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—Grand Forks Air Force Base will not be a temporary shelter for unaccompanied minors coming across the southern border, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced Monday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was considering using the base to house the children, many of whom have tried to escape gang violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in recent years.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Facing a three-month wait to get fillings at another dental practice, Carolyn Reigstad found herself at Aspen Dental in Grand Forks Friday morning. "I'm going to have it done here now," she said. Aspen Dental, a national chain with more than 500 locations, cited dental health professional shortages in North Dakota for its decision to open a Grand Forks location. But researchers said population centers like the city of Grand Forks aren't where North Dakota's need for dentists is most pronounced.
GRAND FORKS-- University of North Dakota interim President Ed Schafer relayed an optimistic message to campus Monday after North Dakota's governor announced cuts to the state's budget, but he also said "every dollar" at the university would be examined. In a video message emailed to students, faculty and staff, Schafer said the "university is well-positioned to be able to tackle those challenges, for all of us to roll up our sleeves so that we work together to reshape our budget, to reshape this university so that it will be stronger in the years to come."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A 16th candidate will interview to become the next president of the University of North Dakota. The committee searching for Robert Kelley's long-term successor voted Thursday to invite Minot State University President Steven Shirley to in-person interviews that start Monday in the Twin Cities, but it declined do the same for Cankdeska Cikana Community College President Cynthia Lindquist.
GRAND FORKS—The possibility that Grand Forks Air Forks Base could temporarily host unaccompanied minors crossing the country's southern border has drawn more criticism from members of North Dakota's congressional delegation. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said Wednesday "it doesn't make sense to bring unaccompanied alien minors to a northern tier Air Force base" like Grand Forks, which is about 1,500 miles north of the southern border. "Our objective should be to reunite these children with their families in their country of origin," he added in a news release.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—It's almost a certainty that you won't become a billionaire by winning the Powerball. The odds of winning the estimated jackpot of $1.5 billion today is roughly one in 292 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. Those are not good odds. One might even say they are very bad odds. Given those widely reported figures, why are people lining up for their (very small) chance of striking it rich, which, for emphasis, is almost certainly not going to happen?
GRAND FORKS—The dean of the University of North Dakota's aerospace school urged the university's administration to "take a stand in support" of the school last year over fears that a planned fertilizer plant would present a safety hazard to pilots in training, the results of a Grand Forks Herald open records request show. But Bruce Smith, dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, said last week Northern Plains Nitrogen project leaders have since addressed his concerns.
EMERADO, N.D.—A Wisconsin-based owner of land in Grand Forks County said Wednesday he still plans to appeal a decision to allow a crude oil pipeline to be built through his property. James Botsford said an appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court should be filed later this month. He's fighting against the use of the land west of Emerado, N.D., for the Sandpiper Pipeline, which will carry oil from western North Dakota to Superior, Wis.
FORT TOTTEN, N.D.—A man has been charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly ran over another man with his car on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. Lance Alan Robertson, who is either 27 or 28 and is a member of the Spirit Lake Nation, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday, the day after he was arrested in Fort Totten, according to court documents. He is accused of killing Larse Azure Jr. on Dec. 19.
GRAND FORKS—An article in one of the nation's largest newspapers exploring the aftermath of an alleged arson at a Somali restaurant in Grand Forks has generated some national goodwill.