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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Northeast Judicial District Judge Richard Geiger was right to dismiss a lawsuit filed in 1999 by a group of Devils Lake Basin landowners who claimed that 15 drainage projects contributed to flooding their land, the North Dakota Supreme Court has determined. In an opinion released today, the state's high court reaffirmed the district court's 2007 de-cision. "The court decided the drainage projects were not the proximate cause of the landowners' damages and also found that an act of God, an unprecedented wet cycle, was the sole proxi-mate cause of their damages," the Supreme Court wrote in its
The Grand Forks County Correctional Center will end the year in the black. Year-end projections indicate the jail will end the year with a budget surplus of about $300,000. County Auditor Debbie Nelson delivered the good news to the County Board on Tuesday, telling commissioners the county will not have to transfer a previously budgeted $181,000 from the general fund to the jail to help pay for operations this year. "That transfer won't need to happen," she said. The jail lost about $500,000 in 2007, its first full year of operation.
MAYVILLE, N.D. -- Tight budgets are handcuffing local police departments. Mayville Mayor Don Moen knows all about it. The Traill County city of about 2,000 was without a police department for about a month, until a new police chief was hired last week. The loss of its entire three-member police department was a coincidence, Moen said. But pay and city finances played an important role. Chief Stan Baker resigned to join the police department in nearby Northwood, N.D. New Police Chief Daman Bradshaw was one of the officers who left.
Devils Lake Dike alignment meeting set Wednesday The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will host an open house on levee alignment alternatives through the Lakewood area in Devils Lake. The meeting will be 6 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria at the Lakewood Park Bible Camp, 220 Woodland Ave. "We want to see how much interest there is for an alignment in the Lakewood area, if any," said the Corps' Kevin Bluhm. A Q&A session will begin at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will be shown again after the session.
STUMP LAKE, N.D. -- As a boy, Dave Morken gazed at India-Zero -- the missile alert and launch control facility that sat atop a hill overlooking the family farm -- with a sense of Cold War mystery that intrigued thousands of people in northeastern North Dakota for three decades. "It was always curious, but we always kept our distance," he said. His family also used it as a beacon while traveling home on the darkest of nights. "We could tell when we were getting close because the lights here would light up the sky for miles," he said.
ANETA, N.D. -- Margaret Sotvik used a flashlight inside Spicer's Grocery to find ham and pastries to feed the houseful of opening-day deer hunters she expected to show up later Friday afternoon or evening. "It's still just 60 degrees in the house, and we have a wood stove in the garage, so that's nice and warm," she said. Power went out in Aneta about 3 a.m. Friday, as a winter ice storm roared through northeastern North Dakota. The outage hit as early as 6 p.m.
Now that Traill County voters overwhelmingly have rejected a proposed $7.4 million courthouse addition and jail project -- for the second time this year -- county officials are left to ponder their next move. But they aren't likely to rush into anything. The earliest a referendum on the issue could be placed before voters again would be June 2010. Residents turned down a $7.415 million bond issue for the project, by a 1,742-2,198 vote.
Now that Traill County voters overwhelmingly have rejected a proposed $7.4 million courthouse addition and jail project -- for the second time this year -- county officials are left to ponder their next move. They aren't likely to rush into anything, however. The earliest a referendum on the issue could be placed before voters again would be June 2010. Residents turned down a $7.415 million bond issue for the project, by a 1,742-2,198 vote.
FORDVILLE, N.D. -- Joe Miller was only 8 or 9 years old when he started watching conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh on television. "That and the news," his father, Jim, said. "I'd turn on the TV news and he'd sit down right there with me." "I remember Ronald Reagan, too, but I was pretty young," said Joe Miller, who was born during the first Reagan term in the early 1980s. "Politics has always interested me." It's become more than a passing interest. Miller, now 25, won a seat in the North Dakota Senate on Tuesday, defeating longtime District 16 Democratic Sen.
Whether or not it's a hangover from the financial fiasco of the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, the face of the Grand Forks County Commission continues to change. And the newest members want to change the way the county does business with the public. John Schmisek and Cindy Pic will join Diane Knauf on the County Board beginning Dec. 1, creating a majority of the five-member board elected since the $16 million jail opened in September 2006.