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The Boiler Room at 210 Roberts Alley in downtown Fargo decided the evening of Wednesday, March 18, to close for indoor dining. Business has been upturned for local restaurants due to the coronavirus. David Samson / The Forum

Mailbag: Readers Ask About the Schools Still Open, a ‘Rent Vacation’ for Businesses and What Snowbirds Should Do

Mailbag: Readers Ask About the Schools Still Open, a ‘Rent Vacation’ for Businesses and What Snowbirds Should Do

MINOT, N.D. — Hello readers, and welcome to the second edition of this mailbag column wherein I respond to your praise and criticism and questions. If you’d like to send something to be included in the next column, fire it off to Your messages may get edited for clarity and brevity. Now, to the

Social distancing is in effect Sunday, March 22, to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus on this Allegiant flight from Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Based on Smartphone Data, North Dakota Gets a ‘B’ for Social Distancing

MINOT, N.D. — Social distancing is probably our best line of defense when it comes to coronavirus. You can’t get it if you’re not exposed to it, right? But social distancing is hard, and if you ‘re not doing it, your smartphone may be ratting you out. The Social Distancing Scoreboard is a project launched

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and other state officials on stage during a March 18 press conference addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

With Budget Problems Looming, Gov. Burgum Needs to Call a Special Session of the Legislature to Address Coronavirus

MINOT, N.D. — Today begins another day with North Dakota’s economy, in many ways, shut down. Some businesses continue to operate, but many are shuttered or have curtailed their operations to comply with Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order limiting commerce, as well as further urging voluntary limits on social interaction. These moves, agree with them

Aaron Hill, co-owner of Fargo Brewing Co., listens to North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Thursday, March 19, as he announces the statewide closure of bars and restaurants due to the coronavirus. David Samson / The Forum

The Legacy Fund Should Be Part of North Dakota’s Recovery From Coronavirus

MINOT, N.D. — Our nation is under quarantine, and the economy is suffering because of it. That’s why, at the federal level. Congress is rushing to spend something like $1 trillion on a stimulus package. What are we going to do here at the state level? A lot of you readers have been contacting me

Patrons leave the West Fargo Public Library loaded with books on Monday, March 16, after the announced closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. David Samson / The Forum

Calm, My Friends

MINOT, N.D. — Despite what you may have heard, this is not the new normal. As this dark cloud of agoraphobia descends on our communities, we’re all reading and viewing a lot of content telling us that our lives have been forever changed. They haven’t. Not really. We are a pampered people. Cynicism about America may be en

North Dakota Democratic-NPL party chair Rep. Kylie Oversen (D-Grand Forks) speaks to delegates attending the 2016 state convention in Bismarck. TOM STROMME / BISMARCK TRIBUNE

Dem-NPL to Hold State Convention via Facebook

MINOT, N.D. — As the North Dakota Republican Party grapples with whether or not to hold their in-person state convention amid coronavirus concerns — last night the party’s executive committee voted to cancel, the matter goes before its state committee today, March 17 — the North Dakota Democrats have decided to hold their convention on Facebook.

With Schools Canceled Thanks to Coronavirus, Is It Time to Revisit Virtual at-Home Education Plans?

MINOT, N.D. — Last night, Sunday, March 16, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced his administration’s recommendation that schools across the state close as an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. Shortly after the announcement, state Rep. Jim Grueneich R , Jamestown, moving to Ellendale, texted me, reminding me of an idea he had proposed

Girls Class A basketball in Fargo Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Why Is North Dakota Holding Basketball Tournaments Amid the Coronavirus Scare?

MINOT, N.D. — I knew things were serious with the coronavirus situation when the NCAA announced they were canceling their wildly popular March basketball tournament. I mean, it’s the NCAA. Perhaps one of the most venal and exploitive organizations in America today. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get them to do the right

Bernie Sanders’ fans finish the Fargo-Moorhead Women’s March by returning to the NDSU Memorial Union and chanting together on Saturday, March 7, in Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

The Moderates Have Left the North Dakota Democratic Party

MINOT, N.D. — There is no question that, from one perspective, the North Dakota Democrats had an excellent night. From another perspective, what was revealed in their caucus voting wasn’t so good. First, to the good. Over 14,500 voters participated in the party’s “firehouse caucuses” at 14 locations statewide. That’s a big number, and one