Christmas

Paul Vogel, Fargo

Paul Vogel of Fargo is looking for the public's help to find the culprit who cut down a huge Colorado blue spruce at his family farmstead last week.

He's offering a $300 reward for solving vandalism to the 20 foot high tree someone took for a Christmas tree.

For Vogel, the tree has special meaning.

"It's a beautiful tree,' Vogel said. "I was shocked the tree was gone."

Vogel said all that's left is a stump and some low branches.

"Thirty years ago, my dad and I planted it," Vogel said. "My heart just sunk."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The executive director of the North Dakota Retail Association says his members are optimistic – but conservative – in their outlook for the Christmas shopping season.

Mike Rud says nationally, retailers predict a 3.6 to 4 percent growth in Christmas sales year-over-year. Rud says earlier this fall, North Dakota stores weren’t as optimistic about those numbers.

"I'm not seeing that sense of optimism that I've seen in the past," Rud said.

But Rud said that attitude could change -- given some of North Dakota's economic factors right now.

ND retailers expect a good Christmas shopping season

Nov 22, 2016
Courtesy ND Retail Association

The president of the North Dakota Retail Association says he expects a good Christmas shopping season.

Mike Rud said national projections indicate a 3 ½ percent increase in consumer spending over last Christmas. Rud said he hopes North Dakota will see similar, if not better, growth.

"With the results from the election, I think it gives the folks in North Dakota a little more hope, in terms of regulatory certainty in the energy sector," Rud said. "That should lift the optimism a little bit."

Rud also said record crop yields will also help farmers' bottom lines.