BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — Crime and traffic crashes dominate the news this past week in a wide swath throughout the western half of North Dakota:

Nikki Entzel murder trial

The murder trial of Nikki Entzel started Monday, September 26, with jury selection. The prosecution delivered its opening statement the next day while the defense deferred its opening comments to later in the trial. So far, the trial has featured an edited version of the six-hour police interrogation of Nikki Entzel, various recorded audio from phone calls, crime scene photos and videos.

Nikki Entzel is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges. Prosecutors argue Nikki Entzel, along with her alleged lover, Earl Howard, Ontario, Canada, had conspired to kill Chad Entzel for life insurance money and, after murdering him, set fire to the Entzel home with the body inside. Investigators said Chad Entzel died from two gunshot wounds and that he was apparently killed days before the January 2, 2020 house fire.

Shannon Brandt of Glenfield now charged with murder in death of Cayler Ellingson

This is the case where Brandt reportedly ran over Ellingson during a street dance in McHenry on September 18. Brandt initially claimed the incident was triggered by a political argument between him and Ellingson. However, investigators could find no eyewitness accounts of a political argument between the two men. Brandt was initially charged with vehicular homicide but, after further investigation, that charge was dropped and the murder charge was filed. An affidavit indicates Ellingson was not killed by Brandt’s truck striking him but by Brandt’s vehicle driving over Ellingson while he was on the ground.

5-month-old baby dies in Carrington daycare

A 5-month-old baby boy has reportedly died after Carrington Police responded to a report of an unresponsive baby at an in-home daycare in Carrington on Monday, Sept. 26. According to a Foster County State’s Attorney, the baby was air flighted to Sanford Hospital in Fargo where he later died.

18-year-old killed in Bottineau rollover crash

The North Dakota Highway Patrol has reported a rollover crash occurring on 11th Avenue Northeast, approximately 1 mile north of Bottineau. According to the NDHP, the driver- an 18-year-old Bottineau female- was traveling southbound on 11th Ave NE when her vehicle left the roadway, then overturned. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Train hits and kills woman in Bismarck

 A 40-year-old Bakersfield, CA woman was found dead near the 2100 block of the train tracks in Bismarck around 3:45 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 27. According to the Bismarck Police Department, police received a call from BNSF employees regarding the train striking a woman while she was sitting on the train tracks.

Civilian found dead at Minot Air Force Base

An adult civilian was found dead at the Minot Air Force Base on Wednesday, September 21. According to the Minot AFB, authorities are investigating the situation and will provide more details as they become available. No information regarding the civilian has been released at this time.

The week’s Good News story: Miss North Dakota is on her way to the Miss USA Stage

SaNoah LaRocque is headed for the Miss USA stage to represent our great state as the first Miss Native American North Dakota. The competition is weighted equally in three categories: evening gown, swimwear, and interview. Miss USA also includes a costume show where contestants will dress in a way that is representative of their state. LaRocque will be representing her culture on stage by wearing her traditional jingle dress and will be incorporating some Scandinavian tokens as well. The competition is Oct. 3.