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—Faculty and staff at North Dakota State University are girding for deep cuts in state appropriations—some anticipate a cut of 30 percent or more. But though state funds last year provided just 28 percent of the university's revenues, it's essential funding, NDSU's top financial officer says. Appropriations from the state general fund provide essential funding for instructional activities at the university, said Bruce Bollinger, NDSU's vice president for finance and administration.
FARGO—North Dakota legislators—reacting to consumer bills averaging almost $60,000—have passed a law that will restrict charges by air ambulance services that are not participating providers with major insurers. Once the provision takes effect on Jan. 1, non-participating air ambulance services will be allowed to charge only the average of participating services.
FARGO—Norman B. Black took time in his busy life to write his brother a short letter with exciting news: He bought The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. "I believe I have picked up the best newspaper property in the United States for the money invested," Black wrote April 27, 1917. "We paid $100,000.00 cash for the plant." That $100,000 investment 100 years ago is equivalent to $2.1 million today, according to inflation calculators.
FARGO—Sanford Health Plan is suing the federal government for almost $9 million for what it says is a reneged promise to pay to cushion the insurer against hard-to-predict losses from providing coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act, the health reform law often called Obamacare, required qualified health plans that sold health insurance in the government's online marketplace to meet certain standings, including providing essential benefits.
BISMARCK—The top leader in the North Dakota House presented the State Board of Higher Education with a proposal to study ways to improve the state's two-year career and vocational programs in a meeting Thursday, March 30. House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, told board members he is working on a legislative plan that would make $40,000 available to pay a consultant to help in the review, with the goal of boosting workforce development with a more unified system.
FARGO — North Dakota State University is seeking approval for up to a $28 million addition to Sudro Hall to enable a significant expansion of its nursing program and to bring all of its health programs under one roof. The proposal won unanimous approval this week by the budget committee of the State Board of Higher Education, and it will be presented to the full board at its meeting Thursday, March 30.
FARGO—The Fargo-Moorhead metro area last year posted its most modest population gain in four years but still maintained steady growth even as North Dakota's go-go economy lost steam. Fargo-Moorhead's population last year reached 238,124, an increase of 4,482 over 2015, or 1.9 percent, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. By comparison, the metro area gained 5,220 residents the year before, in 2015.
FARGO — An executives at Sanford Health said immigration restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump's administration could prevent filling "critical gaps" in care by keeping out some doctors from foreign countries. Sanford has seven physicians who, if they returned to their home countries, might not be unable to return to their jobs under travel restrictions announced by the administration. The travel ban has not been allowed to take effect because of a federal judge's ruling.
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.