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—Xcel Energy has announced its largest-ever wind power initiative. The utility will seek regulatory approval to add 1,550 megawatts of wind capacity, including 250 megawatts from two North Dakota projects. The initiative, which includes seven wind farms in all, was announced Thursday, March 16, and is expected to generate almost $200 million in property taxes over the life of the projects, including $30 million in North Dakota.
FARGO—Work continues on the $22 million Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital, and interviewing has begun for the chief executive and medical director positions with the expectation that the Fargo hospital will begin treating patients in October or November. The 42-bed hospital is located just south of the Microsoft campus and will become North Dakota's first specialty rehabilitation hospital. Twelve of the rooms will be designated for patients recovering from traumatic brain injury or concussion.
FARGO—Jared Olson is a big fan of solo living. He moved out on his own when he turned 18 and continues to live alone in a one-bedroom apartment. Now 24, Olson prefers the freedom that living alone affords. He admits to being particular about his surroundings and has never considered living with roommates.
FARGO—Changes to health insurance rates for students covered under the North Dakota University System will mean steep premium increases for students from the U.S. and a big discount for international students. The premium changes, which apply to about 2,000 of the university system's 47,000 students, will take effect this August, the beginning of the fall semester. This semester, 359 domestic students and 1,634 international students are enrolled in the health plan.
FARGO—North Dakota State University is not adopting a new tenure policy that gives campus presidents the option of much shorter notification requirements for dismissing faculty during financial crises. President Dean Bresciani told leaders of the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association that the policy, passed last month, would severely hinder the university's ability to attract faculty members from a national talent pool.
FARGO — Michel Stern's boyhood journey from Nazi-occupied France to the United States started as a passenger hidden underneath a blanket while riding on a bicycle. He was able to make his way to Casablanca and, after a long wait in a cramped apartment, boarded a Portuguese ship to the U.S., where his Jewish family was safe from the Holocaust that killed millions during World War II, including relatives who weren't as lucky. It was a life-saving trip made possible by Stern's North Dakota uncle, Herman Stern, who was
FARGO — A federal program that provides family planning and reproductive health services at 18 clinics throughout North Dakota finds itself in the federal budgetary crosshairs. The program is under fire because it is a funding source for Planned Parenthood, even though no federal money can be used for abortion services, provided at some Planned Parenthood clinics — which has prompted President Donald Trump and some congressional Republicans to call for defunding the entire program.
FARGO—Applications for all public jobs in North Dakota could be closed—apparently for the first time in history—until the hiring authority names finalists under a bill that has passed the North Dakota Senate. If approved by the House and signed into law, it would be the first time in North Dakota that a law closes a category of public records that has been open "forever," in the view of Steve Andrist, executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, which opposes the bill.
FARGO—Sara Brendel's first child was delivered in the customary setting, a hospital delivery room. The experience was wonderful, she says. But when it was time to have her second child, she opted for a midwife. The decision to have a midwife deliver her second child came after she realized it was an option—that, in fact, in many countries a hospital delivery is reserved for high-risk pregnancies. Both experiences were good ones, but Brendel, a music teacher in Fargo, regrets that she didn't have another option.
FARGO — North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani warned an alumni group that the budget outlook for 2017-19 remains gloomy and said administrators are girding for a budget cut in the range of 20 percent. But Bresciani said there still is confusion in the Capitol about which of two gubernatorial budget proposals — or even which budget year — will serve as the baseline to shape the 2017-19 spending plan.