5 Things You Need To Know Today: Women Lead, Poll Monitoring, Roers Townhouses, ‘Pest House’, Disciplined Judge – InForum

1. First woman elected to lead the US Attorney’s Office in North Dakota

For the first time in history, a woman will lead the US Attorney’s Office in North Dakota.

Federal Judge Peter Welte swore in Jennifer Puhl as Acting United States Attorney on Friday, June 10, at the Quentin N. Burdick Federal Courthouse in Fargo. On Monday, she will replace Acting US Attorney Nicholas Chase.

“Obviously, it’s a great honor, male or female,” Puhl said. “Being an employee of the United States Attorney’s Office is a huge responsibility, and I take it seriously. We do important work here.”

Former US Attorney Drew Wrigley hired Puhl and Chase on the same day in 2002. Puhl and Chase praised each other after the swearing-in ceremony, saying they considered each other mentors.

“This office is in very good hands,” Chase said, adding that he is proud of Puhl.

Chase was named acting US attorney in February 2021. His last day in office was Friday because North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum appointed Chase to serve as a judge in the East Central Judicial District.

Read more from April Baumgarten of The Forum

2. Elections official monitors Fargo polling site after voters of color complain

Sewit Eskinder shows the corner of his North Dakota Real ID on TikTok.png

Sewit Eskinder displays the corner of his North Dakota Real ID on TikTok on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Special for The Forum

Color Voter Reports being turned away from a Fargo polling place has prompted the Cass County elections coordinator to monitor voting on the site.

Community leaders, including a mayoral candidate, and organizers from advocacy groups flocked to the West Acres Mall polling station on Wednesday, June 8, after receiving complaints from people of color who said they were asked to demonstrate their citizenship during early voting in the North Dakota primary. and local elections.

These complaints were filed with county elections coordinator DeAnn Buckhouse, who oversaw the polling site from 3:30 pm until close Thursday, Buckhouse said. Early voting ended Friday and Election Day voting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14.

“I’ve talked to advocacy people and been working closely with them to see what the best course of action is to educate our poll workers and voters. Some of the responsibility falls on us and the poll workers and some goes back to the voters. They should be given a choice,” Buckhouse said.

Voters whose citizenship is in question can choose to fill out a preliminary ballot and then confirm citizenship once proof is presented, or in other cases they can go and update their address with the North Dakota Department of Transportation and come back, he said. Buckhouse, adding that his office receives updates every 48 hours.

However, some voters say the process is discriminatory.

Read more from CS Hagen of The Forum

3. Fargo may renegotiate Roers tax break after row houses weren’t finished on time, mayor says

An empty dirt lot with a sidewalk running through it.

Construction debris has been largely cleared from the townhome site just east of The View apartment complex near North Dakota State University. Fargo City Commissioners sharply criticized Roers President Jim Roers for failing to build the townhomes as agreed by the end of 2021. Photo taken Monday, May 16, 2022.

Archie Ingersoll / The Forum

Mayor Tim Mahoney said he is pleased to learn that a developer has applied for a building permit to build seven townhouses as part of a larger project in the Roosevelt neighborhood of north Fargo.

However, Mahoney said a deal may have to be renegotiated for Roers Development to receive a nearly $1 million tax incentive because the project was not finished on time.

On May 31, the Fargo City Commission voted to notify Roers that it has defaulted on its developer agreement for missing its December 31, 2021 deadline.

Once the company received notice, it would have 60 days to “erase the default,” which, according to City Attorney Nancy Morris, meant: “Build the row houses.”

Mahoney said that because of that breach of contract, city attorneys and Roers will try to reach a resolution on the part of the tax increase funding agreement.

That likely won’t happen until after the municipal election on Tuesday, June 14, said Mahoney, who is running for re-election.

Jim Roers, president of Roers Construction and Development, announced Monday, June 6, that the company will begin construction on the townhomes as soon as the city approves the building permit, and anticipates that the townhomes will be ready for occupancy by the end of the year. of 2022. .

City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn, who repeatedly called Roers a “liar” at a May 2 City Commission meeting and claimed Roers never intended to build the row houses, said he’s happy for the Roosevelt neighborhood in light of the Roers ad.

Read more from Robin Huebner of The Forum

4. What was it like to live in the Fargo ‘Pest House’?


This building at 57 11th Ave. N. in Fargo was once the place where people with infectious diseases could isolate themselves.

Tracy Briggs / The Forum

In the summer of 1947, all 9-year-old Donald Person wanted to do was ride his bike, play ball, and explore the depths of West Fargo’s clay pits for crayfish, snails, and tadpoles.

But when the pink glow on her skin turned out not to be sunburn, Person’s summer plans went out the window.

Along with his “red, sandpaper-like rash,” Person had a sore throat and a fever.

“Apparently, Mom was so worried that she sought a consultation with my pediatrician,” recalls Person. “She diagnosed me with scarlet fever.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, scarlet fever is caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat and is most common in children ages 5 to 15. In recent years, antibiotic treatments have made it less threatening. But in 1947, it was serious and contagious enough that the Person family took a dramatic step.

Read more from Tracy Briggs of The Forum

5. North Dakota judges disciplined a Fargo judge candidate. He says that he learned from the experience.

blake hankey

blake hankey

Herald of Grand Forks

A candidate for a Fargo judgeship once faced disciplinary action for representing both the victim and the alleged perpetrator in an assault and terror case, a dispute a prosecutor said he lied about.

However, the candidate for judge, Blake Hankey, questioned that he lied about the situation.

Hankey, a lawyer who wants to replace Central Eastern District Judge Steven Marquart, was reprimanded in 2012 by the North Dakota Disciplinary Board and the state Supreme Court. He was ordered to pay $7,160 in disciplinary costs.

The action came after Meredith Larson, the Grand Forks County prosecutor at the time, filed a complaint against Hankey.

According to the North Dakota Supreme Court ruling:

Hankey represented a defendant and an accuser in a 2011 case in which the defendant was charged with aggravated assault and terror. Hankey did not tell Larson that he represented the two clients. When confronted by him, Hankey “falsely told (Larson) that he had cleared up any disputes with his legal associates,” the ruling says.

Read more from April Baumgarten of The Forum

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