John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — One of the most prominent retail chains in North Dakota will open its doors as early as 7 a.m. on Sundays once the state's ban on Sunday morning shopping is lifted next month. Target will open at 7 a.m. on Sundays in Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck, and the Minot store will open an hour later, a spokesperson said Wednesday, July 10. State lawmakers ended the longstanding debate on lifting the Sunday morning shopping ban earlier this year. The issue divided lawmakers on issues of free enterprise and religion.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota state panel approved a new policy meant to streamline the pardon application process for minor marijuana crimes Wednesday, July 10, which supporters hope will make it easier for previous offenders to find jobs and housing. Under the new policy, people convicted of using or possessing marijuana and related paraphernalia who stay out of trouble for five years could fill out an abbreviated application for a pardon. They would be placed on the Pardon Advisory Board’s “consent agenda,” allowing the panel to rule on batches of applications.
BISMARCK — At least several current or former elected state officials in North Dakota have an interest in property rented by state agencies, but those financial relationships weren’t readily apparent on campaign disclosure forms. The officials defended the leases, which aren’t awarded through a formal competitive bidding process, as a byproduct of North Dakota’s citizen-run Legislature and said they don't affect their decision-making.
BISMARCK — North Dakota state archivists are running out of storage space, and they're enlisting the public's help to make room. The State Archives will hold a sale Thursday and Friday at the Heritage Center in Bismarck to rid itself of duplicate items and things that aren't relevant to the state or region but have found its way into its collection. It will be their first sale in about 12 years, said Stephanie Baltzer Kom, head of technical services for the State Historical Society. "We just have a lot of stuff," she said Tuesday, June 25.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's sole abortion clinic joined the country's largest physicians group in filing a federal lawsuit against two state laws they say will force doctors to misinform their patients and violate their medical ethics Tuesday, June 25. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota by the American Medical Association and the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, argues a bill passed earlier this year requiring physicians to tell patients it may be possible to reverse a drug-induced abortion is "wholly unsupported" by science. The law takes effect Aug. 1.
BISMARCK — North Dakota is poised to become the last state in the country with a team tasked with investigating and prosecuting Medicaid fraud after some prodding by the federal government. Federal officials in 2017 notified the state that its request for a new waiver allowing it to go without a "Medicaid Fraud Control Unit" would not be considered. North Dakota had a waiver since 1994, according to a letter Gov. Doug Burgum sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
BISMARCK — A panel charged with selecting members of North Dakota's new state government ethics commission identified two dozen candidates for further consideration during a meeting at the state Capitol Friday, June 21.
BISMARCK — North Dakota state officials are dusting off plans to construct a new "financial services center" after budget woes delayed the building project. Four years ago, state lawmakers authorized the use of $17 million in assets from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota for the project, which would house the Department of Commerce, the Department of Financial Institutions and the Housing Finance Agency. All three agencies currently rent space.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum named outgoing Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller as his next chief operating officer Wednesday, June 19. Miller will succeed Jodi Uecker, according to a news release from the governor's office, but she won't officially join the office until April 2020 due to her commitments to Border States. Miller had previously announced plans to retire from the employee-owned company in March 2020, after which its president, David White, will take over as CEO.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota state panel voted Tuesday, June 18 to move forward with fixes to the new governor's residence. Facility Management Director John Boyle previously said kitchen hoods weren't adequately venting food aromas and a lack of "sound absorption" in a large event space made conversation difficult.