BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — February is nearly at it’s end, and so is another week’s news cycle. And what a cycle it was.
Between new Senate and House bills, vehicle crashes, and murders, there was plenty of news occurring this week in North Dakota. So much, in fact, that we couldn’t fit it all into our usual eight-to-ten list. Therefore, it’s time for an extra-large edition of our weekly In Case You Missed It recap! Take a look at the fifteen biggest stories that took KX’s digital pages by storm during this report-packed week.
1: Williston Police, Williams County SWAT investigate Williston location
Earlier this week, the Williston PD and Willis County SWAT Team worked together on a joint investigation taking place in the 1800 block of 20th Avenue West in the city. Currently, no explanation of the operation is available, but the Williston Police Department is advising the public to avoid the area until further notice, and that a law enforcement presence will remain on scene until the investigation is complete.
2: House bill modifying educational tenure passes despite major opposition
Despite overwhelming criticism, House Bill 1446 — which will add more responsibilities to tenured staff as well as making it easier for educational facilities to terminate them — has advanced. Detractors of the bill are concerned that this will invite other states to do the same with tenured teachers, and that the idea is disrespectful to those who seek to educate the nxt generation.
3: North Dakota House passes transgender bathroom bill
This bill, approved on Wednesday, states that transgender students must use a bathroom of their biological sex — and that if they are uncomfortable with doing so, then school boards and leaders should work with the student’s parents to find a separate bathroom for the child to use. Lawmakers say that this will help provide accommodations for transgender students, as bathrooms are ‘dangerous places’ for them.
4: State Senate passes mobile home rights bill
On Monday, Senate Bill 2243 was passed by state senators, which relates to the licenses needed to operate a mobile home park in North Dakota. Under the bill’s regulations, companies purchasing mobile home parks must set up local offices, always provide the name and phone number of the property manager to residents, and must notify tenants if the property has been sold or if the monthly rent is increasing. The bill itself is a great step in protecting the rights of citizens living in these parks, who can often be blindsided by unexpected rent changes and new or unreachable property owners.
5: Minot man charged with murder after assault victim dies
At approximately 6:44 p.m. on February 17, Minot Police Department officers responded to reports of an assault at a northwest Minot hotel. Upon arrival, they discovered Albert Wesly Granger (a 57-yerar-old man) outside the building with serious injuries. He was taken to the hospital, and the suspect — 33-year-old Casey Vollmer from Minot — was taken into custody. While Vollmer’s original charge was for Aggravated Assault, it was upgraded to murder when Granger passed away last Sunday evening as a result of his injuries.
6: Full details released from Minot hotel murder
Shortly after the events mentioned above, the full details regarding the assault on Albert Wesly Granger — including security footage of the northwest Minot hotel’s parking lot on the night of the incident — were released. This article goes more into detail on the assault itself, as well as what occurred when officers searched Vollmer’s hotel room.
7: Suspect in murder at Eddy County bar arrested
A report from the Rolette County Sheriff’s Office indicates that at around 7 p.m. on February 19, 45-year-old Nicholas Poitra shot and killed a man at a bar in Sheyenne. A warrant was placed for Poitra’s arrest on the charges of Murder of an Adult with a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by as Felon, Possession of a short-barreled Shotgun, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, and seven counts of Terrorizing with a Dangerous Weapon. On Wednesday, February 22, the Sheriff’s Office stated that Poitra was successfully apprehended.
8: Minot truck driver arrested in Berthold
Early on Monday morning, a truck refused to halt for a routine traffic stop by the Berthold Police Department. When the truck was pursued and finally stopped, the driver — a 52-year-old Minot man — was revealed to be in possession of methamphetamine. He was taken to Ward County Jail, and charged with Reckless Driving, Possession of Methamphetamine Second Offense, and Possession Of Methamphetamine Paraphernalia.
9: Montana man arrested in Berthold, charged with narcotic possession
In another Berthold arrest, a traffic stop led to the arrest of a 45-year-old man (who police reports state was from Sidney, Montana) after he was caught driving with a suspended license. Further investigation into the incident led to a search of the man’s vehicle — where a K9 team discovered a handgun, over 100 fentanyl pills, and methamphetamine among other drug paraphernalia. The man is currently being charged with Possession of Narcotics with Intent to Deliver and Driving with a Suspended License.
10: Girls Basketball: Region champions crowned as four teams move on to State B
On Friday night, the final two teams qualified for the State Class B Tournament, and four more secured their own spots on Thursday by winning region Titles. Come see who made the cut!
11: Multiple vehicles involved in accidents on I-9, high winds affecting travel
The North Dakota Department of Transportation advised drivers not to travel on I-94 earlier this week — specifically between Steele and Fargo — due to snow drifts and blustering winds. Multiple crashes, including one involving several trucks, were reported to have taken place n the interstate. KX News has obtained exclusive footage of the snowy roads and wrecks that can be viewed in the article.
12: Interstate 29 closed due to multiple crashes
I-29 was also a location where many crashes occurred over the previous week. ASs the snow and wind threw drivers off their trails, both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-29 were blocked off by crashed vehicles blocking the roads. The total number of vehicles involved with these crashes is estimated to be over 20, including commercial motor vehicles, passenger cars, and even a fire and rescue vehicle.
13: Brand new monthly market coming to Bismarck
As part of an initiative to showcase more local vendors, the new Bismarck Market Fair is headed to town once a month. The organizers and business partners behind the event hope that this new frequent fair will help introduce the community to the vendors who live in it — and hopefully, get them shopping locally. This fair was also covered on our Weekend BRB!
14: GAMING: Who is ‘Nuclear Gandhi’? The bizarre story of a wise man turned warmonger
Mahatma Gandhi is known to historians as the father of modern India, and a man whos’ commitment to passive resistance and pacifism played a major part in shaping activism across the globe to this day. However, fans of the Civilization series of video games have an entirely different portrayal of him — as a war-happy madman who has both an arsenal of nuclear weapons and the temper to drop them on anyone in the vicinity. With a new Civ game announced, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the tale of ‘Nuclear Gandhi’, and how a combination of developer jokes and out-of-control stories led to the development of a classic gaming meme.
15: Cross-county vehicle pursuit ends in Minot crash
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, a vehicle pursuit began that crossed through Ward and McLean counties. During the chase, the motor vehicle traveled on US Highway 83, attempted to run over a deputy deploying a tire deflation device, and struck at least two McLean County Sheriff’s Department vehicles and one Ward County Sheriff’s Department vehicle. The vehicle was finally disabled and came to a halt near the railroad tracks on 3rd Street Southeast.
It wouldn’t be a big week of stories without ending on a great photograph, and we’ve got just the one to lighten things up a little bit. This spectacular image of kids enjoying a warmer day in Drake was sent in to us by Karisa Maus!
We’re desperately in need of more great photos! Do you think you’ve got a good one to send to us? Learn how to share them with our news crew here, and your image may appear on our digital pages or TV broadcasts! We’ll see you again next week for another edition of In Case You Missed It!