Bismarck police tougher on texting and driving
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Bismarck Police issued 31 citations during a texting and driving crackdown last week.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that the previous two months combined resulted in only six citations. The citation for texting and driving is $100.
The crackdown came in conjunction with a distracted driving enforcement grant from the state Department of Transportation.
The grant pays for overtime for officers enforce the distracted driving laws.
Railroad says its committed to hauling fertilizer
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Canadian Pacific Railway has told a federal oversight board that moving fertilizer for spring planting does not present a "significant challenge" for the railroad.
The Calgary, Alberta-based railroad told the Surface Transportation Board on Friday that it's committed to moving "fertilizer and plant nutrients as they are presented to the railroad."
The Surface Transportation Board this week ordered Canadian Pacific and BNSF Railway Company to report their plans by Friday to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring crop planting.
BNSF said Thursday it will add trains in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana solely for transporting fertilizer for spring crop planting.
Canadian Pacific says it's a small player in U.S. fertilizer shipments, moving fewer than 50 cars daily with an overall market share of about 10 percent.
US delays review of Keystone XL pipeline
WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL pipeline before deciding whether to issue a permit.
That could push a decision about the controversial oil pipeline until after the midterm elections in November.
The State Department is citing a recent decision by a Nebraska judge that overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline's path through the state. The State Department says that created uncertainty and ongoing litigation.
The government is not saying how much longer the review will take. But it says the process isn't starting over.
The pipeline has become a politically fraught issue. Republicans criticize President Barack Obama for taking too long to decide. The State Department has jurisdiction because the pipeline would cross the border between the U.S. and Canada.
COAL POWER-BORDER DISPUTE
Judge strikes down part of Minnesota energy law
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has found that part of a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional and she barred state officials from enforcing it.
In a 48-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said Friday that part of the Next Generation Energy Act improperly requires North Dakota utilities to seek approval from Minnesota in order to do business.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says he strongly disagrees with Nelson's opinion and the state will appeal.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEN'-jem) says the ruling is a vindication, and he's always felt that North Dakota businesses shouldn't have to ask Minnesota regulators for permission to operate.
Among other things, the 2007 law bars utilities from buying power from new plants that produce carbon dioxide emissions.
Man accused of attacking ex-girlfriend in her home
MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - Bail has been set for a man accused of breaking into a home in western Minnesota and trying to kidnap his ex-girlfriend.
Fifty-two-year-old William Dean faces charges of attempted kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Prosecutors say Dean broke into his ex-girlfriend's home in Comstock last week, physically assaulted her and shocked her with a stun gun.
Dean was tracked down by cellphone towers as he left the area for Bismarck. He was brought back to Minnesota after waiving extradition.
Clay County Attorney Brian Melton tells KFGO-AM that despite her injuries, the victim helped prosecutors put together a strong case.
Bond was set Friday at $500,000 with no conditions, or $250,000 with conditions. An attorney has not yet been appointed for Dean, and he remains in jail.
12-year-old shoots teen girl in Williams County
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A 12-year-old boy is in the custody of juvenile authorities after a shooting in Williams County that injured a 15-year-old girl.
The Williams County Sheriff's Office says the shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. Friday. The girl was flown to a Minot hospital for treatment, and was in stable condition mid-day Friday.
Detective Caleb Fry says that initial information indicates that the shooting was an accident, but the case remains an active investigation.
Authorities described the juveniles as acquaintances.
Family members tell the Williston Herald that the girl was shot in the head with the bullet lodging near her spine. They say the girl was with two friends when the shooting occurred.
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