Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — A former employee of the North Dakota Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division is facing felony charges that she embezzled thousands of dollars in customer transactions. Dorma Jean Steier, 62, of Mandan, N.D., is charged with felony counts of theft, forgery and deceptive writings. She is set for trial in early January.
BISMARCK — No one agrees on much about Measure 3. The initiated statutory measure to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota for people older than 21 is on the November ballot, with smokin' hot arguments rolled within. “I think it’s a great law. I think the law is wonderfully written,” said David Owen, who chairs the Measure 3 sponsoring committee.
MANDAN, N.D.—Mandan police are not releasing the name of a man injured in an officer-involved shooting because they are unsure if he will invoke his Marsy's Law rights. "We're not in touch with him because of the fact we're not doing the investigation, and so, until we know that for sure, we are not going to be (releasing the name) because we don't want to overstep that," Mandan Police Deputy Chief Lori Flaten said Monday, Oct. 15. The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation has opened a probe into the Oct. 9 shooting, of which few details are available.
MANDAN, N.D.—Sherilyn Johnson unloads her arms of lesson materials after walking into Sweet Briar School, the sounds of playing children behind her. Model airplanes and a solar system hang from the ceiling. Maps, artwork and lesson plans cover the walls and boards. A bearded dragon basks in a terrarium. "Our latest addition. Isn't that great?" Johnson said, looking at the tiny reptile that is the subject of a science project.
BISMARCK—Defense and prosecuting attorneys are giving no ground in the case of a licensed addiction counselor charged with hindering Bismarck police in a methadone patient's arrest. Kiki Schatz, who works at Heartview Foundation in Bismarck, is accused of misdemeanor hindering law enforcement for refusing police entry to the treatment center to arrest Brendan Kapfer for allegedly violating a domestic violence protection order. Schatz invoked Part 2 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which provides confidentiality for patients seeking treatment for addiction.
BISMARCK—In an email to members of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, former state Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler appeared unapologetic about the email that led to his resignation Monday, Oct. 1. Gov. Doug Burgum accepted Schuler's resignation after Schuler sent a staffwide email and attachment Monday morning expressing his personal thoughts on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process — a message Burgum described as "unacceptable."
BISMARCK — Just one statewide race in North Dakota this year has no political party associated with it: a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court. North Dakota's judicial races have been nonpartisan since 1910, after a nasty election involving libel in 1906. This year, voters will weigh incumbent Justice Lisa Fair McEvers, who has served almost five years, and longtime Bismarck trial lawyer Bob Bolinske Sr., who previously ran unsuccessfully in 2016.
BISMARCK—North Dakota legislators earlier this month debated the true fiscal impact of Measure 3, which would legalize recreational marijuana, as the state Department of Health put forth costs for a related educational campaign not required by the measure. Brenda Weisz, director of the state Department of Health's Division of Accounting, said health department officials had internal discussions similar to lawmakers of Legislative Management, but their estimated fiscal impact came down to "we have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of all North Dakotans."
BISMARCK—A council of North Dakota's judiciary has recommended that the state Supreme Court budget 10 additional staff positions for the 2019-21 biennium, as well as an additional judgeship. State Court Administrator Sally Holewa said the state Supreme Court will meet in two weeks to discuss its budget proposal, which is due by Nov. 15 to the state Office of Management Budget. In 2017, the state court system cut about 35 staff amid budget reductions.
BISMARCK—Two teams of 28 medical personnel from around North Dakota will fly Wednesday to Raleigh, N.C., to aid relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Emergency Preparedness and Response Section Chief Tim Wiedrich said the registered nurses, paramedics and EMTs chosen for deployment to North Carolina were pulled from a pool of medical personnel who have submitted to make themselves available to respond to a large-scale emergency under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.