SUPREME COURT-NORTH DAKOTA ABORTION
State high court to hear ND abortion law arguments
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments on 2011 state law that seeks to limit the use of drugs to terminate pregnancies.
State lawyers will urge justices on Wednesday to reverse a district court ruling on abortion.
East Central Judge Wickham Corwin ruled in July that the law that seeks to limit the use of drugs to terminate pregnancies is unconstitutional.
Corwin had already granted an injunction preventing the law from taking effect. He has called that legislation "simply wrongheaded."
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEN'-jihm) has said that the state will defend the law.
LIFE INSURANCE SETTLEMENT
ND to receive $171K in life insurance settlement
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's insurance commissioner says the state will receive more than $171,000 as part of a multi-state settlement with a life insurance company group.
Commissioner Adam Hamm says the amount is a portion of a $12.6 million multi-state life insurance agreement with Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Life and Annuity Company of New York and First Penn Pacific Life Insurance Company regarding the group's use of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File.
Life insurers for years have used the file to search for and stop payments to annuity holders, but they have not used the database to identify deceased life insurance policyholders to pay beneficiaries.
The agreement was coordinated with state insurance departments in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
ND develops plan to better protect honeybees
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota has developed a "Pollinator Plan" to help farmers, ranchers, landowners and beekeepers better protect honeybees.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says there's a need to reduce risk to honeybees while minimizing the impact of that on agricultural production.
The mysterious colony collapse disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation's bees to disappear each winter since 2006. A federal report blames a combination of intertwined factors that include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides.
North Dakota's pollinator plan is largely based on information gathered at a meeting last fall and at a statewide conference of beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, crop consultants, and others last July.
North Dakota leads the nation in honey production.
ND group to recognize lawyers who work for free
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The State Bar Association of North Dakota is starting a program to recognize lawyers who work for free.
The "Justice for All" program will honor members who provide 50 hours or more of free legal services per year, known as pro bono work. The hours include legal services provided to low-income individuals at no fee and without expectation of a fee.
North Dakota's guidebook for lawyers does not require that attorneys provide services for free, but strongly encourages it.
Bar Association president Nancy Morris says the program is a way to highlight lawyers "for the good work they do every day."
New attorney defending white supremacist in ND
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A new public defender has been appointed to represent a white supremacist accused of terrorizing with guns the residents of the small town of Leith that he's trying to turn into an Aryan enclave.
Three appointed public defenders earlier withdrew from Craig Cobb's case. State Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents Executive Director Robin Huseby (HYOO'-zuh-bee) says that's "certainly not the norm."
But she also says conflicts are a part of the legal profession. Huseby says she checked with Bismarck attorney Ryan Heintz (hyntz) about any possible conflicts before appointing him Tuesday to represent Cobb.
Heintz didn't immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.
Cobb is in custody awaiting a Jan. 13 court hearing. He could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
WILLISTON HIT AND RUN
Williston hit and run victim identified
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Williston police have identified the 31-year-old man killed in a hit-and-run last week.
The Williston Herald reports that Mississippi resident Anthony Paul Scoggins was killed last Thursday night when a dark-colored, four-door pickup truck ran over him as he tried to hold onto the back of the truck in the JDubs parking lot.
Det. David Peterson says police have blurred security footage of two men leaving JDubs through the west side door moments prior to the accident.
But investigators still have no identification of the driver.
Witnesses reported the truck as possibly being a three-quarter ton vehicle with a yellow four-wheel ATV in the back.
N DAKOTA ST-BOHL
NDSU coach tells players not to focus on his move
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl says he told his players during an emotional team meeting that his departure to Wyoming was no reason to have a "pity party."
Bohl was named Sunday to lead the Cowboys but will continue coaching the Bison during their Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. North Dakota State is seeking its third straight FCS championship. That would equal the string by Appalachian State from 2005 to 2007.
Bohl said in his weekly press conference in Fargo Tuesday he told his players that football is a "man's game played by men" and everyone should focus on Saturday's quarterfinal game against Costal Carolina.
The 55-year-old coach says his veteran team showed up at Monday's practice ready to work and the players are "galvanized to move forward and win."
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