Associated Press News Summaries for Saturday
Posted by KSJB News on 8/26/2017 4:30:00 PM.
Associated Press news summaries for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Three North Dakota farmers have partnered with a beekeeper on a pilot project to improve the health of bees and other pollinators.

The project, Bee Integrated, is an experiment aiming to better practices of both beekeeping and farming in unison.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that honey bees contribute their pollinating powers to a third of the country's food supply but pollinator populations are declining. The decline is due to loss of habitat, pests and exposure to chemicals.

Lamoure farmer Kasey Bitz says he came across the project at a farmer convention and trade show. By signing up for the project he volunteered a portion of his land to be used for planting pollinator mix.

Bee Integrated project manager Mike Smith says farmers are paid for the use of their land.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Volunteers furnished with maps, bug spray and bottled water were searching areas near the Red River in north Fargo after family and friends of Savanna Greywind organized a search for the 22-year-old, who was eight months pregnant when she went missing.

The quest to find Greywind has intensified since police found a newborn baby Thursday and arrested two suspects for kidnapping. Greywind was eight months pregnant when she disappeared. The suspects indicated to police that the infant was Greywind's, but would not answer questions about Greywind's whereabouts.

The search included dozens of people who came from the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, where Greywind is an enrolled member. Stuart LaFountain, a member of the tribal board, is asking people to "look into their hearts" and help find Greywind.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration for extensive storm damage sustained by infrastructure, farms and ranches in July.

Burgum is seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for repairs.

A series of severe thunderstorms on July 20-21 produced large hail and high wind that caused more than $1.1 million in damage.

The request Thursday follows the governor's action last week declaring a severe summer storm disaster for Bowman, Dunn and Slope counties.

Burgum made a separate request on Aug. 8 for a presidential major disaster declaration for drought. That request is still pending.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company that built the Dakota Access pipeline has responded to an offer by North Dakota regulators to settle state allegations that it improperly reported the discovery of American Indian artifacts during construction.

But the response from Energy Transfer Partners isn't being disclosed yet.

North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says the agency will meet Monday to discuss the response.

The commission on Aug. 14 made the Texas-based company an offer under which ETP would make a $15,000 "contribution" and wouldn't have to admit fault. Commissioners said it was an effort to end the drawn-out dispute over whether the company should be fined.

If ETP accepts the offer, the complaint will be dismissed. If it rejects the offer, the commission will move forward with the complaint and schedule a public hearing.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A Minot clinic that has treated thousands of people for free is closing its doors after 18 years.

The Minot Daily News reports City & Country Health Clinic will be treating its last patients Monday.

Clinic Manager Candy Johnson says the facility isn't closing because of lack of money. She says the clinic board "felt that we have served our mission."

Volunteers estimate that on average eight to 10 patients visited the clinic each week. The clinic has recently been open only Monday evenings, but over the years it was sometimes open two or three times a week.

The clinic will be sending its equipment, including exam tables, blood pressure cuffs and diabetic monitors, to Global Health Ministries for distribution to developing nations.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Minnesota towing and hauling company is teaming up with a Plains farm aid nonprofit this weekend to ship tons of hay for about a dozen drought-stricken ranchers in North Dakota.

Beyer Towing in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and Farm Rescue have organized a convoy of 14 semi-loads of hay on Saturday and another half dozen loads on Sunday.

The cattle feed being sold at a reduced price will be trucked about 225 miles from Rothsay, Minnesota, to Menoken, North Dakota.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows 63 percent of North Dakota in some form of drought. Many ranchers have been forced to sell off cattle because they have no hay crop or can't afford to buy hay with demand pushing prices to as high as double the normal cost.


MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — Ambulance services in some South Dakota towns are struggling to recruit emergency medical technicians despite a new state law reducing the number of EMTs required to respond to calls.

The Daily Republic reports that ambulance services in Gregory, Burke and Bonesteel/Fairfax may have to shut down in the next two years if the recruiting issue isn't resolved.

State law used to require two medical personnel and one certified driver respond to calls. A 2016 law says only one EMT and one driver is required, and the driver must have some first aid certification.

But South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Director Marty Link says finding volunteers who can balance responsibilities at work, home and the service is a problem not unique to Gregory County.

He's still hopeful for the future.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A $200 million transformation of Rapid City Regional Hospital has begun with the completion of a three-level parking garage.

The Rapid City Journal reports the most profound upcoming changes include the move of the hospital's main entrance from the north side to the south side of the building; integration of inpatient and outpatient cardiac care services; expansion of the emergency department and the addition of another parking garage.

The project is slated for completion in 2020. The new, three-story front entrance will be made with glass, and the 36,000-square-foot emergency department will have more patient beds and medical offices.

The new emergency department will be 150 percent larger than the current space, which is already the busiest in the state with 85,000 visits per year.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Fort Pierre-based company after a worker was injured in a trench collapse.

OSHA says First Dakota Enterprises failed to protect workers from trench collapse hazards. The agency is proposing $95,000 in penalties.

OSHA says a 34-year-old worker was buried on May 23 when the walls of a 14-foot trench collapsed around him at a construction site in Emery. He was rescued and survived.

The company can contest the proposed fine. A woman who answered the phone Friday said the company declined to comment.

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — A 29-year-old woman is dead after being struck by a pickup truck while walking along U.S. Highway 212 west of Watertown.

The incident happened about 9:45 p.m. Thursday. The Highway Patrol says the woman was in the roadway, and charges are not pending against the driver of the truck.

The driver was not injured.

The woman's name wasn't immediately released.


KEYSTONE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota woman continues to seek answers four years after the death of her friend.

