Kevin Bonham covers news from northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota 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 nearly 30 years.
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DEVILS LAKE -- An organization opposed to the Devils Lake outlet says the structure should be shut down permanently because it has failed to pass a cost-benefit test. Richard Betting, a representative of the People to Save the Sheyenne testified Tuesday that the North Dakota Department of Health should not renew a five-year operating permit, which expires June 30. New permit The state Water Commission is seeking a new five-year operating permit.
CAMP GRAFTON, N.D. -- The North Dakota Army National Guard broke ground Monday on a $30.5 million regional training facility at Camp Grafton. When completed, the 164th Regiment Regional Training Institute will provide training for as many as 5,000 of the nation's Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers annually. "North Dakota is home to some of the finest military installations in the country, and this new facility will be an important addition," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said.
DEVILS LAKE -- Flooded farm and ranch land in the Devils Lake Basin could be enrolled in federal Wetlands Reserve or Conservation Reserve programs, under a provision of the $290 billion 2008 farm bill. As many as 200,000 acres in North Dakota -- most of them in the Devils Lake and Stump Lake basin -- would be eligible for enrollment, according to Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who briefed Devils Lake community leaders Monday. "I believe this is the best farm bill ever for North Dakota," Conrad said. "It is good for farmers, ranchers and Main Street business.
NORTHWOOD, N.D. -- Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., sees signs of progress all around Northwood since an EF-4 tornado devastated the community Aug. 26. "You, because you live here, may not see as much progress as I see when I come from the outside," the senator said. "I come in, and I see a lot of progress. There's a lot being done here in this town, and a lot has been done." The senator toured the community of about 1,000 on Saturday, including Agvise Laboratories and Guenthner Super Valu.
A new 100- to 200-megawatt wind farm is in the works in Rolette and Towner counties. The Border Wind Energy Project is being developed by Sequoia Energy, based in Winnipeg. Construction could begin as early as 2009. If built, the facility located east of Rolla, N.D., in eastern Rolette and northwestern Towner counties could include as many as 90 wind turbines, according to George Youngerman, director of the Rolla Job Development Authority. "It won't be the biggest in the state, but if we get it all developed, it could come out to 60 to 90 turbines," Youngerman said.
Grand Forks County maintains it acted properly and did not violate due process when it denied a Special Use Permit last August to potential developers of a private landfill in Strabane Township near Inkster, N.D. The Grand Forks County Commission voted 3-2 in August 2007 to deny the permit to John Scott and the Red River Valley Solid Waste Disposal Facility Inc., citing environmental concerns, including a high water table, wetlands and drainage issues and the proposed landfill's location along a beach ridge of Glacial Lake Agassiz. Scott and his partners, Jack Scott and Paul Sproule, whose n
When Nelson County voters go to the polls June 10, they'll be asked to approve a county home rule charter. Although it will not be a separate question on the ballot, if voters approve home rule, they also will be giving the Nelson County Commission approval to implement a county sales tax.
Grand Forks County Farm Bureau is campaigning against the county's proposed Home Rule Charter, which will appear on the June 10 primary election ballot. "The proposed Grand Forks County Home Rule Charter just doesn't measure up," Grand Forks County Farm Bureau President Paul Galegher said.
Bret Burkholder had a pretty good idea of what he was getting into last fall when he applied for and later accepted the job as administrator of the financially troubled Grand Forks County Correctional Center. The $16 million facility, which had opened a year earlier, was on track to lose $500,000 to $1 million in 2007, and the 240-inmate-capacity facility was only about half full. "With all of the negative publicity, I was a little hesitant," he said. "But at the same time, I thought I had the experience and expertise that could help.