Kevin Bonham covers regional news, mostly from northeast North Dakota, for the Grand Forks Herald. A North Dakota native who grew up in Mandan and Dickinson, he has been a reporter or an editor with the Herald and Forum Communications for more than 30 years. Find his articles at: www.grandforksherald.com. He welcomes story ideas via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, (701) 780-1110.
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Three Griggs County Building Authority members will resign after a settlement in the dispute over an unfinished courthouse and emergency operations center was reached. The Griggs County Commission and Building Authority agreed Tuesday to drop civil lawsuits against each other. The decision was reached during a mediation session, County Commissioner John Wakefield said.
NIELSVILLE, Minn.—The fate of the Nielsville Bridge, which has been closed since September, now rests with the federal government. Polk County has applied for a $9 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program grant. If approved, the TIGER grant would cover 77.2 percent of the estimated $11.6 million cost to build a new bridge, County Engineer Richard Sanders said.
DEVILS LAKE—The Devils Lake City Commission adopted a new ordinance Monday that will require taxi, limo, shuttle and other commercial passenger service drivers to pass drug tests and their vehicles to pass equipment inspections. The new ordinance, which passed by a unanimous vote, will replace an existing one local officials say is out of date, officials said. The ordinance will take effect immediately. "Our whole goal here is to make sure our taxis and our drivers are safe for the community. It's about public safety," Mayor Dick Johnson said.
DEVILS LAKE -- An inmate who escaped last month from Lake Region Law Enforcement Center has been captured. Kenneth Eagleman, 29, was arrested Sunday afternoon without incident at a Devils Lake residence, Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson said. Eagleman escaped April 22 by breaking a steel gate from a window and using the gate to break the window, according to a report from the LEC.
Unity Medical Center Foundation in Grafton, N.D., recently received an anonymous donation of $144,808.82, one of the largest bequests in the organization's history. The donation was delivered personally by an unidentified person to Kristy Jelinek, foundation director, according to a report in the Walsh County Record. "Thanking this individual seems so inadequate because it was such a wonderful donation," she said. "This individual made it very clear they wanted to remain anonymous."
In Ed Conley's nearly 27-year career with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he has helped guide more than 200 emergency response operations worldwide. But over that span, the retiring FEMA Region VIII external affairs officer has spent more time in North Dakota than anywhere else. Conley oversaw federal response and recovery efforts as the field office manager during the catastrophic 1997 Grand Forks Flood, which is often cited as an international model for successful flood recovery.
DEVILS LAKE—Groundbreaking is set Wednesday for a new $1.2 million visitor center at Grahams Island State Park on Devils Lake. Funding for the 3,500-square-foot building was approved by the 2015 Legislature. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m.
DEVILS LAKE—A Devils Lake woman is facing multiple felony charges after attempting to stab a deputy sheriff and later trying to escape from custody at a local medical clinic. Jennifer Robinson is scheduled to make a first appearance Monday in Ramsey County District Court on charges of possession of a controlled substance, criminal attempt and preventing arrest or discharge of other duties, all Class C felonies. She remains in the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center jail on $10,000 bond.
INKSTER, N.D. -- Some five dozen volunteers heeded the call Monday morning to help clean after a weekend fire heavily damaged a portion of Midway Public School. Less than an hour after the volunteer effort began, the school’s website and Facebook pages announced, “The turnout has been great. We need no more volunteers!!” The fire, which was reported about midday Saturday, heavily damaged a shop and storage area at the rear of the building.
Since reaching a modern-day record high elevation of 1,454.3 feet above sea level five years ago—after a nearly 32-foot rise over the previous 18 years—Devils Lake has been falling, rather gradually. By freeze-up this past winter, the elevation had dipped to 1,450 feet. That's halfway to the benchmark of 1,446 feet, the elevation at which the state shuts off pumps installed to prevent a natural and potentially catastrophic overflow.