The Rapid City Journal reports 67-year-old Nancy Herman has refused to give up hope that she'll find out what happened to her friend, 38-year-old Meshell Will.

Herman says she met Will in February 2013, while Will volunteered at a battered women shelter. She had last spoken to Will two days before she was last seen in Keystone.

Now, Herman regularly calls case investigators to check for updates, and has also saved over $1,000 for a reward.

Earlier this month, Herman and Will's aunt sought help from the Vidocq Society, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit. The nonprofit provides free assistance to police investigating cold-case homicides.

Will's remains were discovered Aug. 31, 2013 in Keystone. The cause of her death hasn't been determined.


STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — A mansion in eastern Minnesota is ready to be rented out for the Super Bowl.

The house's property manager, Matthew Stepaniak, tells the Pioneer Press that the house is available for short-term rental.

The Stillwater City Council passed an ordinance this year that allows short-term rentals, but limits the number available and limits the number of guests allowed.

The Twin Cities expects about 1 million visitors will be in the area for about 10 days in February for Super Bowl activities.

The mansion has a gourmet kitchen, seven bedrooms, almost 10 bathrooms, a wraparound porch, gardens, covered terrace and a basement with a bar, TV and pool table.

It'll be rented out for $10,000 for three nights, $15,000 for five nights or $20,000 for seven nights for the Super Bowl.

FOLEY, Minn. (AP) — A hops farm in central Minnesota is preparing for its largest harvest to date.

The St. Cloud Times reports that Mighty Axe Hops will soon harvest its first batch of hops since moving to Foley a year ago.

The farm began five years ago in Ham Lake but relocated to Foley for more space.

CEO Eric Sannerud says the harvest is expected to yield about 60,000 pounds of hops. The four different varieties of hops will likely be harvested in late August or early September. Sannerud says most of the hops in production are already contracted to several local breweries.

Hops are used in the beer brewing process to add bitterness, aroma and flavor. Certain varieties of hops can contribute specific flavors to beer such as citrus or herbal.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota health officials say a measles outbreak that sickened 79 people is over.

The outbreak that began April 11 was the largest measles outbreak in Minnesota since 1990. It affected mostly unvaccinated children in Minnesota's Somali-American community, where many parents avoided the vaccine because of unfounded fears that it causes autism.

Twenty-two of those who contracted measles had to be hospitalized. More than 8,000 people were exposed to the measles and more than 500 were asked to stay home from school, child care or work because they were potentially infectious.

The Minnesota Department of Health is declaring the outbreak over because there have been no new cases for 42 days.

State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says the Health Department will continue working with the Somali community to improve vaccination rates.

WOODBURY, Minn. (AP) — Authorities are trying to catch two men believed to be on a hotel-robbing spree in Minnesota.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the robbers are believed to have targeted five hotels since July, most recently the Woodbury Hampton Inn about 4 a.m. Thursday.

Other robberies the past two months have occurred in Hastings, Red Wing, Inver Grove Heights and North Branch.

In each case, the robbers entered the hotel during early morning hours, asked for a room, then pulled a gun or implied they had a gun in a pocket.

Woodbury Police Detective Jeremy Miller says the holdups have become increasingly violent, with the men charging the clerk in the Woodbury case and forcing their way behind the counter.

VALENTINE, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have released the names of two people killed and one person injured in a northern Nebraska collision.

Cherry County Attorney Eric Scott says Monday morning's crash west of Valentine fatally injured 20-year-old Marcos Alvarado, of Alliance, and 64-year-old John Strinz, who lived in Eagen, Minnesota.

Scott says Alvarado was driving east on U.S. Highway 20 when his vehicle collided with a westbound vehicle driven by 63-year-old Kathryn Rice, who also lives in Minnesota.

Alvarado and Strinz were pronounced dead at the scene. Scott says Rice was taken Cherry County Hospital in Valentine.

WOODBURY, Minn. (AP) — A woman accused of beating and starving a woman she brought from China to work as a nanny in Minnesota will be deported after she spends a year in jail.

Thirty-six-year-old Lili Huang was sentenced Thursday to 12 months and one day in jail. A federal judge also ordered her to forfeit her home and pay nearly $100,000 in restitution. Huang lived in Woodbury, a suburb of St. Paul.

Authorities say the 58-year-old nanny was found wandering in the street in July 2016, battered and malnourished. Investigator say she was forced to work up to 18 hours a day doing child care, cooking and cleaning, for less than $2 per hour.

Huang is a Chinese citizen living in the U.S. with a valid visa. She pleaded guilty in May to a forced labor charge. Her attorney says she was experiencing mental health problems at the time of the abuse.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The longtime executive director of the Great Lakes Commission is leaving the post.

Tim Eder has taken a new job as a program officer with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Eder has led the Great Lakes Commission since 2006. The commission is an interstate agency that represents and advises the governors of all eight Great Lakes states, and the premiers of Ontario and Quebec, about economic and environmental issues in the region.

Deputy Director Tom Crane will serve as interim executive director until the commission hires Eder's replacement.

Eder says he'll manage water-related grants with the Mott Foundation.

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Workers at a Minnesota golf course found a large swastika carved into the greens earlier this week.

Monday's incident at Crystal Lake Golf Club was first reported by Lakeville police confirmed that the vandalism occurred and said the investigation is ongoing.

In a message on its Facebook page, the club apologized to anyone who saw a picture of the image in the media.

The club also says: "We would like to firmly state how hurt and saddened we are that we were the victim of such a crime. We, in no way, stand for anything remotely related to that symbol, and we hope that swift justice is brought to the perpetrator(s) of this crime."

The club says the greens were repaired before the golf course opened that day.

Steve Casey

Provided by CBS News