Turnovers doom Northern Iowa in loss at No. 2 North Dakota State

FARGO, N.D. — Levi Jordheim recovered three fumbles, Robbie Grimsley had a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown and North Dakota State took advantage of five turnovers to beat Northern Iowa 30-14 on Saturday.Jordheim's three fumble recoveries, two created by teammate Nick DeLuca, tied the school record set in 1976 by Don Meyers.The Bison (8-0, 5-0 Missouri Valley), ranked No. 2 in the FCS, entered the game as the nation's top-ranked defensive team and showed why with six sacks and 12 tackles for loss, holding a Panthers (4-4, 3-2) rushing offense that came in with 399 yards and five scores in its previous two games to just 48 yards and no scores on the ground. DeLuca led the defense with seven tackles, four solo, two sacks and two tackles for loss.Grimsley's pick-six tied the score at 7-all at halftime. Ty Brooks scored on a 22-yard run, Cam Pedersen kicked a 23-yard field goal, Easton Stick threw a 31-yard score to RJ Urzendowski and Bruce Anderson ran in from the 1 in NDSU's second-half scoring spree.Eli Dunne threw two touchdown passes to Daurice Fountain for Northern Iowa (4-4, 3-2). MORE UNI PANTHERS SPORTS COVERAGE N. Iowa    0 7 0 7 -14N. Dakota St.    0 7 10 13 -30Second QuarterUNI_Fountain 8 pass from Dunne (Drysdale kick), 11:14.NDSU_Grimsley 27 interception return (Pedersen kick), 4:08.Third QuarterNDSU_Brooks 22 run (Pedersen kick), 11:15.NDSU_FG Pedersen 31, 7:54.Fourth QuarterNDSU_Urzendowski 31 pass from Stick (kick failed), 9:23.NDSU_Anderson 1 run (Pedersen kick), 7:44.UNI_Fountain 32 pass from Dunne (Drysdale kick), 5:20.___ UNI NDSUFirst downs 11 15Rushes-yards 37-48 41-169Passing 109 136Comp-Att-Int 14-22-2 8-23-2Return Yards 122 24Punts-Avg. 7-49.3 5-42.2Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0Penalty-Yards 7-42 5-37Time of Possession 28:31 31:29INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING_N. Iowa, M. Weymiller 21-69, C. Jegen 5-12, T. Allen 1-5, J. Farley 1-2, E. Dunne 8-(minus 39). N. Dakota St., B. Anderson Continue Reading

Ohio judge orders state police to release North Dakota records

  An Ohio court upheld a previous ruling that the Ohio State Highway Patrol improperly withheld records specifying the names of troopers sent to North Dakota to help local law enforcement with protests over an oil pipeline there.The Enquirer in January requested the names of the 37 officers deployed to North Dakota.  North Dakota was the site of several violent clashes last year between Native American protesters and law enforcement over the building of a new pipeline through sites considered to be religious by local tribes.Protesters were also concerned about the possible impact of the Dakota Access pipeline on the local water supply.State officials denied The Enquirer's request filed under the Ohio Open Records Act, as well as requests for internal communications about the deployment.Previously a special master ruled that the state should turn over the names of the troopers, but that the request for the communications was "too broad."In his ruling issued May 30, Court of Claims Judge Patrick M. McGrath upheld the magistrate's ruling that the state should have turned over the troopers' names. "The court determines that the special master did not err when he concluded that the list of names of the 37 troopers is no longer exempt as a security record ... after the troopers returned to Ohio," McGrath wrote in his decision.He further ordered the state to turn over the names and the employment agreement filed when the troopers were deployed.McGrath upheld the previous ruling denying access to the other communication records.The judge also did not allow additional evidence presented after the initial ruling by state officials that showed the officers were possibly being threatened on social media outlets. He ruled that the supplemental information was improper because it had not been initially presented to the special master."We are pleased that the Court of Claims that a public agency cannot withhold public records without providing Continue Reading

