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FARGO, N.D. — The Chamber and Economic Development Corporation are spearheading a new initiative, with the public and private sectors working together to make the local economy stronger.

The three pillars the Fueling Our Future Initiative will focus on are people, prosperity, and place.

“It’s putting the needs of the community above the needs of your own individual organization. It’s that ability that Fargo has demonstrated time and time again that if all boats rise, your boat’s going to rise as well,” Nate White, president of Sanford Health, said.

Over 30 organizations including Sanford, Gate City Bank, and Microsoft are involved the long–term initiative, and leaders have a goal of raising $5 million, with $4 million from the private sector and $1 million from the public sector. So far, nearly 80 percent of the goal has already been invested.

“It’s not about solving today’s problems tomorrow or tomorrow’s problems in the next year or two. It’s about looking at the challenges and how we can start today to be ready 10, 15, 20 years from now so we’re that much ahead of the game,” Craig Whitney, president/CEO of the FMWF Chamber, said.

Money will go towards programs to get students ready for the workforce through career academies, recruiting businesses to the area, and support for entrepreneurs.

“How can we really step on the gas, is what we’re talking about, how can we make those defining decisions that will truly be recognized twenty years from now?” Mark Nisbet with Xcel Energy said.

Organizations can also propose projects, which will be reviewed by the board.

“We didn’t make this assumption where we provide it and say here it is, this isn’t about the Chamber and EDC, this is about our partners,” Joe Raso with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation said.

“Like the name Fueling our Future indicates, it is putting fuel on the fire for what’s happening in this community,” White said.

There is a similar initiative in Sioux Falls that that focuses on economic success.

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FARGO, N.D.– Robo–calls are nothing new in our area, but scams come in all shapes and sizes.

According to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, a con artist steals someone’s identity every 2 seconds in the U.S.

The group says in 2018, Americans lost $16 billion  to fraud, identity theft, and scams.

There are many types of scams people can fall victim to and it’s important to know how you can protect yourself.

AARP is holding ‘lunch and learn’ seminars to tell people about the latest scams and tips on how they can protect themselves.

The most common types of scams this time of year include people calling and claiming to be from the IRS or the Social Security Administration.

Callers claim you need to pay money that you owe immediately or you will be fined or sent to prison.

“If you didn’t call the Social Security administration asking them to call you back, or you didn’t call the IRS asking them to call you back, they’re not going to call you,” says the State Director for AARP North Dakota, Josh Askvig. “There’s no reason for them to call you. They’ll send you a letter, they’ll find other means to get a hold of you but they are not going to call you unless you’ve reached out to them first.”

Scammers are looking to steal your money or your identity.

Technology makes fraud and scams easier to fall for, especially if you’re 50 years or older.

“Every year there are billions are lost in America, and the vast majority of that comes from seniors for a number of reasons,” says the Advisor with AARP Fraud Watch Network, Seth Boffeli. “They have a lot of assets, they’re more likely to pick up the phone, and if they are on email they are less likely to understand or be really comfortable on that platform.”

Even though the seminar is directed towards an older age group, everyone is at risk to be scammed.

Be skeptical. Don’t answer a phone call if you don’t recognize the number and never give out any personal information over the phone.

For more information about how you can protect yourself from scams, click here.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -The Minnehaha County State’s Attorney has charged the man in connection with an incident that led to a deputy-involved shooting in Sioux Falls on Tuesday.

44-year-old George Lee Rinzy, Jr., is facing four aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer charges and two simple assault on a law enforcement officer charges, as well as, one intentional damage to property charge.

Authorities say Rinzy, Jr. was hitting a glass window with a bottle near the front door of the Minnehaha County Jail at around 3 p.m. Tuesday. As jail staff called for back up, the man went into the parking lot and became more violent. Authorities say Rinzy, Jr. charged at a deputy with a knife before the deputy fired two shots, one striking Rinzy, Jr.

Rinzy, Jr. was hospitalized after the incident, but authorities have not released his condition.

Authorities have not confirmed if the deputy has been placed on administrative leave, but they say he was not working today as the investigation continues. The deputy’s name has not been released.

