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FARGO — In 2014, when Herman Stern was posthumously awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award — the highest honor for a North Dakotan — he was celebrated as a businessman and a civic leader. He ran Strauss clothing store for years, promoted the Boy Scouts of America and established chapters in the Red River Valley, founded what would become the United Way and oversaw the formative years of the North Dakota Winter Show. What may have come as a surprise to some was how he saved over 120 Jews from Germany as Adolf Hitler rose to power.
FARGO—Jon Wanzek is familiar with building things, having worked in the family's construction business. After he sold the company a few years ago, he still had the desire to create, but now he's using his imagination instead of heavy machinery. Wanzek co-wrote and produced the North Dakota-based feature thriller, "Valley of Bones," with Fargo natives Dan Glaser and Steven Molony.
The tagline for the new North Dakota-based thriller, "Valley of Bones," is "Some things are better left buried." The filmmakers — many with Fargo ties — did well to unearth an impressive story framed by family ties and personal history, but fall just a little short with the finishing touches. The independent feature-length film is mostly shot in western North Dakota and does a great job using the landscape and the oil boom atmosphere as a potent backdrop.
MOORHEAD—While bathroom work has been the most popular home renovation project for some time, this year kitchens put bathrooms on the back burner for home remodelers. According to a May report by the National Association of Home Builders, kitchens trickled past bathrooms as the most popular home project in 2016. More than just getting new appliances or countertops, kitchen remodels cover everything right down to, well, the kitchen sink. In a case of what's old is new, farmhouse sinks have seen a resurgence over the last decade.
FARGO—The Fargo Theatre hosts an evening with actor Sean Astin on Sept. 13. The actor will discuss his 30-year career, including roles in blockbuster hits like "The Goonies," "Rudy" and the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He is slated to appear in the next season of "Stranger Things," set to be released Oct. 27 on Netflix. Tickets are $25 and $40, with VIP packages, including a meet-and-greet, for $250 for two. Tickets are available at the Tickets300 box office, tickets300.com, or (866) 300-8300.
FARGO—Last week The Forum asked area music fans how they were making the decision over which big Friday night show to attend; the second night of WE Fest featuring Zac Brown Band, Darius Rucker, Eli Young Band and others, or Bruno Mars at the Fargodome. While readers overwhelming said they would go to Mars, not everyone agreed. "I'll take WE Fest over Bruno Mars anytime, whoever the heck he is," wrote Don Asheim.
The region's biggest musical weekend of the year kicks off Thursday when WE Fest opens in Detroit Lakes, Minn. The annual three-day event, which draws about 50,000, always starts the first Thursday in August. This year there's a little competition on the concert calendar as pop singer/songwriter Bruno Mars will play Friday at the Fargodome, the same night Zac Brown Band, Darius Rucker, Eli Young Band and more play the Soo Pass Ranch.
HAZEN, N.D.—Singing sisters Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh—better known as the country duo Tigirlily—are trading in the Peace Garden State for Music City. The Hazen, N.D.,-based act recently announced they are moving to Nashville, Tenn., in mid-August to pursue their careers in music.
FARGO—"What's cool about cooking is that it has a military structure but is completely driven by creativity. It attracts a certain kind of people," says Amy Thielen. She should know. She is one of those people. "Cooks are like this wild tribe of people who would rather be in the back of the house than up front," she says. "Big-hearted misfits who feed on stress and most are ADHD, and I would say that I am."
FARGO — For years stainless steel has been the shining star in appliance finishes, but lately, buyers have been looking for something, well, duller. Matte finishes like slate and black stainless steel are heating up the market for kitchen equipment. "A lot of people are migrating that way," says Jim Flem in sales at Karl's TV, Appliance & Furniture Store in Fargo, which carries GE's slate products, the LG Black Diamond line and KitchenAid black stainless steel pieces.