Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — Officials spearheading a decades-old effort to divert Missouri River water to eastern North Dakota during droughts said they've revived a cheaper water intake option as their preferred alternative and will scale back their request for state funding in light of slumping tax revenues. But they said they hope lawmakers will still provide enough money to start construction on the Red River Valley Water Supply Project during the 2017-19 biennium so it can be grandfathered in before new federal regulations that could delay the project take effect.
BISMARCK — Opponents of a North Dakota ballot measure that would expand crime victims' rights and write them into the state constitution have formed a campaign committee chaired by former attorney general and district judge Robert Wefald of Bismarck. "This is simply bad constitutional law," Wefald said Wednesday, Sept. 21, at a Capitol press conference announcing the "No on 3" committee. The group opposes Marsy's Law for North Dakota, which will be listed as Measure 3 on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot.
BISMARCK — The state Emergency Commission voted Wednesday, Sept. 21, to borrow up to $6 million from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota to support law enforcement efforts related to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, but not before members blasted the lack of federal support to deal with protesters camped out on federal land.
BISMARCK — Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II on Tuesday, Sept. 20, brought the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline to Geneva, Switzerland, asking members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to condemn "the deliberate destruction of our sacred places." Archambault told the commission the 1,172-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline that would move 450,000 barrels of crude daily from the Bakken oil fields to a hub in Illinois "threatens our communities, the river and the earth."
BISMARCK — A joint task force led by the Morton County Sheriff's Department is investigating a Sept. 3 clash between protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the pipeline's private security personnel, the sheriff's office said Tuesday, Sept. 20. The investigation is focusing not only on protesters but also whether the private security guards were licensed and whether their actions were warranted, county spokesman Rob Keller said.
BISMARCK — North Dakota officials looking for ways to stunt the rapid growth of the state's prison population found some common ground Monday but disagreed on whether people convicted of low-level drug and property crimes should automatically be sentenced to probation. The proposal was one of four policy options presented by the Council of State Governments Justice Center in its final report — and the only one to end up in a bill draft that will be forwarded to the Legislature to consider next year.
BISMARCK — Months of research and discussion about how to limit the costly growth of North Dakota's prison population will come to a head Monday, Sept. 19, when lawmakers and officials from the criminal justice system gather to hammer out a bill that the group's chairman expects will elicit "some strong opinions."
BISMARCK — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a special use permit Friday to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to use Corps land south of the Cannonball River near Lake Oahe to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. But the Corps didn't act on the tribe's permit request to use the land that supports the main overflow camp north of the river where thousands of self-described "water protectors" have been staying for weeks, leaving that area of the protest camp in limbo.
BISMARCK — Three agencies are investigating whether a North Dakota angel fund ran afoul of state law when it sought investors for real estate projects, a potential violation that lawmakers say underscores the need for major reforms to the angel fund program that rewards investors with lucrative tax credits.
NEW SALEM, N.D. – Authorities upped the ante Wednesday, Sept. 14, in trying to discourage protesters from disrupting work on the Dakota Access Pipeline, pledging to pursue felony reckless endangerment...