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Office complex to replace demolished hotel in south Grand Forks

April Baumgarten

An office complex will take the place of a demolished motel in south Grand Forks.

Site plans for the 32nd Avenue Office Complex were approved Aug. 22, Grand Forks city planning officials said this week. The nearly 85,000-square-foot lot at 3101 S. 17th St. will hold three building: two on the north end of the property are slated to be about 7,560 square feet while the third is about 5,760 square feet.

The lot once was home to the Happy Host Inn, but it was demolished in September 2016.

The property is owned by Don and Connie Lee under the name 32nd Avenue Properties. It's unclear when construction will begin and wrap up on the project, said Rich Romness, a St. Cloud, Minn., engineer with engineering firm CPS.

"We'll be visiting with our contractor in February," Don Lee said, adding he is unsure about the timeline.

Magazine accepting nominations for Top 25 Women in Business

A Grand Forks magazine is accepting nominations for its Top 25 Women in Business awards.

The deadline for submitting a nomination to is Jan. 14, according to a news release. The contest is used to bring light to successful businesswomen in North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota.

"Today, women fill so many roles in the region's workforce and take on so much responsibility, it's hard to believe that the situation ever was any different," Prairie Business Editor Tom Dennis said in a statement.

In its fifth year, the top 25 list will be released in the March issue. Past winners are not eligible for the award.

Grand Forks native finds security issues in self-driving cars

A Grand Forks native is identifying security vulnerabilities in self-driving cars.

North Dakota State University sophomore Isaac Flage and two graduate students from other states are researching the state of self-driving vehicle security as the technology becomes more popular, according to a news release.

"Self-driving car security is a very interesting topic to me," Flage said in a statement. "We decided to look at the lack of security, and how easily someone may connect and cause damages."

One area the students are investigating is smartphone connectivity, meaning if the Internet connection the phone uses is not secure, attackers could access the vehicle's systems.

The study is being conducted through NDSU's Computer Science Department and Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248