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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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."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley repeatedly called the protest over an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation "unlawful" Tuesday and called on tribal leaders to pull people out of what he described as an increasingly dangerous situation.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Financial assistance through the Bank of North Dakota is one more tool available to Grand Forks leaders in alleviating a shortage of available child care, a City Council member said Monday. The Grand Forks Growth Fund Committee voted Monday to add the bank's Flex Pace program for day care operations to the city's portfolio. The program, which the city has used for various business expansion projects, involves using financing to buy down the interest rate on commercial bank loans.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said last week it's too early to say what forms of identification will be accepted for voting in November's election, but a plan is being developed after a federal judge recently ruled against the state's new voter ID laws.