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FARGO – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20, in Washington, said governor’s office spokesman Mike Nowatzki. The governor and his wife, Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, left Tuesday, Jan. 17, for the nation’s capital and are expected to return to North Dakota this weekend, Nowatzki said, noting that the couple paid their own travel costs.
BISMARCK – North Dakota lawmakers have proposed a bill that would create a way for communities to request temporary bans on new refugee resettlement and would grant the governor power to impose such a ban statewide. The proposal was welcomed by Dave Piepkorn, a Fargo city commissioner and resettlement skeptic who has been pushing for more local input on where refugees are placed and more data about their impact.
FARGO — Sixty times last year fights in downtown Fargo left someone badly hurt. But police, neighborhood leaders and business owners say this figure, which is at a five-year high, shouldn't deter people from visiting the city's nightlife hub. "If you just practice general safety techniques, downtown is still a pretty safe place to be," said Dan Hurder, co-owner of the Boiler Room and Twist, formerly Sazerac Alley. "Of course, when you're wandering around at 4 o'clock in the morning alone after a whole bunch of drinks, you never know what's going to happen."
FARGO — Fargo police will begin maintaining a regular presence at the Hector International Airport as early as July. Two armed private security officers currently patrol the airport. But to satisfy the standards of a federal program, the airport authority plans to start paying for Fargo police officers to provide security, said Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of the Municipal Airport Authority. "It's not going to cost the city of Fargo a penny," Dobberstein said.
MOORHEAD — Nate Jacobson finds himself in a shrinking category. The 22-year-old is one of a dwindling number of young people who want to be police officers. Jacobson started training this week, along with two other new hires, at the Moorhead Police Department. The agency, funded to employ 60 officers, still has five more openings to fill.
FARGO — Before the snow melts and exposes a winter's worth of litter, City Commissioner John Strand wants Fargo to be talking about ways to reduce its use of plastic shopping bags. While campaigning last spring, Strand floated the idea of a possible ban on plastic bags and non-biodegradable take-out food containers in order to curb waste and beautify the city. Strand, who's been in office since July, says he still would like Fargo to somehow encourage the use of re-useable shopping bags and earth-friendly food containers.
MOORHEAD — Six or seven students at Horizon Middle School became sick Wednesday, Jan. 4, after drinking from a water fountain, prompting officials to flush the school's pipes and order testing of the water. Horizon's start time will be delayed two hours on Thursday morning, Jan. 5, while the water is tested for foreign substances, said Moorhead Public Schools Superintendent Lynne Kovash.
WAHPETON, N.D. — Looking to stave off leaks to the news media, an attorney is seeking a judge's order to prohibit the public release of information from a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of Andrew Sadek, an undercover police informant found dead in 2014. The order would forbid the disclosure of any information obtained during discovery, the pretrial process through which parties share evidence. A hearing on the matter is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, in the Valley City courtroom of North Dakota District Court Judge Jay Schmitz.
FARGO — When Gov. Doug Burgum is thinking about North Dakota's future, he says everything's on the table — even the possibility of berry-growing operations in the Bakken oil field. More on the berries later. Right now, there's an official announcement to make: Burgum is The Forum's 2016 Area Person of the Year. In past years, the newspaper considered the tech mogul, real estate developer and millionaire philanthropist for Person of the Year because of his work as a change agent in downtown Fargo, restoring many of the city's old buildings.
KINDRED, N.D. — More than a year ago, a Kindred school bus full of fourth graders on a field trip collided with a semi on a state highway shrouded in heavy fog. With visibility severely limited, three more semis plowed into the wreckage. The students and truck drivers were not seriously hurt, but the bus driver, 64-year-old Cathryn Jostad of Kindred, had to be hospitalized. Her legs were amputated, and she died from her injuries a week after the Sept. 25, 2015, crash.