FARGO, N.D. (AP) – A federal judge says two new expert witnesses will be allowed to testify on behalf of a man sentenced to death for killing a University of North Dakota student more than a decade ago. Over objections from prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ruled that the experts will be allowed to testify during an upcoming evidentiary hearing for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. Rodriguez, of Crookston, Minnesota, remains on death row for the 2003 kidnapping and murder of UND student Dru Sjodin.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) – The largest provider of health insurance in North Dakota will be under new leadership after next year. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota President and CEO Tim Huckle has announced plans to retire in January 2020. The insurer says Chief Legal Officer Dan Conrad will transition into the CEO position over the next year. Blue Cross Blue Shield insures or administers claims for about 375,000 people.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) – The federal Agriculture Department’s last weekly crop report of the harvest season shows a small amount of late-season crops still in the field in North Dakota. The report says 87 percent of sunflowers, 88 percent of corn and 95 percent of soybeans have been harvested. Sixty percent of subsoil moisture supplies and 73 percent of topsoil moisture supplies are rated adequate to surplus. Weekly reports for the 2019 season begin in April.
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) – Students from six surrounding states will soon pay the same tuition rate as South Dakota residents at the state’s public universities. The Rapid City Journal reports that the South Dakota Board of Regents approved the new policy this week. Board President Kevin Schieffer says the goal is to grow enrollment, meet the state’s workforce needs and attract more financial resources to the universities and the state.
A West Fargo man pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and reckless driving charges after he attempted to commit suicide by driving into a parked car at over 100 miles per hour on a busy interstate. John P. Milligan reportedly drove past an abandoned vehicle on Interstate 29 twice to make sure it was empty before attempting to kill himself by driving into the car at 113 miles per hour. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and required to take part in Cass County’s mental health diversion program as a condition of probation.