Business News: Restructuring of GF Lyon… Revitalization of Altru & EGF

U.S. jobless claims rose last week but remain near historic lows, reflecting relatively few layoffs across the economy. Unemployment claims rose by 23,000 to 248,000 last week, the Labor Department reported. The four-week average of claims, which offsets weekly volatility, fell from 10,500 to 243,250.

Fueled by wage gains, strong hiring and increased savings, Americans sharply increased spending in retail stores last month, a sign that many consumers remain immune to rising inflation. Retail sales jumped 3.8% from December to January, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, a gain far larger than economists had expected. While inflation helped push that number up, most of January’s gain reflects more buying, not higher prices.

Average long-term mortgage rates in the United States jumped again this week, approaching levels not seen since 2019. The average rate on a 30-year loan rose to 3.92%, from 3.69% the previous week. , mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The last time the 30-year rate was higher was in May 2019, when it hit 3.99%. Consumer prices rose 7.5% and house prices rose twice as much as in the past year.

Demolition is underway to pave the way for Lyon’s downtown redevelopment project. The mixed-use development on North 4th Street will include commercial space for boutiques…a restaurant/bar…and professional offices on the first floor. Floors two through six will include some 120 apartments at market prices. Construction is expected to begin in May with a completion date of 2025.

Steven Weiser, MD, president of Altru Health System, was named president of the North Dakota Hospital Association (NDHA) and installed on January 28, 2022. As chairman of the 11-member board of directors, Weiser becomes the most senior elected official of the NDHA, which has represented hospitals and health care systems in North Dakota since its founding in 1934.

Alumni and Friends of the University of North Dakota made more than 450 donations totaling $1.3 million to UNDAAF (UNDAAF) on Giving Hearts Day Feb. 10. The $1.3 million is a record for a day of UND donations.

East Grand Forks is working with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to help secure a series of grants and loans to target the Highway 220 corridor. The money would help revitalize buildings and facades. The goal is to raise $500,000 in grants…$500,000 in state loans…and $500,000 in EDA matching funds.

Walmart weathered rising inflation, soaring COVID-19-related sick leave costs and stalled global supply chains to post strong fourth-quarter results. The Arkansas-based company announced Thursday that its quarterly profit reached $3.56 billion, or $1.28 per share. Walmart is one of the first major retailers to release its fourth-quarter fiscal results, which include the critical holiday shopping season, and are a major barometer of spending.

A Grand Forks-based UAS company will award two $1,000 scholarships each year for UND’s UAS program for five years. With offices in Grand Forks, Fargo, Watford City and Minneapolis, ISight Drone Services operates nationwide and beyond. By supporting students currently enrolled at UND, Kenville’s goal is to expand ISight’s operations by providing employment to highly qualified individuals already in North Dakota.

Mike Holmes has been named executive vice president of research and development for the Lignite Energy Council and continues in his role as technical advisor to the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s (NDIC) lignite research program. Holmes joined the Lignite Council in 2017 after a career spanning more than 15 years with the Energy & Environmental Research Center in Grand Forks. In his previous role, Holmes oversaw areas of fossil fuel research.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) today announced the addition of 10 languages ​​to the online driver’s license knowledge assessment service. The initial rollout of online knowledge tests included English and Spanish. New languages ​​include: Arabic…Chinese…French…Nepalese…Russian…Serbian…Somali…Swahili…Turkish…and Vietnamese. The online test costs $10 and customers will need access to a computer with a keyboard, mouse and camera to take the test;

Experts say you may be paying more for your avocado toast in the short term, and distributors could be looking beyond Mexico to hedge against future supply disruptions. Mexico is negotiating security guarantees for U.S. inspectors who certify avocados for export in western Mexico, where avocado pickers have been fired. Mexico, which currently supplies around 80% of US fruit imports.

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