A GROWING STATE It's no surprise that North Dakota's population has grown since 2000. Just how much it has grown had been open to speculation, which ended last week when the official 2010 Census count put the state's population at 672,591 residents as of April 1. The figure represents a 4.7 percent increase since 2000. Considering the rise in oil production in western North Dakota in recent years, everyone expected the population to grow when the Census numbers were compiled. But the reported figure passed even the most optimistic predictions, and is just short of the state's peak population of 1930 when the Census counted 680,845 residents. Now, the wait is on for the release of more detailed Census numbers, such as how many people are living in Minot. We're as impatient as anyone.
CELEBRITY WATCH Minot native and famous actor Josh Duhamel and his equally famous wife and singer Fergie (real name Stacy Ferguson) apparently spent some time during the Christmas weekend in Fargo, visiting Duhamel's father. We know this because the Fargo Forum encouraged its readers to send in photos of the celebrity couple if they're spotted around town. Really? Our philosophy in Minot has always been that Duhamel is fair game for photos and interviews if he's at a public event, or speaking at a school. But if he's simply walking down Main Street with his wife or family members, why bother them? Minot will always be Duhamel's home town, and he visits often. We're not about to go chasing him around town trying to snap a photo, and we doubt many Minot residents are, either. There are still such things are personal privacy and respect here in the Magic City. We think it's a bit irresponsible for anyone to encourage residents to pretend to be paparazzi (in Fargo?) in pursuit of photos of Duhamel and his wife. Silly us we thought Fargo was a big city where residents were used to celebrities. Guess we were wrong.