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5 things to know today: Shooting threat, Budget surplus, Passenger rail, Sports complex, Seeking financing

A select rundown of stories found on InForum.

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West Fargo Superintendent Beth Slette speaks at a press conference regarding a threat at Cheney Middle School on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, at the Leidal Education Center in West Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
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1. Two juveniles in custody for making online threats directed at Cheney Middle School, students to return to classrooms Wednesday

West Fargo Police have arrested two minors relating to a shooting threat that was directed towards West Fargo's Cheney Middle School, causing the school to move to online learning for the day.

Around 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7, West Fargo Police announced it had arrested one child from West Fargo and one from Fargo earlier in the afternoon "for threatening violent acts at Cheney Middle School on social media platforms."

"As part of the investigation, search warrants were executed at two separate locations. The investigation indicated that the individuals acted independently of each other and that there are no other suspects to identify," the police said in a statement.

Read more from The Forum's Wendy Reuer

2. Minnesota posts massive $7.7 billion budget surplus, kicking off debate over tax cuts, new programs

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, spoke with reporters at the Capitol complex about the state's projected $7.7 billion budget surplus. Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

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Minnesota budget officials on Tuesday, Dec. 7, announced a record-shattering $7.7 billion budget surplus, spurring mixed reactions about the excess funds the state took in from taxpayers and corporations.

The news also prompted immediate debate about how lawmakers should spend it in the upcoming legislative session.

Minnesota Management and Budget officials said that despite the impact of the pandemic in Minnesota, the state reported higher than expected growth in personal income, consumer spending and corporate profits so far this year. And economic predictions suggested that the rosy conditions could continue into next year.

Read more from Forum News Service's Dana Ferguson

3. Passenger rail expansion to be discussed in Fargo

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Amtrak's Empire Builder train makes a late stop in Fargo in 2010 on its way from Chicago to Seattle. The Empire Builder is reducing its frequency from daily to three times a week. Forum file photo
The Forum

Members of the Greater Northwest Passenger Rail Coalition will hold a public meeting at noon on Friday, Dec. 10, at Fargo City Hall to discuss possible passenger rail expansion in the region.

The group is calling on the federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration to create a formal group to look at restoring and providing new passenger rail service in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

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A key focus of the group is restoring the North Coast Hiawatha route that would go through Fargo-Moorhead, Bismarck-Mandan and southern Montana, joining other lines to connect Chicago to Seattle.

Read more

4. Fargo Sports Complex receives 125 bids

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Here's a view ofr the exterior of the Fargo Sports Complex planned for southwest Fargo just west of Interstate 29. It would be the largest project in the history of the Fargo Park District. Submitted rendering / JLG Architects

The Fargo Park District was opening bids on its estimated new $78.3 million indoor sports complex in southwest Fargo on Tuesday, Dec. 7, that could be awarded next month if they prove favorable.

The district, which originally announced more than 80 bids for the project early Tuesday, received numerous additional bids before their deadline, bringing the total to 125 for various parts of the project.

Besides the bid opening announcement, the district and its foundation recognized 11 major private partners and unveiled closer looks at the structure during a special event early Tuesday morning at the Fargodome.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

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5. Fargo group seeks to build 90-unit apartment complex at site of warehouse destroyed by fire

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An architect's rendering of the J Street Flats apartment complex planned for 1418 1st Ave. N., about two blocks west of the city's downtown. (Rendering supplied by the City of Fargo)

A group of local investors is seeking at least $1.25 million in tax increment financing to build an apartment complex on the site of a warehouse just west of downtown that was destroyed by fire a year ago.

The four-story J Street Flats is planned for 1418 1st Ave. N. It will include 90 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The building has an estimated construction cost of $14.75 million, according to city documents.

Plans include first-floor indoor parking for 92 vehicles, three levels of apartments and a rooftop terrace. There will also be surface parking for 21 vehicles, documents indicate.

Read more from The Forum's Helmut Schmidt

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