Panel picks members of North Dakota ethics commission

BISMARCK (FNS) — A committee charged with selecting members of North Dakota’s new voter-approved state government ethics commission finalized its picks Thursday, Aug. 8.

The committee selected Ron Goodman, a retired North Dakota district judge; Ward Koeser, the former mayor of Williston; Cynthia Lindquist, president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College; Paul Richard, a former Sanford Health executive and David Anderson, a former high-ranking official in the North Dakota National Guard who’s now coordinator of military student services at the University of Mary.

The committee chose Goodman as temporary chairman to convene the first meeting.

The three-member selection committee, composed of Gov. Doug Burgum and Senate leaders from both parties, had most recently narrowed its list of favored candidates to 12 people with varying backgrounds. Nearly 70 people applied for the commission.

The constitution requires the governor and Senate leaders to pick ethics commissioners by consensus, and the three debated the qualifications of the final round of candidates during a meeting at the state Capitol Thursday.

Voters created the commission through a constitutional amendment last year. Despite criticisms of a Republican-backed implementation bill approved by state lawmakers this year, the commission will be able to write rules on rules on transparency, corruption, elections and lobbying as well as investigate allegations of wrongdoing.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the commission would hold its first meeting.

State lawmakers budgeted about $517,000 and two full-time positions for the commission in the 2019-21 biennium.

1 killed, 3 injured in Chippewa County crash

WATSON, Minn. (FNS) — One person was killed and three others were injured in a two-vehicle crash that happened just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, in Chippewa County.

The State Patrol said alcohol may have been a factor in the crash that killed Brittany Lynn Schulz, 20, of Appleton, Minn.

Schulz was a passenger in a car driven by Braxton Monte Anderson, 34, of New Effington, S.D.

According to the State Patrol report, Anderson was driving a 1995 Saturn SL2 south on Highway 7/59 in Watson and took a hard left turn at Park Avenue in front of a 2007 Cadillac Escalade driven by Scotty Ponum, 31, of Milan, Minn., that was going north on Highway 7/59.

The Cadillac struck the passenger’s side door of the Saturn, where Schulz was sitting.

Anderson was taken to North Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the report, which also indicates alcohol was detected in Anderson.

Ponum and a passenger in his vehicle, Wanton Isikar, 18, of Milan, were taken to the Montevideo Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The report indicates seat belts were worn by both drivers and passengers.

Former Williams County employee charged with child porn

WILLISTON, N.D. (FNS) — A former maintenance worker for Williams County has been accused of having dozens of pornographic images and videos featuring children, some as young as 4 years old, the Williston Herald reported.

Glen Ludwig, 39, was charged Wednesday, Aug. 7, with possession of child pornography, a Class C felony. He was ordered held Thursday, Aug. 8, on $100,000 bond. If he is able to post bond, he will not be allowed to have any contact with anyone younger than 18 or have access to the internet.

Police found multiple computers and hard drives in Ludwig’s bedroom and a review of the laptops turned up multiple images of prepubescent and pubescent boys and girls engaged in sex acts, court records indicate.

Because of Ludwig’s employment with Williams County, his case is being heard by Northwest District Judge Robin Schmidt in McKenzie County. He is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing before Schmidt on Oct. 3.

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