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5 things to know today: Guard deployed, Student petition, Governor endorsements, Political Pastor, Sports complex

A rundown of some of the best stories found on Inforum.

Standing in front of the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul on Jan. 12, 2021, Gov. Tim Walz says he will deploy the state's National Guard to maintain peace through planned protests in the next week. Sarah Mearhoff / Forum News Service

1. Walz to deploy Minnesota National Guard to protect state Capitol against threatened violence

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Jan. 12, said he'll deploy the Minnesota National Guard to protect the state Capitol and other landmarks against possible far-right violence reported to be planned for this weekend.

The governor during a news conference in front of the Minnesota History Center said he would issue an executive order Wednesday calling on the National Guard to protect the Minnesota Capitol following concerns shared with him by state lawmakers.

On Monday, Yahoo! News reported that federal officials were investigating threats of far-right extremist violence planned for Sunday, Jan. 17, in Minnesota. Similar armed demonstrations have been planned around the nation ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Read more from Forum News Service's Sarah Mearhoff and Dana Ferguson

2. Fargo students 'stand up,' ask administrators to reconsider return to full-time in-person classes


Lori Cline speaking on behalf of local parents, teachers and students, during Tuesday, Jan. 12 Fargo Public Schools board meeting.jpg
Lori Cline, of CARE, Community Alliance for Responsible Education, speaking on behalf of local parents, teachers and students, during Tuesday, Jan. 12 Fargo Public Schools board meeting. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

Amid the hubbub of committee meetings, COVID-19 data, social distancing and masks, few people have stopped to ask what students want to do.

According to a recent student-led survey conducted at Fargo North High School, 66.8% of 345 students surveyed there believe it’s too early to return to full-time in-person instruction. Fargo North has 956 students, according to the district’s website.

“The day is finally coming upon us: Fargo Public Schools has gone back to full in-person learning for the first time since March 13, 2020,” wrote Samantha Jackson, a senior at Fargo North and a writer with The Scroll, the school’s newspaper.

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

3. GOP lawmakers seek to bar North Dakota governor from making political donations, endorsements

North Dakota Rep. Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton

A group of ultra-conservative North Dakota lawmakers is backing a bill that would block the state's governor from endorsing or making political donations to legislative candidates.


The lead sponsor of House Bill 1256 , Rep. Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton, said he's bringing the proposal because he believes there needs to be a stronger separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

While the bill doesn't explicitly name Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, it comes after an election cycle in which the former tech executive spent nearly $2.7 million on political contributions to dozens of candidates. The bulk of Burgum's donations went to the Dakota Leadership PAC , a well-funded committee that paid for mailings and multimedia advertising in several high-profile races, including an all-out effort to unseat powerful House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

4. Alexandria pastor urges martial law in video seen by more than 50,000

Pastor Darryl Knappen (Echo Press file photo)

A Douglas County, Minn., pastor called for a citizens' militia to form to support local law enforcement and said he expects President Donald Trump to order martial law

The Rev. Darryl Knappen of Cornerstone Church in Alexandria, Minn., made the comments in a Saturday, Jan. 9, video titled “Is Martial law coming soon? Listen up.” He posted the video to Facebook just days after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that occurred just after a Trump rally in Washington, D.C. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick was overpowered and beaten by rioters, and died Jan. 7, according to The New York Times.

Knappen's video has more than 56,000 views, according to Facebook.


Read more From Forum News Service's Karen Tolkkinen

5. Park board gives unanimous approval to Fargo Sports Complex plans

Fargo sports complex, soccer
A conceptual draft for the soccer portion of a proposed Fargo sports complex — a partnership between the Fargo Park District and Sanford Health. The final design won't be decided until a capital campaign is complete. Special to The Forum

Fargo's Park Board voted unanimously to go ahead with plans for a new $77 million indoor recreation and community facility in south Fargo on Tuesday night, Jan. 12.

Called the Fargo Sports Complex, it will feature a soccer field, four to six basketball and volleyball courts, an NHL-sized hockey rink, a walking track and community rooms.

Sanford Power also plans to relocate its facility from near the Scheels Arena to the new complex. With the downtown Fargo Park District offices "busting at the seams" with staff, it will be the future home of their offices, too, according to Fargo Park District Executive Director Dave Leker.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

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