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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NORTHWOOD, N.D. -- Church pews remain in storage and much of the new building is not quite finished. Still, it's time to celebrate for members of Ebenezer Free Lutheran Church, who will gather at 1 p.m. Sunday to dedicate a new meeting place. The dedication marks a remarkable milestone in a journey that began Aug. 26, 2007, when a tornado destroyed the congregation's century-old building, as well as Northwood School, and annihilated or severely damaged homes and businesses throughout this community of 950.
Work begins today in Finley, N.D., on a $1.7 million project to rehabilitate the community's sanitary sewer system. The funding package to rehabilitate the existing sanitary system consists of a loan of $942,000 and a grant of $758,000. The funds are administered through U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development's Utilities Water and Environmental Loan and Grant program.
Sen. Kent Conrad is lobbying the Air Force to consider Grand Forks Air Force Base as the future home for two new squadrons of the MC-12 surveillance aircraft. "I urge the Air Force's Strategic Basing Executive Steering Group to carefully consider the unique value of Grand Forks Air Force Base as a home to the MC-12," he wrote in a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley after visiting the base Wednesday. "The infrastructure at Grand Forks AFB is top-notch.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate will visit Devils Lake on May 3 to headline a Devils Lake Flood Summit that addresses immediate and long-range flood protection in the basin. The summit, which will be held at Lake Region State College, is being convened by the North Dakota congressional delegation, Rep. Earl Pomeroy, Sen. Kent Conrad and Sen.
A nonprofit agency that serves more than 1,900 households in four counties is spreading its wings along North Fifth Street in Grand Forks, thanks in part to an infusion of federal economic stimulus funding and an army of volunteers. Some 100 of those good Samaritans -- about half of the volunteer base that fuels this growing organization -- will gather Thursday for an annual appreciation luncheon, sponsored by Red River Valley Community Action Agency, at Eagles Crest Grill.
Some changing of the guard will take place in the June 8 municipal election in cities throughout northeastern North Dakota as several mayors step aside. Mayors of some of the region's larger cities decided not to run for re-election this year. In Devils Lake, City Councilman Dick Johnson is the only candidate to replace Mayor Fred Bott, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek another term.
First Care Medical Services in Fosston, Minn., has been granted $6 million in federal economic stimulus funding to expand its facility as part of a merger with Innovis Health. It's one of three Rural Community Facilities and Infrastructure projects announced Friday in Minnesota. The others are: n Pine City. A $585,000 loan will be used to upgrade roads where underground infrastructure is being replaced, and to improve the city's storm sewer. n Northome.
Grand Forks is ranked the 45th "Best Place for Business and Careers" among small metropolitan areas, according to the listing by Forbes. Bismarck ranks fourth and Fargo ninth among the small metros, those with populations lower than 245,000, according to the list released this week. It examines 12 factors, including costs of doing business and living, job and income growth, educational attainment and projected economic growth.
Friday is the final day to return the 2010 census form and perhaps avoid having a census taker come knocking on your door. That's what will happen, beginning in May, as census workers fan out to personally contact people to make sure they've been counted. As of Monday, 70 percent of residents in North Dakota and 70 percent in Grand Forks County had returned their forms. That rate is among the highest in the nation. It could be higher, though. Many people living in rural areas did not receive census surveys in the mail, so they haven't had a chance to complete and return them.
THOMPSON, N.D. -- Three weeks after an annual election of the Grand Forks-Traill Water District, the outcome remains in doubt. At issue are 34 proxy ballots, presented at the March 23 annual meeting, in an election in which three board races were decided by 14 or fewer votes, and whether a recount or revote might be necessary.