Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.
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BISMARCK—Russian hackers targeted North Dakota's elections systems last year, according to new information disclosed to the state's top elections official Friday, Sept. 22. Secretary of State Al Jaeger confirmed Saturday, Sept. 23, that his office was called the previous day and notified that North Dakota was among 21 states targeted by hackers last year.
FARGO—A new Jimmy John's sandwich restaurant is now open for business here. The restaurant, located in a new building at 2815 13th Ave. S., was open and serving up sandwiches Tuesday, Sept. 19, according to a news release. It's the fifth Jimmy John's location in Fargo, while the franchise also has one location in Moorhead and another in West Fargo.
FARGO—North Dakota was recently awarded a federal grant to help small business exporters in the state. The North Dakota Trade Office, which will administer the competitive program for applicants in the state, announced earlier this week that the state was given a $228,225 grant. The funding came through the U.S. Small Business Administration's competitive State Trade Expansion Program, or STEP, which aims to grow exports from small businesses in the country.
FARGO—A Fargo business is a finalist for an award given to companies that display integrity in their work. DFC Consultants was among the finalists announced earlier this month in this year's Torch Awards for Ethics, an annual honor bestowed by the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota. The software and accounting consulting company is headquartered in Fargo, 1320 1st Ave. N., and also has a presence in Bismarck, Dickinson and Farmington, Mich., according to its website.
MOORHEAD—Dan Gunderson used to do his job with a manual typewriter and edit tapes of his radio stories with a razor blade. Now, the Minnesota Public Radio news correspondent uses a computer, digital camera and smartphone, writing online versions of the work he records for a radio audience that also can be accessed anywhere, whether it's Dilworth or Kazakhstan.
FARGO—A women's clothing boutique has moved 20 blocks west. Laurie's held a soft opening Tuesday, Sept. 20, at its new location, 3265 45th St. S., and celebrated its grand opening with a Joseph Ribkoff trunk show Friday, Sept. 22. Owner Kristi Larkin said the move gives the boutique 2,400 square feet of space. That's about double its previous location in the South Creek Center, 2511 Kirsten Lane S, and she said it means Laurie's can now offer "a better shopping experience."
FARGO—Human resources staff don't usually get the spotlight at work, but speakers at an annual conference here said these employees play a vital role in promoting a strong workforce and innovation that could make their businesses shine. North Dakota Commerce Commission Jay Schuler said the state is dealing with a big "challenge" right now: It had the nation's lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.3 percent in August, but it lacks enough workers to fill open jobs.
FARGO—The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber has plenty of work on its agenda. Outgoing Board Chair Judd Graham said the organization is committed to addressing the region's workforce shortage, and new Board Chair Steve Swiontek said his goal is to "promote a stronger metro area" while pushing for the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project, advocating on issues important to local businesses and ramping up calls for a new convention center.
FARGO—McKenzie Kjos looked at what the community lacked when she picked the concept for her first business. The 24-year-old Fargo native who always loved fashion grew up telling people she'd open her own store. For a long time, she assumed she'd get around to it later in life after working for someone else.
FARGO—A Fargo-based firm is investing in a Minneapolis startup as the company expands. The Stable, which was launched in 2015 in Minneapolis, announced earlier this week that it got $4 million of funding from its first outside investor, Gen7 Investments. Gen7 was formed earlier this year in Fargo as the investment arm of Forum Communications Co., which also owns The Forum.