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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BISMARCK — North Dakota State University is proposing a slate of building projects and renovations, including a $60 million agricultural products development center and a $37.2 million multi-sport indoor practice facility. The projects, all given unanimous support on Tuesday, May 15, by the budget committee of the State Board of Higher Education, will require the approval of the full board and, in some cases, the North Dakota Legislature, to proceed. But Tuesday's recommendations, if adopted, mean private fundraising efforts for the projects can begin.
FARGO—Concealed by his cowboy hat, the three-inch scar on Brady Jandreau's head serves as a reminder of the day his professional rodeo career came to an abrupt end—the day he almost died. Jandreau was thrown from a bronco during a rodeo inside the Fargodome on April 1, 2016. His foot got caught in the stirrup, tethering him to the horse, which stepped on the right side of his head. Jandreau remained conscious throughout the ordeal.
FARGO — Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said a Republican push to expand work requirements for a food assistance program has brought farm bill negotiations to a standstill and endangers the sugar program and crop insurance. Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee are pressing for a work requirement for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that would apply to able-bodied people up to age 65. The program now has work requirements for recipients ages 18 to 49.
FARGO — The lack of snowfall this winter is contributing to drought conditions that have persisted throughout most of North Dakota—conditions the state climatologist warns could continue into spring. More than 60 percent of North Dakota is in moderate drought, and most of the rest of the state, including the central and southern Red River Valley, is considered abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
FARGO—The program to train nurse practitioners at North Dakota State University was awarded a $513,992 grant to help prepare family nurse practitioners to serve rural areas. The grant will help NDSU to promote clinical education in rural health care shortage areas. North Dakota has 55 health care shortage areas, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
FARGO—Republican legislative leaders are a bit more gloomy about North Dakota's revenue prospects than those built into Gov. Jack Dalyrmple's recommendations for the 2017-19 budget. After Dalrymple presented his budget plan last week, the House and Senate majority leaders announced they would not automatically accept the revenue forecast in the budget, but likely would instead craft their own, more cautious prediction in light of slumping oil and farm commodity prices.
FARGO—It appears people will be getting reacquainted with their down parkas this winter. After a string of mild and often dry winters in recent years, the Red River Valley appears headed for a winter that will be colder than normal, with normal snowfall, according to an outlook from a veteran forecaster. Mark Ewen, a meteorologist with 32 years of experience with the National Weather Service in Fargo and Grand Forks, released his winter outlook on Friday, Sept. 30, based on an analysis of weather trends.
HAWLEY, Minn.—Russ and Mary Colson knew their rural home was located near a gravel mine when they bought the place more than 20 years ago. But they never expected a new road would be built near their property to accommodate a new gravel mine—a prospect that means they will have roads rumbling with fleets of gravel trucks almost all around their home 10 miles north of here. "Our property becomes a postage stamp with trucks hauling on three sides," Mary Colson said. "This is not a fair and balanced land use."
FARGO—North Dakota's economy shrank in 2015 by almost 6 percent, ending a decade of mostly robust growth that saw the state's output of goods and services more than double. North Dakota's gross domestic product last year dropped to $54.8 billion, down from $58.2 billion in 2014, or a decline of 5.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Both agriculture and petroleum, the two main drivers of North Dakota's wealth, saw significant declines last year.
FARGO — The Buffalo Red River Watershed District's board rejected a new joint powers agreement for the Fargo-Moorhead diversion by a 6-1 vote. The vote means the watershed district will drop off the Diversion Authority's governing board, and its seat likely will be taken by the city of Moorhead or Clay County, said Darrell Vanyo, diversion board chairman. The Buffalo Red River Watershed District's board narrowly approved an earlier joint powers agreement.