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BISMARCK—About 700 barrels of saltwater and 25 barrels of oil spilled in Dunn County Saturday, Dec. 30, the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division said Tuesday. The spill happened at a saltwater disposal well 13 miles north of Killdeer when a load line froze. The spilled saltwater and oil were contained within the tank battery diking, and 690 barrels of saltwater and 24 barrels of oil were recovered. Hanna SWD, LLC, reported the incident Sunday. A state inspector will visit the site to monitor additional clean-up efforts, according to a news release.
FARGO — A vehicle headed north on an icy stretch of Interstate 29 shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, lost control and struck the rear of a trooper's squad car, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol. The trooper was investigating another crash at the time, and his squad car was parked with emergency lights flashing on the median shoulder just north of the Main Avenue exit in Fargo, patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said in a statement. The Cass County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. No one was hurt, Niewind said.
Lagging oil and farm commodity prices prompted a massive drop in state revenue, making the downturn in the North Dakota budget the state's top story in 2017. The budget shortfall prompted legislators to cut more than 300 full-time equivalent positions for the current biennium, a figure that excludes higher education, as state agencies were forced to tighten budgets. The Legislature approved $4.3 billion in general fund spending for the current biennium, down from a peak of nearly $6.9 billion in the 2013-15 biennium.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Investigators have identified a Florida man who was found dead inside a burning vehicle this week in the parking lot of a Devils Lake Walmart. Milton Feliciano, 34, was recovered from the burning car that was extinguished Wednesday evening, Devils Lake Police Chief Joseph Knowski said Friday. There is no foul play suspected in the case, Knowski said, adding the incident doesn’t appear to be the result of a criminal act.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread announced Wednesday that his department has recovered more than $5.5 million for North Dakota life insurance beneficiaries who may have never found the money. The department found the money by examining the 30 top life insurers' use of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File.
WASHINGTON—Minnesota gets a new U.S. senator on Jan. 3. A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Al Franken said on Wednesday, Dec. 20, that the senator will resign on Jan. 2. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is to be sworn in the next day. The announcement puts to rest rumors that Franken will decide to stay in office after announcing two weeks ago that he would resign over sexual misconduct allegations. At the time, he only said he would leave the Senate "in coming weeks." That produced speculation that he may opt to remain in office.
Carson Wentz and Adam Thielen, who played football for two area high schools, have been selected to play in the National Football League's Pro Bowl. Wentz, a second-year quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Thielen, a fourth-year wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, were among those named to the NFC team's starting roster. Wentz played high school football at Bismarck (N.D.) Century and college football at North Dakota State. Thielen played high school football at Detroit Lakes (Minn.) and college football at Minnesota State-Mankato.
New pike regulations set for Minnesota anglers Northern pike anglers on Minnesota inland waters will face new regulations beginning with the general fishing opener Saturday, May 12. The new regulations technically take effect March 1, but fishing for pike isn't allowed on Minnesota inland waters until the May 12 opener. The regulations split the state into three zones to address the different characteristics of pike populations in Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources said.
FARGO — A former Fargo priest who faces child sexual abuse charges has been extradited from the Philippines to the United States. Fernando Laude Sayasaya was extradited to face state child sexual abuse charges filed 15 years ago in Cass County District Court, U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced Friday, Dec. 15. Sayasaya was arrested in the Philippines last month.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Friday, Dec. 15, he has approved the petition format for a ballot measure seeking the full legalization of marijuana. The sponsoring committee pushing the proposal will need to gather at least 13,452 qualified signatures by July 9 to place the measure on the general election ballot next November. Voters last year approved a measure legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. The state Department of Health is working to implement that new law after the Legislature rewrote it this year.