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Retail sales rose in September for the fifth month in a row, as Americans spent more on clothing, cars and sporting goods. The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales grew 1.9% last month. That's roughly triple August’s increase of 0.6%. Retail sales have been recovering since plunging in the spring as stores and malls were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Long-term mortgage rates have fallen this week as the key 30-year loan reached a new all-time low for the 10th time this year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year mortgage fell to 2.81% from 2.87% last week.

Home sales in Grand Forks / East Grand Forks surpassed the year ago total in September. According to the Grand Forks Area Association of Realtors a total of 82 homes…townhomes…and condos exchanged hands last month. That compares to 76for September 2019. The average sales price last month was $236,000.

The summer travel season was even worse than expected for Delta Air Lines, which said Tuesday that it lost $5.4 billion in the third quarter as people hunkered down at home during the pandemic. Delta officials pushed back their timetable for breaking even, from year-end to next spring, as their previous expectation that COVID-19 would be contained proved too rosy.

It cost a whole lot more to buy a used SUV, car, truck or van last month than it did before the coronavirus hit, and that almost singlehandedly caused September's modest consumer price increase. The pandemic knocked supply and demand way out of whack, causing prices to spike. The good news is that inventories are being replenished, and prices are beginning to drop.

The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints that the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle can catch fire. The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers nearly 78,000 Bolts made by General Motors from the 2017 through 2020 model years.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) held an informal hearing Friday on a request from Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) to update rates related to electric transmission revenue and costs. The effect of the rate change on the bill for an average residential customer would be an increase of $3.35 per month or $40.20 per year.

A majority of bankers surveyed in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states are showing more enthusiasm for the state of their local economies than they have since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Rural Mainstreet Survey's overall index surged to 53.2 in October, up from 46.9 in September and well ahead of the 35.5 reading in March. Bankers from ten states were surveyed including: Minnesota…North Dakota and South Dakota.

SkySkopes has been named a top drone service provider by Drone Industry Insights (Dii). SkySkopes was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Minot, ND along with offices in Grand Forks, ND, Fargo, ND, Minneapolis, MN, Fort Worth, TX, and Camarillo, CA. Drone service providers were ranked using parameters like company size, market shares, public activity, and many more.

Digi-Key Electronics has announced that it will be the exclusive global distributor of data management software for the BeagleBone platform. Digi-Key Electronics, headquartered in Thief River Falls.

A & L Siding is partnering with Renewal by Andersen to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The company is offering a donation of $25 per window/sliding door for every piece sold in the month of October. A & L Siding donated over $2600 last year and are on pace to do the same this year. “The best way to fight cancer is to attack it from every angle and that’s what we want to help the American Cancer Society do,” says Paul Delahunt, President of Renewal by Andersen.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) says Altru Health System has earned a 2020 CHIME Digital Health Certified Level 8, Quality Award for Altru’s Acute and Ambulatory settings. The surveys assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry leading. A total of 30,135 organizations were represented in the 2020 Digital Health Most Wired program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families has awarded White Earth Tribal and Community College (WETCC) a $500,000.00 grant per year for five years. The grant will provide tuition expenses, computers, and equipment for Head Start Staff to attend classes through a HyFlex model of delivery in a culturally relevant setting. WETCC will be partnering with White Earth Head Start and the University of Minnesota Crookston.

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