Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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FARGO—Protesters lined up in front of the office of Sen. John Hoeven, R-.N.D., to urge him to reject a bill that detractors say would take health insurance away from thousands of North Dakota residents in exchange for tax cuts for the wealthy. The protesters carried signs with slogans—"Healthcare for all," "Trumpcare is not terrific. It's terrifying."—during the noon hour on Wednesday, June 28, to call for the defeat of a Senate bill pushed by Republicans intended as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
BISMARCK—A divided State Board of Higher Education gave the go-ahead to the North Dakota State College of Science to seek private financial support for a proposed career workforce academy in Cass County. The board voted 5 to 3 to allow John Richman, president of NDSCS, and other backers of the proposed center to contact businesses to seek donations.
BISMARCK—North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani's contract was extended Tuesday, June 27, in a vote that came without discussion, a contrast with the turbulence of last year, when his contract approval was delayed and board members gave him benchmarks for improvement. The State Board of Higher Education Tuesday approved a slate of contract extensions for campus presidents.
FARGO — The Federal Trade Commission is aiming to block the proposed merger of Sanford Health and the Mid Dakota Clinic in Bismarck on grounds that it would reduce competition in the healthcare market. The North Dakota Attorney General's Office will join with the FTC in seeking federal court action to block the deal, arguing that it would violate federal antitrust law. The agencies announced Thursday, June 22, that they will seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the deal pending an administrative trial, scheduled to begin Nov. 28.
BISMARCK—Sanford Health and the Mid Dakota Clinic here have taken a step closer to merging by signing an agreement and expect to combine their organizations soon. Now rivals, the two first announced their intent to merge in September 2016, and announced on Wednesday, June 21, that they intend to form their partnership soon. There will be no staff cuts as a result of the merger, Sanford and Mid Dakota said, and there will be no interruptions in patient care.
FARGO — Ashley Seykora learned she had advanced melanoma two weeks after her second child was born. She was 31 years old and was told her life expectancy was 12 to 18 months. "I remember being angry and thinking, 'No, no, no!'" Seykora said, recalling the grim diagnosis she received more than two years ago. After standard chemotherapy failed, she was able to get into a medical research trial at a hospital in Texas. Her employer-sponsored health care covered the research therapy, due to a provision of the Affordable Care Act.
FARGO — Inspectors with the Fargo Fire Department have found significant fire code violations involving improper storage of hazardous chemicals at Ladd Hall and Dunbar Hall on the North Dakota State University campus. "Many of these violations are the result of careless and improper storage of hazardous materials. These violations shall be corrected immediately," Fire Marshal Ryan Erickson wrote in a letter dated Friday, June 9, to NDSU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
FARGO—Ray Jensen had been keeping his trained eye on the increasingly ominous western sky for more than an hour when he saw a tornado descend from a wall cloud at the end of a line of thunderstorms. The tornado was about four miles west of Jensen's office at the National Weather Service at Fargo's Hector Airport. At it emerged, the twister was a sharply pointed black cone that rapidly dropped to the ground.
FARGO — Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced that President Trump has nominated U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson to a seat on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Erickson was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003 to the U.S. District Court here, the trial court level in the federal judicial system. Erickson previously served as a state district judge for the East Central Judicial District in Cass County.
FARGO—North Dakota's Legacy Fund now stands at almost $4 billion and legislators will for the first time tap earnings from the fund to help balance the budget. Lawmakers voted to spend up to $200 million from the fund's earnings to help balance the 2017-19 budget, in a session in which legislators grappled with a severe retraction in state revenues from sagging oil and farm prices.