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

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BUDGET SURPLUS

North Dakota budget surplus estimates keep growing

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's oil wealth-fueled general fund surplus continues to grow.

The Office of Management and Budget released updated revenue projections for the 2013 to 2015 biennium Friday.

Officials estimate the surplus will be at $614 million when the two-year budget cycle ends on June 30th, 2015. The projection is significantly more than the surplus of $457 million projected in February.

The office also released its preliminary revenue forecast for the 2015 to 2017 biennium. Revenues are projected to total $5.17 billion, about $293 million over the revised 2013-2015 forecast of $4.88 billion.

The final revenue forecast for the 2015 to 2017 budget cycle will come in November, with the governor's budget address to follow in December during the organizational session for the 2015 Legislature.

WALAKER-CANCER

Fargo mayor gets treatment for kidney cancer

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The mayor of North Dakota's largest city is recovering at home after undergoing radiation treatment for kidney cancer.

The city of Fargo issued a statement Friday saying Mayor Dennis Walaker has been getting treatment for renal cell carcinoma the past several weeks. Following the radiation, he experienced weakness and was hospitalized.

He is now back home and doing better, but the city says he won't return to his mayoral duties for another 7 to 10 days.

The city says Walaker is declining comment until he returns to work.

JAIL OFFICER-ASSAULT

Former guard pleads not guilty to sexual assault

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - A former correctional officer accused of having sexual contact with an inmate at the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center in Devils Lake has pleaded not guilty.

Twenty-three-year-old Jonathan Defoe faces a felony sexual assault charge in connection with the alleged incident with a female inmate July 3rd. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Ramey County State's Attorney Lonnie Olson tells KZZY radio that Defoe entered his plea in state court on Thursday. Defoe remains free on bond. His trial date has not been set.

DEER ARCHERY SEASON

North Dakota's deer bow-hunting season opens

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's deer bow-hunting season has opened, and the deer gun season is only about two months away.

The deer archery season opened at noon Friday and runs through January 4th. The state Game and Fish Department is reminding hunters to follow all regulations when using tree stands in public hunting areas.

North Dakota's deer gun season opens at noon on November 7th and runs through November 23rd. The muzzleloader season opens at noon on November 28th and runs through December 14th.

OIL PATCH-DRUGS

Leader of Bakken drug ring gets 20 years prison

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Montana judge has sentenced the leader of an interstate drug ring to 20 years in prison for his role in a trafficking operation that stretched from western Washington to the Bakken oil fields of the Northern Plains.

In a sentencing hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Watters described Robert Farrell Armstrong as a long-time criminal and a danger to society.

In a deal with prosecutors, the Moses Lake, Washington, man pleaded guilty in January to a single count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Watters said Armstrong preyed upon addicts in the Montana-North Dakota oil patch to build up a network of dealers and armed enforcers.

Authorities say the drug ring moved as much as a pound of meth a week before it was busted up last year.

N DAKOTA ST-IOWA ST

Iowa State gets FCS champion Bison in opener

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The only Football Championship Subdivision opponent on Iowa State's schedule is a three-time defending national champion that opens the season ranked Number One.

Even the easy ones aren't easy for the Cyclones.

Iowa State will begin its sixth season under Paul Rhoads at home on Saturday against North Dakota State, which has won 24 straight games. The Bison have also won their last three on the road against opponents from the so-called power five conferences, including a win at Kansas State in 2013.

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

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