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 — The lack of snowfall this winter is contributing to drought conditions that have persisted throughout most of North Dakota—conditions the state climatologist warns could continue into spring. More than 60 percent of North Dakota is in moderate drought, and most of the rest of the state, including the central and southern Red River Valley, is considered abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
FARGO—Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind's young life ended violently when she was on the brink of motherhood. Now her abduction and murder must serve to raise awareness of Native American women who all too often are victims of violence, and to help prevent future tragedies.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots when he attends the Super Bowl. Burgum and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum will be attending the game at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as guests of Xcel Energy, which leases a suite at the venue, Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said. "So they are not paying for their tickets," he said. The game is Sunday, Feb. 4.
FARGO—North Dakota is embarking upon an ambitious social experiment. If successful, the effort will allow the state to stop expanding jails and prisons by providing more community support for those at risk of incarceration. The effort is called Free Through Recovery and involves a partnership steered by human services and corrections officials working through a web of social service, mental health, religious and cultural organizations throughout North Dakota.
FARGO—North Dakota, bucking a national trend of continued declining imprisonment rates, saw its imprisonment rate climb 3 percent and its crime rate soar 13 percent in 2016. The numbers come from a Pew Charitable Trusts study, which noted ongoing reductions nationally in both the imprisonment and crime rates.
FARGO—Xcel Energy crews will fly to Puerto Rico to join efforts to restore power on an island devastated by Hurricane Maria. About 70 Xcel employees, including two from Fargo, will depart Monday, Jan. 29, for the island, where hundreds of thousands of people still lack electricity four months after the hurricane. "We asked for volunteers, and we got 'em," said Matt Lindstrom, an Xcel spokesman.
FARGO — Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., predicts the plan that will emerge from discussions to revamp the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project will include water storage north and south of F-M in order to mitigate impacts, both downstream and upstream. Minnesota's 7th District congressman also predicted the flood project's dam will be located closer to the city limits, which will affect more properties — and he believes the price tag could reach $4 billion, much higher than the $2.2 billion estimated.
FARGO, N.D. — The number of opioid-related deaths and overdoses that resulted in ambulance crews administering antidotes decreased sharply last year as the narcotic epidemic in the area showed signs of tapering off after peaking in 2016. Meanwhile, in a trend public health officials regard as encouraging, the number of clients enrolled at a local clinic prescribing methadone, which helps addicts wean themselves from opioids, has risen dramatically.
FARGO—The president and provost of North Dakota State University have come under fire for failing to address criticisms of a vice president for research repeatedly brought forward by concerned faculty. Those faculty concerns were made in comments submitted to a committee that evaluated the performance of Kelly Rusch, vice president for research and creative activity since 2013. Rusch gave notice Wednesday, Jan. 17, that she will be leaving the university.
FARGO — North Dakota State University's vice president for research, the subject of complaints about a "vindictive" and "overbearing" management style, will be leaving the university. Kelly Rusch submitted notice "indicating that she would be seeking opportunities outside of NDSU" and wants to step down as vice president for research and creative activity, wrote Provost Beth Ingram in an email sent to deans on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Rusch has held the position since 2013.