1. More signatures now required to get measures on North Dakota ballot

With the arrival of new population figures, petitioners will face a higher signature requirement to get initiated measures on the ballot.

Census takers counted 779,094 people in North Dakota during last year's national head count, up from 672,591 in 2010. The nearly 16% increase will now be reflected in the signature threshold for getting a measure on the ballot over the next decade, Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced on Monday, May, 3.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

2. In ways large and small, actions by the 2021 Legislature touched North Dakotans

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North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck. Special to The Forum
North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck. Special to The Forum

The 2021 North Dakota Legislature acted on hundreds of bills, including major appropriations and controversial social issues, but also many proposals that didn’t get much attention.

So, what did the 67th Legislative Assembly do to you?

Read more

3. Fargo police plan to begin wearing body cameras in August

Deputies with the Cass County Sheriff's Office will soon begin using body cameras like the one seen in this image. Forum file photo.
Deputies with the Cass County Sheriff's Office will soon begin using body cameras like the one seen in this image. Forum file photo.

Fargo police officers could begin wearing body cameras as early as Aug. 2 after city commissioners unanimously approved purchasing the equipment on Monday, May 3.

Police Chief David Zibolski said a 14-member police department committee led by Deputy Chief Joe Anderson researched and looked at products from four vendors before deciding to work with Axon Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz., for the cameras and related technology.

The purchase will also include new tasers for officers, Zibolski said.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

4. Air National Guard in Fargo to get 16 new Reaper aircraft capable of hunting, killing terrorists

An MQ-9 Reaper aircraft is displayed at the 119th Wing hangar in Fargo on Aug. 1, 2017. David Samson / The Forum
An MQ-9 Reaper aircraft is displayed at the 119th Wing hangar in Fargo on Aug. 1, 2017. David Samson / The Forum

After 14 years of carrying out nonstop missions around the world, the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard based out of Hector International Airport is expected to get 16 new unmanned aircraft called Reapers and a new operations center.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., recently helped secure $108 million in federal funds to buy the 16 MQ-9 Reapers, which are known as Block 5 models. The 119th Wing, also known as the Happy Hooligans, currently flies a slightly older version, the Block 9 model.

Read more from The Forum's C.S. Hagen

5. Columnist discovers she digs driving excavator on Demo Day

Forum reporter Tammy Swift operates a Bobcat skid steer at Demo Day, Thursday, April 29, 2021. The first-time event was staged by the recently formed North Dakota Construction Leadership Council. The goal of this demonstration was to maneuver the skid steer's bucket so it could scoop up a basketball perched atop a construction pylon, then swing it around and plunk the ball in a 5-gallon pail. Chris Flynn / The Forum
Forum reporter Tammy Swift operates a Bobcat skid steer at Demo Day, Thursday, April 29, 2021. The first-time event was staged by the recently formed North Dakota Construction Leadership Council. The goal of this demonstration was to maneuver the skid steer's bucket so it could scoop up a basketball perched atop a construction pylon, then swing it around and plunk the ball in a 5-gallon pail. Chris Flynn / The Forum

Move over, Mike Mulligan! Forum columnist Tammy Swift tried her hand at operating a skid steer, a remote-control skid steer and an excavator during a recent North Dakota Construction Leadership Council Demo Day to learn about construction careers. And you know what? She didn't hate it.

Read more from Forum columnist Tammy Swift