Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed six members to the Office of Recovery Reinvented Advisory Council, of which first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum is chair. By executive order in January, Burgum established the Office of Recovery Reinvented to coordinate initiatives related to behavioral health and recovery from addiction. The advisory council includes seven members with a variety of backgrounds to serve the office's goals. Generated from an applicant pool, Burgum's appointments include:
BISMARCK—Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., has tapped Odney Advertising president Pat Finken as his U.S. Senate campaign manager. Campaign communications director Tim Rasmussen and Finken each confirmed the appointment on Thursday. "Pat started right after Kevin's announcement of his run for the Senate," Rasmussen said. "He's a leading regional political strategist."
BISMARCK—Public knowledge about North Dakota's new drug overdose immunity statute may not be best, but cases are working their way through the courts bringing some attention to the new law. Legislators when passing a rewrite of the law last year discussed getting the word out to Narcotics Anonymous groups, but it's not prosecutors' or legislators' jobs to advertise the statute, according to Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney Brian Johnson and public defender Erica Woehl. The media can help, Johnson said.
BISMARCK—Members of a fugitive apprehension team from Jamaica accompanied the last of 14 co-defendants to be extradited from Jamaica in connection to lottery fraud Thursday, March 15, in Bismarck's federal court. Gareth Billings, 29, appeared before federal Magistrate Judge Charles Miller Jr. Billings and the others are accused of bilking more than $5.7 million from at least 90 mostly elderly Americans. Fifteen people are charged from the 2015 indictment in North Dakota as a result of Operation Hard Copy.
BISMARCK—A drug conspiracy co-defendant, tied to the attempted running over of a Bismarck police officer earlier this year, was denied release to a halfway house by a federal judge on Wednesday, March 14. Citing concerns of the alleged drugs involved, gang activity and encounters with law enforcement, District of North Dakota Magistrate Judge Charles Miller Jr. ordered Juan Nunez be held in custody pending trial.
BISMARCK—State charges including attempted murder were dismissed Thursday, March 8, against a man accused of attempting to run over a Bismarck police officer — but now a federal case begins. Ulises "Droopy" Villalobos-Alvarado and Juan Nunez were indicted Wednesday and arraigned Thursday in Bismarck's federal court. Trial is set for three days in May before District of North Dakota Chief Judge Daniel Hovland.
BISMARCK—Preliminary figures from the last fiscal month show state revenues largely in step with last spring's forecast. Office of Management and Budget Director Joe Morrissette told the Government Finance Committee Wednesday that "we are continuing to track very closely to our legislative forecast."
BISMARCK — Whiteout wintry conditions caused issues Monday, March 5, for some court proceedings, but one defendant still entered his not guilty pleas. In a waiver filed Friday, 22-year-old Ulises Villalobos-Alvarado waived his preliminary hearing set for Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder and fleeing a peace officer.
BISMARCK—Sally Holewa says North Dakota's South Central Judicial District needs three bodies and one toe. "They definitely have the biggest overall shortage as far as judicial bodies, that's for sure," the state court administrator said.
BISMARCK—Precipitation, including snow and freezing rain, is likely to impact North Dakota beginning late Saturday night, possibly lingering through Monday night. Developing from a storm system over the Rocky Mountains and emerging onto the Northern Plains, snow is likely to start Saturday night, according to meteorologist Janine Vining, of the Bismarck National Weather Service.