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TODAY'S THOUGHT

Be the kind of light that makes people squint so hard they can't even see you anymore.

- Bob Goff

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 KHRT ND News

KHRT ND News - Friday - 01/11/19 - Noon Edition

A manslaughter count against a Fargo man accused in the death of his girlfriend's 6-month-old son in Stanley has been upgraded to a murder charge...

     STANLEY, N.D. (AP) - A manslaughter count against a Fargo man accused in the death of his girlfriend's 6-month-old son in Stanley has been upgraded to a murder charge. Authorities allege 24-year-old Cody Faltersack was alone with the child last November when emergency crews responded to a report of an unresponsive child. The boy later died at a Minot hospital of brain trauma.
 
     The Minot Daily News reports the murder charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole. Faltersack made his initial court appearance on the new charge Thursday and will enter a plea later.

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     JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his ex-wife in Jamestown last year has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Authorities say 25-year-old Nicole Gututala was found shot to death in a vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment building on May 12, 2018. Twenty-seven-year-old Kevin Hoff turned himself in a short time later.
 
     KQDJ radio reports that the slaying happened after Hoff lost an appeal of a court order giving his ex-wife sole custody of their two children. He also had been served with a foreclosure notice on his home. Hoff pleaded guilty to murder in November. He was sentenced Thursday.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Bismarck woman who operated a day care has been convicted of abusing a 3-year-old boy because he wet his pants. Authorities alleged that 55-year-old Marlene Steedsman grabbed the boy by his ears, injuring them, and later tried to blame another child. A jury this week convicted her of felony child abuse. She'll be sentenced later.
 
     It was Steedsman's second conviction related to the injury of a child in her care. In 2017, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lying to law officers. She was still on probation when the most recent incident occurred. She no longer operates a day care.

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    MINOT, ND - The City of Minot continues to make progress eliminate 'zombie' homes.

    Officials say two blighted valley properties were purchase by the City this month in the continued effort to ensure the long-term stability and resilience of neighborhoods impacted by the 2011 Mouse River flood. The purchase of homes through the Spot Blight Program was approved by the Minot City Council in 2018 using $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) money allocated in 2012.

    "Out of the nearly 3,000 homes severely damaged by the flood, we are down to less than 30 that we consider to be 'zombie' or blighted properties. That's a great improvement," said Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma. "City staff is continuing to work with this last handful of properties to ensure those neighborhoods that have truly bounced back in the last seven years are made as whole as possible."

    Officials say roughly 35 properties were identified by the City of Minot in early 2018 as meeting the definition of blighted due to flood damage. The property owners were notified of the need to show intent to repair their home, or their property could be considered for acquisition.

    Of the properties that were initially considered for the program, 32 remain on the City's watch list.

    - Two of those properties are making notable progress toward a certificate of occupancy, while some others have pulled permits for reconstruction but are showing limited or no progress.

    - Three properties were noted as "bank-owned" when the City began this process; some others are in various stages of the foreclosure process.

    - Two were purchased in January 2019 with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CDBG-DR funds. Three more are considered "willing sellers" interested in being acquired through the Spot Blight Program.

    Officiails say the ultimate goal of the City of Minot is to restore the valley and ensure that the area has been established as a vibrant, resilient, thriving community after the devastation left from the 2011 flood. Offer prices to purchase homes were developed via independent appraisals, which were then reviewed by the City assessor's office. Homes acquired by the City will be demolished and turned into green space until a future use is determined.

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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota regulators have concluded that the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline has complied with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction.

    Energy Transfer Partners was accused of removing too many trees and improperly handling a pipeline route change. To avoid fines, it was directed to plant tens of thousands of new trees and to develop an industry handbook and conduct training on properly handling route adjustments.

    North Dakota's Public Service Commission late last year asked for more proof from the company that it had complied. ETP filed numerous documents including a letter in which attorney Lawrence Bender said he was "disappointed" that compliance had been questioned. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says regulators went through the documents this week and concluded the company is in compliance.

 

 


   (Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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