John Hageman covers local business and North Dakota politics. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Bemidji Pioneer.
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An audit of the North Dakota Department of Human Services found child care providers were allowed to continue operating while the state's largest agency was aware of instances of illegal drug use and "inappropriate touching from adults."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley repeatedly called the protest over an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation "unlawful" Tuesday and called on tribal leaders to pull people out of what he described as an increasingly dangerous situation.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A "next generation" biorefinery may be in Grand Forks' future. Red River BioRefinery LLC submitted a grant application in June to the state of North Dakota for the project, which "will utilize waste from local agricultural processing for the production of (redacted) ethanol," according to a copy of the application provided by the state Department of Commerce. The application lists Grand Forks as the plant's location.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said last week it's too early to say what forms of identification will be accepted for voting in November's election, but a plan is being developed after a federal judge recently ruled against the state's new voter ID laws.
FOSSTON, Minn.—As Leah Palubicki strode through the grocery store that bears her family's name, she noted one of the aging building's deficiencies: The aisles are too narrow. "They're about five, five and a half feet," she said. That will be just one of the improvements the new Palubicki's Family Market will have over its old location. The grocer is building a new, 43,000-square-foot store next door to its current building on Fosston's main drag, more than doubling its existing square footage.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—A retired Air Force officer from Karlstad, Minn., will challenge longtime Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson in November. Dave Hughes, the Republican-endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Seventh Congressional District race, defeated Amanda Lynn Hinson in Tuesday's primary election. Hughes garnered almost 59 percent of the ballots with 8,771 votes to Hinson's 41 percent, or 6,104 votes, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—Election judges at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in East Grand Forks had to find ways to keep themselves busy Tuesday morning. They were there to oversee voting in Minnesota's primary election, which narrows down the field of candidates for the November general election. But almost five hours after the polls opened, just a baker's dozen had voted between the two wards at that polling place. At the East Grand Forks Senior Center, the Ward 1 polling location, 28 people had voted as of just after 4 p.m. Tuesday.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A candidate for the North Dakota House was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in late July. Emily O'Brien, who is running as a Republican for Grand Forks' District 42, was arrested in the early hours of July 27 near the intersection of North Third Street and First Avenue in downtown Grand Forks, according to court records. A breath test showed her blood alcohol concentration was .147 percent, above the .08 legal limit, according to a copy of her citation. Court records don't include a narrative of the incident.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Altru Health System's ambitious plans to remake its main campus on South Columbia Road in Grand Forks are on hold for now, but leaders say it remains their vision for the future of the city's dominant health care provider. The 2012 acquisition of its facilities on South Washington Street opened the door for delaying Altru's master plan, which calls for a new procedure center, clinic, imaging and emergency department as well as a bed tower.