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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MOORHEAD — The house next door to Brad Benton's just south of downtown here was built nearly nine decades ago with exposed rafters and brackets that showed off its Craftsman influence. "It's just a charming little bungalow. Great architecture," Benton gushed. "It's just a cute little house — or it was." On Tuesday morning, Nov. 28, heavy construction equipment arrived at 412 7th St. S. and by the following afternoon the house was gone.
FARGO — Last year, businesses and homeowners in Fargo benefited from $1.35 million in property tax incentives from the city, according to data from the city's annual financial report and interviews with city officials. This was tax money that went uncollected by City Hall or was collected but could only be used for a specific commercial development.
FARGO — A plan to encourage public art throughout the city that includes incentives for developers to beautify their buildings received a positive reception from several city leaders on Thursday, Nov. 30. Developers hoping to build on city-owned land could be asked to include some form of public art in their plans, City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said. The city could also lead by example by including art in its own buildings, he said. "If we're going to tell people, 'Oh yeah, we want you to do it,' I think we have to — that should be mandatory."
MOORHEAD — On the big screens at the front of the room was a colorful flowchart engineers put together in hopes of leading the Fargo-Moorhead diversion task force to a consensus. There were six potential modifications to the $2.2 billion flood-control project that the group was to methodically narrow down for the engineers to study further.
FARGO — Each of the boxes in the corner of the auto-service bay contained a turkey, a box each of stuffing, mashed potatoes and butter, 3 cans of vegetables, a can of cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie. "It's everything that you would need for a Thanksgiving meal," said Maj. Byron Medlock, who, with his wife, Maj. Elaine Medlock, lead the Salvation Army office here.
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.