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

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ND, port in Wash. sign transportation pact

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota and a port in the state of Washington have signed an agreement that will increase the shipments of agricultural commodities from North Dakota to the West Coast.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the agreement signed Wednesday with Port of Vancouver located in Washington State will provide a major opportunity to commodity handlers, particularly small and mid-sized companies, to access rail facilities on the same basis as larger companies.

Goehring says boxcars that carry supplies to North Dakota's oil industry currently return to the port empty. Under the agreement, the boxcars will head back west filled with wheat, corn, soybeans and other crops.

The boxcars would then be offloaded and put into ships that can transport the North Dakota commodities to Asia and Latin America.


Bismarck to host behavioral health conference

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Health care and marijuana-related public policy experts are set to speak at a behavioral health conference hosted by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

They'll join mental health and addiction treatment professionals at the September conference in Bismarck.

The agency says speakers will share information about child traumatic stress, prescription opioid addiction, prescription drug overdose, mental health advance directives and gambling disorders.

The department says psychiatrist David Mee-Lee will discuss how the cost of chronic illnesses can be reduced by switching to a system that focuses on wellness and health.

The event is geared toward councilors, social workers, nurses, therapists, psychologists and others in the health care field, but the general public is also allowed to attend.


Judge: Murder suspect likely to be committed

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge says a man accused in a 2011 triple murder on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation is likely to be committed to a psychiatric institution after he was found incompetent to stand trial.

Wednesday's incompetency ruling from U.S. District Judge Susan Watters came after a government psychologist testified that 25-year-old defendant Sheldon Bernard Chase suffers from a combination of schizophrenia and depression.

Authorities say Chase shot his grandmother, cousin and the cousin's boyfriend in October 2011, near Lodge Grass.

He's been held since January 2013 at a Bureau of Prisons psychiatric hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Prison psychologist Elizabeth Tyner says attempts to involuntarily medicate Chase to restore his mental health were unsuccessful.

First degree murder charges against Chase would remain in place if he were committed.


Alert issued for 14-year-old believed kidnapped

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Department of Justice officials have issued an Amber alert for a 14-year-old girl they believe was kidnapped near Lame Deer.

State officials say Mariah Eileen Akeen was in the passenger seat of a pickup truck without license plates that was stopped at 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers were arresting the driver when another passenger, 19-year-old Zachary Whiteman, jumped into the driver's seat and left with Akeen still inside.

Officials say Whiteman may have driven to the Ashland area.

Akeen is described as a 5-foot-4 Native American with black hair and eyes and weighing 146 pounds. Whiteman is 6 feet, 4 inches and weighs 260 pounds.

They were last seen in a tan 2004 Ford F150 pickup truck.


Man says indictment for illegal gambling is unfair

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A man accused of running an illegal gambling operation in North Dakota says the case should be dismissed because the charges conflict with a plea agreement in a separate money laundering case.

Gerald Greenfield, of Bloomington, Minnesota is charged in federal court with three counts, including conducting sports betting business and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Greenfield allegedly ran the gambling operation for four years and made an annual profit of between $500,000 and $600,000.

Greenfield pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2010 and was sentenced in Minnesota state court to more than four years in prison. His attorney says the plea agreement in that case can be interpreted to show that separate gambling charges would not be brought against Greenfield.

Federal prosecutors were not available for comment.

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