John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — A jury awarded a Wahpeton, N.D., construction firm nearly $1.4 million Wednesday, Nov. 15, after finding that the State Historical Society of North Dakota breached its contract to expand the Heritage Center. The verdict capped a seven-day trial at the Burleigh County Courthouse over the museum's recent $51.7 million, 97,000-square-foot expansion adjacent to the state Capitol in Bismarck. The jury found that the historical society failed to pay the balance of the contract and for extra work to Comstock Construction, the project's general contractor.
BISMARCK — A group representing North Dakota county governments is urging against cutting a popular tax deduction as congressional lawmakers inch closer to voting on an overhaul of the nation's tax code. The state and local tax deduction, or SALT, has emerged as a key difference between the Republican House and Senate tax plans. The Senate bill would do away with the deduction, while the House plan would still allow for a property tax deduction of up to $10,000, according to the Washington Post.
BISMARCK — Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore should bow out of the race amid mounting accusations of sexual misconduct, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said Tuesday, Nov. 14. But Hoeven declined to comment on a top Republican campaign official's call for Moore to be booted from the Senate if he wins the election next month. "I believe Roy Moore should step aside but the people of Alabama will ultimately make the decision," Hoeven said in a statement. "I'm not going to speculate beyond that as the election hasn't occurred yet."
BISMARCK — A federal judge has ruled against a national pharmaceutical group that sued the state of North Dakota over two new laws passed by the Legislature earlier this year. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland denied the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association's request for a preliminary injunction Tuesday, Nov. 7. He said the group, which represents third-party administrators known as pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs, had "not met its burden for establishing the necessity" of such a move.
BISMARCK — An open house is planned at the current North Dakota governor's residence next week, the final public showing before the home is demolished. The open house will run from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the residence, located on the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds, Gov. Doug Burgum's office said. The 10,000-square-foot residence has housed nine first families since it was completed in 1960.
BISMARCK - A state board voted to suspend a former West Fargo teacher’s license for five years Thursday, Nov. 9, after allegations surfaced this year that she was partying with students and had alcohol in her classroom.
BISMARCK — The top Republican in the North Dakota House will run for re-election next year, four years after he was bested a Democratic newcomer. House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, told Forum News Service Wednesday, Nov. 8, he is undeterred from the 2014 election results, in which Democratic Rep. Pamela Anderson was the top vote-getter in their south Fargo district. She ousted Republican Bette Grande in that race. "But now (Anderson) has what everybody else has, and that's a voting record," Carlson said.
BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum announced plans for a task force to examine the governance structure of North Dakota's higher education system Tuesday, Nov. 7.
BISMARCK — A dispute between the state of North Dakota and the contractor that led the recent expansion of the Heritage Center went to trial Monday, Nov. 6. The case stems from a March 2016 lawsuit brought by Comstock Construction, which argued the State Historical Society breached its contract by improperly withholding payment. The firm also pointed to inadequate plans to support limestone panels, which it said caused damages and delays. The Wahpeton-based firm's claims total more than $2 million.
BISMARCK — Nearly a year to the day after North Dakotans voted to legalize medical marijuana, the state Department of Health said Monday, Nov. 6, that it has filed proposed rules governing the new program. But the ballot measure's chief backer expressed frustration that the process is moving at a "snail's pace." Qualifying patients may be able to get medical marijuana by the end of next year, the Health Department said.