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

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WATFORD CITY DEVELOPMENT

Company plans ND oil patch developments worth $65M

A New York company is planning residential and commercial developments worth at least $65 million in the North Dakota oil patch town of Watford City.

Coltown Properties principal Israel Weinberger says his company is planning two projects on Watford City's Main Street. The Madison Heights development will consist of seven apartment buildings and cost between $45 million and $50 million. The first three buildings will be ready for occupants this fall.

Coltown is also planning a pair of buildings at Watford City's entrance that will house retail space and offices. Weinberger says that project will cost between $20 million and $25 million and will be ready by late 2015 or early 2016.

Watford City's population has grown significantly in recent years as a result of North Dakota's oil boom.

BADLANDS BIKE RACE

Bike race slated in western ND's badlands

A 100-mile bicycle race is being held in western North Dakota's Badlands along the Maah Daah Hey Trail.

The Maah Daah Hey 100 is being held on Saturday. It's the third year for the event.

This year, the race will include options for teams and shorter distances of 25, 50 and 75 miles.

The trail is open to other users during the race.

GRAIN BIN ACCIDENT

North Dakota farmer dies in grain bin accident

NAPOLEON, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota farmer has died in a grain bin accident.

A Logan County sheriff tells KXMB-TV (http://bit.ly/1o03RtD ) that Marvin Grenz of Napoleon died Saturday after being buried in grain for nearly 40 minutes.

He was found by family members who called police. Emergency responders say they retrieved his body after eight minutes.

The sheriff says everyone will miss the Grenz's smile.

It's the second grain bin death the town has seen in less than a year.

NEW VA SECRETARY-HEITKAMP

Sen. Heitkamp confident in new VA secretary pick

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she thinks Robert McDonald will bring a new outlook as secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

McDonald was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of 97-0.

Heitkamp says the job will be tough because McDonald will have to restore the public's trust in the VA after the recent scandal. But she says his experience in the military and as a CEO of a global company will renew transparency, accountability and reforms within the VA.

She met with McDonald last week to discuss how he would reform the VA, restore trust and focus on reaching out to veterans in rural areas. Heitkamp said he promised to work with her to improve access to services and benefits for North Dakota veterans, including Native Americans.

OPEN RECORDS VIOLATION

Stenehjem: NDSU foundation broke open records law

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The state attorney general says the North Dakota State University Development Foundation broke the law when it failed to provide a citizen with a copy of the group's expenditures.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says in an opinion that the foundation must release the records that conservative blogger Rob Port requested under the state's open records law.

Stenehjem says the foundation denied the request "on incorrect legal grounds." He says the foundation "delayed its response by months, even after acknowledging that it had responsive records."

The NDSU Development Foundation is a nonprofit. But Stenehjem says the foundation "is a public entity subject to open records laws because it performs governmental functions on behalf of NDSU."

Foundation President and CEO Douglas Mayo was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

HOSPITAL AFFILIATION

ND hospital, national nonprofit talk affiliation

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck is pursuing an affiliation with the Catholic Health Initiatives nonprofit.

The hospital and nonprofit say the goal would be to enhance services and improve care. Officials say that if a final agreement is reached, the affiliation could occur by the end of the year.

Catholic Health Initiatives is based in Colorado, with a division based in Fargo. It has several facilities in North Dakota, but none in Bismarck.

St. Alexius serves residents of central and western North Dakota, eastern Montana and northern South Dakota through its Bismarck hospital and facilities in several other cities. It is associated with the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck.

METH DEATHS

Man receives 11-plus years for role in drug death

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - One of two men accused of supplying methamphetamine that led to the death of a Mandan woman has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison.

Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Senger pleaded guilty earlier for the February 2013 overdose death of his girlfriend, 59-year-old Cheri Bettis of Mandan. Brock Fish also has pleaded guilty in Bettis' death and is scheduled for sentencing in October.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland on Monday sentenced Senger to 11 years and seven months in prison.

The federal case involves 13 defendants in North Dakota and South Dakota. Fish and Billie Jo Kirkpatrick also are charged in the December 2012 overdose death of 39-year-old Douglas Peterson, of Pollock, South Dakota.

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

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