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 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.
AgCountry Farm Credit Services moved its Grand Forks office this week, but it hasn't gone far. The company moved to a newly constructed building near the intersection of Interstate 29 and 32nd Avenue South, almost a mile and a half directly west of its former office. AgCountry began operating in its new digs Monday while the finishing touches, such as landscaping, were still underway.
The typical mall food court often features soft pretzels, cinnamon buns and other food served from beneath a warming lamp. That's why Satoshi Koshikawa acknowledges he and his wife, Chalyse, are going against the grain with their plans for Froot and Erb, a healthy alternative to the traditional mall fare. They hope to open their shop in the Columbia Mall food court by Aug. 8. "We're basically leaning toward healthy," Satoshi Koshikawa said. "We don't want to put vegan in the title, but everything pretty much is vegan."
Two Grand Forks men were arrested early Thursday morning after an alleged home invasion and assault. Grand Forks police officers were called at 3:42 a.m. to the 1000 block of North 39th Street for a report of a home invasion and assault, according to a news release. "Multiple suspects" broke into the residence and assaulted a female resident, as well as a male resident who came to her assistance. The two unnamed victims were transported to Altru Hospital for their injuries, and their conditions are unknown, the release said.
Kneeling beside a gray air conditioning unit attached to the side of a Grand Forks home Wednesday morning, Neil Speers explained how a lot of little things can go wrong with those devices. Dust from cottonwood trees or freshly cut grass can dirty up the condensing coils, affecting its efficiency, he said. In this case, it was a loose valve that prompted a call to Vilandre Heat, Air Conditioning and Plumbing and a visit from Speers, a senior service technician there.
CANDO, N.D.—A semi-retired farmer from Cando will fill a vacant seat in the North Dakota Legislature left by Republican Rep. Curt Hofstad's sudden death last month. District 15 Republicans voted Saturday to appoint Greg Westlind, a longtime friend of Hofstad's, to the seat, just a couple of weeks before lawmakers convene in Bismarck for a special session called by Gov. Jack Dalrymple to address the state's budget shortfall. Westlind hasn't been sworn into office yet, but he anticipates doing so before the special session, which is scheduled for Aug. 2 through 4.