5 things to know today: Winter recap, Pedestrian bridge, Inspire Innovation, Historic place, Avalanche death – InForum

1. North Dakota’s 2022 was characterized by repeated blizzards, bone-chilling cold

From a record-breaking blizzard in April to back-to-back significant winter storms and bone-chilling cold in December, North Dakotans experienced a lot of wild weather in 2022.

Temperatures across eastern North Dakota in 2022 varied by as many as 137 degrees in some areas, with a low temperature of -37 on New Year’s Day in Grand Forks contrasting the city’s hottest day of 100 on June 19. Central North Dakota saw similar readings, reaching as low as -27 and as high as 103 in Bismarck over the year.

The year both started and ended with temperatures significantly lower than the historical norm. Those in eastern North Dakota underwent a cold February, with temps in Grand Forks and Fargo registering seven to nine degrees below normal, while Bismarck’s readings came in roughly two degrees below the historical average. A December cold snap made the months between eight and 11 degrees colder than normal in each of the cities.

The year was also characterized by snow. While Fargo only exceeded their normal snowfall amounts by about 7.5 inches, Grand Forks saw more than a foot above average and Bismarck experienced a staggering 40 inches more snow than typically falls — mostly as a result of significant blizzards in April and December.

Luckily for most, summer and fall offered some relief for residents of the three areas, with near-normal or slightly above average temperatures.

Read more from Forum News Service’s Hunter Dunteman

2. Negative feedback prompts new design for pedestrian bridge near Fargo City Hall

A revised rendering of the proposed 2nd Street Pedestrian Bridge outside City Hall in Downtown Fargo.

Submitted photo

In the face of strong pushback, Fargo’s “bridge to nowhere” received a lifeline in the form of a cheaper design, new potential funding and a fresh look at the city’s vision for Civic Plaza.

After overwhelmingly negative feedback from Fargo residents, a revised concept for the Second Street Pedestrian Bridge Project was presented to the Fargo City Commission by consultant KLJ Engineering during the commission’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

The revised concept will cost between $3.7 million and $4.8 million to construct. The figure does not include costs for engineering or inspection, according to Jeremy Gorden, a transportation division engineer with the city of Fargo.

KLJ’s Wade Kline said the feedback prompted the consultant to go back to the drawing board, resulting in a bridge concept that is more simple in nature, therefore reducing the overall project cost.

Commissioner Arlette Preston said the reduced cost likely won’t be enough to sway residents who feel the bridge is too expensive, however. The simplified design is likely to drive away residents who support a more iconic bridge, she said.

“We’re going to end up with a bridge that no one likes,” Preston said.

The proposed bridge would cross over Second Street North and the floodwall to connect to the riverfront trail system and deposit pedestrians on the front lawn of Fargo’s City Hall.

Read more from The Forum’s Melissa Van Der Stad

3. New home announced for Moorhead’s Inspire Innovation Lab

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Inspire Innovation Lab is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, located at 423 Main Ave. in Moorhead. They recently found out that they have to relocate by the end of January.

Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Inspire Innovation Lab, a school offering full-time day classes as well as afterschool and summer programming, announced Thursday, Dec. 29, it will relocate to the Townsite Center at 810 4th Ave. S. in Moorhead.

Founder Carrie Leopold announced in late November she was searching for a new home for the school after she was informed her lease at 423 Main Ave. would be terminated at the end of January.

The new space was described as a “dream come true” in a Facebook post announcing the move.

“There is room for dreams we’ve had for years to take root and space for future growth. There is a PLAYGROUND! Dr. Carrie finally gets to have a SCIENCE ROOM! We are going to be able to design two different SENSORY ROOMS for our students! And the PARKING LOT. Y’all. It’s a dream come true,” read the post.

Read more from The Forum’s Angie Wieck

4. North Dakota barn in Turtle Lake listed on register of historic places

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The historic Schlafmann Barn near Turtle Lake, ND

Image provided by the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

The Schlafmann Barn near Turtle Lake, North Dakota, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the federal government’s list of properties it considers worthy of preservation and recognition.

Turtle Lake is located in McLean County in central North Dakota.

North Dakota nominations to the National Register of Historic Places are coordinated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota, which provided the following details about the barn:

The structure was built in 1910 by Erland Lindquist for dairy cattle, but it soon became used for housing beef cattle as well.

The William and Helen Schlafmann family purchased the farm in 1955 and the barn underwent renovations to better suit beef cattle.

To this day, the barn is still used for calving.

Read more from The Forum’s David Olson

5. Fargo native dies in Colorado avalanche on Christmas Day

A man in a bike helmet and Colorado-themed bike shirt smiles in a selfie in front of a green tree line.

Fargo native Brian Bunnell died Christmas Day 2022 in a Colorado avalanche while snowboarding with his sons.

Contributed

Whether it was in the pool or on a cross-country course, families at Fargo North High School remember Brian Bunnell, who was funny, smart and successful in any sport he signed up for.

On Thursday, Dec. 29, Bunnell’s longtime swim and cross-country coaches paged through yearbooks from Fargo North. Bunnell was everywhere. Often a captain of his swim and cross-country teams, he was an athlete who held records for years.

“He had self-confidence right off the bat,” said longtime Fargo North cross-country coach Gary Mailloux. “He had work ethic, (and) he was multi-sport.”

But coaches like Mailloux, Skip Fisher and Dick Fisher say the success didn’t stop there.

Watch the story from WDAY’s Kevin Wallevand

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