MAN CAMP MORATORIUM
County trying to put halt to man camp construction
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Officials in a northwestern North Dakota county have put a moratorium on so-called man camps that house oil patch workers.
The Williams County Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending that the county no longer issue permits for new temporary housing units, or allow current facilities to expand or increase the number of beds.
The Williston Herald reports that county officials believe the man camps are hurting developers in the region and stunting the growth of communities.
Commission Chairman Tate Cymbaluk says the camps will never completely go away, but the county is trying to phase out smaller camps that are placed around existing businesses.
US Sens want answers in child death on reservation
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's U.S. senators are calling for quick action by authorities investigating the death of a 3-year-old girl on the Spirit Lake Reservation.
The FBI has called the death "mysterious" but hasn't released details, citing the ongoing investigation.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp tells the Grand Forks Herald she's deeply concerned another child might have fallen victim to a child protection system on the reservation that she says is clearly broken. An aide for Sen. John Hoeven says the death is "another serious and sad event" that demands quick action by authorities.
The effectiveness of child protection services on the reservation has been the subject of debate for more than a year. The BIA took over the system last fall following criticism that the tribe had failed to protect vulnerable children.
PARENTAL RIGHTS PETITIONS
Equal parenting petitions approved for circulation
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved petitions for a proposed ballot measure on parental rights.
That means advocates of a proposed law giving both parents equal rights and decision-making responsibilities in child custody cases can begin collecting signatures.
Proponents must collect 13,452 signatures by March 12, 2014, to get the measure on the June 2014 primary election ballot. They have until June 18, 2014, to get the measure on the November 2014 general election ballot.
Many supporters of the initiated measure are from Walsh County. Voters there passed a similar law last November but state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) has challenged the local initiative, saying it usurps state authority.
COLLEGE WIND TURBINE
Lake Region State in Devils Lake adds wind turbine
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - Lake Region State College has added a wind turbine for its technician training program.
College President Doug Darling tells the Grand Forks Herald that the 1.6-megawatt turbine has been the missing piece from the school's wind energy program that started five years ago.
The project cost about $7.2 million. The turbine will be used for training and also to provide electricity for the campus.
The school has been averaging about 20 freshmen in its 1-year wind energy technician certificate program. Darling says about half of the students stay to get a 2-year certificate.
New bishop of Catholic Diocese of Fargo ordained
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Monsignor John Folda is officially taking the helm of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo.
Folda's ordination and installation Mass was scheduled Wednesday afternoon. Pope Francis in April named him as the new bishop of the diocese that serves more than 130 parishes and 72,000 parishioners in eastern North Dakota.
The 51-year-old Folda comes from the Diocese of Lincoln in Nebraska. He succeeds Samuel Aquila, who left as Fargo bishop a year ago after a decade in the position to become the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver.
PREP SPORTS CHANGES
Goal replays to be part of ND prep hockey tourneys
VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) - The governing body for high school sports in North Dakota has approved the limited use of instant replay in state hockey tournaments.
The High School Activities Association board of directors voted 8-1 on Tuesday to approve the use of video replay from overhead goal cameras, starting with next year's tournaments. An athletic review committee had recommended the move.
The board also made two major changes regarding basketball. In Class A, the maximum number of games in a season is being increased from 19 to 21 starting with the 2014-15 season.
In Class B, the girls basketball season will start ahead of the boys season, beginning in 2014-15. That means the season will end with the boys state tournament rather than with the girls tournament.
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