BC-ND--North Dakota News Digest,1st Ld, ND

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Associated Press

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM

If you have news or sports stories of statewide interest, please call at 1-800-472-2186 or 1-701-223-8450. For technical problems with delivery of AP news and photo services, call 1-800-552-7252. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns also are available through AP Exchange, customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

North Dakota at 6:30 p.m.

ABORTION-NORTH DAKOTA

BISMARCK, N.D. —North Dakota didn't set out to become the abortion debate's new epicenter.

It happened by accident, after a legislative caucus that once vetted abortion bills languished, leaving lawmakers to propose a flurry of measures — some cribbed from Wikipedia — without roadblocks. By James MacPherson

AP Photo planned

WITH:

— ABORTION-DOCTORS — North Dakota lawmakers have passed legislation that would require a doctor performing abortions to have hospital-admitting privileges.

— FETAL PAIN — North Dakota lawmakers have passed legislation that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.

— ABORTION-DOCTORS-OPPONENT — A North Dakota lawmaker who opposed a bill that would require doctors performing abortions to have hospital-admitting privileges says the bill will not protect the health of women.

— ABORTION-NORTH DAKOTA-CONTENTION — Discussion on the House floor got heated as North Dakota lawmakers debated a slew of anti-abortion measures.

— ABORTION-NORTH DAKOTA-STRUGGLE — A North Dakota lawmaker says she struggled when deciding how to cast her votes on the spate of recent anti-abortion legislation that's been debated.

ROOSEVELT RANCH-OIL WELLS

BISMARCK, N.D. — An oil company that staked out an area near the site of Theodore Roosevelt's historic Badlands ranch in western North Dakota has withdrawn an application to the state to develop the land for up to four oil wells. Officials at Theodore Roosevelt National Park say they're relieved. By Blake Nicholson.

FLOOD CONTROL-FARGO

FARGO, N.D. — Cass County commissioners have called an emergency meeting to discuss a recent flood forecast by the National Weather Service and the county's plans to hold back the Red River. The weather service says there is 50 percent of the river reaching 38 feet, which would be the fifth-highest crest of all time. The snowmelt is expected to start the first week of April. By Dave Kolpack.

MORE FLOODING NEWS:

— WESTERN ND-FLOOD OUTLOOK — The Souris River in northern North Dakota is expected to exceed flood stage in many rural areas this spring

— FLOOD OUTLOOK-SEQUESTER — North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven says the Army Corps of Engineers assured him that mandatory budget cuts will not affect flood protection efforts in the state.

WASTEWATER FINES

FARGO, N.D. — Two companies fined more than half a million dollars by the state of North Dakota for improperly dumping sewage in the western oil patch are scheduled for sentencing in federal court. U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon says it's the first felony conviction of its kind in the state and is believed to be the second such federal case in the nation resulting in felony charges. By Dave Kolpack.

AP Photos planned

ALSO OF INTEREST:

— SPIRIT LAKE KILLING — Attorneys for a man accused of abusing and killing two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation two years ago have asked a federal judge to suppress statements he made to FBI agents when he was arrested last summer.

— NASA ASTRONAUT— University of North Dakota graduate Karen Nyberg is returning to space. Nyberg traveled to the International Space Station aboard a space shuttle in 2008. This May, she's going back, joining astronauts from Italy and Russia for a launch in Kazakhstan.

— RAPID CITY-POPULATION — The Rapid City metropolitan area in western South Dakota is continuing to grow, and officials say the oil boom in western North Dakota might be a reason.

— BAKE AND TAKE — The North Dakota Wheat Commission is promoting the annual "Bake and Take Day" on Saturday. The national initiative celebrated on the fourth Saturday of March is aimed at getting people and service groups to share a baked food with someone else, such as a shut-in.

— RIG COUNT — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 30 this week to 1,746.

— DAM OUTFLOW — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that it is increasing the outflow from the Lake Darling Dam near Minot.

SPORTS:

The AP will have short stories and boxes from second-round games at the state Class B girls basketball tournament.

Those with usernames and passwords can check www.dakotasportsserver.com for sports stories and game results.

The AP, Bismarck

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