ND insurance commissioner will seek reelection

BISMARCK (FNS) — North Dakota’s insurance commissioner says he will run for a second term in 2020.

Jon Godfread announced in a news release that he will formally launch his reelection bid next week at the Republican state headquarters in Bismarck. The Republican was first elected to the position in 2016, defeating Democrat Ruth Buffalo by a heavy margin.

The insurance commissioner educates consumers about the industry, handles complaints and oversees licensing for insurance professionals in the state. North Dakota is one of 11 states where the insurance commissioner is elected rather than appointed.

Godfread served as vice president of governmental affairs for the Greater North Dakota Chamber in Bismarck and played professional basketball in Germany before running for public office.

The Grand Forks native graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2005 and earned a Master of Business Administration and law degrees at the University of North Dakota in 2011.

NDSU launches fundraiser with $400M goal

FARGO (FNS) — North Dakota State University student Sadiyo Hassan said she wouldn’t be able to study computer engineering if it wasn’t for the support of the community.

The Kenya native who came from a refugee camp to the U.S. with her family when she was 5 years old told her story Thursday, Oct. 10, in front of a crowd at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex. Her speech was part of the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association’s announcement of the public phase of In Our Hands, the group’s largest ever fundraising campaign that aims to raise $400 million for scholarships, faculty, facilities and programs.

The effort that began 3 1/2 years ago already is helping students like Hassan.

“Education is like multiplication of success,” the 20-year-old said. “If you help to educate just one person, the compound effect from that is 10 times, 100 times more than what you initially put in.”

More than 11,000 donors have given or committed a total of $308.4 million. That includes the largest single donation in NDSU’s history, $75 million from Robert and Sheila Challey, who are co-chairs of the campaign. Being able to give back to the university makes them incredibly proud, Sheila Challey said.

“My husband’s worked so hard and done so well,” she said. “We’re very privileged to be able to help NDSU. The students are so important to us.”

Robert Challey’s family has attended the university since the 1920s, and he graduated in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

NDSU named its music school after the couple after they pledged $2.1 million to an endowment campaign in 2014. They also donated $10 million to the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth this year. With money dedicated to scholarships, 80 students get some financial help each year because of the Challeys.

The NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association’s last campaign raised $100 million in 2007, said John Glover, association president and CEO. That campaign was the second largest after In Our Hands, which will run into December 2022, he said.

With a total goal of $400 million, the In Our Hands campaign intends to raise $165 million for scholarships, $55 million for faculty and $90 million each for facilities and programs.

Hassan is the second youngest of six siblings and grew up in Fargo. Her oldest brother had to quit college so he could work, provide for the family and let his siblings focus on school, she said.

“Education is really, really important to me because my brother practically sacrificed his whole future for himself so that we could have a better future for ourselves,” she said, adding that she’s grateful to have financial aid to attend NDSU.

Hassan wants to use her education to help people in Kenya and Somalia, but she also wants to come back to Fargo because it’s home.

Fargo and North Dakota benefit when NDSU, its students and staff do well, Robert Challey said.

NDSU is making history, University President Dean Bresciani said at the event, adding that more students than ever before will have access to transformative education because of the campaign. He called on everyone at the launch to contribute to the effort.

“The future literally ... is in your hands,” he said.

Crime totals for Trump’s Minneapolis rally: 1 arrest, 1 citation

MINNEAPOLIS (FNS) — The Minneapolis Police Department says that while the “vast majority” of protesters outside President Donald Trump’s rally Thursday, Oct. 10, in downtown Minneapolis were peaceful, officers made one arrest and issued one citation.

In a written statement, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on Friday said “the vast majority of people that gathered were peaceful and respectful,” but officers engaged with individuals who demonstrated “aggressive or illegal behavior.”

According to MPD Public Information Officer John Elder, officers arrested one individual for property damage and issued one citation for disorderly conduct outside the downtown Target Center, where the rally was held. Police and city officials said tens of thousands of combined rally attendees and protesters flooded into downtown Minneapolis for the event.

“Officers worked to ensure people’s First Amendment right to assemble, speak freely and protest,” Arradondo said in Friday’s statement. “MPD appreciates the community support demonstrated by the law-abiding attendees and their partnership to create a peaceful expression of passionate views.”

According to Arradondo, some protesters threw bottles, rocks and containers of liquid believed to be urine at police officers, and some struck officers’ horses with sticks. He confirmed that officers used chemical irritants on some demonstrators, and said officers “used appropriate levels of force ... while responding to, at times, violent and aggressive individuals causing harm to others in attendance.”

In a written statement Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said “city staff served our residents and visitors with pride” during Thursday’s rally and protests.

“From our police officers to Public Works crews, staff from each and every department stepped up in a major way to keep people safe and minimize disruption for downtown businesses, workers and residents,” he said.

