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Amtrak's Empire Builder train to resume normal operations in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. - Amtrak is expected to resume normal operations through Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby in North Dakota this week. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven has announced that the change will go into effect Saturday. The Republican from North Dakota says reliable rail service is essential in the state because of its growing economy and population.

North Dakota latest state to confirm case of deadly pig virus

By Meredith Davis (Reuters) - North Dakota is the latest state to confirm a case of a deadly pig virus which has killed an estimated 4 million pigs in the United States since its discovery in the spring of 2013. The first North Dakota case of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv, was confirmed in the eastern part of the state this week, the North Dakota State University Extension Service said in a statement on Thursday.

North Dakota home prices soar with oil boom; average value of home sold in 2013 topped $200K

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota's oil boom isn't just driving up housing prices at the epicenter. Getting a roof overhead is getting more expensive throughout the state, with the average value of a home sold last year topping $200,000 — up more than 20 per cent from 2011, a real estate trade group says. "Houses have appreciated statewide and inventory is low in the whole state," said Jill Beck, CEO of the North Dakota Association of Realtors. "That comes as a shock to a lot of people."

Analysis - Big lenders wary of following oil money to North Dakota

By Ernest Scheyder and Ilaina Jonas WILLISTON, N.D./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Money and workers are pouring into Williston, the capital of North Dakota's oil boom, but the only department store in town is a JCPenney, with a facade straight out of the 1950s. "We desperately need some kind of shopping center or mall here in Williston," said Rev. Jay Reinke, a 20-year resident and pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church. "You have to drive hours to find decent shopping."

Clinic challenges toughest-in-the-nation North Dakota abortion law

By Dave Thompson BISMARCK, North Dakota (Reuters) - North Dakota's only abortion clinic on Tuesday filed a federal challenge to a new state law, the most restrictive in the country, one that would ban procedures to end pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks. The Red River Women's Clinic said that banning abortions so early, before many women even knew they were pregnant, would bar nearly 90 percent of the abortions it performs.

North Dakota lawmakers aim to outlaw all abortions

North Dakota legislators aimed to outlaw all abortions Friday by passing a law that asks voters to amend the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception. If passed, the amendment would grant full legal protection to embryos and fetuses and could outlaw some forms of birth control, stem cell research and possibly in vitro fertilization. It would allow for no exceptions in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother. A similar so-called "personhood" measure was rejected by 55 percent of voters in the Bible Belt state of Mississippi in 2011.
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