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Inside Business: Maurices buys West Acres lease

FARGO - Women’s clothing retailer Maurices has purchased at auction the West Acres lease of Coldwater Creek, the national women’s clothing store that filed bankruptcy in April.

Pending approval from bankruptcy court, Maurices will open in Coldwater Creek’s spot at West Acres this fall, said Alissa Adams, the mall’s marketing manager.

Coldwater Creek will close at the end of July or in early August, Adams said.

Maurices is a Duluth, Minn.-based retailer that offers clothing size 1 to 24 as well as shoes and accessories. There are currently Maurices stores in West Fargo and Dilworth, Minn. More information can be found at

In other West Acres news, new store Simply Mac is scheduled to open in late August or early September in the J.C. Penney wing. Simply Mac is an authorized retailer and repairer of Apple products.

West Acres also is adding two mothers’ rooms to the mall’s lower level and updating the area surrounding them.

Each room will feature a rocker, bench seating, sink, changing station, diaper receptacle and “mood lighting.”

The mall currently has two mothers’ rooms near the food court, an area that was remodeled in 2012.

“Those are all heavily used, so we wanted to make sure we could accommodate as many moms as possible,” Adams said.

Puzzle created to teach students ND geography

A Fargo entrepreneur hopes his handcrafted creation will encourage elementary students to learn more about North Dakota’s geography.

Jonathan Melgaard, entrepreneur in residence at the Kilbourne Group, has created Connected Puzzles, a 2- by 1½-foot map of North Dakota that features each of the state’s 53 counties as a puzzle piece. Each piece has a QR code on the back that can connect students to detailed information about the area.

Melgaard is attempting to raise $40,000 in tax-deductible individual and business donations to finance the production of 410 puzzles to distribute to North Dakota’s elementary schools. About $15,000 has been raised so far.

For more information, visit

Jet service now available at all ND airports

For the first time in state history, all eight commercial airports in North Dakota now provide jet service to the public, according to Kyle Wanner, director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

On June 5, Devils Lake and Jamestown airports began to offer direct jet service to Denver with SkyWest Airlines.

For the month of June, North Dakota airports posted 99,658 passengers, a 6.4 percent increase over last June.

Boarding numbers statewide are up 8.61 percent for the first six months compared to last year, and nearly double what they were in 2005.

Flex PACE loan OK’d for Minnkota Windows

The new Minnkota Windows facility in West Fargo has been approved for a Flex PACE loan through the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp.’s Growth Initiative Fund.

The vinyl window and door manufacturer and distributor will receive a 10-year, $54,000 interest buydown loan from the GIF, which triggers a matching grant of about $100,000 from the Bank of North Dakota.

Those funds will offset the interest expense on the loan shared between the lead lender and Bank of North Dakota, said John Machacek of the EDC.

The $54,000 is paid back at the end of a 10-year term.

Minnkota Windows currently employs 43 full-time employees and plans to add up to 15 new positions within the next three years.

Sherri Richards

Sherri Richards has worked for The Forum since 2002. She is the features and business editor, overseeing Variety, SheSays, Farmers' Forum, the daily Business pages and Saturday Business section.     Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to

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