Patrick Springer / Forum News Service
FARGO — Cass County officials are worried that the county’s sandbag-filling operation will be overshadowed by Fargo’s Sandbag Central. Cass County is gearing up its flood-fighting preparations and is asking for volunteers to fill 300,000 sandbags starting Wednesday, March 27. Sandbag Central in Fargo, which opens Tuesday, is aiming to make 1 million sandbags. County officials are hoping for at least 60 volunteers at a time to keep the county’s sandbag-filling “spider” machine operating at full capacity.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sanford Health is launching an initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide free genetic testing to veterans, with a focus on avoiding adverse reactions to medications. The effort, which will begin this year as a pilot project in Durham, N.C., is supported by a $25 million donation by T. Denny Sanford, the namesake benefactor of Sanford Health, as well as matching fundraising from Sanford Health.
FARGO — The federal government has committed another $300 million toward the $2.75 billion Fargo-Moorhead flood protection project, raising the federal share of support for the diversion to $750 million. The announcement of the commitment from the Army Corps of Engineers was made Tuesday, March 5, by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. The Corps' Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, R.D. James, approved the renegotiation of what's called the project partnership agreement for comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Higher flows caused by increased precipitation have elevated runoff of pollutants contaminating the Red River, according to a report by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The agency, in what officials call the first comprehensive look at the Red River’s entire 400-mile course as it flows through the United States, found that flooding has increased the river’s sediment load, bacteria and nutrients that feed algal blooms.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project faces stiff challenges to secure needed funding and withstand appeals to a crucial permit — obstacles that can and must be overcome, local business and political leaders said. On the heels of a prediction for a substantially increased risk of a significant spring flood, the leaders gathered Friday, Feb. 22, to underscore the importance of seeing the $2.75 billion flood protection project to completion.
FARGO — North Dakota’s freshman congressman has a seat on a committee that will be in the spotlight as investigations into the Trump administration unfold now that Democrats control the House. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., was appointed to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, a high-profile panel that also includes five freshman Democratic firebrands, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. The oversight committee was on Armstrong’s list of requested committee assignments, as was the other committee he serves on, the House Judiciary Committee, Armstrong said.
FARGO — It’s deja vu for Drew Wrigley. Wrigley is a former and, he hopes, future U.S. attorney for North Dakota. President Donald Trump nominated Wrigley for the U.S. attorney’s post in August, but his nomination wasn’t acted upon and a new Congress was seated earlier this month. That means Trump will have to re-nominate Wrigley, something North Dakota’s two U.S. senators expect will happen soon.
FARGO — Individual North Dakota health insurance customers covered under the federal health care exchange will face average premium increases next year ranging from 7.9 to 22.6 percent. Those premium increases, effective Jan. 1, are for plans in North Dakota sold via the online exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. Customers of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the state's largest private health insurer, who buy individual coverage through the exchange will see their premiums increase an average of 22.6 percent.
FARGO – Heidi Heitkamp made it official by announcing she will seek a second term as U.S. Senator for North Dakota and portrayed herself as a centrist who can work across the aisle to solve problems. Heitkamp, D-N.D., made the announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 13, the morning after she was one of a handful of senators from both parties who dined with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss tax reform and other issues.
FARGO — Faculty resignations and retirements at North Dakota State University are rising, and some worry it could be an early sign of more departures to come in the face of steep budget cuts. This year 61 faculty members — including deans and department heads as well as professors and lecturers — are resigning or retiring, according to university figures. That compares to 53 resignations and retirements last year and 36 in both 2014 and 2015.