John Hageman covers local business and North Dakota politics. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Bemidji Pioneer.
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WALHALLA, N.D.—Local organizations are planning for a new nonprofit foundation to take over a northeast North Dakota tourist attraction.
FARGO—The three candidates for North Dakota governor debated one final time Monday before the November election. The roughly half-hour debate, sponsored by AARP in North Dakota and taped at Prairie Public Broadcasting in downtown Fargo, featured discussion on the state of North Dakota's budget, a large protest over an oil pipeline and caregiver services. Republican Doug Burgum faced off against Democrat Marvin Nelson and Libertarian Marty Riske. The debate will air on Prairie Public at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
BISMARCK—A new study says the state of North Dakota doesn't monitor local governments for signs of fiscal distress, but state officials said cities, towns and counties here generally practice sound budgetary management. The Pew Charitable Trusts report, released earlier this month, examined how states track the financial well-being of their local governments. It cited "costly surprises" for states such as Michigan, which spent $195 million from its rainy day fund to help Detroit exit bankruptcy.
GRAND FORKS—Federal economic data released Tuesday, Sept. 20, shows North Dakota's metro areas can grow despite a slump in oil prices, a University of North Dakota economist said. The data, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed the Grand Forks metropolitan statistical area's gross domestic product grew by 3 percent between 2014 and 2015, when adjusted for inflation. That outpaced national metro areas' growth of 2.5 percent as well as Fargo's 1.3 percent. Bismarck tallied 5.7 percent GDP growth last year.
GRAND FORKS — A Grand Forks County landowner declared victory Tuesday, Sept. 13, in his legal battle with a company seeking to build an oil pipeline across his property. James and Krista Botsford, who live in Wisconsin but own land west of Emerado, N.D., were sued by the North Dakota Pipeline Co. in 2014 after the couple rejected the company's offers for an easement for the Sandpiper Pipeline. A North Dakota district judge sided with the company and granted an easement last year.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.,—Doug Burgum, the Republican candidate for North Dakota governor, criticized last week's decision from three federal agencies to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
WASHINGTON—A bill that would create a commission to explore issues facing Native American children is closer to becoming law after unanimously passing the U.S. House on Monday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., already passed the Senate unanimously last year. With minor changes made by the House, the Senate will need to sign off before it heads to President Barack Obama's desk, she said.
GRAFTON, N.D.—Seat harnesses tightened. Ear plugs in. Doors shut. The engine comes to life and the blades above start spinning. Within a few minutes, a Black Hawk helicopter carrying more than a dozen people lifts above Grand Forks International Airport on its way to the North Dakota National Guard's Camp Grafton Training Center. That ride was the first leg of a trip to provide area employers and others a firsthand look at National Guard operations Thursday.
ROLLA, N.D.—Marvin Nelson isn't shy about assessing his position on his party's list of choices of candidates for North Dakota governor. Asked whether he felt like he was the Democratic-NPL Party's third pick to run for governor after North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said she wouldn't attempt a return to Bismarck and former Agriculture Commissioner Sarah Vogel bowed out, Nelson offered a quick-witted response typical of his blunt style.
BISMARCK—An audit of the North Dakota Department of Human Services found child care providers were allowed to continue operating while the state's largest agency was aware of instances of illegal drug use and "inappropriate touching from adults."