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PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico - A North Dakota family on vacation in Mexico had to be taken to a hospital after a ferry exploded. It happened Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The explosion injured at least 25 people. Among the people involved was Rebecca Lahlum and her 14-year-old son John Lahlum from Valley City, North Dakota. The family was waiting to board a ferry to Cozumel when another ferry next to them exploded.
FARGO — In 1987, the Rev. Billy Graham spent three days in Fargo as part of his "Peaks to the Plains" crusade. Almost 70,000 people attended the services at North Dakota State University's Dacotah Field. The crusade took Graham to North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. He was in Fargo June 19-21. The crowds were bigger than expected and his stop in North Dakota was a financial success. The three-day event came in nearly $46,000 under budget and took in $107,000 more than anticipated.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the format of a ballot petition seeking personalized vehicle plates for volunteer emergency responders, his office said Wednesday, Feb. 21. Organizers have less than five months to get 13,452 valid signatures to have the initiated measure placed on the November ballot. The measure would add a new section to state law allowing volunteer emergency responders to apply for red personalized plates.
BISMARCK — The Greater North Dakota Chamber named Arik Spencer as its new president and CEO Tuesday, Feb. 20. Spencer, the executive vice president of the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, succeeds Andy Peterson, who resigned in September. Spencer will start his new job April 1. "GNDC has been the voice of business in North Dakota for over 90 years, and I am grateful for the opportunity lead this vital organization," he said in a statement.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ryan Donato provided all the goal scoring for Team USA, tallying two power-play goals, to propel his country over Slovakia here, 2-1, during pool play Friday, Feb. 16. Netminder Ryan Zapolski stopped 21 shots, setting Team USA up for a pivotal matchup Saturday against the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
DENVER—Joe Rosga poured in a team-high 26 points to lead Denver to a 66-63 victory against North Dakota State on Saturday in Summit League men's basketball at Magness Arena. The Bison (12-14, 4-7 SL) have lost four consecutive games. Tyson Ward paced NDSU with a career-high 28 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the floor. The 6-foot-6 sophomore also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Paul Miller added 12 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Bison.
BISMARCK — A key player in the response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests will serve as North Dakota's new director of homeland security starting in March, Gov. Doug Burgum said Friday, Feb. 9. Cody Schulz, the disaster recovery chief for the state Department of Emergency Services, will succeed Greg Wilz, who is retiring after more than 12 years in the role. Schulz will oversee the Division of Homeland Security within the department and will serve as the state's homeland security advisor.
WINNER — Two Winner women were charged with child abuse after allegedly forcing a 10-year-old to smoke marijuana. On Feb. 4, a woman told police her 10-year-old son came home from someone else's home and said they "made him smoke marijuana." The mother bought a home-test kit and the child twice tested positive for marijuana. The child told police he was hyper while visiting Elizabeth Mansheim, so she and another occupant of the house, Natalie Dykstra, gave him weed to calm down. The juvenile explained where the weed is kept in the house and said he smoked twice.
FARGO - File this one under "only in North Dakota." Multiple videos have been circulating on Facebook Thursday, Feb. 8 after a cow broke loose from the Little International Livestock Show on the campus of NDSU. In the video, you can see three people trying to corral the cow near NDSU's Minard Hall, located in the heart of campus. "The cow was on the loose for a little bit," said NDSU Media Relations coordinator Sadie Rudulph.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum named Deputy Tax Commissioner Joe Morrissette the state's new budget director Thursday, Feb. 8. Morrissette will take over as director of the Office of Management and Budget, a Cabinet-level position, March 1. He succeeds Pam Sharp, who retired Nov. 30 but has stayed on in a temporary role through the transition. Morrissette has been the state's deputy tax commissioner since 2014. He previously worked in OMB and Legislative Council, and he has a master's in business administration from the University of Mary in Bismarck.