1. The region's favorite neighbor, Bob Lind dies at 88

For more than 25 years, Bob Lind’s much-loved Neighbors column could be counted on as a bright spot in The Forum as he helped share good news and fond memories of those in the area.

Lind’s neighborhood of family, friends and tens of thousands of readers may seem a little darker following the death of the 88-year-old writer Monday night.

Read more from The Forum's John Lamb

2. 'This may be in the history books': Crews break ground on pipeline to supply water to Red River Valley during droughts

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Gary Rosenau, who farms near Carrington, N.D., signs his name to a segment of the Red River Water Supply Project pipeline during a groundbreaking celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. Next to Rosenau's signature, an attendee has written "After 70 years of thirst, finally a drink of water," reflecting the pipeline's long and meandering path from idea to reality. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
Gary Rosenau, who farms near Carrington, N.D., signs his name to a segment of the Red River Water Supply Project pipeline during a groundbreaking celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. Next to Rosenau's signature, an attendee has written "After 70 years of thirst, finally a drink of water," reflecting the pipeline's long and meandering path from idea to reality. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

The Red River Valley is 50 feet of pipe closer to relief from water shortages during times of drought.

Crews laid the first segment of a planned 165-mile underground pipeline on Tuesday, Aug. 3, marking an early step forward for an ambitious endeavor to provide eastern North Dakotans with a backup water supply should the Red River run dry or fail to meet demand.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

3. West Fargo passes preliminary budget with an increase of 4.5 mills

iStock / Special to The Forum
iStock / Special to The Forum

The city is considering a 2022 budget that will increase its mill levy by 4.5 mills, or about $20.25 for every $100,000 in home value or $51.43 for a home with the 2020 median sale price of about $254,000.

The mill increase would include a 3.4-mill increase to the city for the general fund and a 1.1-mill increase for the library budget. A funds transfer from the general fund would be used to cover a revenue deficit caused by reduced mill levies in previous years and the expansion of the fire department. But there will not be a transfer of funds from water, sewer and sanitation funds to offset any general costs.

Read more from The Forum's Wendy Reuer

4. Minnesota inmates can apply for conviction review under new statewide program

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 announces that the statewide Conviction Review Unit is accepting applications from Minnesota inmates who say they are innocent and want to be exonerated. Sarah Mearhoff / Forum News Service
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 announces that the statewide Conviction Review Unit is accepting applications from Minnesota inmates who say they are innocent and want to be exonerated. Sarah Mearhoff / Forum News Service

Minnesota is one of just seven states in the country dedicating statewide resources to investigating claims of wrongful felony convictions, in hopes of restoring trust in the criminal justice system and freeing inmates who shouldn’t be behind bars.

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the Office of Attorney General announced that it is now accepting applications from convicted people who say they’re innocent. The recently formed Conviction Review Unit, which is under the AG Office’s purview, will look into claims of wrongful convictions, potentially releasing and exonerating those found to be innocent.

Read more from Forum News Service's Sarah Mearhoff

5. UND to become first university to sign partnership agreement with US Space Force

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Commander of the United States Space Command and Chief of Space Operations for the recently authorized sixth branch of the military, the United States Space Force, meets with space studies professor Dr. Pablo De Leon during a tour of UND's aerospace facilities as Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., listens Friday, Jan. 10, at UND.  Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Commander of the United States Space Command and Chief of Space Operations for the recently authorized sixth branch of the military, the United States Space Force, meets with space studies professor Dr. Pablo De Leon during a tour of UND's aerospace facilities as Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., listens Friday, Jan. 10, at UND. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

The University of North Dakota is set to become the first university to partner with the U.S. Space Force, through the agency’s University Partnership Program.

UND administrators and Space Force officials will sign a memorandum of understanding on Monday, Aug. 9, that will mark the beginning of an official relationship, according to a news release. The partnership is meant to harness educational and research capabilities of top universities, and address workforce development skills for those working in, or wishing to work in, the space sector.

Read more from Forum News Service's Adam Kurtz