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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OSLO, Minn.—A grassroots group of landowners along the Red River wants to study a series of potential measures that could help to prevent chronic flooding near Oslo. A Minnesota Senate committee this week approved a bill sponsored by Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, D-Plummer, that would pay $187,000 for half of the study cost. The study would require matching funds from North Dakota, he said. "This has kind of bubbled up from the ground up ... from both sides of the river," Stumpf said.
Langdon gets state aid for water project The North Dakota State Water Commission has approved a 75 percent grant for a proposed $24 million rural water system project. The project is being proposed by the Northeast Regional Water District. The major objective of the project is to build a 60-mile pipeline to move fresh water from an aquifer in the Devils Lake Basin to provide a water sources to some 2,300 customers in Cavalier and Pembina Counties, including Langdon, Cavalier, Pembina and Walhalla.
CAVALIER, N.D.—Construction is expected to begin in July on the long-awaited $2.3 million Pembina-Walsh Livestock Processing Plant. The meat locker, which will be owned by area producers and other investors, should be operational by February or March of 2017, said Julius Wangler, a Grafton livestock producer and board chairman. When it reaches full production, the plant will have an annual capacity to slaughter 1,500 head of cattle, 1,000 hogs, 150 bison, 100 elk, as well as sheep.
County rejects property tax forgiveness request The Pennington County Commission has rejected a request for property tax forgiveness for developers of former hospital property along the Red Lake River in Thief River Falls. Schuett Companies is proposing to purchase the property from Sanford Health, according to a KTRF Radio report. He asked that the county "zero-out" the taxable value of the land, which stands at $670,000. Commissioners decided not to set a precedent.
MAYVILLE, N.D.—A "Now Open" banner was all it took last weekend to demonstrate how much last year's closing of a local department store affected the Mayville-Portland community. After shoppers quickly filled the lot outside the Shopko Hometown store, parking spilled over to the Cenex convenience store next door. "There was a lot of pent-up energy to get a store open," manager Chad Kussatz said.
Arnold Ralston has been donating $300 to $400 a year to a popular nonprofit organization that provides services to wounded veterans. So when the 81-year-old Army veteran from Grand Forks saw a recent national news report alleging that the charity-- Wounded Warrior Project—spent about $3 million on a four-day conference for about 500 staff members at a luxury resort in Colorado in 2014, he got so upset, he called the charity's Jacksonville, Fla., headquarters.
FARGO—A convicted felon who escaped from two North Dakota jails in a two-year period, most recently from Devils Lake jail with the help of a jailer last year, has been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison. Wesley E. Brown III, 36, was sentenced by Judge Ralph Erickson in U.S. District Court in Fargo Monday. He had pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to escape from custody, obstruction of justice and escape.
HILLSBORO, N.D.—A former Traill Rural Water District manager has been sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation on two counts of misapplication of entrusted property. Jerome Olson, who will serve sentences concurrently, was sentenced last week by Judge Wade Webb. He also was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution, plus $300 in court costs. Both counts are Class A misdemeanors.
A thick layer of fog spread over the Northern Plains where it reduced visibility to near zero in some places starting Sunday night and stretching well into Monday. The blanket of fog stretched from the eastern one-third of North Dakota throughout most of Minnesota, into Wisconsin, southward through South Dakota and as far south as Nebraska, creating hazardous driving conditions in most areas.
Here are stories shared by people who experienced the Ides of March blizzard, March 15, 1941, 75 years ago: Doris Robinson, Grand Forks March 15, 1941, started out to be an exciting outing to Uncle Cliff and Aunt Mary Bryan's for a birthday celebration near Drayton in Pembina County, N.D. We, that is my father and mother, Arthur and Very Young, Ruth Robinson, who was working at our home, my brother Dean and I, ages 12 and 13 and my little sister, Ann, who was only one month old were in the car.