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This Hour: Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment

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STUDENT CHARGED-VERDICT

Student found guilty of terrorizing in Jamestown

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - A jury in North Dakota has convicted a 19-year-old California man of felony terrorizing for threats he made at the University of Jamestown that led to a campus lockdown.

Robert Flores of Southgate, Calif., was charged in November after authorities say he threatened to kill three students and drink their blood as part of a satanic ritual. The threats led to a half-hour lockdown of the campus while authorities searched for Flores. He is no longer enrolled at the university.

Flores' father, Ronald Flores, said after the incident that his son was just joking around.

Robert Flores faces up to five years in prison. The Stutsman County clerk of court says a sentencing date has not been set.

FIERY CRASH-PLEA

Georgia man pleads not guilty in deadly ND crash

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A truck driver from Georgia has pleaded not guilty to three counts of negligent homicide stemming from a fiery crash in the western North Dakota oil patch that killed three men.

Fifty-year-old Vernon Wright, of Hiram, Ga., could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities allege that Wright was driving a tanker trailer filled with crude oil and was at fault for a crash on U.S. Highway 2 three miles east of Stanley last June. The tanker trailer exploded and five other vehicles involved in the accident burned for about five hours at the crash site. Two men from Minot and one from Rhame were killed.

A judge on Tuesday did not immediately set a trial date for Wright.

PLANE DIVERTED

Alaska Airlines flight makes unexpected stop in ND

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - An Alaska Airlines flight en route from Boston to Seattle made an unexpected stop in North Dakota when a passenger had a medical problem.

KFGO radio reports that the plane landed at Hector International Airport in Fargo on Tuesday night, and the passenger was removed from the plane and taken to a hospital.

The flight resumed a short time later.

MALL COYOTE

Coyote wanders into Fargo mall; safely released

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Animal control officials in Fargo released a coyote back into the wild after the animal found its way into a local mall.

A worker at West Acres Mall noticed the coyote Tuesday afternoon in a back corridor used for employee access and deliveries. The animal limped in through a back door and laid down.

Animal control officers determined the coyote had a non-serious paw injury, and later released it.

Mall Property Manager Chris Heaton told WDAY-TV that it's rare for any animal to find its way into the mall, much less a coyote. He quipped: "Spring fashions are here, so maybe he was just looking for a new outfit."

LAND GRANTS

Apps deadline extended for land grant program

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota landowners have been given more time to apply for grants to enhance their property and restore habitat damaged by overland flooding, erosion, and weed infestations.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has extended the deadline to May 9 for the second round of grants through the Land Enhancement and Habitat Renewal Program.

Goehring says the program will provide up to 50 percent reimbursement of most costs associated with reclamation, landscaping, soil conditioning, re-vegetation and weed control. Proposed projects must involve land that has at least 10 percent woody vegetation or is adjacent to wooded vegetation.

Goehring says $50,000 is available for this year's program. Last year, the state Agriculture Department distributed 11 grants totaling $40,000.

NORTH DAKOTA-SIMPSON

UND's Simpson signs with Edmonton Oilers

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The NHL's Edmonton Oilers have signed University of North Dakota senior defenseman Dillon Simpson to a three-year entry level contract.

The Oilers drafted the 6-foot-2, 197-pound Edmonton native in the fourth round, 92nd overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. Simpson's father, Craig, played for the Oilers in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Dillon Simpson says being signed by the team that he cheered for growing up is "a little bit surreal."

Terms of Dillon Simpson's contract were not released. He will finish his schooling at UND rather than immediately join the Oilers' AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons.

Simpson had 16 goals and 59 assists in 156 games at UND. He captained the team to the NCAA Frozen Four last season.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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