WDAY First News anchors Drew Trafton and Se Kwon get you caught up on everything you need to know for Thursday, Sept. 9.





Headline story: The North Dakota Department of Health on Wednesday, Sept. 8, reported 637 new positive COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths.

The number of positive cases reported on Wednesday is more than double that reported the day before. The increase is likely a result of a lack of reporting over Labor Day weekend, as the number of tests conducted statewide often fluctuates on the weekends and holidays.

Nearly 30% of the 637 positive COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday were among North Dakotans under 20 years of age, according to Department of Health data.

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Read more from Forum News Service's Michelle Griffith

Featured stories:

  • Parents, students debate masks as West Fargo School Board sets thresholds for COVID-19 mitigation

    West Fargo School Board President Jim Jonas, Superintendent Beth Slette and Board Member Patti Stedman listen as district families and staff speak to them before a special board meeting, Sept. 8. Wendy Reuer/PioneerForum
    West Fargo School Board President Jim Jonas, Superintendent Beth Slette and Board Member Patti Stedman listen as district families and staff speak to them before a special board meeting, Sept. 8. Wendy Reuer/PioneerForum

    The West Fargo School Board held a special meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 8, to establish benchmarks for COVID-19 policies to be enacted, such as requiring students and staff to wear masks.

    Currently, mask wearing is recommended but not required. The district decided on Aug. 8 that it would not require masks at the start of the school year.

    Just before school began, the district sent a survey to families asking if they felt the district should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations of requiring masks. About 65% of families who responded said "no."

Sheriff's office bolsters downtown Fargo police presence

A Cass County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. Forum file photo
A Cass County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. Forum file photoDave Olson

Late-night and early morning noise is a big problem for people who make their home in downtown Fargo, particularly on weekends.

That's according to a condominium owner who spoke during a "Downtown Download" meeting Wednesday, Sept. 8, hosted by the Fargo Police Department and the Downtown Community Partnership at City Hall.

The condo owner said he and other downtown residents appreciate the police department's work, though he added patrol numbers seem to have declined since the start of the pandemic.

North Dakota's legislative districts are getting a makeover. What could Fargo and Grand Forks look like?

Sen. Ron Sorvaag, R-Fargo, speaks to the state redistricting committee on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo regarding the legislative redistricting for eastern North Dakota. Chris Flynn / The Forum
Sen. Ron Sorvaag, R-Fargo, speaks to the state redistricting committee on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo regarding the legislative redistricting for eastern North Dakota. Chris Flynn / The Forum

Ideas for North Dakota’s new political map are swirling as lawmakers charged with redrawing the state’s legislative districts consider how to divide up booming cities and increasingly desolate rural swaths of land.

The 16-member redistricting committee met in Fargo on Wednesday, Sept. 8, to discuss preliminary proposals for redrawing district lines in Fargo, Grand Forks and Williston areas and to solicit input from the public, though they received very little.

The committee of 14 Republicans and two Democrats must create new districts that are roughly equal in population using fresh figures from the 2020 census. But due to pandemic-induced delays in the national headcount, the panel has only a few short months to generate a map before the full Legislature considers the plan, likely during a special session in November.

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