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As Doug Burgum cruised to an easy victory over establishment candidate Wayne Stenehjem in last week's North Dakota Republican governor primary, speculation instantly sparked over the state's voting process.
As Ed Schafer wraps up his six-month stint as interim president at UND, it's not difficult to see the impact he's had on campus. Many people are sad to see him leave. Others, we suppose, can't wait for him to vacate his office at Twamley Hall so they can make their pleas to incoming President Mark Kennedy to save their job, their program or funding for one thing or another. The good news? Those potentially heart-wrenching requests might be the toughest part of Kennedy's first few months, thanks to the work of Schafer and even Robert Kelley, who retired in January.
Mayor Mike Brown won re-election Tuesday, confirming what many in town already know: That Grand Forks residents generally are a happy and content lot, and that it was going to take a historic effort to remove the genial Brown from office. Brown earned a fifth term with his 60.6 percent to 39.4 percent victory over challenger Terry Bjerke, a councilman who brought an aggressive and no-nonsense approach to this year's election season.
The Grand Forks School District had a trying spring semester. A student at Red River High School died by suicide in the days following prom. Separate bomb threats prompted the evacuation of two local schools during the school day the following week. A paraprofessional came to work at Valley Middle School under the influence of alcohol.
The trendy call it "al fresco" dining. Translated, it means "in the cool air." It must be the great new thing, because it seems most places either have outdoor dining options or are seeking them. Here in Greater Grand Forks, many bars and restaurants have outdoor options, and anecdotal evidence tends to show their customers are literally eating them up. Drive in the business district, or along Columbia, or 32nd Avenue or in East Grand Forks any day of the week — during the late spring and summer, of course — and see for yourself.
The state's Republican heavyweights are standing with their favorite candidates as the North Dakota gubernatorial primary looms. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem already has garnered support from outgoing Gov. Jack Dalrymple and John Hoeven, the former North Dakota governor who now serves in the U.S. Senate. Their declarations left Fargo businessman Doug Burgum without a big-name North Dakota GOP backer. That is, until this week.
It was 2013, and the caller on the other end of the line simply wanted help answering a question. "Why," she wondered, "is my school district paying two superintendents?" She had noticed this anomaly while reading her local newspaper's "legals" — you know, the fine-print recap of the goings-on at the public meetings that most people find too intimidating, too time-consuming or simply too boring to attend.
There were people in Grand Forks cheering for Steven Shirley of Minot State to get the job as UND's next president. Evidently, he has a team-building personality. Another finalist, Nagi Naganathan of the University of Toledo, similarly impressed locals.
As an extensive report on the March 6 front page confirmed, teacher-student misconduct is an issue that just doesn't seem to go away. For example, earlier this month, the news broke that a teacher at Central High School in Grand Forks resigned amid allegations he'd had an improper relationship with a student. That same week, a substitute teacher from Glyndon, Minn., was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for engaging in inappropriate acts with a student who was 17 at the time.
Research university. Community college. Openness and inclusion for new residents. Craft breweries. These are among the "Eleven signs a city will succeed," as determined by author James Fallows, who has written about community health in The Atlantic, a commentary magazine based in Washington.