Kevin Bonham covers regional news, mostly from northeast North Dakota, for the Grand Forks Herald. A North Dakota native who grew up in Mandan and Dickinson, he has been a reporter or an editor with the Herald and Forum Communications for more than 30 years. Find his articles at: www.grandforksherald.com. He welcomes story ideas via email, email@example.com, or by phone, (701) 780-1110.
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GRAFTON -- A community task force is crafting a proposal to convert unused and underused space at the Life Skills and Transition Center into a mixture of public and private uses. Three priorities -- housing development, mental and psychiatric health care services, and treatment options for troubled youth -- were identified in a recent study, "Building for the Future: Charting a Path Forward for Grafton and the LSTC," prepared by Praxis Strategy Group of Grand Forks.
WARWICK, N.D. -- A body found Tuesday in the Sheyenne River has been identified as Amanda Stach Engst, a 36-year-old missing woman who may have been connected to a couple police say went on a robbery and burglary spree.
DEVILS LAKE -- A transitional living home for people with serious mental illness is opening this week in Devils Lake. An open house at the “Lake Cottage” transitional living facility, located in a former Movie Gallery video store building, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
WARWICK -- Law enforcement agencies in two states are investigating a possible connection between a string of armed robberies late last year and a missing person case. Billy Joe Herman, 36, and Crystal Herman, 36, were sentenced in Traill County District Court in December in connection with an Oct. 30 robbery at a bar in Buxton, N.D.
DEVILS LAKE -- Calling child care availability a critical local economic development issue, the Devils Lake City Commission is directing a local committee to draft a business plan to reopen a community child care center in a city-owned building. The downtown building has been vacant for nearly a year after the Devils Lake Kids Preschool and Child Care Center closed last March. "There's a serious need, especially for infants," Mayor Dick Johnson said.
HILLSBORO -- The Country Hearth Restaurant, which has been closed since a September fire, is for sale. The restaurant is listed for $175,000 on the Traill County Economic Development Commission website. The Country Hearth was the only full-service restaurant in this Traill County city of 1,600, located along Interstate 29, halfway between Grand Forks and Fargo.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Commercial airline service is approaching cruising altitude in Devils Lake, but it remains all but grounded in Thief River Falls, Minn., where the community continues to struggle with airline reliability. Commercial airline passengers -- counting those both arriving and leaving -- totaled 5,104 in Devils Lake in 2015. That's nearly double the number in 2013, and a 76.7 percent increase over 2014.
GRAND FORKS -- The Red River and Devils Lake Basin should not see any significant spring flooding this year as the El Nino weather pattern stretches through the late winter months. "The threat for significant, impactful, snowmelt flooding is low," the National Weather Service and North Central River Forecast Center said in its initial 2016 Spring Flood Outlook, which was released Friday morning.
HILLSBORO -- A trial date will be set for a former Traill Rural Water District manager accused of two counts of felony misapplication of entrusted property. Jerome Olson, born in 1949, rejected a proposed plea agreement in Traill County District Court this week after documents were filed that claimed the amount of money he allegedly had mishandled increased from $48,000 to $128,000.
CLIFFORD -- The Traill Rural Water District has won a lawsuit in a dispute of a 99-year land lease. Daniel and Marlene Motter, Hope, N.D., had filed the lawsuit in Steele County seeking nearly $1 million from the district. The land, located in Steele County, is the site of two well fields, each containing four water wells that the water district uses to obtain water for its rural water system.