1. Indigenous Peoples' Day
The Grand Forks City Council voted last night to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day in the city.
After a lengthy and at times emotional hearing the week before, council members approved the swap within a broader slate of city business. Mayor Mike Brown announced the decision to the packed council chambers shortly after the unanimous round of “ayes,” and the room burst into a sustained round of applause.
The resolution also urges other Grand Forks-area institutions — including the University of North Dakota and Grand Forks Public Schools — to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day.
2. Alleged anti-gay attack
The Traill County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a man says he was attacked outside a Hillsboro bar for being gay.
William Lamb said he was attacked Saturday night, July 6, while out having drinks at A & R Bar in Hillsboro with husband Daniel Maldonado and a group of friends. According to the couple, a group of people hurled anti-gay slurs their way over the course of the night.
Around midnight, Lamb said he went outside to smoke a cigarette alone, where a person once again called him a slur. When he turned around toward the person, Lamb said his attacker knocked him out.
3. TIF for apartments by Newman
The 85-unit Roers Development apartment complex and seven townhomes south of the St. Paul's Newman Center project were approved for a property tax break at the Fargo City Commission meeting last night.
The commissioners voted 3-2 to end the controversy over tax increment financing for the University Drive project across from North Dakota State University that has dragged on privately for years and in public for months.
However, it wasn't approved without adding a "few carrots" to the tax increment financing district to make it more palatable to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, which has fought against the six-story apartment building. Neighbors were never opposed to the $21.5 million Newman Center chapel and student center complex that caters to NDSU students.
4. Refinery appeal
Environmental groups continued a legal challenge against an oil refinery that's slated to be built on the doorstep of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in southwest North Dakota yesterday.
The Environmental Law and Policy Center, along with the Dakota Resource Council, filed a notice of appeal Monday in the state Supreme Court challenging a lower court decision.
In May, a North Dakota judge sided with state utility regulators who said they lacked siting authority over the facility because its capacity falls just under the legal threshold that triggers Public Service Commission review. State law requires a siting permit for facilities capable of refining 50,000 barrels per day or more, but Meridian Energy Group's plans call for a 49,500-barrel-per-day refinery.
5. USA Wrestling Junior Nationals
As the only wrestler from North Dakota to wrestle for a national championship at the USA Wrestling Junior Nationals, Bismarck junior Wilfried Tanefeu defeated Oregon's Gabe Whisenhunt to win the 113-pound freestyle national title at the Fargodome yesterday.
Tanefeu scored 33 seconds into the opening period, then scored three more times in the next minute to take the title.
The victory wraps up an undefeated weekend for the junior, who won each of his final two matches.