City spokesperson Jordan Gilgenbach said via email that the city does not have a “refined breakdown” of costs associated with Trump’s visit as of Friday afternoon, which he said will take several weeks to finalize. He said the majority of costs were attributed to police staff time. Arradondo said Friday that in addition to MPD, officers across the metro assisted with security for the event.

Frey went back and forth with Trump on Twitter in the days leading up to the rally, after the mayor requested the campaign pay Minneapolis $530,000 upfront to cover security and other costs to the city — a price tag he said he estimated based off of the 2018 Super Bowl and Final Four. The Trump campaign refused, and on Friday, Gilgenbach said the city plans to work with AEG, the private company that manages the Target Center, to reimburse the city’s costs.

As ND town digs out, a Minn. town digs into doughnuts that couldn’t be delivered

WADENA, Minn. (FNS) — What happens when you’ve got a truckload of doughnuts westbound for Jamestown, North Dakota, and there’s a no-travel advisory in effect?

Staff at Mason Brothers in Wadena, just outside of Detroit Lakes, decided to pack an SUV full of their Abby’s Bakery doughnut boxes and go door-to-door around Wadena Friday, Oct. 11, sharing some of their delicacies on a cold, snow-flurry filled morning. Sorry, Jamestown — no travel means no doughnuts.

Jamestown was just one of the locations in North Dakota that were supposed to receive the sweet treats.

Roland Gilbert, human resources director at Mason Brothers, alongside other staff members were busy handing out a dozen doughnuts at a time in downtown Wadena. Gilbert said they like to do this from time-to-time as a means of brightening the day for those lacking some sunshine, especially when there’s an abundance to share. They even have a special sticker they adhere to the boxes which states, “There is joy in paying it forward.”

There was clearly joy in receiving, too, as smiles abounded while hefty boxes packed with cream-filled doughnuts, twists, long johns and fritters were handed over.

They started out with about 70-80 packages that couldn’t make it out for delivery. Aside from the community, they made sure workers at Mason Brothers got their fill as well.

Mason Brothers is a family-owned and operated wholesale grocery distribution company in Wadena. Among many other products, they ship the Abby’s Bakery products that are made daily just across the street from the main offices of Mason Brothers.

A winter weather mix continued to pummel parts of the Dakotas on Friday. Portions of Interstate 94, Interstate 29 and U.S. Highway 2 are now closed due to heavy snow, wind and what the North Dakota Department of Transportation called “life-threatening conditions.” The closures include: I-94, closed westbound from Bismarck to Fargo; I-94, closed eastbound from Bismarck to Valley City; and I-29 closed northbound and southbound from Grand Forks to the Canadian border.

New rural PAC starts ads supporting Peterson

MOORHEAD, Minn. (FNS) — Radio campaign advertisements paid for by a new super political action committee led by sugar advocates started running Thursday, Oct. 10, in western Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District supporting Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson.

The ads are paid for by the Committee for Stronger Rural Communities, a political action committee announced in August and chaired by farmer Kelly Erickson of Hallock, a board member for American Crystal Sugar, Co., a farmer-owned cooperative based in Moorhead.

Peterson in June told Forum News Service he would announce his plan for a run for a 16th term in January or February 2020. He is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and has served as the ranking Democrat.

“The election is a long way off,” Erickson said. “To start running now is quite unprecedented. Politics has changed in America.”

The super PAC’s advertisements started playing on the day that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visited Minneapolis in an attempt to swing the state red in 2020.

Erickson said the timing of the advertising was planned earlier and was a coincidence. Nearly 61 percent of 7th District voters supported Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, when Peterson garnered 52 percent.

Erickson says the super PAC is attempting to raise $1 million but says the most recent total may be approaching $400,000.

Super PAC advertisements are not authorized by Peterson’s reelection campaign. They emphasize Peterson’s growing up on a Minnesota farm, starting a business, and having “no time for partisan politics, just getting things done.”

Peterson so far has five Republican announced challengers. They’ll compete in a primary election on Aug. 11, 2020.

In August, David Hughes of Karlstad, a retired Air Force major who trains U.S. Customs and Border Protection pilots, announced another challenge. Hughes ran against Peterson in 2016 and 2018, when Peterson won with 52% of the vote.

On Sept. 2, Michelle Fischbach, announced for the role. A lawyer and six-time state senator from Paynesville, she was president of the Minnesota Senate, and ascended to the lieutenant governor role when then-Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, appointed Tina Smith to the U.S. Senate when Al Franken resigned.

Fischbach spoke at an anti-impeachment rally at Peterson’s offices in Detroit Lakes on Oct. 4, even though Peterson has said he is against impeachment because he knows it will be stopped in the Senate.

Other Republican candidates are Dr. Noel Collis, a gastroenterologist from Albany who ran for the post in 1992; Joel Novak, a lawyer and Army veteran from Alexandria, and Jayesun Sherman, a teacher and pastor from Windom.

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