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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A flurry of construction activity in southwest Grand Forks has transformed a vacant parcel of land into the outline of Minnkota Power Cooperative's future headquarters. "I think people are surprised when they go down 32nd Avenue and see how far we've come," Minnkota spokesman Kevin Fee said.
North Dakota political campaigns are finding another place to reach potential voters: between vacation photos and reactions to the latest episode of "Game of Thrones." Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been used frequently in federal and state races to update followers on where candidates are campaigning on a given day and post news stories.
A women's clothing store is expected to open next month in downtown Grand Forks. Voxxy will replace the Kittsona Creative Studio at 7 N. Third St. Owner Mary Burd said they will carry clothes with sizes 12 through 22 in an effort to reach an underserved market, given that the average woman is a size 16. "When we started looking at the market, we just realized there's all of these women who just are not able to find clothes that they love," she said. "We just wanted to fill a market for the average woman."
UND researchers are forecasting a shortage of more than 14,000 pilots in 10 years, a figure that highlights a growing concern among those in the aviation industry. Stakeholders from across the industry cite a number of factors for the deficit, from new federal regulations to starting pay at smaller regional airlines. Regardless of the cause, the shortage appears to already have hit those regional airlines.
CROOKSTON—A Wadena, Minn. man pleaded guilty Friday to assault and fleeing officers after a police chase that ended with him crashing head-on into a deputy's patrol car. Jeremiah Christopher Raper, 37, originally faced two counts of first-degree attempted murder for the August incident. But he entered into a plea agreement Friday in which he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault on a peace officer, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and fleeing from a peace officer in a motor vehicle, all felonies.
The Grand Forks International Airport's firefighting and operations team has a new home, and they're inviting the public to take a look today. The airport will show off its new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting facility with an open house 5 to 7 p.m. today. Airport staff members said Tuesday the new building is a major improvement over its old facility, which is just to its south. "This is way more spacious and way more set up for what we actually do," said Chris Deitz, ARFF/Operations supervisor at the airport. They've been using the new building since February, he said.
Unwanted household items will be a common sight along curbs this week in the Grand Cities as city crews—as well as thrifty residents—sweep area neighborhoods during the annual Spring Clean Up Week. The event allows residents to do away with appliances, furniture and other items for free through Friday. For Terry Nicholls, a senior equipment operator for the city of Grand Forks, that "other" category is a wide-ranging one. "We see everything," he said from an alley in north Grand Forks. "(After) 16 years, nothing surprises me anymore."
THIEF RIVER FALLS—Andrew Peralta was 15 years old when he took a job working at the Dairy Queen here, but he admits he wasn't "the best ice cream maker in the world" when he first started. "I got better over the years," he said. Now 26, Peralta owns that restaurant and employs 40 people. His business acumen helped him win the Minnesota Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur of the Year award last month.
In some ways, Wayne Stenehjem's campaign for North Dakota governor began long before he officially launched it last November in a Grand Forks coffee shop. More than two decades before Stenehjem was sworn in to his current job as the state's attorney general, he was elected to his first public office as a legislator from Grand Forks. A relative unknown then, Stenehjem is now relying on his decades of experience and name recognition to help win the most high-profile election of his career.
If you've been at an event in Grand Forks that required speakers, microphones, musical instruments or lighting, there's a good chance HB Sound & Light was involved. The Grand Forks company, which first launched in 1995, has become a go-to business for its event production expertise. HB Sound & Light is playing a role in major acts such as the upcoming Carrie Underwood concert, but it also sees itself as a supporter of the local arts and entertainment scene, lending a hand in productions such as Blues on the Red and the summer concert series at the North Dakota Museum of Art.