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5 things to know today: Racist fliers, Campground expansion, New commissioner, Pipe deadline, Veteran honored

A select rundown of stories found on InForum.

Racial Litter
West Fargo Police are asking for help in identifying who distributed these racially divisive packets across southern West Fargo.
Forum file photo
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1. West Fargo police seek help finding people behind racially divisive fliers

The West Fargo Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify the individual or people responsible for distributing racially divisive fliers throughout West Fargo neighborhoods.

On Wednesday morning, Sept. 21, police received reports of racially divisive materials littered throughout streets and private properties from 40th Avenue West to 52nd Avenue West, west of Sheyenne Street. Hundreds of small bags were strewn throughout the neighborhoods containing a postcard with photos and text relating to a recent local court case, as well as dried kernels of corn.

The front of the postcard has photos of 14-year-old Jupiter Paulsen, who was attacked June 4, 2021, in the Party City parking lot in south Fargo. One photo shows Jupiter smiling, and the other shows her hooked up to machines in a hospital in the days between the attack and her death.

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A third photo on the front of the post card shows Arthur Prince Kollie , 24, who was found guilty of murder, robbery and aggravated assault for attacking Jupiter.

Around the photos is the text, "The great replacement and its consequences." The great replacement theory, often cited by white supremacists, claims "there is an active, ongoing and covert effort to replace white populations in current white-majority countries," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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2. Fairgrounds campground expansion takes small step forward

Red River Valley Fair Campground

Neighbors are concerned that an expansion to the Red River Valley Fairgrounds will bring "drug trafficking" and "human trafficking," to the area.

A campground is currently operated by the Red River Fair on its grounds, but the fair association would like to add an additional 130 sites for campers in what is currently a vacant lot.

Earlier this year, Fair Association Chief Executive Officer Cody Cashman asked the Cass County commissioners in June for help financing a $3.5 million project that would add to the current 71 sites, citing the fair turns away 25 to 40 campers per week.

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Cashman said the campground is "very profitable" and that it brings in about $270,000 in revenue each year with expenses of about $40,000 and the profit helps with fairground operations. He estimated that the expansion of camping spots could add $450,000 to $600,000 in revenue per season which runs from about May 1 to Nov. 1.

Monday, Sept. 19, the West Fargo City Commission considered an ordinance change that would open the door for the Red River Valley Fairgrounds to expand its campground. The campgrounds were grandfathered into the city under current ordinances that would prevent an RV Park and campground in that area.

The Red River Valley Fair Association has held two public meetings regarding the expansion. Two residents who live near the Fairgrounds spoke against the expansion Monday.

Read more from The Forum's Wendy Reuer

3. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum names interim labor commissioner

North Dakota State Capitol Building
North Dakota State Capitol.
Forum News Service file photo

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced on Wednesday, Sept. 21, that Kathy Kulesa will serve as interim labor commissioner starting Oct. 1.

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Kulesa, the longtime human rights director for the state Department of Labor and Human Rights, takes over for Erica Thunder, who will resign on Sept. 30 to accept a new position as director of diversity and cultural competency at the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Prior to Kulesa's arrival at the labor department in 2002, she worked with Legal Services of North Dakota for 16 years, according to a news release.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

4. Deadline extended for North Dakota natural gas pipeline to service Fufeng plant

pipelines16203793.jpg
Jeremy Young and Andrew Young reflect on their recent trip to Florida to adopt a baby that ended with the couple returning to Fargo empty-handed.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission for the third time has extended its deadline for companies to submit bids for grants to assist with construction of a high-pressure transmission pipeline.

The state of North Dakota extended the deadline to Dec. 15, 2022, after it received no bids by the Aug. 15 deadline for the pipeline that would carry natural gas from east to west to existing and proposed agricultural manufacturing plants in Grand Forks. The previous deadline was May 15, 2022.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission voted at its Aug. 26 meeting to extend the deadline to Dec. 15, said Justin Kringstad, North Dakota Pipeline Authority director.

The pipeline project would be funded, in part, by $150 million which North Dakota legislators made available to the industrial commission during a special session in November 2021.

The amount includes $10 million that was designated to transport natural gas to Grand Forks County, where Fufeng Group Ltd. has proposed to build a wet corn milling plant and Northern Plains Nitrogen, a fertilizer plant, are potential customers.

Read more from Forum News Service's Ann Bailey

5. VA steps in to help send off Vietnam veteran with no next of kin present

The Fargo Memorial Honor Guard during 21-gun salute for the funeral of David C. Isom at Fargo National Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.jpg
The Fargo Memorial Honor Guard during 21-gun salute for the funeral of David C. Isom at Fargo National Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service

The funeral service for U.S. Marine Corps rifleman David C. Isom on Wednesday, Sept. 21 was solemn and short.

With no next of kin present, the Fargo Memorial Honor Guard and others made sure the Vietnam War veteran was laid to rest with full honors.

Gary Himmerich, a chaplain, read from Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the darkest evil, I will not fear…” Himmerich read aloud.

“Now he is free from all his cares. Give him peace forever and ever,” Himmerich said.

A chilled autumn wind blew across the Fargo National Cemetery as a trumpeter played Taps. Few people knew anything about Isom, other than he lived in Fargo and recently passed away at the Fargo VA Medical Center.

Read more from The Forum's C.S Hagen

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.
A southwest North Dakota woman has been arrested for her alleged involvement in stealing pain medication from a nursing home in Hettinger, N.D. Adams County Sheriff Jordan Fisher announced that his department launched an investigation into the matter, and has requested the assistance of the North Dakota BCI, federal DEA and ND Board of Health.