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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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.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Internet retail giant Amazon has proposed paying more than $845,000 to terminate its lease at a city-owned building in west Grand Forks. The Seattle-based company had been occupying about 29,000 square feet of the building at 1400 S. 48th St. in the Grand Forks Industrial Park since September 2011. But Amazon notified the city in April that it was exercising its right to terminate the lease after September 2018, according to a city staff memo published ahead of today's Grand Forks Growth Fund Committee meeting.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A candidate for the North Dakota House was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in late July. Emily O'Brien, who is running as a Republican for Grand Forks' District 42, was arrested in the early hours of July 27 near the intersection of North Third Street and First Avenue in downtown Grand Forks, according to court records. A breath test showed her blood alcohol concentration was .147 percent, above the .08 legal limit, according to a copy of her citation. Court records don't include a narrative of the incident.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Altru Health System's ambitious plans to remake its main campus on South Columbia Road in Grand Forks are on hold for now, but leaders say it remains their vision for the future of the city's dominant health care provider. The 2012 acquisition of its facilities on South Washington Street opened the door for delaying Altru's master plan, which calls for a new procedure center, clinic, imaging and emergency department as well as a bed tower.