1. North Dakota House votes to penalize universities with ties to abortion providers

The North Dakota House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 7, approved a bill that would punish state universities that partner with groups that promote or perform abortions.

Under Senate Bill 2030, almost $3 million in state funding could be withheld from state universities that form such partnerships and faculty or staff involved could face a Class B misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.

The legislative move comes after North Dakota State University has used a Planned Parenthood curriculum to teach sex education to youth around the state for nearly 10 years, much to the disdain of some lawmakers.

Read more from The Forum's Michelle Griffith

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2. North Dakota Senate approves ban on state-issued mask mandates

Demonstrators gathered outside the North Dakota Capitol in support of a proposal to ban mask mandates on Monday, April 5, 2021. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
Demonstrators gathered outside the North Dakota Capitol in support of a proposal to ban mask mandates on Monday, April 5, 2021. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

The North Dakota Senate has endorsed a bill that would bar state officials from issuing mask mandates in the future.

The upper chamber voted 30-17 on Wednesday, April 7, to send House Bill 1323 back to the House of Representatives, which narrowly passed a more far-reaching version of the legislation in February. If the House concurs with the Senate's amendments, the bill will go to Gov. Doug Burgum's desk. A spokesman for Burgum declined to comment on the proposal.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

3. Sen. Tina Smith asks State Department to help resolve Northwest Angle border issue

Signs greet visitors to the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods County Road 49 at the Minnesota-Manitoba border. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald)
Signs greet visitors to the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods County Road 49 at the Minnesota-Manitoba border. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald)

Efforts to resolve the difficulties facing Northwest Angle residents who have to travel through Canada to get to and from their homes continued Wednesday, April 7, with a letter U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking the U.S. State Department to address new Canadian restrictions.

Because of border restrictions imposed by Canada in mid-February, anyone crossing into the country by road has been required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test. The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to nonessential travel since March 21, 2020, but Angle residents have been able to pass through Canada for essential services such as grocery shopping and health care in border communities such as Roseau and Warroad, Minn.

Read more from Forum News Service's Brad Dokken

4. Fargo-Moorhead flood buyouts total more than 500 since 2009, keep house-movers busy

Schmidt and Sons Building Movers from Kindred move a home along 5th St. S. in Fargo on Thursday, April 1, 2021.
David Samson / The Forum
Schmidt and Sons Building Movers from Kindred move a home along 5th St. S. in Fargo on Thursday, April 1, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

The word "flood" hasn't been bandied about much this spring, but 12 years ago the story was different.

When the flood that struck the Fargo-Moorhead area a dozen years ago hit its crest on March 28, 2009, the Red River reached 40.84 feet, setting a record that stands to this day.

In the flood's wake, the cities of Fargo and Moorhead embarked on flood mitigation steps that continue into 2021, including home buyout programs.

Read more from The Forum's Dave Olson

5. Fargo radio legend Tom Wynn passes away at 83

KFGO radio personality Tom Wynn    Submitted photo from KFGO
KFGO radio personality Tom Wynn Submitted photo from KFGO

Legendary morning KFGO radio broadcaster Tom Wynn has died at age 83, about three years after retiring from a 60-year career.

Wynn, who retired in July 2017, passed away in the Twin Cities where he moved last June to be closer to family.

Wynn hosted “Tom Wynn & Friends” from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. with Bonnie Amistadi and Doug Leier until his retirement. Prior to that, Wynn partnered with the late Larry Ristvedt for “Tom & Larry in the Morning”

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson