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A man suspected of trying to run a Bismarck police officer down with his SUV is now in custody in Brookings, South Dakota – awaiting extradition.

Bismarck police said officers were assisting the state Parole and Probation office with a search, when 22 year old Ulises Villalobos got in his 2013 Chevrolet Equinox and tried to run over the officer. That officer fired shots into the vehicle’s window, shattering it.

The car was found soon after the incident – and police say the suspect left town in a smaller vehicle.

A man accused of trying to run over a Bismarck police officer has been arrested in Brookings, South Dakota.

Bismarck police say 22 year old Ulises Villalobos was arrested without incident. Bismarck Police Sergeant Mark Buschena said the incident began shortly before 11 am Thursday, as officers were assisting the state Parole and Probation department with a search.

"The man must have seen the police, and he fled," Buschena said. "He was in a vehicle, and attempted to run over one of our officers."

Buschena says the officer shot at the vehicle.

The Salvation Army in Fargo has announced their results from their 2017 Red Kettle Campaign - and it's just short of their $900,000 goal.

But Major Elaine Medlock is optimistic.

"Our final total was $856,002.45, so we fell a little short of our goal - we were at 95.1 percent of our goal. While it's not reaching our $900,000 goal, it's still very close and we are happy with the result."

Medlock says going into 2018, the Salvation Army will look to make adjustments where they are needed.

Dental therapists expand dental care in rural Minnesota

Jan 18, 2018

There are currently 77 licensed dental therapists in Minnesota - and Teresa Bushnell is one of them.

Bushnell works at different employer sites across the state, including the Clay County Family Service Center, where she performs oral health procedures on children. She says dental therapists can focus on about 82 services, whereas dentists are trained to do more than 500.

'Track a Plow' now available on the NDDOT Website

Jan 18, 2018

The North Dakota Department of Transportation has launched what it calls “Track A Plow.”

You’ll find it on the DOT Web site. It's a pilot program.

"We're showing the public where some selected snow plows are operating, so you'll be able to see their direction and their speed," said DOT State maintenance engineer Brad Darr. "There are little 'bread crumbs' behind it so you can see which direction it's heading."

Darr said 47 of the 350 plows are equipped with the technology. He said the pilot program will last a year, and it could be expanded going forward.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The effort is called “Vision Zero.”

The goal: Zero highway fatalities in North Dakota.

Gov. Doug Burgum, along with the directors of the state Department of Transportation, the Highway Patrol  and the Health Department, unveiled the program at a State Capitol event Thursday.

"The government is going to do what it can across our cabinet agencies, but this has to be a shift in culture," Burgum told reporters. "And it has to be personal resposibility."

Burgum says Vision Zero means zero fatalities.

Former State Sen. John Andrist dies at 86

Jan 18, 2018
ND Legislature

Longtime Northwestern North Dakota newspaperman and former Republican State Senator from Crosby, John Andrist, has died.

Andrist was 86. He died Wednesday morning in Fargo from complications of an earlier stroke.

Andrist was first elected to the Senate in 1992. He served until resigning in 2014 because of health reasons.

"He was one of those rare people," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks). "He was a politician, but he was also a gentleman."

Holmberg said Andrist was clearly a role model that politicians should follow.

ND Tourism to spend $2.9 million in 2018

Jan 18, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota Tourism is planning to spend $2.9 million in its marketing campaign for 2018.

"The media plan will be about the same as last year," State Tourism director Sara Otte Coleman told reporters.

Otte Coleman said the campaign will again feature Minot native Josh Duhamel. Duhamel is under contract through the end of the year. Otte Coleman said he has been a very effective representative for the state.

"We actually asked about that in the research," Otte Coleman said. "It showed he is definitely opening eyes."

Board of Higher Education to consider allowing raises

Jan 17, 2018

The 2017 Legislature did not appropriate money for state employee raises.

The Legislature didn’t prohibit that – if the agencies could find money within their appropriations to grant the raises.

The state Board of Higher Education prohibited pay increases in fiscal year 2018. But in fiscal 2019, the University System office wants to make a change.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

For his monthly "Director's Cut" production report -- which reflects November production -- state mineral resources director Lynn Helms was upbeat.

"(It's) probably the most optimistic outlook we've had in a year or so," Helms told reporters.

In November, the state produced 1,194, 120 barrels of oil a day. The state’s all time high was 1,227,483 a day. That record was set in December, 2014.

"Sometime in the first half of this year, we should break that record and start setting record production again," Helms said.


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