Erik Burgess covers city and county government for The Forum. He started as the paper's night reporter in 2012, after graduating from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. He was born and raised in Grand Forks, N.D., and also spent time interning at the Grand Forks Herald.
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FARGO — While Alaska residents will get nearly $1,900 each this year from a state oil wealth trust fund, it could lead North Dakotans to wonder why their state doesn’t do the same. The answer is simple. In North Dakota, it would be unconstitutional, said John Walstad, legal division director for the state’s Legislative Council. “We get that question from time to time: ‘How come I don’t get a check?’” Walstad said. “Well, because our constitution says ‘no’ at this point.
WASHINGTON – The Democratic challenger for North Dakota’s lone U.S. House of Representatives seat outraised Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin Cramer in the last quarter. State Sen. George Sinner raised nearly $350,000 from April 1 to June 30 while Cramer raised about $236,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Sinner also spent more in the three-month period, with expenditures totaling $109,160, while Cramer spent $86,852 from April through June.
FARGO — The public will have a chance to see a to-scale piece of the $1.8 billion metro-area diversion channel in action this month. An open house is scheduled July 24 to view the diversion’s only physical model, with one caveat — it’s located in Rosemount, Minn., a four-hour drive from Fargo. The $2.6 million, 80-by-70-foot model shows the project’s Maple River Aqueduct, where the diversion channel would pass under the Maple River northwest of West Fargo. Diversion officials say the purpose of the model is to inform engineering teams how the project will work in the real world. “I think t
FARGO — Two Democratic challengers vying for seats on the state’s Public Service Commission are accusing the Republican incumbents of “governing by emergency” and of failing to lead when it comes to rail access and safety. Sen.
FARGO — A new proposal by proponents of a $1.8 billion metro-area flood diversion could double the project’s potential special assessments for Cass County property owners, though diversion officials still say those fees will never be assessed. To fast-track the massive flood-control project, diversion officials had previously floated the idea of using a $450 million bond, with the loan backed by a special assessment district covering 40,000 benefiting parcels across the county. Members of the Diversion Authority’s finance subcommittee decided this week to assume that loan would actually be $
FARGO — A longtime Minnesota legislator said he will actively lobby against the proposed metro-area flood diversion if project proponents continue to build an upstream ring dike in North Dakota. Rep.
FARGO — It will take more than a half-million dollars to mitigate the impacts of an upstream ring levee on local wetlands, a cost some metro-area flood diversion officials have trouble swallowing. “It’s a little bit like highway robbery,” said Cass County auditor Michael Montplaisir, before the Diversion Authority’s finance subcommittee voted unanimously — and somewhat reluctantly — on Wednesday to approve the expense. To build a ring dike around the upstream communities of Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke south of Fargo, the Diversion Authority will need to pay $587,180 to mitigate impacts to local
FARGO — For local weather and climate experts, the correlation is clear: Talking about the rising global temperatures can lead to hot tempers. It can be a frustrating process for scientists to be wrapped up in a debate fraught with “political dogma,” said John Wheeler, chief meteorologist at WDAY-TV. “Interestingly enough, both sides (Republican and Democrat) will use science as a way to defend their points of view, without really — and this is going to sound cold and mean — without really having much of a grasp of climate science at all,” he said. On one hand, climate change deniers tend t
FARGO — Warmer winters, longer growing seasons and wetter wet cycles: This is what climate change looks like in the Red River Valley. Over the past 124 years, North Dakota has warmed at a steeper rate than all other states except Alaska, according to the North Dakota state climatologist. Northwestern Minnesota has followed suit.