Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to email@example.com
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FARGO — Managers of the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District expect to decide within the next few weeks whether to pursue an administrative appeal or use their own permitting process to address concerns involving the redesigned Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project. Board members met via interactive television on Tuesday, Feb. 19, with officials of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which has granted a permit with more than 50 conditions allowing for the $2.75 billion project that would divert Red River floodwater around Fargo-Moorhead.
FARGO — Sixty-nine faculty and staff members at North Dakota State University have applied for early retirement incentives as the university continues to cope with austere budgets. Thirty-nine faculty members, including those employed by NDSU’s Extension Service, and 30 staff submitted early retirement requests by Friday, Feb. 15, the application deadline. The early retirement incentives were offered in November at NDSU and the University of North Dakota, where 98 applications were received last month, including 22 faculty and 76 staff.
FARGO — The proposal was blandly called the Pierce County deep borehole disposal field test. But the underlying idea was provocative: drill a hole three miles below pastureland into dense granite to test its suitability to store high-level radioactive waste. The research proposal caught the people of Pierce County, which includes Rugby, N.D., by surprise when it surfaced in 2016 through newspaper reports.
FARGO — Funding for the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion shouldn’t be jeopardized by the national emergency President Donald Trump declared to shift money to augment construction of barriers on the southern border. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer said the money that the Trump administration will divert for border protection comes from funding categories unrelated to the $2.75 billion diversion channel that would carry Red River floodwater around Fargo-Moorhead.
BISMARCK — North Dakota has filed an appeal seeking to overturn a federal court decision that struck down parts of a law aimed at protecting consumers from astronomical bills for air ambulance services by providers outside their health insurance networks. The announcement was made Thursday, Feb. 14, by Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread.
FARGO — The overhauled Fargo-Moorhead diversion design has won a crucial permit from Minnesota regulators — subject to meeting more than 50 conditions — but still faces familiar complaints from upstream opponents. The Buffalo Red River Watershed District and the towns of Wolverton and Comstock, all in Minnesota, are asking for hearings before the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to examine their concerns regarding upstream impacts.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has renewed his nomination of Drew Wrigley to again serve as the U.S. attorney for North Dakota. "We welcome the president's re-nomination of Drew now that the new Congress has convened," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Hoeven said Wrigley, who served as lieutenant governor from 2010 to 2016, "brings a depth of experience that will promote public safety in our state and help ensure offenders are brought to justice."
FARGO — A bill to establish a state ethics commission pushed by GOP leaders would shield subjects of ethics complaints in secrecy until final findings are issued and would impose criminal defamation penalties on those who file “knowingly false” complaints. House Bill 1521, legislation to implement an ethics measure passed by North Dakota voters in the November 2018 election, was introduced by Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, the House majority leader, and Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, the Senate majority leader.
FARGO — Agricultural groups are backing a bill that would restrict zoning regulations for livestock feedlots in North Dakota. Critics, however, say it would strip away local authority to protect rural residents from factory farms. Senate Bill 2345 stems from recommendations that emerged from a January meeting of agricultural and health officials as well as representatives of livestock and cereal grains agriculture.
FARGO — North Dakota’s new “Be Legendary” logo that sparked criticism and prompted legislation to sponsor a contest for a replacement did not go through a competitive bidding process. That’s because the cost of the logo — $9,500 — is considered a “micro” purchase by the state, not subject to competition requirements under purchasing thresholds set forth by the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget’s procurement division.