Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 580-6890.
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MORTON COUNTY, N.D. — One day after negotiations between Dakota Access Pipeline protesters and law enforcement broke down, the mood was tense but quiet Thursday, Oct. 27, as the sun rose above the resistance camps. Above, in restricted airspace, a North Dakota Highway Patrol aircraft circled. Cecily Fong, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Emergency Services, said medical staffing is in place should any injuries occur at the protest sites.
MANDAN, N.D. - The dog handlers who provided security for Dakota Access LLC during a Sept. 3 clash with protesters were not properly licensed to provide security in North Dakota, a Morton County investigation found. Names of the unlicensed security officers have been forwarded to prosecutors for possible charges, but investigators were only able to identify two of the seven dog handlers, said Capt. Jay Gruebele of the Morton County Sheriff's Department. Providing private security services without a license is a Class B misdemeanor in North Dakota.
MANDAN, N.D. — Two participants in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest have been charged with crimes related to using drones in what may be the first criminal cases in North Dakota against drone operators. One man is charged with stalking after he used a drone to photograph private security workers and another man is charged with felony reckless endangerment for allegedly flying a drone near a North Dakota Highway Patrol aircraft.
WILLISTON, N.D. — North Dakota oil production has dropped below 1 million barrels per day for the first time since hitting that milestone in April 2014. The state's oil production fell 4.7 percent in August to an average of 981,039 barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Thursday, Oct. 13. "This is a day we had been anticipating but not looking forward to," said Director Lynn Helms. North Dakota oil production peaked in December 2014 at nearly 1.23 million barrels per day.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — The McKenzie County Commission voted unanimously Thursday to petition the governor to remove Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger from office after an investigation into workplace bullying and retaliation. Commissioners also voted unanimously to place Lt. Michael Schmitz on administrative leave while commissioners decide on disciplinary action that could include termination.
BISMARCK — Special education teachers who travel to a school near the Dakota Access Pipeline protests are scared to drive in the area after getting harassed, the Burleigh County Special Education Unit wrote in a letter to state officials. Delays while staff attempt to travel to and from the Little Heart School in St. Anthony are causing students to miss federally mandated special education services, said Barry Chathams, director of the unit, in a letter to Superintendent of Schools Kirsten Baesler.
CLEARBROOK, Minn. — Activists who tampered Tuesday, Oct. 11, with five oil pipelines that carry Canadian crude into the United States said they're standing in solidarity with Dakota Access Pipeline opponents and calling on President Obama to prevent a "climate catastrophe." The activists from Climate Direct Action said they were targeting pipelines that deliver tar sands oil from Alberta into the U.S. as a sign of support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and an international call for prayer and action.
WILLISTON, N.D. — Williston leaders said they're building for the future as they broke ground Monday on a new regional airport. Construction will begin this week on the $240 million Williston Basin International Airport, projected to be complete by the third quarter of 2019, said Airport Director Steven Kjergaard. "This is going to be an amazing addition to your community for decades to come," said Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who attended a groundbreaking ceremony Monday along with North Dakota's congressional delegation.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — A historic ranch in the North Dakota Badlands sold Wednesday, Sept. 28, for more than $3.3 million to nine different buyers. About 150 people attended the live auction for the Woodie Lee Watson Family Trust Ranch, with more than 50 registered to bid. The Watsons' decision to sell the nearly 2,000 acres south of Watford City that had been in the family for generations gave bidders a rare chance to buy land with prime views of the Little Missouri Scenic River and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.