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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, (701) 780-1110.
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GRAFTON -- Job Service North Dakota in Grafton is open for the first time in two weeks, but only temporarily. For the next few months, the office will be open just two days per month--9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays. Then, the Grafton office and six others in the state will close.
PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Three brothers and a cousin are distilling potato vodka in a still at their Park River family potato farm. But the vodka being produced and sold at their Moon River Distillery is no moonshine. Thompson Brothers Vodka is a licensed vodka produced from homegrown products and a vatful of family connections.
COOPERSTOWN -- A jury trial has been scheduled for December in a civil suit between Griggs County and the Griggs County Building Authority over the financial responsibility of an unfinished $3.5 million courthouse construction project. Southeast District Judge Jerod Tufte set the trial for Dec. 12 through Dec. 21, with a pretrial conference Nov. 29.
MANVEL -- Hymnals are assembled in tidy stacks, the newer ones affixed with a sticky note and a family name neatly written in ink, in a pew near the rear of Zion Congregational Church. Distributing the hymnals to the congregation's families is just one of the tasks church members are dealing with these days as they prepare to permanently close the church that has held a prominent role in the community for more than a century.
EDMORE -- When a spring storm ripped the roof from the local Johnson Store last May, locals worried they might lose their grocery store, the only one within nearly 30 miles. To show its support, the community of 190 in far northeast North Dakota came together to raise $7,500 to replace the roof, which would cost about $20,000. The campaign was launched through a Good Hands program at Edmore's Concordia Lutheran Church.
HILLSBORO--For Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt, the first year on the job has been anything but a routine trail ride. The first-term sheriff returned to work this week after liver transplant surgery in November. "I'm not ready to go mountain climbing, but every day gets a little better, I feel a little bit stronger," he said.
COOPERSTOWN, N.D. -- Southeast District Judge Jerod Tufte denied Griggs County’s request to terminate its lease with the Griggs County Building Authority last month. The two groups are locked in a dispute over which one is responsible for the failure to complete construction of the $2.2 million courthouse portion of a $3.5 million building project, which remains unfinished.
FORT TOTTEN -- The Pioneer Daughters Museum is homeless, at least for a while. But the museum at Fort Totten State Historic Site is not about to become part of history.
WARSAW, N.D.--Matt Ebertowski's family credits the family's dog, a pitbull-coonhound mix named Lady, plus an assist from above, with saving his life when a fire destroyed a farm shop and a camper in which he had been sleeping Sunday night. "Basically, the coonhound saved his life," his father, Duane Ebertowski, said. Matt Ebertowski, who recently moved back home from Williston after being laid off from an Oil Patch job, has been living with his parents, Duane and Carol Ebertowski, north of Grafton, N.D.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Slowing freight demand has prompted BNSF Railway to lay off several dozen employees in North Dakota and western Minnesota. The layoffs, which some reports indicate may be nearing 100, generally have been spread between four yards: Grand Forks, Mandan, Minot and Dilworth, Minn.