Erik Burgess covers city and county government for The Forum. He started as the paper's night reporter in 2012, after graduating from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. He was born and raised in Grand Forks, N.D., and also spent time interning at the Grand Forks Herald.
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FARGO – When it comes to preparing for the business climate of tomorrow, city officials say having bountiful parks may be just as important as having low taxes. “It’s all...
FARGO – While Alaska residents will get nearly $1,900 each this year from a state oil wealth trust fund, it could lead North Dakotans to wonder why their state doesn’t...
MOORHEAD – A library official here says she will push city leaders to reinstate longer weekday hours at the Moorhead Public Library that were lost this year to budget cuts. Under the city’s proposed budget for 2015, the library is receiving about a 2 percent increase, but that’s not enough to bring back the building’s longer hours, said Liz Lynch, regional library director for the Lake Agassiz Regional Library system.
FARGO – Fargo engineering staff will take a month to study how to fix the constant flooding of Elm Street, after some prodding from City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn on Monday night. Piepkorn, a northside resident, said something needs to be done to fix the constant closure of Elm Street when the river is high. “It’s closed so often that we have swing arms permanently located there, at the El Zagal area,” Piepkorn said. “And, to me, swing arms is not a solution.”
FARGO – Some residents here have embraced the “urban chicken” movement, hosting hens in their backyards, and enjoying the fresh eggs for breakfast and the opportunity to teach their children about agriculture. Still others have cried foul to the city about the birds, leading city staffers to ask: What is the city’s policy anyway? Fargo city commissioners agreed Monday to further study whether they want chickens in residential areas and attempt to clarify the city’s “urban chicken” laws.
FARGO – In the wake of a police lieutenant’s suicide, city leaders are considering an external review of human resources policies for all city departments. Deputy Mayor Tim Mahoney said city leaders are considering the outside review, in part, because of concerns raised by former Police Department employees and the March suicide of department veteran Lt. Jeff Skuza. “We’re concerned, and we’ve had some issues raised by a widow, and, you know, we just want to make sure we’re doing the right thing for people,” Mahoney said.
FARGO – Police here on Monday released a parking lot surveillance photo after a man reportedly assaulted a West Acres mall employee Sept. 11, sending the mall into a brief lockdown. Police got the call about 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, that an armed man attacked a woman near the J.C. Penney store, said department spokesman Lt. Joel Vettel.
FARGO – City commissioners here could decide tonight to ban homeowners from having chickens in their back yards. The city has received complaints of people housing chickens in residential zoning districts, according to a memo from Planning Director Jim Gilmour. The city also has received inquiries from residents who want to have chickens on their residential property, Gilmour said. But city law is unclear as to whether the birds are allowed in residential areas, he said.
FARGO – Mayor Dennis Walaker left rehab Friday afternoon to continue recovery from kidney cancer treatment at home. In a telephone interview with The Forum, Walaker, 73, said he’s improving after radiation and chemotherapy weeks ago for renal cell carcinoma, a treatment regime that left him extremely weak and dehydrated. He was in rehab at Bethany Gables on 42nd Street for about a week, and is now walking around and climbing stairs. He returned home on Friday afternoon.
FARGO – Tim Mahoney announced Thursday he will leave his job as a surgeon at Essentia Health to devote more time to his role as the city’s deputy mayor. Mahoney said this is a move he wanted to make next year, but with Mayor Dennis Walaker recently sidelined with kidney cancer, Mahoney said he had to make the transition more rapidly.