News: New stats and a new plan for Grand Forks’ new Americans

In the greater Grand Forks area, there are more than 8,800 foreign-born residents living and working. And the manner in which those individuals are welcomed in and made to feel at home is the goal of a new ‘Welcoming City’ initiative spearheaded by the City of Grand Forks. Read more about it on The Grand Forks Herald.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: With legalization growing elsewhere, marijuana makes up half of North Dakota drug arrests

In North Dakota, more than 50% of drug arrests involve marijuana. Combine that with initiatives to fully legalize the drug and a patchwork of federal, state, and local laws that criminalize possession and what we have is a challenge for law enforcement and lawmakers. The Grand Forks Herald has a primer on the factors that will inform legalization efforts and the ripple effects through our governments and agencies.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Farmers, entrepreneurs pushing the bounds of what can be grown in a cold climate

Industrial hemp? Not surprising. Grapes? You’ve probably heard about a local vineyard. But shrimp? Yep, that’s on the list as well. What do they have in common? They’re not our widely grown crops, but more and more small farmers are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and taking risks on less-traditional ideas. Catch the story from the Grand Forks Herald.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary: Why North Dakotans should welcome diversity

A couple months back, the Forum editorial staff took aim at the idea of diversity within our culture. The final paragraph, sums on a set of strong arguments. “Easy to overlook, these are reminders that we should celebrate our increasing ethnic and social diversity, not seek to wind back the clock and pretend that we don’t live in a world with increasing global connections, with a society that...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Grand Forks warily eyes once-dependable federal grant process

Elected officials in Grand Forks are opening their eyes to a new financial reality — funding from the federal government is coming more slowly and less regularly. It means many programs, particularly those that fall under the umbrella of Community Development Block Grants have a less secure future. It matters for Minot because local municipalities all answer to the same federal government.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Norwegian ambassador to visit Grand Forks for job-creation seminar

Here in Minot, we’re always looking to attract new businesses and industry. And one of the niches we’re actively looking to capture are businesses with roots tied to our Scandinavian heritage. But we’re not the only community working to attract these overseas businesses. Grand Forks has also identified the opportunity, and leaders there are also putting their plumage on display.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Dakota Access helps drillers but isn’t a Bakken game-changer

The Dakota Access Pipeline has been online since June, and early indicators suggest that it’s reduced the cost of delivering North Dakota oil to market and added revenue to the state’s tax collections. But is it a game changer for the Bakken play? According to this Washington Post article featured in the Grand Forks Herald, perhaps not.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Enbridge pushes back on need for Line 3 oil pipeline replacement in Minnesota

Few infrastructure developments are more contentious these days than oil pipeline projects. We’ve had our own battles here in North Dakota, but in Minnesota getting pipelines approved is more difficult yet. But with regards to the Line 3 Pipeline from NE North Dakota to Superior Wisconsin, Enbridge is pushing back against regulatory slowplaying with facts on increasing demand and need.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary, News: Help Grand Forks streets pass ‘Coffee Cup Test’

Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown has taken up the general mission of ‘doing it better’, and one of the first places he’s starting is on the roads in Grand Forks. And an accidentally created litmus test is his newest tool. It’s one part of a larger commentary where Mayor Brown provides a little direct communication to the Grand Forks citizens on his efforts as Mayor.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Drug experts see confluence of factors behind opioid crisis

In Minot, the Mayor’s Committee on Addiction met this week. When it comes to dealing with the effects of the opioid and larger addiction problem, they’re going to divide and hopefully conquer. They’ll be splitting into several sub-committees to deal with different arms of the larger animal. It’s important work, but the method also invites the larger question, how do we prevent the problem before it starts? That...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: State sees lots of interest in business side of medical marijuana industry

The response could be described as a lot of interest. Earlier in July, the ND Department of Health asked for a letter of intent for parties interested in participating in the business side of the state’s medical marijuana industry. That request drew letters from 97 different parties. The formal application process is expected to open later this month. John Hageman with Forum News Services has the details on...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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