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WAUKEGAN, Ill. — A northern Illinois man has pleaded not guilty in the slayings of his wife and mother. Fifty-four-year-old Billy Varner appeared in Lake County court Thursday. The Antioch man is charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of his wife, Peggy Henderson, and his mother, Dorothy Varner. Their bodies were discovered Oct. 28. Prosecutors say Henderson was nearly decapitated with a machete.
BISMARCK — Bismarck's Environmental Health Division says a black widow spider has been found in grapes purchased at a store. The spider was taken to the Burleigh County Extension office where it was identified.
BISMARCK — With the wind chill falling to almost minus 40, Steve Hendershot's mind was elsewhere Thursday as he and his crew of roustabouts worked an oil rig in North Dakota's booming oil patch. On palm trees and beaches, in fact. "Sometimes you just got to close your eyes and dream of a warm, happy place," said Hendershot, working near Souris. "I'm doing that today." The cold weather sweeping the Plains wasn't cooling off work in the oil patch, which moves forward in all kinds of weather.
Fridley retiring after 312 wins, 9 state titles WATFORD CITY — A man considered one of the all-time great North Dakota high school football coaches is calling it a career after nearly half a century. Fred Fridley Sr.
BISMARCK — Cattle ranchers in the Dakotas who lost thousands of animals in an early October blizzard say they're better-prepared for the latest winter storm to threaten the northern Great Plains. By late Wednesday, the region's snow could range from 2-10 inches, with the heavier snowfall in southern North Dakota and northern South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service.
STANLEY — Mountrail County officials have denied requests for two landfills for oil field waste. The county's zoning board on Monday approved a one-year moratorium on any such landfills. Zoning board member David Hynek says the county needs more time to consider large-scale oil field special landfills. The board members also worried about traffic on county roads where the landfills were proposed near Ross, in northwestern North Dakota.
BISMARCK — North Dakota is investigating a human rights complaint from a white supremacistcharged with terrorizing the small town he's trying to take over. Craig Cobb says Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem discriminated against him when he told KFGO-AM that Cobb "and his supporters are 'not the kind of people' wanted in North Dakota." Cobb says that was intended to discourage him from practicing his religion of racism in the state. He's being held without bail in the Stanton jail and says he hasn't eaten in six days as part of a form of spiritual enlightenment that ends in death. Co
BISMARCK — Bond has been set at $50,000 for a University of Mary student who's accused of Facebook posts that prompted an hour-long lockdown of the Bismarck campus. Twenty-year-old Patrick Casas must post $5,000 to be released from jail but could be made to repay the full bond amount if he doesn't follow conditions, such as not using the Internet.
FINDLAY, Ohio — Marathon Petroleum Corp. has agreed to pay for more than a third of the construction cost of the proposed Sandpiper pipeline, the company and Enbridge Energy Partners LP said Monday. Marathon will be an anchor shipper and fund 37.5 percent of the cost of the estimated $2.6 billion pipeline that would carry crude oil from Beaver Lodge, N.D., across northern Minnesota to Wisconsin.
PARK RIVER — Walsh County prosecutors have charged a Park River teacher with having sex with a 16-year-old girl. Fifth-grade teacher Justin Kiefer is charged with two counts of corruption or solicitation of a minor. Bond was set at $25,000. The complaint released Monday says Kiefer had sex with the girl two separate times, on Nov. 8 and Nov.