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 news this week that BNSF Railway had parked about 45 locomotives in its Fargo trainyard provided another sign of continued slowdown in the freight rail industry. Industry observers blame lower coal shipments as a major reason for the shipment decline. BNSF, the largest railroad in North Dakota, reported its national volumes were down 6 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to last year, and coal shipments alone were down 33 percent. Its first quarter profits dropped 25 percent. But BNSF isn't the only railroad experiencing a downturn.
Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has raised more than $500,000 this year in his effort to win the June primary election, campaign filings released Friday show. That's less than his opponent, Fargo businessman Doug Burgum, who has garnered large contributions from across the country. Stenehjem reported $512,596 in contributions in his preprimary report along with $27,300 in a separate statement filed Friday. He had $368,780 in cash on hand, and he started the year with almost $240,000, according to the Secretary of State's website.
Bernie Sanders made a surprise visit Friday to a Grand Forks coffee shop, where he rallied support for his quest to be the Democratic nominee for president. The event was...
North Dakota Democratic legislators again called for a special session Thursday to deal with state budget cuts, citing recent public forums in Grand Forks and West Fargo addressing drug abuse. But a spokesman for Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple said his decision against a special session before the Legislature convenes next year still stands.
A bill proposal that supporters say will mean caregivers in North Dakota will be more informed met resistance Tuesday from a hospital industry official during an interim legislative meeting in Grand Forks.
The North Dakota Secretary of State's office is asking voters to make sure their identification is updated with their current address before the June 14 elections. "There is nothing that is required of an individual regarding their ID within the next couple of days," Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum said Monday. "As long as they have lived in the precinct in which they intend to vote for 30 days before the election, they're good, but they have to update their ID to reflect that fact."
A flurry of construction activity in southwest Grand Forks has transformed a vacant parcel of land into the outline of Minnkota Power Cooperative's future headquarters. "I think people are surprised when they go down 32nd Avenue and see how far we've come," Minnkota spokesman Kevin Fee said.
North Dakota political campaigns are finding another place to reach potential voters: between vacation photos and reactions to the latest episode of "Game of Thrones." Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been used frequently in federal and state races to update followers on where candidates are campaigning on a given day and post news stories.
A women's clothing store is expected to open next month in downtown Grand Forks. Voxxy will replace the Kittsona Creative Studio at 7 N. Third St. Owner Mary Burd said they will carry clothes with sizes 12 through 22 in an effort to reach an underserved market, given that the average woman is a size 16. "When we started looking at the market, we just realized there's all of these women who just are not able to find clothes that they love," she said. "We just wanted to fill a market for the average woman."
UND researchers are forecasting a shortage of more than 14,000 pilots in 10 years, a figure that highlights a growing concern among those in the aviation industry. Stakeholders from across the industry cite a number of factors for the deficit, from new federal regulations to starting pay at smaller regional airlines. Regardless of the cause, the shortage appears to already have hit those regional airlines.