‘Bravetown’ review: Lucas TIll and Josh Duhamel are stranded in a subpar North Dakota drama

Giving away a movie’s ending is usually a dirty trick. With “Bravetown,” it’s a public service. How else do you prove just how hilariously bad it is? The film stars the charm-deprived Lucas Till as a troubled New York teen. He’s an aspiring DJ who — instead of getting sent to juvie on a drug charge — is sentenced to spend the school year in North Dakota. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. There he reconnects with the father who abandoned him. The teen tries to make sense of a town where literally everyone has lost a family member to war. Yet no one seems able to grieve. And so — yes, Spoiler Alert — Till finally helps them find closure by staging a live, miniversion of “Platoon.” As expressed in interpretative dance. No, I’m not kidding. The cast includes real actors like Laura Dern and Maria Bello, who smartly gets out after the first 10 minutes. Josh Duhamel shows up too, as the world’s worst court-appointed therapist. He should start by analyzing how something like this ever got made. This isn’t “Bravetown.” It’s Crazytown. Continue Reading

‘Boomtowners’ on Smithsonian Channel gets inside North Dakota’s oil-fueled surge

It's a show that could turn out to be a ratings gusher — or a black hole. North Dakota may seem like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but this state produces a million barrels of oil per day and has one of the most vibrant economies in America. And it’s all happened in the last decade, making for the dramatic setting of the new reality show “Boomtowners,” premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Smithsonian Channel. “This is a modern-day ‘Deadwood,’ ” said David Royle, a VP at Smithsonian. “It’s a real gold rush, full of great opportunity, risk and downfall.” It’s also full of controversy, as no recent environmental issue has been more polarizing than fracking. New York State has banned the practice completely, yet nearly every character on “Boomtowners” owes his or her livelihood to fracking. Among them is Ben Moorhead, a truck driver who sets his alarm for 2:37 a.m. to begin his day hauling oil all over the state. Like many other workers harvesting the massive Bakken oil fields, Moorhead was attracted to North Dakota by the promise of high-paying and plentiful jobs. And like the others, he found one. The state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. He agreed to be part of “Boomtowners” to help educate America about what fracking looks like on the ground. “There is a lot of misinformation around it,” he said. “I’m happy people will get to see what is actually going on up here.” Indeed, Smithsonian producers got unprecedented access to the drilling companies at the heart to this boom, and viewers get front row-seats to the incredible engineering feats required to get this oil out of the ground. Continue Reading

Female guard, convicted felon she allegedly helped escape from North Dakota jail caught 19 days, 1,700 miles later

Escape from Devils Lake is a love story that couldn't be contained. A convicted felon and the female jailer who allegedly helped him break out were caught by U.S. Marshals on Wednesday — after 19 days on the run and nearly 1,700 miles away in North Bend, Ore. Wesley E. Brown III had been on the lam with Lake Region Correctional Center guard Rachel Chepulis, 26, since she helped him escape the Devils Lake, N.D. jail before midnight on March 13, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Signs of the duo's connection, both spiritual and real, were as obvious as the ink on their bodies. Him: A Confederate flag tattooed on his back and teardrop under his right eye. Her: A black widow spider tattoo adorns her neck and the initials WEB on her left ring finger, which coincidentally are Brown's. "It's clear in the time he was there they developed a relationship," Dan Orr, chief deputy U.S. marshal for North Dakota, told the Daily News. The 35-year-old Brown, of Watford City, N.D., was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He escaped from Heart of America Correctional Center in June 2013, climbing over a fence at the jail's recreation area, Orr said. That time Brown was recaptured three hours later and moved to Devils Lake, where he spent the past several months until his second jail break in March. The Marshals Service relies on local jails to hold federal prisoners awaiting sentencing in North Dakota, and during his time at Devils Lake the convicted Brown, who is married with children, must have befriended the single Chepulis, Orr said. "That he was allowed to escape was assisted by the fact there were mistakes made by the jail," Orr told the Daily News. "He was classified at a lower level than he should have been considering he already escaped from another facility. And he had assistance from the female jailer." The fugitive couple was caught Continue Reading

