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 city of East Grand Forks has been served with a lawsuit over a long-unpaid economic development loan. City Administrator David Murphy said the lawsuit was served last week on behalf of Boardwalk Enterprises, though as of Tuesday, online court records didn't show one has been filed. The city and Boardwalk Enterprises have been locked in a debate for the past two years over a $510,000 loan to help build the Boardwalk building, which was first approved in 1999 and has since gone unpaid.
With a week left before voters head to the polls in a hotly contested Republican primary election race for North Dakota governor, the Democratic candidate in the race took several shots at his would-be general election competitors. Marvin Nelson, a state representative from Rolla, N.D., and the Democratic-NPL Party's endorsed candidate for governor, touched on an array of topics in a Monday interview with the Herald editorial board. That included environmental and energy policy, minimum wage, economic development and criminal justice reform.
A historic downtown Grand Forks bar is on the market. The building at 205 N. Third St., which includes the Hub Bar and Grill and two apartments, has been listed online for sale. The listing notes that the new owner could operate the bar on the main floor or "lease the space out to another party." Vicki Moe, who owns the Hub with her husband, Brad, said they decided to sell "after 21 years of blood, sweat and tears." "It's an emotional thing, don't get me wrong," she said.
North Dakota Democratic leaders are raising alarms about whether the state will be able to continue to provide property tax relief during tough fiscal times, but others don't appear worried. The state has eased property taxes, which are levied by local governments, through a 12 percent buydown. For the current two-year budget cycle, the state set aside $250 million for the buydown.
The East Grand Forks City Council will consider an on-sale liquor license for a restaurant and bar located in a controversial downtown building next week. A license application was submitted under the name JDM, LLC, according to a packet for Tuesday's meeting. Its trade name is listed as the Boardwalk with the address of 415 Second St. N.W.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is anticipating filing a legal challenge to the Obama administration's directive on transgender bathroom policy next week. Stenehjem, a Republican who is also running for governor, announced efforts last week to form a coalition with other attorneys general to file a lawsuit. He anticipated at the time he would file the suit this week, but as of late morning Friday, Stenehjem told the Herald it had not been submitted.
The Federal Election Commission has dismissed allegations against North Dakota Republican leaders and a political action committee over foreign campaign contributions that were refunded after Grand Forks Democrats filed a complaint.
A historic downtown Grand Forks bar is on the market. The building at 205 N. Third St., which includes the Hub Bar and Grill and two apartments, has been listed...
A Fosston, Minn., man announced this week he will challenge the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's endorsed candidate for a state House seat in August's primary election. Erwin "Erv" Rud said in a Wednesday news release that he had "changed his mind about a primary challenge." He lost the party's endorsement for the District 1B seat to Mike Moore, who lives in Mentor and owns newspapers in Fosston and Hallock.
A leader of a Grand Forks company welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that North Dakota lawmakers called a victory for landowner rights. The case centered around Hawkes Co. Inc.'s efforts to use a northwest Minnesota property for peat harvesting operations. It sought a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discharge material onto wetlands, but the Corps stated the property contained "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act because its wetlands had a "significant nexus" to the Red River, which is 120 miles away, according to court records.