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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RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.—Hanging near the front door of Christopher Ingraham's home is a sign that reads "Home," with the "O" replaced by an outline of the state of Minnesota. It's a symbol of his embrace of what he once called "the absolute worst place to live in America."
RiverView Health is turning to the public for assistance in dealing with a projected physician shortage. The Crookston-based health care system is offering up to $20,000 to community members who help recruit physicians. It's a sort of "crowdsourcing" program that RiverView's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Colin Fennell likened to "six degrees of separation."
The East Grand Forks City Council voted Wednesday afternoon to settle a two-year dispute over a $510,000 economic development loan, though two of its members were unhappy with what the city got out of the deal. The council approved a settlement agreement that stipulates Boardwalk Enterprises, the entity that owns the commercial building at 415 Second St. N.W., and Boardwalk Bar and Grill pay $250,000 in cash. City staff members first said in April 2014 a $510,000 loan to Boardwalk Enterprises went unpaid for more than a decade.
The East Grand Forks City Council again pushed back a decision on settling a long-running dispute over an economic development loan, but the city attorney said Tuesday a settlement agreement is in the works.
East Grand Forks city officials were tight-lipped after a closed meeting called Monday to discuss a long-running dispute over a city loan and liquor license applications for a local establishment. The meeting was called to "discuss ongoing litigation and potential settlement of all issues and claims with the Boardwalk entities," according to a public notice that cited attorney-client privilege as justification for closing the meeting to the public.
Growing up in Texas, Nicholas Perez remembers working in the shop of his friend's dad as the impetus for his current career choice. "I just slowly became more interested in being a diesel mechanic," the recent Grand Forks Central High School graduate said. Now Perez is preparing to become part of Butler Machinery's "ThinkBig" program. Participants in that program will alternate between studying at schools such as the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton and working with a mentor at Butler for two months at a time.
A group of lawmakers from the upper Midwest and Manitoba gathered in Grand Forks over the past few days to discuss solutions to public policy dilemmas facing the region. The 16th annual International Legislators Forum concluded Friday at UND's Center for Innovation, where lawmakers talked about aquatic invasive species, human trafficking and genetically modified organisms, commonly referred to as GMOs. Eight North Dakota delegates were named to the event, along with seven from South Dakota, four from Minnesota and five from Manitoba, according to an online form.
The owners of a downtown Grand Forks bar are preparing to take over another establishment across the street. Dennis Blackmun and Joe Schneider, who own Joe Black's Bar & Grill, have plans in store for the Hub Bar & Grill at 205 N. Third St. The establishment has closed for business and will undergo an extensive remodel for six to eight weeks, Blackmun said Thursday. But the downtown establishment will keep the Hub moniker. "It does have a history," Blackmun said. "We couldn't find any reason for not keeping it."
The owners of a downtown Grand Forks bar are preparing to take over another establishment across the street.
GRAFTON, N.D.—An oilfield product manufacturer has idled its plant here, leaving just two full-time employees, a company official said Thursday. Cimarron Energy, an Oklahoma-based manufacturer of oil and gas production equipment that purchased Diverse Energy Systems after the latter firm filed for bankruptcy last year, has a plant manager and administrative employee in town, said Richard Wilkie, Cimarron's chief financial officer. That's down from the 14 employees a company spokesman said they had there in early March.