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National park in North Dakota to host astronomy festival


MEDORA, N.D. — Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the city of Medora are hosting an astronomy festival this month. The park in western North Dakota has scheduled the third annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival for Sept. 11-13. This year’s guest speakers are Craig Howe, who is the director of the South Dakota-based Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, ...

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Nearly half of hotel rooms in North Dakota oil capital sit empty


WILLISTON, N.D. – Nearly half of the hotel rooms in the epicenter of North Dakota’s energy boom have been sitting empty this year, yet another sign that plunging oil prices have cooled the economy of the second-largest crude producing U.S. state. Producers, oilfield service providers and other energy companies across the state’s western oil patch have cut employee hours, canceled ...

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Ex-well operator in North Dakota indicted in dumping case

Injection well used to dispose of oil field wastewater. (Image: Faces of Fracking via Flickr)

The former operator of a saltwater well in southwest North Dakota linked to an illegal wastewater dumping case pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges Monday in federal court in Bismarck. A federal indictment charges Jason Halek, of Southlake, Texas, with conspiring with others in a number of illegal acts including injecting saltwater — an unwanted byproduct of oil production ...

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North Dakota July airline boardings down 4 percent from 2014


BISMARCK, N.D. — Boardings at North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports in July dropped about 4 percent from the previous year. The state Aeronautics Commission reports Dickinson had the biggest percentage drop, of just under 30 percent. Minot saw the biggest drop in actual passengers, with about 3,700 fewer boardings than in July 2014. Airports in Fargo, Grand Forks and ...

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2 accused in oil patch trafficking sentenced to prison


BISMARCK, N.D. — Two Californians who admitted to human trafficking in the North Dakota oil patch have been sentenced to prison. The case involved brothels disguised as massage parlors that operated between June 2010 and March 2014 in Minot, Dickinson and Williston. Authorities alleged that Trina Nguyen (wihn) and Loc Tran lured four women from California to work as prostitutes ...

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North Dakota’s newest refinery loses money in second quarter

View of the Dakota Prairie Refining facility. (Image courtesy of MDU Resources Group)

DICKINSON, N.D. — North Dakota’s newest oil refinery lost money in its first few months of operation. The Dakota Prairie Refinery near Dickinson lost nearly $3.9 million in the second quarter, the Bismarck Tribune reported. MDU Resources Group cited “extremely difficult market conditions” for diesel fuel. Factors included higher prices for western North Dakota crude and an increase in demand ...

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6 North Dakota airports getting federal funds for upgrades


BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s congressional delegation says six western North Dakota airports are getting nearly $10 million for improvements. The money from the U.S. Department of Transportation is slated for airports in Williston, Stanley, Tioga, Garrison, Dickinson and Mercer County. The Tioga airport is getting the bulk of the money, with $5 million slated for construction of a taxiway ...

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Dalrymple appoints 3 lawyers to newly created ND judgeships


BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple has appointed three lawyers to newly created North Dakota district court judgeships. Dalrymple on Monday announced the appointments of Kirsten Sjue, Daniel El-Dweek and Rhonda Ehlis. Sjue and El-Dweek will be judges in the Northwest Judicial District. Sjue will serve in Williston, while El-Dweek will be chambered in Watford City. Sjue is the current ...

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OSHA identifies Arkansas man killed on job in North Dakota


DICKINSON, N.D. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified an Arkansas man who died on the job in North Dakota. OSHA says 23-year-old Alex Lee, of Conway, Arkansas, was operating a construction packer for a street project in Dickinson on July 15 when the packer slid down an embankment and rolled on him, crushing him. Lee was working ...

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