1. $6 million upgrade

The downtown Radisson Hotel is looking to transform itself into a Radisson Blu, an upscale version of the Radisson brand, examples of which can be found in European cities like Copenhagen, Paris and London.

As part of that effort, the hotel is seeking tax breaks from Fargo's Renaissance Zone Authority and hotel officials will go before the authority board on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

"This project will enhance the image of downtown Fargo by creating the first upper-upscale hotel in the FM," according to the hotel's application for Renaissance Zone tax exemptions.

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2. Student living

Spencer Gilman, left, and Clayton Merritt, both students at North Dakota State University, walk to campus Tuesday, Aug. 27, past the corner of 16th Street North and 12th Avenue North. There are still several vacant apartments in the neighborhood adjoining campus. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Spencer Gilman, left, and Clayton Merritt, both students at North Dakota State University, walk to campus Tuesday, Aug. 27, past the corner of 16th Street North and 12th Avenue North. There are still several vacant apartments in the neighborhood adjoining campus. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

There was a time North Dakota State University dorms were so full that hundreds of students had to live in hotels.

NDSU has made significant investments in student housing since the late 2000s, and enrollment has dropped by about 1,000 students from 2014 to 2018.

This year, on-campus housing likely will be about 90% full, said Rian Nostrum, university director of residence life. A 10% vacancy rate may seem high, but he says it gives NDSU an option to be more flexible with space for students who don't want roommates, he said.

"The fuller the better, maybe not to the extreme of 2008," he said, referring to the year 400 students had to live in hotels.

Last year, about 9,900 students, or about 72% of the fall enrollment total of 13,796, lived off campus.

More from The Forum's April Baumgarten

3. Teacher contract impasse

The Fargo School Board and the local teachers union have failed to reach a contract agreement heading into the 2018-2019 school year. In this 2017 photo, Fargo teachers look over an outline of a contract. Forum file photo
The Fargo School Board and the local teachers union have failed to reach a contract agreement heading into the 2018-2019 school year. In this 2017 photo, Fargo teachers look over an outline of a contract. Forum file photo

The Fargo School Board voted unanimously to declare an official impasse on Tuesday evening.

During the school board meeting, Fargo Education Association (FEA) President David Marquardt told the board the union was prepared to continue negotiations on Thursday, Sept. 5, and that the union had several proposals on the table.

The union stated they did not think there was an impasse and that an agreement could still be hammered out. Teachers will continue to work under the previous contract until a new contract can be agreed upon.

The board must submit a written notice of impasse to the union before an official impasse can be declared and the FEA must agree upon the impasse before moving forward.

More from The Forum's Emma Beyer

4. Artist behind 'Fighting Sioux' logo unveils hawk design

The designer of the retired University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" logo has unveiled his own new unofficial logo based on the university's new "Fighting Hawks" nickname. Ken Chase / WDAY
The designer of the retired University of North Dakota "Fighting Sioux" logo has unveiled his own new unofficial logo based on the university's new "Fighting Hawks" nickname. Ken Chase / WDAY

Bennett Brien, the man who created the "Fighting Sioux" logo for the University of North Dakota, is back with a new symbol for the school.

With hats and hoodies, he's launched a new business. But he says his hawk design isn't meant to be a snub against any of the other symbols.

"Well, people have their choices, whatever they want to pick. If they like this one, great," Brien said. "This is just something, a venture I've never tried. And what the heck, you know, it's time to do different things."

Watch the story from WDAY's Ken Chase

5. 35,000 fans expected

Grounds crew members paint football lines and numbers on the grass at Target Field in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in preparation for the St. Thomas vs. Saint John's football game. North Dakota State is set to play Aug. 31 at Target Field against Butler. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press
Grounds crew members paint football lines and numbers on the grass at Target Field in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in preparation for the St. Thomas vs. Saint John's football game. North Dakota State is set to play Aug. 31 at Target Field against Butler. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press

Attendance for North Dakota State’s football game at Target Field is expected to exceed 35,000, said Paul Froehle, the Minnesota Twins vice president of ticket operations.

The defending NCAA Division I FCS champion Bison play Butler University (Ind.) at 3 p.m. Saturday to open the regular season. As of late Tuesday morning, close to 33,000 tickets had been sold for the event. Target Field's capacity for football is 35,000, Froehle said.

He added, after the initial rush, ticket sales have started to increase again as the game has gotten closer.

“The last two to three weeks we have sold numerous tickets for the event,” Froehle said. “We’re selling quite a few each day. The interest has really picked up.”

More from The Forum's Eric Peterson