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5 things to know today: Deputy criticism, Intentionally set, School board appointments, Superintendent candidates, Fargo Brewing

Fargo Police Deputy Chief Todd Osmundson holds up a sign with protesters in front of Fargo police headquarters, 105 25th St. N., on Saturday, May 30. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

1. Deputy chief faces criticism from fellow officers after riot

In an email to the Fargo Police Department, Deputy Police Chief Todd Osmundson apologized and explained his actions for what he said may have been some "stupid" moves during the protests and riot in Fargo Saturday, May 30.

In his lengthy response to complaints made by some other officers who were upset with him, he made it clear he had no regrets with what he was trying to accomplish and wanted to get his side of the story out to his "brothers and sisters."

The officers' complaints that were repeated in Osmundson's Monday email that Forum columnist Rob Port obtained through an open records request ranged from concerns about Osmundson holding a protest sign at the law enforcement center, to him holding a beer can during the downtown riot, to another complaint that he said the words "f--- the police."

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

2. Fargo apartment blaze that injured 5 was intentionally set, fire marshal says


Damage to this apartment building is assessed Friday, April 24, after a fire Thursday at 2814 7th St. N. in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

A fire in April at a Fargo apartment building that injured at least five people and forced some to leap from the third floor of the building to escape heavy smoke was intentionally set, according to Fire Marshal Ryan Erickson.

The fire, which broke out in a first-floor apartment, was reported about 7:25 p.m. on April 23 at the North Manor Apartments at 2814 Seventh St. N.

Fire crews rescued two people from a second-floor balcony, but a number of people on the third floor had to jump to the ground to escape heavy smoke that spread throughout the building.

At least two people were taken to the hospital and three people were treated at the scene, fire officials said.

Read more from The Forum's Dave Olson

3. ND officials appoint new Oberon school board members after 4 were suspended over criminal charges

Four members of the Oberon School Board in Benson County, N.D., were suspended Monday, June 1, after being accused of misusing school funds. Photo courtesy of Penny Friesen


North Dakota's State Board of Public Education reluctantly appointed two new school board members to a small district in the northeast part of the state on Tuesday, June 2, after four of the five members of the board were suspended by Gov. Doug Burgum and face criminal charges.

The appointments again give the Oberon school district a quorum of three board members to carry on the needed business of the district of 55 students. It was the seven-member state board's responsibility to make the appointments after the suspensions.

The reason the board hesitated was that one of the appointees had a criminal record, and the other has been convicted of driving while under the influence.

On top of that, Benson County Superintendent of Schools Lucia Jacobson, who oversees the district, told the board the two were also related and that their appointment would just continue the "Hatfield versus McCoys" struggle that has enveloped the district for years.

Read more

4. North Dakota's K-12 superintendent candidates bring different philosophies to ballot

Charles Tuttle (left), Kirsten Baesler and Brandt Dick are all vying for the position of state superintendent in North Dakota's June 9 primary election. File photos

The direction of public K-12 education in North Dakota is in the hands of voters as three candidates with contrasting perspectives vie for the job of state superintendent.


Two of the candidates for the nonpartisan position will advance to the November ballot from the June 9 primary that is being conducted completely by mail due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. By Tuesday afternoon, June 2, more than 188,000 ballots had been sent out by the North Dakota Secretary State's Office , and nearly 91,000 had already been returned.

Incumbent Kirsten Baesler is contending for a third term at the helm of the Department of Public Instruction. Ordinarily, the recipient of the North Dakota Republican Party's letter of support would have an advantage in the race, but the party opted to delay the letter this year, in part due to Baesler's Feb. 26 arrest on drunken driving charges . Baesler has received support from the party in her previous bids for the office.

Prior to Baesler's election to the position in 2012, the Flasher, N.D., native served as president of the Mandan School Board and in various teaching, supplementary and administrative roles within Bismarck Public Schools.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

5. Fargo Brewing temporarily shuts taproom, suspends off-sale and delivery due to COVID-19 concern

Fargo Brewing Co is at 610 N. University Drive.

Popular local brewery Fargo Brewing has temporarily shut down its taproom and is suspending all off-sale and delivery services due to worries about a potential exposure to COVID-19, one of the company’s owners confirmed Wednesday, June 3.

Co-owner Jared Hardy said Wednesday, June 3, that one employee might have had contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, so out of “an abundance of caution,” the decision was made to shut down the taproom and off-sale and delivery.


Most of Fargo Brewing's employees were tested for COVID-19 exposure on Tuesday, June 2, Hardy said.

“We’re just being extra cautious,” Hardy said.

Read more from The Forum's Helmut Schmidt

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