointee of the State Health Officer, three members elected by the active membership of NDPERS, one member elected by the retired public employees, and two members appointed by legislative management.

    NDPERS has about 45,000 members enrolled in the retirement plans and about 68,000 covered individuals in the group health insurance plan, with some crossover between the two groups.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota regulators have granted a request by the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline to postpone a public hearing Thursday on whether the company violated state rules during construction. The Public Service Commission is looking into whether Energy Transfer Partners removed too many trees and improperly handled some soil. The Texas-based company asked for a hearing delay to give company and commission attorneys more time to discuss a resolution.

     FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) - State and tribal authorities will collaborate on an elk hunting season within the Standing Rock Reservation in southwestern North Dakota.
     Gov. Doug Burgum and Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault signed a memorandum of understanding on the new elk season Tuesday. The agreement was developed by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the Standing Rock Game, Fish and Wildlife Department.
     Burgum says the new elk season "is the right thing for landowners, tribal members, wildlife and North Dakota hunting enthusiasts." The agreement establishes an elk hunting unit and emphasizes coordination among tribal and state wildlife officials and private landowners.
     Archambault says the agreement establishes a single season on the reservation that is consistent for all hunters, and could lead to future collaboration on other hunting seasons.




   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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