5 things to know today: Profiling allegation, Name change, DAPL ruling, PPP loans, Child care funding
1. Black teen says Fargo police illegally stopped, searched him in 'racial profiling'
A 19-year-old teenager said at a press conference on Tuesday, July 7, at Island Park that he believes he was a victim of racial profiling and was illegally searched and detained.
Larry Pope, who appeared with his parents and leaders of the OneFargo organization, said he was simply leaving his girlfriend's apartment and heading to work about 1:30 p.m. on June 23 when he was stopped by two officers in south Fargo.
The Black teen said one of the officers "yanked" his string bag off of his back and told him to "shut up and put my hands up."
They then searched his bag, which he said only contained four Gatorades, and grabbed his girlfriend's keys from him and said they were "confiscating them because they aren't yours."
2. Names of Woodrow Wilson High, Agassiz building could change because of racist views
As statues commemorating controversial historical figures topple across the nation, there's an effort afoot here to change the names of Woodrow Wilson High School and the Agassiz school building.
Robin Nelson, president of the Fargo School Board, says she plans to bring a proposal to the governance committee toward the end of July in support of changing both names.
“They could very well choose to forward the conversation to the board level. If the board does want to analyze either of the name changes, I think not only will it be a tremendous learning experience for myself as a board member, but for the community as well,” Nelson said.
Woodrow Wilson High School is an alternative school named after the 28th president. Woodrow Wilson students attend classes in the Agassiz building at 1305 9th Ave. S. The future of the Agassiz building is uncertain. It has significant plumbing issues, and officials are considering putting it up for sale.
3. North Dakota Industrial Commission looks for oil industry fixes after DAPL ruling
North Dakota's Industrial Commission was grappling to formulate a game plan for the state’s oil industry Tuesday, July 7, after a federal judge halted operations of the Dakota Access Pipeline earlier this week, a sudden blow to oil companies already limping through the pandemic.
In a meeting that touched on the state’s new multimillion dollar oil well reclamation project, this week's pipeline ruling and an auditing report from the Bank of North Dakota, conversation frequently returned to questions of how to rescue the state's oil industry from the recent onslaught of obstacles.
Commissioners bemoaned "activism on the bench," which they said has doled out poorly considered penalties to the oil industry in North Dakota. At one point, Gov. Doug Burgum criticized the decision of Judge James B. Boasberg, the U.S. District Court Judge whose ruling requires DAPL to shut down for a 13 month environmental review, calling it “a dangerous precedent” at a time when the country should be adding to existing infrastructure.
4. Find out which North Dakota companies got $1.7 billion in PPP loans
Nearly 20,000 North Dakota businesses collected more than $1.7 billion in federal funding this spring as the U.S. government injected an emergency stream into private companies to buoy a floundering national economy during the pandemic.
The vast majority of North Dakota beneficiaries received small loans of less than $150,000, but more than 2,000 businesses accepted larger sums, as disclosed by the U.S. Small Business Administration report released this week.
Of the North Dakota companies that qualified for the bigger bracket of loans, 294 companies accepted loans of more than $1 million, and a small group of 14 businesses took the maximum available loans of $5 million to $10 million.
Many of the beneficiaries are familiar businesses to North Dakotans. Among local favorites are Sickies Garage, the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties, as well as some of the state’s most well-trafficked casinos, including Four Bears Casino, Sky Dancer Resort and Prairie Knights Casino.
5. Walz moves $56.6 million in COVID-19 relief funding to Minnesota child care providers
Thousands of Minnesota child care providers will be eligible for federal grant funds to offset the cost of guarding kids and staff against the coronavirus, Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday, July 7.
Walz announced that he would put $56.6 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds toward grants for child care providers to help them pay for protections against COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, in the workplace. The measure, which uses the federal funds, needs approval from a panel of legislators before it can become accessible to providers.
Lawmakers earlier this year approved a $30 million boost for child care providers faced with caring for the children of first responders. And Walz said the additional funding was needed to help providers safely bring in more little ones as their parents return to work.
The governor said roughly 6,000 home providers would be eligible for the program and 11,000 center-based child care providers would qualify for grant funding.