Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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MANDAN, N.D. — Morton County authorities issued warrants Wednesday for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate after video showed them spray painting graffiti on a bulldozer as they joined protesters at a Dakota Access Pipeline site Tuesday. The Morton County State's Attorney's Office filed criminal complaints against Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka for criminal trespass and criminal mischief. Both charges are Class B misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
MORTON COUNTY, N.D. — More than 100 protesters gathered at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site Tuesday where two people bound themselves to bulldozers and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was meeting with pipeline opponents. A woman and a man attached themselves to equipment east of State Highway 6 using the same type of casting material used by demonstrators last week. The gathering began about 10 a.m. Tuesday northwest of the main pipeline protest site. About 75 people remained by 12:30 p.m.
BISMARCK — An annual summit of American Indian tribal leaders and the traditional powwow that follows are expected to draw big numbers and heightened interest in Bismarck next week as protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline about 40 miles away continue. "This is kind of unprecedented. It's a historical event," said Leander "Russ" McDonald, president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, which sponsors both events.
BISMARCK — A federal judge will issue what could be a precedent-setting decision after hearing arguments Thursday on whether a Texas company needed consent from American Indian tribes to drill two pipelines through tribally owned minerals under North Dakota's largest body of water.
BISMARCK — A judge has dismissed charges against the last of five current or former North Dakota Department of Human Services employees accused of impeding the investigation into the drowning-related death of a 5-year-old girl in Velva last year. Northeast District Judge Donovan Foughty signed an order this week dismissing the misdemeanor charges that were filed in February against Laura Gotvaslee, director of the DHS regional center in Minot.
BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Department of Human Services officials say a recent scathing audit fails to tell the whole story about how the agency deals with child care licensing, but State Auditor Robert Peterson is standing behind his staff and suggested DHS is downplaying the findings because of public outrage. The audit released last month found that DHS didn't properly monitor or suspend providers and notify parents "after confirmed knowledge of activities that jeopardize the health and safety of children."
BISMARCK — A 27-year-old man who was fatally injured last week while working on the Dakota Access Pipeline project in western North Dakota was from Grand Rapids, Minn. Rowe Funeral Home in Grand Rapids posted the death notice for Nicholas Jay Janesich late Monday. Funeral arrangements are pending, funeral home director Dave Huso said. A GoFundMe page set up at www.gofundme.com/nickjay to help his parents pay for medical and funeral expenses had already raised more than $2,700 by late Monday afternoon.
BISMARCK — North Dakota leaders are signaling a growing willingness to use earnings from the state's $3.8 billion Legacy Fund to shore up declining revenues when they craft the budget for next biennium, but just which earnings will be available is still up in the air. "I'll tell you right now, I'm counting on the revenue from the Legacy Fund," Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, said during a lively panel discussion Thursday as part of the Greater North Dakota Chamber's daylong Policy Summit in Bismarck.
BISMARCK — Differences of opinion over property and oil taxes, federal regulations and approaches to the state's mental health crisis emerged in the first of three scheduled debates between North Dakota's three candidates for governor on Thursday. Republican entrepreneur Doug Burgum of Fargo, Democratic state Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla and Fargo business owner Marty Riske, the Libertarian Party candidate, squared off in a largely fireworks-free debate that capped off the Greater North Dakota Chamber's Policy Summit at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.
BISMARCK — Last year's economic slowdown in North Dakota didn't put the brakes on criminal activity, as the state posted its highest increase in the per-capita crime rate in at least five years, according to the annual crime report released Thursday. The per-capita crime rate jumped by 9.8 percent last year — more than double the 4.4 percent increase in 2014 — based on the U.S. Census Bureau's estimated population of 756,927. That compares to a 0.3 percent reduction in the crime rate in 2013 and increases of 8.4 percent in 2012 and 7.8 percent in 2011.