Here is your InForum Minute morning briefing for Tuesday, Oct. 19.



A North Dakota Highway Patrol officer photographs the scene Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, where a UND plane crashed Monday evening in a field near Buxton, N.D., killing the pilot. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
A North Dakota Highway Patrol officer photographs the scene Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, where a UND plane crashed Monday evening in a field near Buxton, N.D., killing the pilot. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald


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UND has temporarily halted all flight training activities, following a plane crash that killed a student pilot.

According to an email sent to people affiliated with UND Aerospace, Robert Kraus, dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, stopped all flight activity for Tuesday in a “safety stand down.” The email informed people of the death of the student, and asked that people not speculate about what caused the crash.

According to a release from the North Dakota Highway Department, the crash occurred Monday evening in a field southeast of Buxton. The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is being investigated by the NDHP and Federal Aviation Administration, with the assistance of the Traill County Sheriff’s Office. The pilot’s name will be released pending notification of family. Full story here.

Walz, Flanagan announce reelection bid in Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan give an update last spring on budget talks. This week they will begin touring sites across Minnesota seeking funding. Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan give an update last spring on budget talks. This week they will begin touring sites across Minnesota seeking funding. Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan on Tuesday, Oct. 19, announced they would run for reelection in 2022, touting their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's the first time the pair has stated publicly that they plan to make a bid for their positions, though their campaign team has continued fundraising for months. And in the first two and a half years of their tenure, the administration has faced civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd and a global pandemic.

"During the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, I’ve seen Minnesotans from all walks of life come together in order to fight the virus, save lives and get our state on the path to recovery," Walz, a Democrat, said in a statement. "We’re not done yet, but Peggy and I are excited to continue that fight with you." Full story here.

At 392 deaths, Minnesota on track for 14-year high rate of traffic fatalities

A member of the Rochester Police Department marks the scene of a fatal crash at 48th Street Southwest and Commercial Drive Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (John Molseed / Post Bulletin)
A member of the Rochester Police Department marks the scene of a fatal crash at 48th Street Southwest and Commercial Drive Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (John Molseed / Post Bulletin)

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Public Safety officials on Monday, Oct. 18, urged drivers to limit their speeds and to take extra precautions as traffic deaths were on pace to hit a 14-year high.

Department heads reported that 392 people have died on Minnesota roads since the beginning of the year compared to 313 at this time in 2020. At current rates, the state could see 475 traffic deaths this year, public safety officials said. That would be the most since 2007.

Speed-related accidents are fueling the increase in fatalities, they said. So far this year 124 people have died in crashes where excessive speed was reported, up 27% from a year prior and up 107% from 2019.

"In the last 15 months we have rolled back 15 years worth of traffic safety work," Paul Aasen, president of the Minnesota Safety Council, said. "Within a year and a half, we've lost a decade and a half of time." Full story here.

Fargo, West Fargo natural gas pipeline expansion nears completion

WEST FARGO — One of North Dakota's largest natural gas pipeline projects has almost wrapped up.

The estimated $25 million West Fargo/Fargo Natural Gas Project, which Xcel Energy started working on in May, had the last of its 4.5-mile, 12-inch pipeline installed last week.

All that's remaining is some restoration work on boulevards and a few sidewalks as well as connecting into existing lines in the northern part of West Fargo near Main Avenue and in the southwest part of Fargo near 45th Street and 33rd Avenue.

Tony Grindberg, principal manager for Xcel Energy in North Dakota, said the project went "very, very well."

"It was smooth," he said. Full story here.



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