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—Leaders at North Dakota State University are pleading with students to stop cheering at Bison football games with a traditional—but derogatory—chant dating back to its rivalry with the University of North Dakota. Although UND retired its former Fighting Sioux nickname in 2012 and renamed it sports teams the Fighting Hawks last year, some NDSU students persist in shouting a recurring chant that has been condemned as "hateful." When NDSU make a first down, the students say "Sioux suck," ending the three-word phrase with an expletive.
FARGO—Katie Nicklay is in the habit of keeping the television on while she's working on her crafts and jewelry projects. Gradually, as the fall progressed, it dawned on her that something is missing: campaign ads. "I've noticed so much that there is less," she said.
FARGO—North Dakota appears to be bucking a national trend in skyrocketing rate increases for health insurance sold under the Affordable Care Act's marketplace. Individual purchasers of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the state's largest health insurer, will on average see a dip of 1.5 percent in their premiums, and small groups will see an average increase of 4.8 percent, according to company figures.
FARGO—Doug Burgum isn't backing away from saying North Dakota should consider legal action against the federal government so state and local officials can have a role in refugee resettlement, but the GOP gubernatorial candidate said the issue is not one of his priorities.
FARGO—Yue Gurt Ge has been binge-watching weather coverage of Hurricane Matthew, a menacing whirlwind on radar images that was spinning toward the Florida coast. Ge's interest is academic: He's involved in a large study exploring how decision-makers cope with uncertainty when they consider whether to evacuate in advance of a hurricane.
VALLEY CITY—A Valley City police lieutenant who resigned in July in the face of a second internal investigation against him was accused of having sex in a squad car and in the department's evidence room, authorities say. The allegations against Lt. David Swenson couldn't be proven or disproven, Police Chief Fred Thompson said in a press conference Wednesday, Oct. 5. "This is a 'he said/she said' situation and neither party wants to cooperate," Thompson said. "It is unfortunate that there cannot be a definitive conclusion to this case."
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—North Dakota University System officials were warned to brace for cuts in the next two-year budget that likely will go deeper than the 10 percent reduction they're now planning to handle. State agencies were told to plan budgets for 2017-19 that are 10 percent lower than appropriations for the current biennium—reductions that are combined with 6.55 percent cuts in the current budget.
FARGO—The annual Green and Gold Game offers a chance for the Bison football team to give young players field time and dedicated fans a sneak preview of the upcoming season. Last April, the traditional spring game also provided an early test of something new: restricted access for media outlets not holding broadcast contracts for Bison games.
FARGO—Administrators at North Dakota State University are considering axing the university studies program as part of their budget paring under plans taking shape for 2017-19. The possible elimination of the university studies program, which would mean transferring students to other programs or departments, is among the list of possible academic program eliminations that have been presented to the North Dakota University System.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—Mallary Allen doesn't flinch from discussing sensitive topics in the classroom. But the assistant sociology professor, who also teaches women's and gender studies, realizes that a discussion on domestic violence can be painfully real for some students. Because of that, she alerts her students when a reading assignment or classroom discussion could strike a sensitive nerve, given some students' past experiences.