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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BISMARCK — A North Dakota lawmaker who is running for the United States Senate is unlikely to make it to Bismarck this week for the state Legislature's special session due to medical issues, a spokesman said Tuesday. State Rep. Eliot Glassheim, D-Grand Forks, came down with an infection Thursday evening and went to Altru Hospital "to be safe," his campaign spokesman Daniel Tick said. While Tick said it's not a "serious ailment," Glassheim is taking antibiotics and should be back to 100 percent in a few days.
The third phase of Minnesota's minimum wage increase went into effect Monday, which state leaders said raised pay for more than 287,000 workers. But the change also raises concerns from some that it increases labor costs and prices. "It definitely increases the cost of labor, so in turn to counter that you have to raise prices on your food and beverage," said Pat Boppre, an owner of the Blue Moose Bar and Grill in East Grand Forks. While price increases have been minimal over the past couple of years, "customers do notice," he added.
Even as companies think about giving their copy machines a break and reducing their reliance on paper, East Grand Forks' Docu Shred is finding plenty of work. The company moved in early 2016 to an old potato warehouse just south of U.S. Highway 2, where it added a baler to compact shredded documents that are ultimately shipped out of the state and recycled into paper products. The facility also gives Docu Shred some much-needed space—it was previously located in a cramped office in downtown East Grand Forks.
PHILADELPHIA—A North Dakota state representative from Grand Forks briefly held the spotlight Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Kylie Oversen, chairwoman of the North Dakota Democratic Party, reported the state's vote during the roll call for the party's presidential nomination. North Dakota cast 14 votes for Sen. Bernie Sanders and seven for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who won the nomination.
A development company that sought to build a Philly cheesesteak restaurant in south Grand Forks has sued a property owner over a lease dispute that halted construction last year. Ames Development, based in Nebraska, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in North Dakota against Grand Forks Associates Limited Partnership, based in Chicago. The latter entity owns the property that includes the Hornbacher's grocery store at 2771 32nd Ave. S.
A Grand Forks man pleaded guilty Monday to four drug charges stemming from a traffic stop last year. Torre Louis Risberg, 22, entered into a plea deal Monday morning in which he pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, as well as two misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the possession of methamphetamine charge, with seven years suspended, five years of probation and 37 days' credit for time served.
Grand Forks airport and economic development leaders didn't show any hard feelings toward Fargo city commissioners for their vote last week to give FedEx Corp. tax incentives for its future airport operations there. The company said earlier this year it would move air service from Grand Forks International Airport to Hector International Airport in Fargo. On Monday, city commissioners there narrowly approved a 10-year payment in lieu of a property taxes plan for the Memphis, Tenn.-based company that Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said was worth about $400,000.
The notification from the city of Grand Forks last week that a warning siren was not functional was prompted by a construction-related change, but city officials said they regularly check sirens to make sure they're in working order. The siren was at 11th Avenue South and South 40th Street, just east of the Alerus Center. The city moved the siren as part of construction on a lift station.
A North Dakota coal-fired power plant scheduled to close within the next year may not be the last one shuttered here, a congressman and a state regulator said this week. Great River Energy announced last week it would retire the Stanton Station power plant in Mercer County by May. The company cited low prices in the regional energy market for the decision, but it also comes during debate over a pending federal regulation restricting carbon emissions from power plants.
Documents filed Friday in Grand Forks District Court detail a violent home invasion that police said occurred early Thursday morning near UND's campus. Hudefi Aweis Mohamed, 19, and Hasan Mohammed, 24, were arrested after Grand Forks police discovered them hiding in a dumpster near the 1000 block of North 39th Street, where the incident occurred.