5 things to know today: Acquiring trademark, State Hospital, Navigator pipeline, Ballot error, Ripa's house

A select rundown of stories found on InForum.

White University of North Dakota "NODAK" jerseys
White "NODAK" jerseys used by the University of North Dakota's men's hockey team.
UND provided photo
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1. UND acquiring trademark for use of word 'NODAK' for hockey jerseys, apparel

UND announced late Thursday evening that the federal trademark registration for the word “NODAK” is being transferred to the university after a day of speculation regarding its use on its hockey jerseys and related apparel.

In a statement to the press shortly before 8 p.m., UND spokesman David Dodds said the university has been “working diligently to ensure that NODAK LLC’s federal trademark registration did not conflict with, or call into question, the university’s existing rights in the NODAK mark.” Dodds said the rights have been acquired by UND through the mark’s use over many years, adding the “mark has very much retained its association with the University in the minds of consumers.”

The agreement involved no financial transaction between UND and the LLC and “is believed to be in the best interests of all concerned,” the release said.

UND is now in the process of recording the transfer with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is now the legal owner of the registration, the release noted. UND said it will continue its licensing activities regarding the NODAK mark, which are unaffected.


“The University has never been asked or required to pay royalties for use of this mark by any party,” the school said.

Earlier Thursday, Forum Communications columnist Rob Port reported that NODAK LLC had previously registered for a trademark for the word “NODAK.” The trademark was originally registered by Brianna Berry — daughter of UND hockey coach Brad Berry, who was also listed as the registered agent of NODAK LLC.

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2. North Dakota lawmakers want experts to guide plan for new State Hospital

North Dakota State Hospital aerial view.jpg
This aerial photo from July 2018 shows a partial view of the current North Dakota State Hospital and James River Correctional Center. State officials will decide in 2023 whether to build a new hospital and whether it should include regional satellites. John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Legislators studying how to fill gaps in North Dakota’s mental health system want to consult with specialist architects to help plan a new State Hospital incorporating state-of-the-art technology and design.

There is a broad consensus among officials that North Dakota’s aging State Hospital is in need of replacement by a more modern and efficient building. A consultant has recommended a new hospital with 75 to 85 adult beds, which would be smaller than the current capacity of 100 acute psychiatric beds.


Rep. Jon Nelson, R-Rugby, chairman of the Acute Psychiatric Treatment Committee, said he’d like guidance from specialists with expertise in designing psychiatric hospitals. The use of specialists was successful in building a new medical school at the University of North Dakota, he said.

“I’d like to use that example,” he said. “It was a good example of efficiency,” delivering a state-of-the-art medical school on budget.

One clear sign that the current State Hospital’s days could be numbered: a recommended $2 million appropriation to demolish several unused buildings on the campus in Jamestown, including an old dairy barn and water treatment plant.

In 2020, Rosalie Etherington, superintendent of the State Hospital, estimated a replacement would cost $150 million to $160 million, but Nelson said he doesn’t have a cost estimate. Ideally, he said, construction could start during the 2023-25 budget biennium.


Read more from Forum News Service's Patrick Springer

3. Public not sold on Navigator pipeline despite attempts to build landowner trust


At each of a trio of public input meetings last week regarding the proposed carbon sequestration pipeline by Navigator CO2, one attendee asked the crowd to raise their hand if they were in favor of moving ahead with the project.

And, between the three meetings held in Canton, Flandreau and Sioux Falls on Nov. 21 and 22, only a handful were in favor out of the more than 400 total attendees.

Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, the vice president of government and public affairs with Navigator CO2, who led presentations and answered questions at all three meetings, said it was an important part of building a partnership with the owners of land in the proposed pipeline route.

“There is a lot of value in the big informational meetings that we did with the PUC,” Burns-Thompson said. “I think the greatest value comes in being able to sit down one on one with landowners and have them see that we are there to listen.”

Filing paperwork with the Public Utilities Commission on Sept. 27, Navigator is the second player in what could become a gold rush for sequestering excess carbon from ethanol plants around the Midwest in exchange for billions in federal tax credits.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jason Harward

4. Cass County resolves November ballot error in soil supervisor race

A white A-frame sign depicts an American flag and reads "Vote here."
Voters enter and leave Northview Church early Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in south Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Two men in a somewhat obscure race in Cass County will serve in positions for terms they didn't intend due to an error made on November election ballots.

For Cass County Soil Conservation District Supervisor, Terry Hoffman and Warren Solberg were mistakenly pitted against each other on the ballot, with voters instructed to “vote for no more than one name.”

In actuality, their intent was to run for two different, uncontested positions on the district board.

"I guess I'm going to go with it. I don't have much choice in the matter," said Solberg, who will serve a longer term than intended.

The day before the Nov. 8 election, when the error was made public in a Forum article, Cass County Finance Director Brandy Madrigga said the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office would decide the matter.

Recently, Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Katherine Naumann sent a letter to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office outlining a resolution.

Solberg was running to fill the remaining two years of an unexpired term left vacant when supervisor Curt Knutson retired from the board effective February 2021.

Hoffmann was running for another six-year term after his current term expired. His position was the one actually represented on the November ballot, Madrigga said.

However, since Solberg received more votes — 53% to Hoffman’s 47% — he will take the six-year term.

Read more from The Forum's Robin Huebner

5. Pair of former Bismarck Demons wrestlers spend Thanksgiving with teammates at Kelly Ripa's house

Former Bismarck High School wrestlers Christian and Wilfried Tanefeu joined Kelly Ripa and her family for Thanksgiving dinner.
Contributed / Live with Kelly and Ryan

Former Bismarck High School wrestlers Christian and Wilfried Tanefeu had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with some of their University of Michigan teammates at Kelly Ripa's house.

The Tanefeus are both redshirt freshmen in their second season for the Wolverines. Also on the team is Joaquin Consuelos, Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos's son.

The Tanefeus, Consuelos and Corvallis, Ore. native Chance Lamer were roommates during their first season in Ann Arbor and have maintained a friendship since, Bismarck co-head coach Jeff Schumacher told The Forum.

It's that friendship that brought the Tanefeus to the Ripa household for Thanksgiving. Ripa shared the story of her family's Thanksgiving Monday morning, Nov. 28 on her show "Live with Kelly and Ryan".

Ripa reported that the four roommates all visited on Thanksgiving, prompting her to quadruple her catered dinner order. "I know when I'm outmatched," Ripa joked on the show.

Unfortunately, however, Ripa shared that her guests had matches coming up and needed to watch their weights. "None of us ate a protein," she said of herself and her other, non-wrestler guests. "You eat the carbs, they're getting the protein."

Ripa said she took the easy route for feeding everyone. The family and wrestlers shared a sushi dinner, which she shared pictures of on the show. "I literally made the weekend so easy for myself," she recalled. "I was like, 'Where do you guys want to order in from tonight?'"

Read more from The Forum's Thomas Evanella

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
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