Forum News Service
The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, including the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In addition to breaking and enterprise news, we offer a wide variety of sports, features, business, agriculture, outdoors and opinion content. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.
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ST. PAUL — The trade organization representing farmers, processors, distributors and others in the hemp industry on Monday, Aug. 12, announced that Joe Radinovich would become the group's executive director. In a news release, the Minnesota Hemp Association said Radinovich, a former candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 8th District, would lead the organization. Days earlier, Radinovich announced that he doesn't plan to challenge U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber in 2020.
BISMARCK — North Dakota state election officials approved the circulation of a ballot petition seeking to ask voters to legalize marijuana through the state's constitution Monday, July 22. The proposal would amend the state's constitution to allow people who are at least 21 years old to possess and grow up to 12 cannabis plants for personal use. It calls on the Legislature to write laws to license and regulate the manufacturing, packaging and selling of marijuana products.
PIERRE, S.D. — Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed to the South Dakota Board of Regents a retired founder and CEO of a food contract service company. According to a Friday, July 19 news release from the board, Barb Stork, of Dakota Dunes, will fill the seat on the board made vacant by former member David Mickelson's retirement. Stork's six-year term will end March 31, 2025.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission awarded $500,000 to a Fargo company for a solar power project this week. In a news release issued Friday, July 19, the commission said the funds awarded to Packet Digital will be used for a project to "enhance the design of a portable solar power generation system for military and commercial applications."
BISMARCK — The former director of academic affairs for the North Dakota University System has been named vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. Lisa Johnson took over the responsibilities for the position in late June, an NDUS statement said. She was serving in an interim role during the past year. In her role as director of academic affairs, Johnson was responsible for overseeing policies relating to transfer students, distance education and veterans.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office created a new unit to investigate wage theft, according to a statement released Monday, July 15. Gov. Tim Walz signed a new law that invested $3.1 million in the Department of Labor and Industry to enforce wage and hour laws. The new law is designed to protect workers from exploitative employers who do not pay them for their work. The legislation adds criminal penalties for employers.
PIERRE, S.D. — The state of South Dakota closed its 2019 budget year on June 30 with a $19.4 million surplus, Gov. Kristi Noem announced Monday. In a statement July 15, Noem said the state general fund budget ended with lower expenditures than budgeted, while ongoing revenue finished lower than projected levels. It marks the eighth straight year South Dakota has finished the fiscal year with a surplus.
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. — Over 2,000 pieces of military equipment from the Minnesota National Guard is being loaded onto rail cars through July 26 for movement from Camp Ripley. Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, mostly from Minnesota, along with supporting units, are moving their equipment in preparation for an eXportable Combat Training Capability, or XCTC, exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, later this summer.
BISMARCK — The state of North Dakota has agreed to not enforce a new abortion law until a federal judge rules on a request from challengers. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland agreed Friday, July 12, to prevent the state from requiring that physicians inform patients it may be possible to reverse a drug-induced abortion until he rules on a preliminary injunction requested by the challengers. The law is set to go into effect Aug. 1.
BRAINERD, Minn. — Fleet Farm announced Wednesday, July 10, it would be moving to new corporate headquarters in Wisconsin, affecting as many as 70 jobs in Brainerd. The Fleet Farm Group LLC agreed to purchase a 192,000-square-foot office building in Appleton, Wis., with a goal of bringing six of its locations under one roof -- while remaining in Appleton.