The charges come from the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan. McGowan’s office says Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and the Division of Criminal Investigation are continuing their independent investigation of the shooting.

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FARGO, N.D.– Its tradition for graduating seniors to pull a senior prank on their school, but South High school students are taking the word prank and giving it a new meaning.

Prank, or People really appreciate nice kids, is a way for graduating seniors to thank their grade school teachers and show young kids that they too can graduate if they put their minds to it.

And the seniors don’t mind hanging out and playing with the kids.

“We like to go out into our feeder schools for Fargo South and the kids can get to know the graduating seniors and get pumped up to graduate themselves,” says graduating senior, Brooklyn Klein. “To just inspire them and how them that graduation is a big thing and get them excited so that one day they can come back here and do the same.”

Seniors played softball and did arts and crafts with the kids at Lewis and Clark Elementary.

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Gov. Tim Walz

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN — East Grand Forks wants in on the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener.

It was held two weekends ago in Albert Lea and is headed to Thumper Pond Resort in Otter Tail County next year.

East Grand Forks officials hope to hook the event in 2021.

The city is hoping to use the event as a catalyst for making improvements along the river banks.

A site visit by Explore Minnesota officials is planned for next Wednesday.

A formal application to host the event is due in November.

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Sen. John Hoeven met with Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Work is ongoing in Washington, D.C. to secure another manned flying mission for Fargo’s Happy Hooligans.

North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven met with Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice, the Director of the Air National Guard.

Hoeven says he is working to advance priorities of the North Dakota Air National Guard.

They talked about a new operation facility for the 119th Wing MQ-9 mission and tuition assistance.

But they also touched on a new mission to go along with the Reaper drone program.

“The other thing we really focused on was working to get a new manned flying mission for the Hooligans and that would be the light attack aircraft and I’m hopeful that we’re able to get that,” said Hoeven.

The 119th Fighter Wing retired its F-16’s after a realignment recommendation in 2005 by the Department of Defense.

Hoeven says he’s also working on a tuition assistance program for the Air National Guard that is similar to one by the Army National Guard.

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DRAYTON, ND — A Drayton, North Dakota woman is dead after getting hit by a vehicle while standing on a road just south of the town.

The fatal crash was reported around 1 Wednesday morning.

The highway patrol has identified the woman as 44-year-old Kammi Leland.

They say 21-year-old Hunter Hatloy of Drayton came across a man on the road and steered to avoid hitting him but ending up hitting Leland.

Hatloy and his passenger and the other person on the road, 40-year-old Matthew Hilton, were not hurt.

The crash remains under investigation.

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With the cost of medicine rapidly rising, Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduces two bills to help lower the cost of drugs.

One is called the Ensuring Innovation Act, which would stop companies from extending their patents by making insignificant changes to drugs by adding ingredients.

The other is called the FAIR Drug Pricing Act, which would require manufacturers to be transparent about price increases.

“Worst case scenario I think people are going to end up paying the price and no one is going to reign in the big drug companies, that’s the way our market works and that’s why I’m using all the power I can marshal in the Congress to pass good legislation,” Smith said.

Both bills have bipartisan support and Smith says she’s optimistic they can get passed.

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BISMARCK, ND — A judge has issued a temporary restraining order in the battle over a mural at Lonesome Dove bar in Mandan.

The owners sued in federal court on Monday.

The Mandan City Commission ordered the bar to remove the mural because the business doesn’t have a permit for the outdoor artwork.

The judge’s order also prohibits the city from taking steps to remove it.

A hearing has been scheduled in U.S. District Court in Bismarck June 5.

The lawsuit is asking for one dollar in symbolic damages.

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LONGVILLE, MN — A second drowning in central Minnesota has been reported this week.

The body of a man has been pulled from Louise Lake near Longville.

Deputies and first responders were called to the lake Tuesday afternoon on a report of a possible drowning.

They found the man’s body near a fishing boat.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Monday, a woman was pulled from Leech Lake at Woodland Resort.

She was also pronounced dead at the scene.

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