Bonnie Meibers / Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS - Gas prices in North Dakota and Minnesota have increased about 8.5 cents per gallon the past week, a trend experts say will continue into late spring. Prices at the pump usually start to increase after Valentine’s Day and continue to climb until April or May, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for fuel price tracking company GasBuddy. “Last year, prices peaked around Memorial Day weekend, but it may be closer to April this year,” DeHaan said.
HALLOCK, Minn. — The Gateway Motel and Museum in Hallock has 10 rooms. During pipeline construction, each room is filled and the workers are outside on the patio between the motel and museum grilling food bought from the grocery store, talking with locals or drinking a beer at the bar down the block. Mikey Totleben is the owner of the motel. He said he caters to construction workers and was depending on the work on the pipeline coming through town this summer.
GRAND FORKS - Because of the incoming severe weather, Xcel Energy has released a list of winter weather safety tips. "We understand how inconvenient it can be to lose power, and that's why we monitor the forecast," said Troy Browen, senior director of control center operations for Xcel in a release. In the release, Xcel advises customers to stay away from downed power lines, build a home emergency kit and to use a space heater with caution. Never leave a space heater unattended, the release said. Other tips in the release include:
GRAND FORKS — Contributions to the Grand Forks United Way have fallen 22 percent since 2013, including a 23 percent decline from 2016 to 2017, the most recent year’s figures available. According to the organization’s 990 tax forms, giving in 2013 was $980,035. Although the organization saw a slight increase from 2015 to 2016, the trend has continued, with a recent low of $760,342 in 2017.
GRAND FORKS -- Payless ShoeSource will close all U.S. stores this year, including several in North Dakota and Minnesota. Between March and May, the discount shoe store will close more than 2,000 locations, according to a Payless spokesperson. The company began liquidation sales at its stores on Sunday. North Dakota locations set for closure include the Columbia Mall location in Grand Forks and the West Acres location in Fargo.
MANDAREE, N.D. — Lisa DeVille lives in the heart of the Bakken oil formation. DeVille is an enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and lives in Mandaree on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Living in the Bakken, she and her family see natural gas flares almost daily. “We witness it, we live with oil and gas,” DeVille said. “The night sky is lit up like day. You can feel the earth rumble under you when those flares happen, you can hear it and smell it.”
GRAND FORKS -- Day cares are fearful of closing due to a piece of North Dakota legislation that went into effect last month Prior to Oct. 1 in the state, once newly hired staff at a day care provider were fingerprinted, they could begin working under supervision while they waited for their background check to be completed. Now those people can’t work until the initial portion of the background check is completed, which sometimes takes more than a month, day care providers said.