OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A survey suggests business conditions improved last month in nine Midwest and Plains states. A report issued Wednesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 55.2 from 54.1 in November. The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Highway Patrol has identified the victim of an interstate crash during blizzard-like conditions this week. Seventy-two-year-old Delmar Ruff, of West Fargo, died in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 29 Monday afternoon south of Fargo.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A Bismarck man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually assaulting a young girl. Forty-nine-year-old Ricky Chenoweth had changed his plea to guilty to two felony counts of gross sexual imposition before he was sentenced Monday by South Central District Judge Bruce Haskell, in one of his last cases before leaving the bench.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees in North Dakota. But Energy Transfer Partners says it’s still complying with a September 2017 agreement settling allegations it violated state rules during construction. It’s falling back on a settlement provision that allows the work to continue in 2019 under certain circumstances. State officials weren’t immediately available for comment.
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Police arrested a man who said he had a gun and was making suicidal threats at the University of Minnesota’s Duluth campus. Officials issued a campus alert Tuesday night after an acquaintance of the man called 911. Local law enforcement officers searched and found the man in the university’s planetarium. Authorities say no gun was found.