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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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.
Grand Forks' Rossten Auto purchased a DeMers Avenue repair shop last week, which its owner said will create a unique offering of auto body and repair services under one roof. Rossten had a body shop on North 43rd Street to compliment its sales lot on Gateway Drive, owner Ross Huebner said. But in seeking more space and a bigger market share, it purchased A Transmission City at 2115 DeMers Ave.
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.
Grand Forks International Airport officials won't pursue an agreement to have the city of Grand Forks provide firefighting services at the airport. Last year, Grand Forks Regional Airport Authority officials asked Grand Forks to adopt its firefighting duties, which would mean splitting the operational and firefighting duties at the airport and having about six city firefighters serve in shifts.
River Cinema in East Grand Forks will play the movie “Purple Rain” in honor of the late Minnesota musician Prince starting Friday. The film, first released in 1984, is scheduled...
Rhombus Guys Brewing Co. began canning beer Wednesday at its downtown Grand Forks brewpub. The business, which first opened at the Metropolitan Opera House on South Third Street last year, will initially package its Iconic Blonde ale and Invincible pale ale for distribution. Head brewer Chad Gunderson said they hope to have the six packs on shelves in the next few weeks. "I know all of our distributors are chomping at the bit to get it in their possession to get to the stores," he said.
A Southwestern-themed restaurant on South Columbia Road in Grand Forks closed this week. Padron Chile, which served burritos, burgers, margaritas and breakfast items, closed Monday, according to a sign in the restaurant's window that read, "Closed for business." Owner Gary Emineth confirmed in a text message the closure is permanent. Padron is the third restaurant to close at 1419 S. Columbia Road in the past three years. Arby's closed there in 2013, and Sweeto Burrito closed in June. Padron Chile opened in November.
The gubernatorial campaign for Fargo businessman Doug Burgum raised criticisms Monday over radio interviews conducted by a paid consultant for the campaign of his opponent, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. A statement from Burgum campaign surrogate Robert Harms argues that Pat Finken, president of the media firm Odney, failed to disclose during a stint as guest host on the What's On Your Mind show Monday morning that he is working for the Stenehjem campaign.