5 things to know today: Governor vaccinated, Next wave, Grant bill, Tower bids, New housing
A rundown of some of the best stories found on Inforum.
1. Gov. Burgum, other officials who guided North Dakota's pandemic response get vaccine
As a young boy, Doug Burgum said he couldn't understand why his mother was so excited for the family to get the newly developed polio vaccine.
After maneuvering the deadly and disruptive COVID-19 pandemic as North Dakota's governor, the power of vaccinations couldn't be clearer to Burgum. The state's top "essential worker" received his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Bismarck on Tuesday, March 9, joining more than 157,000 residents in getting the jab.
Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley
2. Minnesota to expand into next wave of COVID-19 vaccinations, shots for all could start in April
Another 1.8 million Minnesotans are set to become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, the state announced Tuesday, March 9, with front-line workers and those with preexisting conditions set to be next in line for a shot.
Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday morning said the state had reached a goal of vaccinating 70% of adults 65 and older and that milestone kickstarted the next two rounds of vaccinations. With more doses expected to come into the state in coming weeks, the governor said Minnesota would expand eligibility to additional age groups and people working in certain professions, as well as to those with more significant health risks.
Read more from Forum News Service's Dana Ferguson
3. North Dakota student leaders, others concerned with amendments to Challenge Grant bill
North Dakota Challenge Fund grants have been a popular piece of legislation since the program was first started more than five years ago, but the attachment of two floor amendments – especially one that would keep funds from institutions that partner with organizations that perform abortions – is causing frustration among some students and higher-ed leaders.
The Challenge Fund program was started during the 2013-15 biennium, leveraging private dollars by promising a partial state match. The state provides $1 of state money for every $2 of private donations within a per-campus limit, with the money going to student scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and educational infrastructure.
Read more from Forum News Service's Sydney Mook
4. Challengers win in Horace recall election
Two incumbents were ousted in a Horace recall election on Tuesday, March 9, and two newcomers will take over their positions on the City Council at the next meeting on March 15.
Elected to the council were Naomi Burkland, 35, the mother of four and a resident of the growing town of about 2,740 residents for about eight years, and Jeffrey Trudeau, 45, who has owned property in the city for about 20 years.
The two will replace current council members David Fenelon and Bryan Schmidt. Also running was Zachariah Lee.
Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson
5. Despite neighbors' outcry, Fargo city commission OKs new housing in greenspace near Davies High School
Despite impassioned pleas from neighbors, the Fargo City Commission voted unanimously to approve a 40-lot single-family housing development just south of Davies High School in what is currently greenspace.
The neighbors, including Matt Kosack, who was the only resident to testify at the hearing, said they had been told when buying homes that it was park district land and that they wanted to see a park or similar project instead of more housing.
"My trust in the city has been damaged," Kosack said.