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Williston man found guilty in shooting death of rancher

Williston man found guilty in shooting death of rancher

MINOT, N.D. -- Jurors took less than three hours Wednesday to find a man guilty in the shooting death of Williston rancher Jack Sjol. Ryan Lee Stensaker, 35, of Williston had sat stone-faced throughout much of the five-day trial, but on Wednesday evening his face was drawn upon hearing the verdict in the Ward County Courthouse in Minot where the trial had been moved. Prosecutors say it was Stensaker who shot Sjol with a .30 caliber rifle in the head and the left upper arm at Sjol’s ranch. The 58-year-old Sjol went missing April 25, 2013, and was found three weeks later in a private dump site east of Williston.


Campus sexual assault is sparking public discourse

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Two female University of North Dakota students who were raped at gunpoint by a stranger at their off-campus apartment in Grand Forks last year were not counted in university crime statistics. But those UND students are not the only ones missing from rape statistics, as several factors make it difficult to fully reflect the scope of rape and sexual assault on college students. The issue has thrust itself into public discourse, most recently with the controversy over the November Rolling Stone report that chronicled the alleged gang rape of a University of Virginia student at a fraternity house.

Higher premiums, more choices in marketplace health plans

FARGO, N.D. – Consumers shopping for health insurance through the online marketplace have more options but many also are likely to face higher premiums, according to surveys. In North Dakota, the three insurers selling through the marketplace – which is necessary to obtain tax credits for premium subsidies for those who are eligible – have increased the number of insurance plans from 21 last year to 30. Similarly, the numbers of participating insurers dropped in Minnesota from five to four, but consumers still have more insurance plans to choose from.

Matching ND Challenge grant to colleges, universities called ‘resounding success’

BISMARCK – A state matching grant created to spur philanthropic gifts for colleges and universities is about to end, setting off a race to claim the leftover dollars. Two years ago, the Legislature approved $29 million for the Higher Education Challenge Fund. For every $2 raised in private donations toward approved academic projects, the state would contribute $1. “It has been a resounding success,” said Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who chairs the fund’s committee.

Superfans, Frisco tickets in hand, ride Bison roller coaster

FARGO, N.D. – If North Dakota State University wins Friday night’s FCS football semifinal against Sam Houston State, you can count on a stampede for tickets to Frisco, Texas. But don’t count on seeing superfans like Patrick Thiel in line. Those staunch Bison faithful bought their playoff tickets long ago. Some have even booked hotels and plane tickets, counting on the Herd getting a shot at a title four-peat on Jan. 10. “We got tickets in August. I got a buddy in the (Twin) Cities who said, ‘Anybody interested in investing in some tickets?’ And I said, ‘Yeah. Let’s do it,’ ” said Thiel, who teaches at Fargo’s Carl Ben Eielson Middle School.

North Dakota regulators approve $240M wind farm

BISMARCK, N.D. – State utility regulators approved a permit for a $240 million wind farm in western North Dakota on Wednesday. The state Public Service Commission voted unanimously to grant a permit for Antelope Hills Wind Project LLC of Santa Barbara, Calif., to erect up to 86 wind turbines on 22,000 acres of land northwest of Beulah in Mercer County.

Cannon Ball, N.D., man accused of stabbing to death his cousin

BISMARCK, N.D. -- The FBI has charged a Cannon Ball man with the stabbing murder of his cousin, of Fort Yates, in November. Ryan Keith Ironroad, 26, was charged in U.S. District Court for North Dakota with one count each of felony murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the Nov. 23 death of 29-year-old Clay Hagel. Ironroad was arrested on Dec. 11 and is in custody at Burleigh County Detention Center as he awaits trial.

North Dakota tax revenues continue to climb

DICKINSON, N.D. -- Sales tax revenue in North Dakota -- especially in western North Dakota -- continues to grow. On Wednesday, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger announced that taxable sales and purchases had increased by $715 million for the third quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year.

S.D. technical institutes get boost with Sanford gift, state funds

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- This is exactly the boost needed for Mitchell Technical Institute and South Dakota’s three other technical schools. That's what MTI President Greg Von Wald said about the announced partnership between South Dakota and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford for $50 million in scholarships for workforce development. The announcement was made by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Wednesday in Sioux Falls. Von Wald said it was too early to know exactly how the funding will impact MTI, but said it will make a key difference for the school.

End of the boom: long run of increases has ended

In a normal year, many Upper Midwest farmers and landlords already would have agreed on 2015 rental rates for cropland and pasture. In a normal year, agricultural producers, bankers and economists would have a pretty good handle on rate trends for the new year. This isn’t a normal year.

Featured Staff Blogs BISON MEDIA BLOG
From Blocking to Trucking
There are some great hidden stories on every football team, was lucky enough to find one on NDSU's roster in Glyndon native Jedre Cyr. brightcove.create...
Christmas Bird Count season underway across the region
Count week has wrapped up for this years Grand Forks Christmas Bird Count. The actual count was held Sunday, but participants could observe and record birds on their own through Wednesday. This marks ...
12/18/14 at 11:53 AM ASTRO BOB
Who'd a- thunk it? Mercury May Have Meteor Showers Too
Of course, of course, it only makes sense. We're so caught up in watching meteor showers on our own planet, who ever thinks about meteors at Mercury? Or Venus for that matter? This week NASA announc...
12/18/14 at 9:49 AM ADDICTED TO RUNNING
What's different
"If you want to become the best runner that you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it." - Priscilla Welch Lately, my mind flips to a singular question every ...
12/17/14 at 7:26 PM UND HOCKEY
Weekly sports chat
Come join the live chat from 2-3 p.m. Live Blog GF sports chat ...
12/16/14 at 1:51 PM

Featured Area Voices NDSU NEWS
Commencement speaker to deliver message about overcoming adversity
Maddie Van Beek, an accomplished NDSU distance runner, was at an Iowa track meet in April when she received a life-changing phone call. Her fianc, Daryl, had been diagnosed with a rare form of brain...
12/18/14 at 3:59 PM UND NEWS
Soon-to-be UND grad and Florida native Ted Bibby rides bike year round as a way to keep in shape, brighten mood
By Juan Pedraza, University & Public Affairs writer This guy took the concept of "study abroad" to a whole new level. Actually, two levels: the Himalayas, for starters, and Antarctica for an en...
Employers – remember SSA Business Services Online
Employers: You can still register for Social Security Business Services Online (BSO) and transmit your 2014 W-2 information electronically. Once registered, you can also immediately verify the Social...
Cranberry Banana Bowl
I did it again. Another bag of bananas on sale at a local convenience store, another impulse buy. This time I asked the clerk to weigh the bag to support my argument for the purchase when I got home...
December 15 deadline to enroll for January 1 coverage
Monday, December 15, is the last day to enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) individual or family health insurance plan directly from BCBSND or on the Health Insurance Marketp...
12/14/14 at 9:58 PM