- Member for
- 4 years 2 months
FARGO — Every legislative session, hundreds of lobbyists descend upon the statehouses in Bismarck and St. Paul, trying to achieve their legislative agendas. Some are hired guns contracted by various groups to work on a variety of issues, while others are in-house lobbyists employed by the groups they represent. In North Dakota and Minnesota, a handful of groups stand out because of the number of lobbyists they have.
FARGO — With smoking being the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S., tobacco companies and health groups seemingly would be clear opponents in statehouse politics. But that stark division can get blurred in North Dakota and Minnesota where, according to state records, at least a half dozen lobbyists are registered to represent both tobacco firms and health organizations — groups like the North Dakota Hospital Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
FARGO — The look of a public plaza that a developer intends to build at the foot of a planned high-rise in downtown Fargo is starting to come into focus. Detailed drawings and blueprints of the plaza near U.S. Bank call for a mechanically cooled open-air ice rink with warming huts in the winter and a lawn flanked by kid-friendly fountains in the summer. The plan also includes a stage for live performances and movie screenings.
FARGO — A group upset with City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn's views on refugee resettlement is organizing an effort to recall him from office. Ali Kuno, a 29-year-old Fargo resident, said he and others are aiming to gather enough signatures to trigger a special election for Piepkorn's seat. Phone messages left for Piepkorn on Thursday, March 2, were not returned. "He's always against the refugees," said Kuno, who immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya in 2012. "All the refugees I know, they are working people. They are paying taxes."
FARGO — Last week's arrest of a man lawfully using a sweat lodge here was "super unfortunate," said the chairman of Fargo's Native American Commission, who hopes the city can learn from the experience. "We're not happy that this happened, but I think that there's some growth that can happen through this," Chairman Guy Fox said. "We don't want this to drive a wedge between us." The sweat lodge, which is run by the Native American Commission, sits just west of 39th Street South between 36th and 37th avenues, near a city salt and sand storage facility.
FARGO — The job of police chief is fraught with potential pitfalls. It's a precarious role that feels the tug of demands from the public, officers and city leaders. Not meeting enough of those demands can be a problem, but so can trying to please everyone. "You're basically putting a guy out there on a tightrope with a broomstick to balance with over a whole bunch of crocodiles," said Pat Claus, a former deputy chief at the Fargo Police Department.
FARGO — Just before the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest brought thousands of visitors to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, many businesses there started collecting a 5 percent sales tax. Standing Rock Tax Director Karol Two Bears said imposing the tax was not a shrewd move meant to cash in on the vast protest camps that swelled over the summer on and near the reservation, which continued to grow into the fall. The tax, which went into effect July 1, had actually been in the works for years, she said.
FARGO – A Cass County commissioner says he looked into a former sergeant’s allegations against Sheriff Paul Laney, which ranged from sexism to mismanagement, and found no need for an in-depth investigation.
FARGO — The Fargo Police Department plans to start moving into a new headquarters west of downtown this summer to alleviate a space shortage and possibly improve response times. The Border States Electric building at First Avenue North and 25th Street will eventually house the entire department, which now operates out of two buildings, Deputy Chief Joe Anderson said Tuesday, Feb. 14.
BISMARCK — Sitting on a couch in the sunlit living room of the North Dakota Governor's Residence, first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum had something she wanted to talk about, something she had never made public before. She's already announced her plans to work to erase the social stigma around addiction and spread the word that it's a chronic disease, not a character flaw. But what she hasn't told everyone is that she herself has struggled with an alcohol addiction.