Associated Press News Summaries for Saturday
Posted by KSJB News on 10/7/2017 9:30:00 PM.
Associated Press news summaries for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former Standing Rock Sioux tribal leader has been sentenced to 30 years in sexually abusing a girl.

The Bismarck Tribune reports 54-year-old Robert Fool Bear was sentenced Friday in federal court. He was found guilty in April guilty on four counts related to sexual abuse of a child.

Authorities say Fool Bear repeatedly raped the girl for four years. He maintained that the girl made up the story.

A small number of people attended the sentencing hearing, including Fool Bear's wife, Rhonda Krein Fool Bear.

She signed a plea deal in July with federal prosecutors in which she admitted not alerting law enforcement. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge alleging that she lied at the trial of her husband.

Her sentencing is scheduled for December.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Suites for nursing and breastfeeding mothers are being installed in North Dakota airports other facilities through a state Health Department grant to the North Dakota Breastfeeding Coalition.

The Minot Daily News reports that the first suite was installed last month in Minot. They cost $16,000 to construct.

BriAnna Wanner is with the coalition. She says the suite is the first of five to be installed at airports in the state.

It has electrical hookups for pumps and phone chargers. The door locks to the outside when the suite is in use and there's space in the suites to include a young child.

Others are planned in Grand Forks, Bismarck, Fargo and Williston.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former tech executive Doug Burgum's Silicon Valley-styled approach to leading North Dakota government has sparked conflicts with longtime Republican power brokers.

The former Microsoft vice president replaced his office desk chair with a wellness ball, frequently wears jeans and assigned subordinates corporate titles. But a looming conflict extends far beyond style.

Lawmakers and the governor may ask the state Supreme Court to sort out their ongoing dispute over vetoes.

Such friction has been rare in North Dakota, so overwhelmingly Republican that Donald Trump carried it by 36 points last year. At the Capitol, the GOP controls more than 80 percent of both chambers.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson said the veto lawsuit might have been avoided with better communication. Burgum says his door is always open.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A modeling tool is helping the city of Minot continue to recover from the devastating 2011 Souris River flood and work toward preventing a similar disaster in the future.

The Minot Daily News reports that the Souris River Decision Support Tool is one of the projects in Minot's National Resilience Program.

Steve Wolsfeld is the vice president of CDM Smith, the city's resilience consultant. He provided an overview of the tool during the council's committee meeting Tuesday.

The tool can offer insights into potential benefits related to such things as property buyouts and the lowering of reservoirs ahead of expected high water flows. It's expected to be finalized in two or three weeks.

About $450,000 of the $599,000 that was set aside by the city has been spent on the tool.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers says it likely will take until April to finish court-ordered additional environmental study of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The agency had anticipated completing the task this year. But attorneys say in court documents filed Friday that it will take longer than expected to get needed information from Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners and at least one American Indian tribe.

The $3.8 billion pipeline began carrying oil from North Dakota to Illinois on June 1. But four Sioux tribes are still challenging it in court because they fear a leak could contaminate their water supply.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled in June that more environmental review was necessary. He's considering shutting down the pipeline while that's done, but it isn't known when he'll rule.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Health Department says a truck spilled more than 4,600 gallons of oilfield wastewater in Williston.

The agency says the produced water spill was the result of an accident on Wednesday by a truck operated by Wind River Oil Services.

Produced water is a mixture of saltwater and oil that can contain drilling chemicals.

State health officials say all but about 200 gallons of the spill had been recovered by Friday afternoon. They say an undetermined amount flowed off the accident site into a drainage and wetland.

Health Department officials say they are monitoring the cleanup effort.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Projections show the number of apartment-dwelling households in the Sioux Falls area will increase at a greater rate than the rest of the United States.

The Argus Leader reports that high demand for workers is drawing more people to move to the city. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data says nearly one-third of Sioux Falls residents are now renters.

Some neighborhoods have combined forces to try to halt progress on plans for larger-scale apartment buildings. A neighborhood association recently attempted unsuccessfully to prevent a rezone of a nearby urban farmstead.

City Hall projects Sioux Falls could see a 60 percent increase in the number of apartments by 2040. The trend is nationwide as younger families prefer the mobility of renting.

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — Several Black Hills streams have a new species of fish for anglers to catch, but where the cutthroat trout came from is a mystery.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports that South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials have found small, numbers of Snake River cutthroat trout recently during sampling.

Jake Davis is an area fisheries supervisor with the state Game, Fish and Parks. He says fisheries crews have encountered cutthroat trout in Spearfish, Whitewood and the north fork of Rapid creeks.

He says it's not known where the fish came from. He says there are cases in which the state has allowed an individual to stock fish, but that those people are required to have a permit as well as a clean fish health report.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota prosecutor says charges against the father of an infant left outside overnight in the rain are based, in part, on video surveillance which shows he was the last person to have custody of the child.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said Friday Ronald Harrison was arguing with the child's mother on the patio of Faith Family Church in Sioux Falls Monday afternoon when the woman walked away, leaving Harrison, the baby and their 1-year-old child. An affidavit says Harrison grabbed the older child who was walking away, but failed to retrieve the baby from the patio.

Authorities say the 2-month-old baby was left 18 hours overnight until a church employee found him the next morning. McGowan says he has charged only the father based on the video and current information.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Tourism and business officials in the Dakotas are bracing for poor pheasant hunting this fall.

The worst drought in recent memory has depleted numbers of the popular game bird in the two states that are considered among the best pheasant hunting areas in the nation.

Pheasants are big business in the Dakotas, drawing hundreds of thousands of hunters who spend hundreds of millions of dollars.

Troy Mosbrucker is mayor of Mott, generally considered the heart of North Dakota pheasant country. He says businesses that rely on the season to get through the winter will have a tough time this year.

