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BC-ND--North Dakota News Digest, ND

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News,Science and Technology

If you have news or sports stories of statewide interest, please call at 1-800-472-2186 or 1-701-223-8450. For technical problems with delivery of AP news and photo services, contact customersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns also are available through AP Exchange, customersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

North Dakota at 2 p.m.

EXCHANGE-APPRECIATING PUBLIC DEFENDERS

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Being a court-appointed, taxpayer-funded lawyer for criminal defendants can be a tough gig, said Ted Sandberg. But it's better than it used to be in North Dakota and it actually serves justice, despite the dismal odds of winning a case or the love of the public which pays for such defenders, he said. An AP Member Exchange Feature By Stephen J. Lee of the Grand Forks Herald.

AP Photo pursuing

FOR USE SUNDAY, JUNE 16

EXCHANGE-MOVING FOSSILS

BISMARCK, N.D. — Imagine moving tens of thousands of fossils of all sizes. That's the job going on at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, where the North Dakota State Fossil Collection and the Paleontology Laboratory are being moved into the center's expansion. The work on moving the fossil collection began late last month, said John Hoganson, state paleontologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey. "We have about three, or four weeks to move everything, he said. The move, he said, involves "tens of thousands" of fossils of all sizes. He said the fossils range in sizes from huge ones to some very small ones like snails and clams. Hired individuals and volunteers are helping with the move. An AP Member Exchange Feature By Eloise Ogden of the Minot Daily News.

AP Photo pursuing

FOR USE SUNDAY, JUNE 16

POLICE DOG-RETIRING

DICKINSON, N.D. — Buster the chocolate Labrador retriever is retiring soon as Dickinson's police dog. Officer Corey Lee said his partner still loves coming to work but the 8-year-old dog has hip problems. Halfway through a 12-hour shift, Buster gets stiff and his regular enthusiasm for the job drops off.

OIL PRODUCTION

BISMARCK. — North Dakota drillers continue to produce oil and natural gas at a record pace, data from the state Department of Mineral Resources show. The agency said the state produced an average of about 793,250 barrels daily in April. That's up from about 783,000 barrels a day in March.

ALSO OF INTEREST:

— REC CENTER CLOSING — The military says a family recreation center at the Grand Forks Air Force Base is slated to close Monday due to federal budget cuts. The Grand Forks Herald reports (http://bit.ly/19D7bVa ) that the closure of the Parent & Child Center is the result of across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.

— BISMARCK BURGLARIES — Bismarck police are investigating two unrelated burglaries where women found unknown men in their apartments. Sgt. Mark Buschena tells the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1ac1NqI ) that a 35-year-old Bismarck woman reported she awoke to find a man walking out of her apartment at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Buschena says drawers in the apartment had been rummaged but nothing appeared to be missing.

— SUPREME COURT DISTRICTS — The North Dakota Supreme Court is considering changing the state's judicial districts to achieve more parity in judges, workload and district population.

— TANK FIRE — Authorities say a lightning strike at a saltwater disposal facility in western North Dakota caused an explosion and a fire but did not cause any injuries

— NORTHEAST JUDGES-HEALTH — Three state district court judges in Grand Forks who faced serious medical issues are back on the job. Judge Joel Medd had open-heart surgery in late March and was out for about six weeks. Judge Debbie Kleven missed some time over the past month for back surgery. Judge Karen Braaten hasn't missed much time but continues to work her schedule around cancer treatments.

— SLEDGEHAMMER ASSAULT — A North Dakota man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for hitting his older brother in the head with a sledgehammer. Joey Short, of Belcourt, pleaded guilty in March to a federal charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.

SPORTS:

Those with usernames and passwords can check www.dakotasportsserver.com for sports stories and game results.

The AP, Bismarck

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