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After losing judge, N.D. town may lose judgeship

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A North Dakota town has lost its state district judge, and now the job may be moved elsewhere.

Southeast District Judge James Bekken died May 3 of lung disease. Bekken was a longtime resident of New Rockford.

North Dakota's Supreme Court is considering whether Bekken's job should stay in New Rockford.

A court administrator says the position should be moved almost 20 miles south to Carrington.

Carrington has about 2,300 people, and it is closer to other cities in the 11-county district. New Rockford has about 1,400 people.

Some attorneys say the judgeship should be moved to Jamestown. Jamestown is the district's largest city, and it already has two resident judges.

The Supreme Court will decide the issue later.