Kennel horror: North Dakota woman allegedly jailed kids in dog cages as punishment

A North Dakota woman routinely locked her partner's four children inside a dog cage in a dark basement and forced one boy to gorge on dog food, authorities said. Law enforcement officials in Grand Forks have charged Jordan McKay Nelson, 23, of Grafton, with child abuse and felonious restraint after four children — aged 5, 6, 8 and 9 — told investigators that Nelson used canine cages to punish them, the Grand Forks Herald reported. The kids alleged that Nelson, who is in a relationship with the children’s mother, even made one boy eat dog food until he vomited, according to court documents cited by KFGO-AM. A 9-year-old boy sketched a portrait of himself in a cage during his questioning with investigators and scrawled “Help me," the Herald reported. Authorities released Nelson from county jail on Friday with a court order not to go near the children, according to the publication. Follow on Twitter @tobysalkc Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Air Force member opens fire at North Dakota Walmart; two dead, including gunman

An Air Force airman opened fire at a North Dakota Walmart, killing one person and injuring another early Tuesday, police said. Shots rang out at the 24-hour superstore in Grand Forks just after 1 a.m., police said. Authorities said they arrived on scene to find two dead, including the shooter, identified as Air Force member Marcell Willis, 21. Only one person was armed, meaning there was a single shooter, Lt. Derik Zimmel said. He declined to specify how the Willis died. Authorities are still investigating the motive, Zimmel said. "We do not believe there is any further risk to the public," he said. One person was taken to Altru Health System hospital and is in "satisfactory condition," according to a hospital statement.  "The caveat is anytime someone is shot, it's a very serious wound," Zimmel told the Daily News. A Grand Forks Air Force Base Airman was involved in the shooting, representatives said, without providing details. Authorities will release the Airman's role in the shooting, as well as the names of those involved and their relationship, after the next of kin is notified, Zimmel said. He said did not know how many people were in the store at the time of the violence. Andy Legg told WDAZ that he was in the store when he heard "popping sounds" go off. He was then led to another section of the store. "I saw people running. At the time, we heard people screaming, one yelling for help," he said. After the shooting, Legg said he passed a Walmart employee on the ground covered in blood and the injuries "didn't look good." "It's just something you don't see every day and really don't want to see," Legg said. "I had goose bumps for probably two hours after that." The store was placed on lockdown early Tuesday morning as SWAT teams and Air Force investigators swept the scene. Officers used a robot to search a car left in the parking lot at about 4:15 a.m. and found no Continue Reading

North Dakota Rep. with anti-gay voting record comes out of closet after lewd pictures on dating site Grindr surface

A conservative North Dakota lawmaker has come out of the closet after lewd texts he sent on a gay dating site were made public this week. The randy red-state Republican, Rep. Randy Boehning, was outed Monday, more than a month after the Roughrider State legislator sent an unsolicited picture of his penis and several other messages to 21-year-old Bismarck resident Dustin Smith back on March 12 on the gay dating site Grindr, according to multiple reports. Boehning, a 12-year veteran of North Dakota's state assembly who has routinely voted against gay rights legislation, charged that the leaked messages were sent to media outlets in retaliation for his vote against Senate Bill 2279, which would have added sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination law. For the third time since 2009, the bill was voted down by conservative North Dakota lawmakers, including Boehning. But Smith, who first leaked the Grindr messages to The Forum, claims he simply wanted to reveal Boehning's hypocrisy. "How can you discriminate against the person you're trying to pick up?" Smith told the local Bismark-area newspaper on Monday. Boehning, 52 and unmarried, has been an active member of the site and conducted his affairs under the profile name "Top Man!," Smith said. "Seems I haven't found mister right yet, so need to keep looking for and having fun on the way! Hit me up boys," Boehning's Grindr bio reads. Boehning, a staunch conservative, insistently refused to comment on the allegations for two weeks, but this week finally came forward to admit that he had been using the platform to chat with other men and that he was gay, according to The Forum. North Dakota state Rep. Randy Boehning (R-Fargo), left, had admitted that he he’s active on Grindr and that he is gay. "That's what gay guys do on gay sites, don't they?" Boehning said. "That's how things happen on Grindr. It's a gay chat site. It's not the first Continue Reading

