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BISMARCK — A key player in the response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests will serve as North Dakota's new director of homeland security starting in March, Gov. Doug Burgum said Friday, Feb. 9. Cody Schulz, the disaster recovery chief for the state Department of Emergency Services, will succeed Greg Wilz, who is retiring after more than 12 years in the role. Schulz will oversee the Division of Homeland Security within the department and will serve as the state's homeland security advisor.
WINNER — Two Winner women were charged with child abuse after allegedly forcing a 10-year-old to smoke marijuana. On Feb. 4, a woman told police her 10-year-old son came home from someone else's home and said they "made him smoke marijuana." The mother bought a home-test kit and the child twice tested positive for marijuana. The child told police he was hyper while visiting Elizabeth Mansheim, so she and another occupant of the house, Natalie Dykstra, gave him weed to calm down. The juvenile explained where the weed is kept in the house and said he smoked twice.
FARGO - File this one under "only in North Dakota." Multiple videos have been circulating on Facebook Thursday, Feb. 8 after a cow broke loose from the Little International Livestock Show on the campus of NDSU. In the video, you can see three people trying to corral the cow near NDSU's Minard Hall, located in the heart of campus. "The cow was on the loose for a little bit," said NDSU Media Relations coordinator Sadie Rudulph.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum named Deputy Tax Commissioner Joe Morrissette the state's new budget director Thursday, Feb. 8. Morrissette will take over as director of the Office of Management and Budget, a Cabinet-level position, March 1. He succeeds Pam Sharp, who retired Nov. 30 but has stayed on in a temporary role through the transition. Morrissette has been the state's deputy tax commissioner since 2014. He previously worked in OMB and Legislative Council, and he has a master's in business administration from the University of Mary in Bismarck.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Public Service Commission's two rail safety inspectors issued 49 violations last year, the agency said Thursday, Feb. 8. The program was approved by state lawmakers in 2015 after an oil train derailment near Casselton, N.D., sparked an explosion in late 2013. Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said inspectors issued "multiple violations related to wheel defects, side bearing problems, and switch issues," which "have a direct relation to derailments."
WAHPETON, N.D. – A student reportedly died on a boarding school campus here earlier this week. The Circle of Nations School confirmed Wednesday, Feb. 7, that a 13-year-old girl was found dead at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, according to Brian Watson, dean of students. "The Circle of Nations School community suffered a tragic loss,” read a statement provided by the school. “It's difficult for all of us to face the death of a young person.”
PEMBINA, N.D.—An environmental activist who shut off an emergency valve on the TransCanada Keystone oil pipeline was sentenced Tuesday to spend one year in prison. Michael Eric Foster, 53, of Seattle, initially was charged with eight different crimes for his participation in the 2016 action that targeted a section of pipeline that runs through northeast North Dakota. Foster was joined on trial by co-defendant Samuel L. Jessup, of Winooski, Vt., a fellow "valve-turner" who livestreamed Foster's actions at the pipeline for viewing on the Internet.
WASHINGTON — Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will be the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast dinner Thursday, Feb. 8. North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer made the announcement in an interview on KXJB-TV. Wentz, the former North Dakota State University star, will replace Vice President Mike Pence, who will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the Olympic opening ceremonies.
FARGO - Inside Edition will air an exclusive story on the case of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind and her child, Haisley Jo.
FARGO – One of the two suspects accused of killing 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind while she was eight months pregnant has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.