Morning headlines: When the Delta variant is expected to peak in Minnesota,

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Here is your InForum Minute morning briefing for Wednesday, Sept. 22.

The COVID-19 testing site at 3051 25th St. S. in Fargo seen March 29, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

The COVID-19 testing site at 3051 25th St. S. in Fargo seen March 29, 2021. David Samson / The Forum


FARGO — The surge in COVID-19 infections driven by the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus could peak in North Dakota within about three weeks, according to an ensemble forecast.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiles multiple model projections into an ensemble forecast that shows the surge in North Dakota continuing to climb over the next three weeks, then dipping by the fourth week. North Dakota is experiencing 2,985 weekly COVID-19 cases, a number that will increase to 3,464 in three weeks, then recede to 3,137 in four weeks, according to the CDC’s ensemble forecast on Monday, Sept. 20. Full story here.

West Fargo City Hall and police station (Matt Von Pinnon/Forum)

West Fargo City Hall and police station (Matt Von Pinnon/Forum)

WEST FARGO — West Fargo residents will see an increase of roughly $20 per $100,000 of home value in city taxes in 2022, after the City Commission passed its 2022 final budget Monday, Sept. 20.

“This has no changes from the preliminary hearing,” City Administrator Tina Fisk said. “I would like to thank all of the staff on their hard work. It was a really tough year, but we did a great job. It’s never easy, and we appreciate your honesty when it comes down to making the numbers work.” Full story here.

North Dakota State University wants to replace Askanase Hall, also known as the Little Country Theater, with a $45 million performing arts center.  David Samson / The Forum

North Dakota State University wants to replace Askanase Hall, also known as the Little Country Theater, with a $45 million performing arts center. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — North Dakota State University wants to raise up to $45 million to replace a decades-old theater with a performing arts center.

The State Board of Higher Education Budget and Finance Committee unanimously recommended on Tuesday, Sept. 21, that the university be allowed to begin fundraising for the project. The proposal will go to the full board, which is slated to review the request at its Sept. 30 meeting.

The project aims to replace Askanase Hall, according to documents made public by the North Dakota University System. Built in 1966 at 1497 12th Ave. N., Askanase houses the theater arts department and the Little Country Theater, a performing arts program that began in 1914. About $385,000 would go toward demolishing Askanase. Full story here.

FARGO — School is back in session, and many of Shawn Gibree’s summer employees are back in class. He is the owner of Babb’s Coffee House in downtown Fargo, now slinging brews behind the counter alongside his staff just to help fill in the gaps.

Competing with hundreds of others in the short-staffed service industry, Gibree said he is not able to offer up the same incentives as larger companies.

“Well, we’re a small business; I can’t give a thousand-dollar sign-on bonus, because you’ve got to sell a lot of coffees to make a thousand bucks,” Gibree said.

He is far from alone in the fight for workers. Full story here.

The Forum Communications Podcast Network

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