Crude oil train derails in North Dakota; residents evacuate town

A train carrying crude oil derailed and burned outside a small North Dakota town, forcing its 25 residents to evacuate Wednesday morning, officials said. The BNFS Railway tanker veered off track at about 7:30 a.m. outside Heimdal, about 115 miles northeast of the state's capital, officials said. Ten tank cars burst into flame and continued to smolder five hours later. "It's all over the place," Wells County Sheriff's Office Deputy Janelle Pepple told the Daily News. "Thick, billowing black smoke; flames shooting 100 feet in the air. It's a pretty spectacular-looking fire." Including about 10 people from surrounding farms, about 35 people evacuated the area, Pepple said. No one was injured. "Everybody's safe. It's a big show. Everybody wants to look and see what's happening," she said of the community's reaction. Wells County resident Jennifer Willis told NBC News she heard the derailment from her house and it sounded like "thunder" and "little explosions." The smoke could harm people with respiratory problems but does not contain toxic chemicals like fumes from past crude oil train derailments, said Dave Glatt, the state environmental health chief. The Environmental Protection Agency is sending someone to see if the wreck contaminated a nearby waterway, known as the Big Slough, that drains into the James River, the Associated Press reported. Officials did not immediately say how they planned to combat the flames or if the oil contained highly combustible natural gas liquids. "In the past, we've just let these burn out," Cecily Fong of the state's Department of Emergency Services told Reuters. Five local fire and Hazmat crews are on the scene, KXNews reported. BNFS said it will work with first responders. Ten investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration are heading to the scene to determine the cause, acting administrator Sarah Feinberg said in a statement. North Dakota ships about two-thirds of Continue Reading

North Dakota Walmart shooting by Air Force member appears to be random

A shooting at a North Dakota Walmart that left two dead, including the gunman, appears to be random, police said. Marcell Willis, a 21-year-old airman, likely did not know the three employees he fired at in a Grand Forks Walmart Tuesday, Lt. Derik Zimmel said. Willis shot two people, missed one and then killed himself just after 1 a.m. His victims were identified Wednesday as 70-year-old Gregory Weiland, who was killed, and 47-year-old Lisa Braun, who was injured. Braun is in satisfactory condition at Altru Hospital. The preliminary investigation has not found an immediate link between Willis and his victims or the store, Zimmel said. Police are "not prepared to officially" to call it a random shooting and are still investigating what sparked the violence, Zimmel told the Daily News. No note was found at the scene, and the motive has not yet been sustained. "There's nothing at this time that stands out to be any kind of critical, life-changing event...that he goes from a happy-go-lucky average Joe citizen to wanting to commit homicide," Zimmel told the Daily News. An autopsy was conducted to determine if Willis had drugs or alcohol in his system. Zimmel said results will likely take weeks.  Just hours before the gunfire, Willis wrote a short, alarming post on Facebook. "RIP ME LOVE EVERYONE," he wrote. Willis was from Springfield, Tenn., and studied at Emory University, according to Facebook. He was stationed at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and due to get married in September, KVRR reported. His fiancé, Amy Mehs, said she did not have the strength to talk about the shooting but hoped Willis was not feeling pain. "I know you loved me. I know I loved you," Mehs wrote on Facebook. "Lord, please wake me up from this nightmare." With News Wire Services Join the Conversation: Continue Reading