5 Things to Know Today: The Fundraiser Is Going On, The Tax Code, Teachers Leaving, Signing the Agreement, DIY Garage - InForum

5 Things to Know Today: The Fundraiser Is Going On, The Tax Code, Teachers Leaving, Signing the Agreement, DIY Garage – InForum

1. A fundraiser is underway for the daughter of a North Dakota couple who was killed in a fire

James Pearson doesn’t yet know how the fire that killed his younger brother and sister-in-law started, but the loss feels like an ongoing nightmare.

“It’s a huge shock. It’s one of those things that just don’t feel real, like I’m going to wake up from it,” Pearson said.

The fire broke out on the night of November 18 at his brother and sister-in-law’s home at 18 Oak Street in Lisbon, a town in Ransom County 75 miles southwest of Fargo.

Two bodies were found in the house and the building was completely destroyed, according to what he reported

Lisbon Fire Department

.

While authorities have not yet officially released the names of the victims, James Pearson established a

GoFundMe

Web page of the surviving daughter of his 44-year-old brother, John, and his wife, Courtney, who perished in the fire, he said.

Read more from CS Hagen’s forum

2. West Fargo is holding its first reading for the sales tax law that will go into effect in the spring

After being narrowly approved by voters earlier this month, West Fargo’s half-cent sales tax will likely go into effect around April.

The West Fargo City Commission took the next step in implementing a sales tax that would be used for public safety or police and fire services at its most recent meeting. The procedure will then be submitted to the North Dakota State Tax Commissioner for certification.

John Shockley, West Fargo City’s district attorney, said he expects to start collecting them around April 1, with the city receiving its first payments in May.

Because of the Charter’s language, the measure was proposed in two questions, both of which needed approval in order to pass. The measure was passed on November 8 by just under 70 votes on the first question, with 50.3% of voters approving the idea and 49.7% opposing it, 5,648 in favor, 5,581 against.

The second question received 50.6% approval, 49.4% opposition, 5660 votes in favor and 5525 votes against.

The results were checked by the Cass County auditor the following week.

This action would increase the city’s portion of the sales tax from 2% to 2.5%, creating a sales tax rate of 8% including state and county taxes. In Fargo, the sales tax rate including state and county taxes is 7.5%. Morehead’s sales tax is 7.38%, though Morehead also passed a half-cent sales tax increase after the November 8 vote.

West Fargo has a half-cent sales tax to pay for economic development projects and a one-cent tax for infrastructure projects approved by voters in 2014.

The West Fargo City Commission voted in August to put a half-cent sales tax on the November 8 ballot with the expectation that it would generate about $2.4 million in 2023.

Read more from Wendy Reuer of The Forum

3. Shaw: Former district teachers say they left the profession feeling overwhelmed and unsupported

A woman with short hair and glasses is sitting in the living room.

Former Fargo teacher Drea Greenwalt is leaving the profession after 15 years in May 2022 amid mounting student behavior issues.

Jim Shaw / Special Forum

Teachers are leaving the Fargo and West Fargo school districts in record numbers.

Since the end of last school year compared to the end of the previous school year, Fargo reports teacher resignations and retirements jumped from 92 to 126, an increase of 37%. West Fargo reports that the numbers rose from 89 to 118, an increase of 33%.

By contrast, the numbers at Morehead are pretty steady, increasing from 63 to 66.

At Fargo, Superintendent Rupak Gandhi said teachers leave for a variety of reasons, such as “leaving spouses and personal needs and going into other professions.”

However, a number of Fargo educators are not leaving the jobs they once loved for higher paying jobs.

For many of them, it’s because they can’t take it anymore. Some fear for their personal health or safety. Many of the teachers were miserable because of the unruly, foul-mouthed students who refused to obey their instructions. Resignation was the only viable option.

Drea Greenwalt followed her heart and started teaching 15 years ago. The last six of those years were in Fargo. She has taught music throughout the region. Her last job was as choir director at Ben Franklin Middle School.

“The students’ behavior was horrible,” Greenwalt said. “There was a lack of consequences and accountability for student behavior.”

Part of the problem, she said, resulted from a change in the grading system.

Read more from Forum columnist Jim Shaw

4. The Presidents of NDSU and Sisseton Wahpeton College sign an agreement to better serve American Indian students

Two men sitting at a table and smiling while shaking hands

Sisseton Wahpeton College President Lynn Azure, left, and North Dakota State University President David Cook shake hands on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, after signing an agreement aimed at increasing opportunities for American Indian students to earn a four-year degree.

Contributed / Justin Eller

The presidents of North Dakota State University in Fargo and Sysiton Wapton College in Sysiton, South Dakota, have entered into an agreement designed to enhance American Indian students’ opportunity to earn a four-year degree.

The agreement, signed by NDSU President David Cook and SWC President Lynn Azure on Wednesday, November 30, creates a career path in the social sciences between the two schools.

American Indian students from SWC will be allowed to pursue a four-year degree in emergency management, criminal justice, sociology, or political science at NDSU.

“Our goal is to provide a high-quality, low-cost education and cultural experience with the goal of having students graduate with little or no debt,” said Azure.

Under the agreement, SWC students with a two-year associate degree in behavioral sciences, who meet criteria for a major and who submit an application will be accepted without further review.

The two institutions will work collaboratively to make the new opportunity known to students who may qualify, says an NDSU press release.

Read more from The Forum’s Robin Huebner

5. 7 months after closing, the Fargo DIY Garage finds a new home in Morehead

112822.B.FF.DIYGARAGE

Chris Partridge has moved his Fargo DIY garage to 2320 2nd Ave. N. in Moorhead.

David Samson/Forum

The

Fargo de garage

He settled in a new location across the Red River in Morehead.

Owner and military veteran Chris Partridge appropriately reopened the business on Friday November 11th at 2320 2nd Ave.N in Moorhead. The Fargo DIY Garage shares the location with Mr. Mechanic.

partridge

The business opened in June of 2020

at 901 Westrac Drive in Fargo. He worked there for nearly two years

before the shop closed temporarily

last April.

Since then, Partridge has been looking for a site where she will collect the numbers, and now he thinks he has found it. It’s even better that it’s now paired with a veteran-owned company, too. “It was very fortunate for both of us,” he said.

Not only does it add the new location for Partridge, but it also solves two major dilemmas he faced with his previous store.

Read more from the Thomas Evanella forum


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