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 email@example.com
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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.
FARGO—Barb Swegarden felt a pop in her back while exercising at a fitness club. She suspected a pulled muscle. Then pleurisy was implicated as the cause of her pain. But the chronic pain persisted, unalleviated by removal of her gallbladder. Finally, at the Mayo Clinic, doctors found the cause: cancer in her spine. It turned out the cancer had spread from her breast, where the tumor began, then lodged in her spine. "They called it a rogue cell," Swegarden said. Then she faced a gauntlet of treatments: radiation to her spine, a breast lumpectomy, chemotherapy.
FARGO—North Dakota's abundant lignite coal reserves could provide power demand that is expected to eventually double in the Oil Patch—if researchers can succeed in capturing and storing carbon emitted from the fuel. The Lignite Energy Council, the industry group, in partnership with the state, is supporting research initiatives aimed at devising methods of capturing carbon dioxide from the stacks of the state's lignite coal-fired power plants.
FARGO—Sanford Health is celebrating the grand opening of its new medical center with a concert for employees and their guests that will feature Fergie and Lionel Richie, with special guests including Carson Wentz.
BISMARCK—North Dakota State University got the green light to proceed with campus building projects, including a new dormitory and partial renovation of University Village. The two residential projects, which have a combined price tag of $49.5 million, were approved by the State Board of Higher Education Monday, May 15.
FARGO — North Dakota State University is seeking permission to raise tuition rates 4 percent for the 2017-18 academic year to help maintain operations in the midst of a steep budget cut. The request, submitted to the chancellor's office of the North Dakota University System, will be considered by the State Board of Higher Education, likely in June. The 4 percent hike is the maximum allowed by state lawmakers, who gave North Dakota universities and colleges permission to increase tuition 4 percent in each of the next two school years to offset the state funding cuts.
FARGO—Dr. Fadel Nammour was warned against coming to North Dakota to begin his career as a gastroenterologist. After attending medical school in his native Lebanon, Nammour came to the United States, where he received six years of training in Baltimore and Camden, N.J. On the East Coast, he encountered bleak stereotypes about what life in North Dakota would be like. "They don't have roads," he was warned. "It's gravel. They have the Badlands there. What are you getting yourself into?"
MOORHEAD— The Minnesota State University Moorhead School of Communication and Journalism dedicated its Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism on Wednesday, May 3, with thank yous from administrators and students. The Marcil Center, a collaboration between Forum Communications and MSUM, was established in 2013 with a $1 million gift from Forum Communications to support scholarships, internships, research and residencies by communications professionals.