GRAND FORKS — A move from the Trump administration to increase enforcement on illegal immigration has led to a nearly 500 percent increase in the amount of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainees housed this year in the Grand Forks jail. Through November, the Grand Forks County Correctional Center recorded 5,361 ICE bed days, meaning the jail has averaged about 15 ICE detainees per day, according to administrator Bret Burkholder. A bed day is roughly calculated as a day in which an inmate stays overnight.
A Scientologist urologist and a Muslim internist have charged Grand Forks' largest health care provider with discriminating against them based on religion, according to ongoing complaints filed with state and federal authorities.
GRAND FORKS — A civil lawsuit filed in Grand Forks County District Court accuses a developmental housing nonprofit of housing a known sexual predator with a disabled man, who was raped, and attempting to cover up their actions. The lawsuit, filed Dec.12 by the mother of the victim, charges Development Homes Inc., its CEO, Grand Forks City Council member Sandi Marshall; and other DHI employees with negligence, failure to provide a safe environment, violating the victim's rights and inflicting emotional distress.
"Did you take your pill?" That's the question Greg Murphy hears multiple times a day from his wife, Barb, two sons and any other friend or relative who stops by his Grand Forks home. The pill in question is a chemotherapy pill. Greg Murphy has been taking one every day for the past year since undergoing surgery to remove a large, cancerous tumor from his gastrointestinal tract. He'll be on the pills for the next three to five years as a precautionary measure to keep his rare form of cancer at bay. The prescription costs $19,000 per month.
As high-profile men in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics continue to be ousted from their jobs and shunned after allegations of sexual harassment, a UND School of Law professor who has fought for victims in the workplace has been shocked. "For people to get fired just based on allegations is very much stunning to me," said Margaret Moore Jackson, who has been practicing and teaching employment, housing and civil rights law for more than 20 years.
FARGO — The man who was found guilty of ordering the shooting death of a Grand Forks man at a truck stop in March 2016 was sentenced to serve two life terms in prison Friday, Dec. 1. Modesto Torrez, 35, was found guilty in October of ordering the hit on 24-year-old Austin Forsman at the Flying J truck stop on the morning of March 11, 2016, in what Eighth Circuit Judge Ralph Erickson called the most nonsensical murder he has seen in 25 years as a judge.
FARGO — A Crookston, Minn., woman who pleaded guilty to destroying evidence to protect the man who ordered a March 2016 murder at a Grand Forks truck stop has been sentenced to serve almost six years in federal prison. Lorie Ortiz, 33, was sentenced to 70 months in prison Monday, Nov. 27, by U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson for her role as an accessory after the fact in the murder of 24-year-old Austin B. Forsman at the Flying J truckstop.
GRAND FORKS — Two Grand Forks incidents were counted among the FBI's 2016 Hate Crime Statistics Report released last month, though neither prompted criminal charges. One incident, the widely reported and criticized Snapchat photo of University of North Dakota students gloating after locking a black student out of a residence hall drew national attention to Grand Forks. The other—the assault and harassment of a Muslim-American airman at downtown bars—was largely unknown.
GALESBURG, N.D. — Sheri Paulson is waiting. The Galesburg woman was elated when 64 percent of North Dakota voters approved a ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, a move she believes will bring her relief from chronic nerve pain. But a year after the measure passed, the Department of Health says it's 11 to 13 months from delivering product to patients and still has to receive public feedback and legislative approval on a set of rules guiding the new program. Paulson's patience is fading. "I'm frustrated with the process," she said.
GRAFTON, N.D.-- Ambling down old wooden bleachers and through aisles of chairs, Grafton area veterans fell in alongside active National Guardsmen as a trumpeter blared out "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to say goodbye to historic military post in North Dakota. The Veteran's Day ceremony, attended by about 400 people Saturday, Nov. 11, formalized the closure of the Grafton Armory, ending a 132-year history of active army posts in Grafton, as the North Dakota National Guard consolidates its forces and disbands units across the state.