South Dakota hunting lodge owner Stephan (STEHF'-uhn) Stanley says smaller operators will be hurt most. He says most large commercial operations are releasing birds to boost pheasant numbers in their areas.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission is considering a proposal that would allow hunters who use dogs to begin a mountain lion hunt on private land to continue onto most public land outside the Black Hills.

The Rapid City Journal reports the commission voted Thursday to advance the South Dakota Houndsman Association's petition to a proposal.

The association sometimes obtains licenses to hunt problem mountain lions for landowners outside the Black Hills. But the hunt must stop if lions move from private land onto certain parcels of public land where hunting with dogs isn't allowed.

Current rules allow mountain-lion hunts with dogs to continue on public land only if the parcel is managed by the state Office of School of Public Lands or the U.S. Bureau of Management.

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota man who lived in a house with the decomposing bodies of his mother and twin brother for about a year says he could not bring himself to report their deaths to authorities.

Sixty-year-old Robert James Kuefler of White Bear Lake tells The Associated Press that he was "traumatized" by their deaths.

White Bear Police Capt. Dale Hager says Kuefler was charged this past week with interference with a dead body or scene of death. Hager says the pair died of natural causes.

Kuefler said his mother, 94-year-old Evelyn Kuefler, died in August 2015 and his brother, Richard Kuefler, died months earlier. Police discovered their bodies in September 2016.

Court records say his mother's body was decayed and skeletal and his brother's body was "mummified."

WINONA, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers need to approve $1 million next year for the second phase of a study about adding a second Twin Cities-to-Chicago passenger train with stops in Red Wing and Winona.

The Post Bulletin reports that Legislators already are faced with more than $3 billion in requests for construction projects across Minnesota.

Red Wing Mayor Sean Dowse says a second train would help boost the city's economy.

The Minnesota and Wisconsin transportation agencies did a feasibility of a second route in 2015. The study estimates that a second train would see 155,000 riders annually and generate more than $6.8 in annual revenue.

The project is estimated to cost more than $95 million, with an additional $6.6 million in annual operating and maintenance costs.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota television reporter who lost her lower left leg in a boating accident says she's beginning a new chapter of her life.

Courtney Godfrey tells The Pioneer Press that she'll never lose her spirit.

Godfrey was thrown from a boat on Christmas Lake in Hennepin County on Sept. 15. The boat's propeller struck her left foot. Her younger sister, Kelly Roberson, is a registered nurse. Roberson used the boat's tow rope as a tourniquet to stop the wound's bleeding.

Godfrey's lower leg was later amputated about mid-calf at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Godfrey says the amputee community has welcomed her, offered her their support and helped make adjustments to her home so it's more accessible.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Officials say the invasive sea lamprey is gaining ground in Lake Superior and Lake Erie, while its numbers remain at near-historic lows in the other Great Lakes.

Sea lampreys are eel-like parasites that attack fish such as trout, salmon and whitefish. They invaded the lakes in the last century and decimated native fish until a poison was developed that brought them under control.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission says treatment of key tributaries is keeping a lid on lampreys in Lakes Huron, Michigan and Ontario.

But their populations are rising in Superior and Erie for unknown reasons.

The commission says lampricides have been applied in several rivers flowing into Lake Superior. The effects won't be known until next year.

Work will continue to determine what's behind the Lake Erie upsurge.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who was fatally shot by St. Paul police.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which has taken over the investigation, named him Friday as 28-year-old Phume Lee, of St. Paul. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The police department said earlier that the shooting took place about 6 p.m. Thursday in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood after a woman fled from a house, called 911 and told dispatchers the man had shot at her with five young children nearby.

Sgt. Mike Ernster says that as the suspect fled the house, police pursued him and shots were fired during a confrontation. He says a gun was recovered at the scene. No officers were hurt.

Ernester says the officers involved were wearing body cameras that investigators will examine.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minnesota auto dealer Denny Hecker remains in federal prison and is not in a halfway house as his attorney reported earlier this week.

The federal Bureau of Prisons says Hecker's attorney misspoke when she said Hecker had been released from the federal prison in Illinois and sent to a halfway house in Minneapolis.

Hecker's former bankruptcy attorney Barbara May says he called her this week and told her he was in the halfway house. Because the call was not collect from the prison, May said she had no reason to doubt him.

Hecker is serving a 10-year sentence for defrauding auto lenders and the bankruptcy court.

A Bureau of Prisons spokesman confirmed to the Star Tribune Friday that Hecker is still in the federal prison in Pekin, Illinois.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A study has found that the Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan have surpassed Lake Superior in water clarity.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that scientists analyzed satellite images from 1998 to 2012 and found that the depth light could penetrate into the water increased by about 20 percent.

Scientists say less phosphorous runoff, climate change and an increase in invasive zebra and quagga mussels have contributed to the change.

Michigan Technological University Senior Research Scientist Gary Fahnenstiel co-authored the study. He says the mussels filter the water by eating plankton, which absorb light.

Michigan Tech Research Institute Co-director Robert Shuchman also co-authored the study. He says the decrease in plankton could cause major changes to the ecology in the lakes.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota landowners are on track for meeting the state's first deadline for putting buffer strips of vegetation between cropland and public waters.

The Board of Water and Soil Resources says 94 percent of parcels that require them will have pollution protections in place by the Nov. 1 deadline. Landowners who can't meet the deadline can get extensions until July 1 if they can show they have a plan for complying.

Landowners also need buffers along public ditches by Nov. 1, 2018.

Gov. Mark Dayton championed the 2015 buffer law to reduce farm pollution entering Minnesota waters.

While the statewide compliance rate looks high, many heavily agricultural counties in western and southern Minnesota have less than 80 percent compliance, and some with the most row crops are under 70 percent compliant.

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