Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.
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ROVERUD, Norway—George Melford Nygaard, 108, was born in 1910—just after Ford's Model T hit the streets, two years before the Titanic sailed and before Europe descended into World War I. Now approaching his 12th decade, the North Dakota native became Norway's oldest man late last year, just a few months behind a Norwegian woman who turned 108 in September. His own birthday was Jan. 12.
NEW ROCKFORD, N.D. — Joan Heckaman, a New Rockford Democrat who serves as the Senate' minority leader, announced her re-election campaign in District 23 on Friday morning, Jan. 11. Heckaman has been a member of the Senate since she was first elected in 2006.
MINTO, N.D. — Brian Misialek's obituary starts like any other — the Minto man died age 58, four days before Christmas, "in his home surrounded by his family." But the second line is more unexpected: "Brian was diagnosed in October 2017 with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare brain disease that affects only one in one million people," it reads. "Brian was truly a one-in-a-million man."
North Dakotans buttoning up against this week's cold had good reason: according to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Hettinger, N.D., swooped down to negative 45 degrees on Monday morning, Jan. 1—one of the coldest temperatures on the planet, if not the coldest, NWS said.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol announced an early-morning, four-vehicle crash that occurred New Years' Day, all with one Fort Totten minor—now charged with DUI—at the center. The incident occurred in central Devils Lake at about 5:30 a.m., when a 15-year-old boy got behind the wheel of a 1994 Chevrolet Silverado.
Donald Poochigian, UND philosophy professor and an outspoken champion of the liberal arts, died overnight on Thursday, Dec. 28, according to an announcement by his son. He was 74. Poochigian was described by those close to him as an intensely smart and sometimes demanding classroom figure who was, by turn, a big-hearted advocate for his students' education. Colleagues say he would always make time for pupils, reading drafts of their papers and fostering their success. And come what may from university leaders, he was a fierce advocate of the importance of a liberal arts education.
Just a little more than a year ago, Mac Schneider was North Dakota's Senate minority leader—then came Nov. 8, 2016. Democrats around the state were routed. None of the party's statewide candidates cracked 30 percent of the vote. In Grand Forks, the state party's chairwoman and a Democratic senator who'd served more than a decade were unseated. And despite a resume that includes a stint as a University of North Dakota football captain and a degree from Georgetown Law, Schneider—in the midst of a promising political career—was out.
FESSENDEN, N.D. - North Dakota Highway Patrol officials have released details of an early Saturday morning rollover crash near Fessenden in Wells County that left the driver headed to jail for driving while intoxicated. According to a patrol announcement, 46-year-old Michael Brown of Jamestown was driving west on Highway 15 when entered the north ditch and his Mercury Mountaineer rolled over.
EMERADO, N.D. — There was no room at the inn, but the parking lot was free. Chelsey Svir, 25, woke up Friday, Dec. 22, in Larimore, N.D., feeling pain, pressure, and a growing sense that her baby was coming—right now. Not long after, she sat in the Dairy Queen parking lot in Emerado, N.D., cradling a newborn son that she'd delivered herself, her two sons and her fiance traveling with her. Paramedics wouldn't arrive until several minutes later. "We're kind of blessed," said Kelly Svir, Chelsey's mother. "Now I've got to put him on my Christmas list, too."
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., vocally criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump's campaign this week. In doing so, he joins a Republican chorus that itself has been criticized as an attempt to parry Trump's greatest political threat.