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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The food co-op Amazing Grains will wait to see how or if the addition of Natural Grocers to the Grand Forks market will affect them. Colorado-based Natural Grocers, which sells organic and natural foods, announced this week it would open a Grand Forks store later this year. It will move into the Lumber Mart building on 32nd Avenue South, and Lumber Mart will move its office, retail and showroom space next door.
A candidate for North Dakota superintendent of public instruction wrote about the Holocaust and suggested President Barack Obama produced "forged paperwork" related to his birth in social media posts last year. Joseph Chiang, a teacher at Four Winds High School in Fort Totten, N.D., wrote about religion and prayer in an Aug. 9 LinkedIn post titled, "God WILL Heal!?" The final paragraph of the post argued that we "cannot see the results of what we ask, but God can," and said God once answered prayers to heal a "sickly Austrian boy," Adolf Hitler.
While UND grapples with state budget cuts, another major Grand Forks employer may feel the pinch as well. In a March 4 letter to the North Dakota Department of Human Services, the North Dakota Hospital Association included feedback on proposed Medicaid cuts from Altru Health System, one of its members. Altru "will see a loss in reimbursement for one year of $12.3 million," the letter said.
A lease dispute between Hornbacher's supermarket and its landlord over the construction of a new restaurant has been settled out of court, but it remains to be seen whether a PepperJax Grill will be built at that busy Grand Forks intersection.
Natural Grocers will add a store in Grand Forks this year, an executive for the Colorado-based company confirmed Thursday. Kemper Isely, a director and co-president of Natural Grocers, told the Herald the chain would open a store around late August in what is the Lumber Mart building at 1901 32nd Ave. S. Lumber Mart is moving its office, retail and showroom space next door to a building at 3551 South 20th St. Natural Grocers, which sells organic and natural foods, opened a Fargo store in June.
The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. wants to explore whether there's a demand for transloading facilities in the area.
The gubernatorial campaign for Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem worked Wednesday to clarify a "semantics issue" with its candidate filings. Online records show the Stenehjem for Governor Exploratory Committee registered with the Secretary of State on Feb. 1, but ads for the candidate and his campaign website note they're paid for by Stenehjem for Governor. "They're the same entity," Stenehjem's campaign manager Nate Martindale said, adding the campaign would "probably not" update the name. "It's mostly for collecting funds."
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on North Dakota and Minnesota drunk driving cases that could have broader implications for how states deter that crime.
A new restaurant concept will open later this year in East Grand Forks. Up North Pizza Pub will serve pizza, sandwiches, salads and soups. It will also have a bar area with craft beer, wines and cocktails. Owner Justin LaRocque said he hopes Up North will "create a nice lunch option and also be that family-friendly dinner space." "We kind of want to have a presence in all three facets of the industry, capturing the lunch, dinner and late-night crowd," he said. "But what we're kind of striving for is also that neighborhood-pub feel."
ST. PAUL—Getting involved in politics is one way to make enemies. But it would be a tall order to find anyone with anything nasty to say about LeRoy Stumpf, a Minnesota senator who will retire this year after roughly 36 years in public office. Colleagues said they'll miss his congenial demeanor and aversion to partisan politics, which seems to be an increasingly rare trait among those seeking public office. "Some say he's too nice," said U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a fellow Democrat whose congressional district overlaps Stumpf's.