Attorneys say North Dakota’s Health Department didn’t improperly discount its own concerns when it permitted the construction of a proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park earlier this year. Meridian Energy Group, which is the department and developer of the project, requested a state judge reject a challenge to an air quality permit allowing the company to begin construction that was issued by environmental groups. Construction began last summer at the Davis Refinery site about 3 miles from the park.
Following the resignation of a Chief People Officer, North Dakota is again searching for someone to fill the position. Kelsey Roth was recently appointed to the position, but reconsidered and resigned on Tuesday, deciding instead to stay in Fargo with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Gov. Doug Burgum appointed Roth as CPO last month. An interim CPO will be named by the end of November.
An environmental review of a revised Red River diversion project was completed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The review will help determine whether the agency will issue a permit for the proposed Fargo-Moorhead channel. The department denied a permit for the original project in October 2016. The denial caused a federal judge to stop construction. The revised plan will reduce impacts to land in Richland County in North Dakota and Minnesota’s Wilkin County.
A man accused of attacking a priest in North Dakota has changed his not guilty plea. Chad Legare, of Alexandria, Minnesota, entered an Alford plea, which allows Legare to maintain his innocence while acknowledging that evidence likely would convict him, Tuesday to attempted murder. Other charges were dismissed by a judge who ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Legare was accused of assaulting the priest early this year in a dispute involving a woman.
A West Fargo man entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of negligent homicide in connection with the death of an 8-month-old child Tuesday. Spencer Warren Foner admitted to placing the child in a bathtub and leaving the room for several minutes. According to court documents, officers found Foner standing over the child who was not breathing. Life-saving efforts were performed on the infant who was rushed to the hospital, but later died. An autopsy listed the cause of death as drowning.