Tran is an enterprise reporter with the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began his newspaper career in 1999 as a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, now owned by Forum Communications. He began working for the Forum in September 2014. Tran grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington.
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FARGO—A controversial tactic by lawyers working to drastically cut the property taxes of big box stores has led city leaders to consider measures to make it harder to file protests. City Assessor Ben Hushka told city leaders at their meeting Monday night, Nov. 20, that he's received another couple of protests from these lawyers who claim to work for Wal-Mart Stores and Cash Wise's parent company.
FARGO — A developer counting on tax breaks for his proposed downtown apartments found himself in the middle of a tug of war among city leaders trying to decide how to bring more affordable housing to the district. Jesse Craig told them Monday night, Nov. 20, that when he bought an old house near Sanford Health and St. Mary's Cathedral the city's policy was to grant incentives to encourage downtown housing and it still is.
FARGO — The cost of special assessments has stirred debate among city leaders over whether the city should be involved in what some consider a housing subsidy and what others consider a way to encourage home ownership. Most homeowners are familiar with specials as a kind of property tax used to pay for repairs of streets and sewers. But it's also used to finance the construction of streets and sewers in newly developed areas with the tax paid by new homeowners.
FARGO — A charity that collects Christmas gifts for Fargo-Moorhead area children and adults with developmental disabilities is starting up again this year and seeking help from the public. Emily Carpenter, coordinator for the Giving Tree of Hope program, said volunteers are needed to man the donation booth at West Acres mall and to help give out the gifts. Donations are also needed, she said.
FARGO — At the Emergency Food Pantry here, Executive Director Stacie Loegering is looking forward to the big food drive Monday, Nov. 20, at the Fargodome. "Last year, the amount that we got was roughly 5 percent of the food we gave out for the whole year," she said. "So it is a pretty large portion." The goal of the two-day Fill the Dome event is, as the name suggests, to fill the 80,000-square-foot floor of the arena at 1800 University Drive North with nonperishable food, which will then be donated to local food pantries.
WEST FARGO — The idea of putting ring dikes around Fargo-Moorhead is once more on the table as a replacement for the $2.2 billion flood diversion that Minnesota regulators have so far rejected. Though diversion supporters consider diking unfeasible for such a large area, a team of technical experts, including regulators, meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Cass County offices here agreed to take another look at ring dikes and five other alternatives that do involve a diversion.
FARGO — From what would've been a list of more than 70 potential alternatives to the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion, a task force seeking to reconcile the project with Minnesota regulations agreed to a much shorter list at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 13. Though task force members skeptical of or opposed to the $2.2 billion project showed interest in looking at radically different alternatives, many long-standing constraints appear to have steered the group back to something resembling the existing plan.
FARGO — As flood waters approached Rose Creek Golf Course in the spring of 2011, city workers were unrolling what was, in effect, a very long water balloon across a low-lying area near the creek. Nathan Boerboom, a city engineer overseeing flood control efforts, said the city wanted to test the water-filled dam to see how it would work in a real flood. The golf course was expected to flood anyway and it wouldn't have mattered if the dam failed, he said.
MOORHEAD — A mild putrid smell wafted from garbage bags set on the table in front of Willy Lies. "Personally, I love sardines myself," he said as he emptied a can of fish. "Mustard or ketchup sauce?" a woman with a clipboard next to him asked. "I'm usually a mustard guy, but I've been talked into ketchup," he said, nonchalantly sorting through the used Kleenex, dried-out flowers, empty fast-food containers and some sort of wet goop.
FARGO — City Attorney Erik Johnson's firm has had its contract extended for another five years after city leaders decided Monday, Nov. 6, to avoid seeking bids from others in the legal community. City Commissioner Tony Gehrig, the lone dissenter in the 4-1 vote, said the city should put out a request for proposal just like it would for other contracted professional services, such as architects and engineers. He said that way it can ensure that Erik R. Johnson & Associates offers the best deal.