AP Top North Dakota Headlines at 6:09 p.m. CST

Dakota Access pipeline company fighting small state fine
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline is fighting North Dakota regulators' efforts to impose a fine of at least $15,000 after working on land where Native American artifacts were found without running it by the commission that oversees pipelines....

North Dakota Gov. Dalrymple outlines $13.4B budget proposal
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The $13.4 billion proposed two-year spending plan that North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented Wednesday includes trimming the number of state employees and cutting higher education funding to shore up the state's budget and grow its reserves as tax collections shrink....

Corps awards contract for 1st phase of Red River diversion
FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract for the first phase of a $2.1 billion Red River diversion project around Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota....

Environmental groups seek to defend federal methane rule
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Environmental groups are seeking to defend a new federal rule that would restrict how oil companies burn off excess natural gas extracted from public lands....

Pipeline opponents ride out storm in shelters, casino
MANDAN, N.D. (AP) -- Some protesters who have been fighting the Dakota Access pipeline retreated to a nearby casino and area shelters overnight as a blizzard blew through, but many remained at a camp in southern North Dakota, according to protest organizers who say they're committed to maintaining the camp through the winter....