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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Doug Burgum has built much of his campaign for North Dakota governor around his business acumen. The Republican candidate often references his time building Great Plains Software, a company that eventually was sold to Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. He's also been part of other software, agricultural and real estate companies. But to what extent Burgum does or does not remain involved with those businesses if he's elected governor on Nov. 8 is unclear.
James May remembers getting the inspiration for his business while helping host a birthday party for his wife's grandfather. Unsure of how to entertain guests, he brought a pile of board games to the nursing home. That attracted interest from residents who walked by and joined in the fun. "As we step back and kind of were watching it, we were like, 'That's kind of what's missing,'" May said.
When sporting goods retailer Scheels moved to a long-unoccupied wing of Grand Forks' Columbia Mall in 2014, it left behind a roughly 37,000-square-foot space on South Columbia Road. That space is still being marketed today and no lease has been signed, said property manager Aaron Stenberg of Duemelands Commercial Real Estate. "The interest of the owners is to obviously attract a tenant to lease it out," he said. "There has been a few people (who have) taken a look, but there's nothing really significant in place at the moment."
A musical instrument retailer in the Columbia Mall will close after decades in business. Scott's Music first opened in the 1930s in downtown Grand Forks, where the Ember coffee shop now stands. It was there, during a party a week ago, that owners Richard Myerchin and Stephen Thomas announced plans to close on Jan. 31. "This has just been a joyful ride," Thomas said. "We looked at each other and went, 'I think it's time.'"
Doug Burgum has built much of his campaign for North Dakota governor around his business acumen. The Republican candidate often references his time building Great Plains Software, a company that...
Democrats running for the North Dakota Legislature in Grand Forks' District 42 are accusing their opponents of "spamming" UND students, staff and faculty with a campaign email, echoing similar complaints that have surfaced in recent election cycles. But one of those Republican candidates dismissed the claims as "political games" that distract from other issues facing the state.
Campaign finance reports filed in recent weeks are providing a glimpse—albeit an incomplete one—into the finances of legislative races in the Grand Forks area. In perhaps the most intriguing local race, Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider is seeking to defend his District 42 seat against Republican Curt Kreun, a former Grand Forks City Council member and lawmaker. Schneider raised $26,324, according to his pre-general election report filed Oct. 7, and Kreun had raised $13,216, a figure Kreun said was "not enough," given the high cost of advertising.
A new Jimmy John's sandwich shop is planned for the site of a former South Washington Street motel, marking Grand Forks' third such restaurant. Eric Olson, a partner in the local Jimmy John's shops, said they haven't yet received formal approval from the restaurant chain but it's their intention to build a new shop at 1403 S. Washington St., the site of the former Lucky Inn Motel, which is being torn down. Olson is also the owner of an limited liability company that bought the property a couple of months ago.
Local organizations are planning for a new nonprofit foundation to take over a northeast North Dakota tourist attraction.
Crews have started tearing down a Grand Forks motel, but it's unclear what the future of the property holds. The Lucky Inn Motel at 1403 S. Washington St. is just south of the Valley Dairy convenience store. The property is owned by a Roseville, Minn.-based entity called 1403 SoWash LLC.