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Around Town: Living Sage moving out of downtown space

A home decor boutique is moving out of its downtown Grand Forks location. Living Sage Home Boutique, at 416 DeMers Ave., is holding a sale to liquidate inventory before its move to Picks, a store selling vintage and home decor items. Lisa Johnson...

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A home decor boutique is moving out of its downtown Grand Forks location.

Living Sage Home Boutique, at 416 DeMers Ave., is holding a sale to liquidate inventory before its move to Picks, a store selling vintage and home decor items. Lisa Johnson, owner of Living Sage, said she plans to lease space at that South Washington Street store and maintain an online presence.

Johnson announced in September she was putting the business up for sale. It originally opened in July 2014.

Johnson said Friday she had a few interested buyers, but ultimately it did not sell.

The move to Picks allows Johnson to focus on what got her business started: painting furniture.

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"Running a business kind of keeps you from being able to do that," she said.

Johnson plans to have a booth set up at Picks next week, and Living Sage will be vacating its downtown store "in the next couple of weeks."

Mill expansion on track

An expansion of the North Dakota Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks is scheduled to be completed this summer.

The project will increase the mill's capacity by 11,500 hundredweight of flour produced per day to roughly 49,500 hundredweight. The expansion was approved by the North Dakota Industrial Commission in 2014.

"It's tracking for completion in midsummer," said Vance Taylor, the mill's president and general manager.

The project will make it the largest single milling operation in the country, Taylor said.

The milling operation, the only state-owned facility in the country, is planning to complete a wheat unloading project in the late summer or early fall. That project includes a new track, wheat unloading pit and related conveyor system to get wheat into the facility, Taylor said.

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ND tech employment low

Less than 4 percent of North Dakota's private sector workers were employed in technology-related jobs in 2015, which is lower than than the national average of 5.7 percent, according to a new report.

The tech industry employed roughly 13,398 in the state, which includes software developers, computer user support specialists and systems analysts, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association report. Average tech wages in North Dakota reached $79,588, 53 percent higher than average private sector wages.

Meanwhile, 5.9 percent of Minnesota's private sector workers are in the tech industry, and average wages in the industry are $93,479, according to the report.

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