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 Spirit Lake Tribe is opposed to a proposed factory hog farm that would be built half a mile from the shore of Devils Lake and is urging state health officials to deny a permit for the project. The tribal council voted unanimously to pass a resolution against Grand Prairie Agriculture, a proposed operation that would have up to 2,499 hogs capable of producing thousands of piglets a year.
FARGO — UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, has announced its plans to enter the small group market in the three-state region in a move North Dakota's insurance regulator said could increase competition. The entry in January into South Dakota and new parts of Minnesota, too, will add a major player in the health insurance market. In North Dakota, the market is now dominated by three companies: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the Sanford Plan and Medica.
FARGO — The family of Leo Kuntz has launched an online fundraiser with the goal of collecting $50,000 to maintain the herd of almost 200 Nokota horses the Linton, N.D., rancher tended. Kuntz died Aug. 12 at age 69 from injuries suffered earlier in an all-terrain vehicle accident that happened when he was returning from checking on his horses. The horses are descended from horses that came from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Kuntz coined the term Nokota horse, which was named the honorary state horse in 1993.
FARGO—The Sanford Medical Center has won designation as a top-level trauma center, becoming the first to earn the recognition in caring for the most severely injured patients for a broad region in the upper Midwest. Sanford has cleared its final hurdle to be verified as a Level I Adult Trauma Center, a designation awarded by the American College of Surgeons. The achievement makes Fargo the only city with a Level I Adult Trauma Center between Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and Omaha, according to Sanford.
FARGO — Drew Wrigley is on a path to reclaim a job he once held as the top federal prosecutor in North Dakota. President Donald Trump has nominated Wrigley to serve as U.S. attorney for North Dakota, a position Wrigley held from 2001 to 2009 during the President George W. Bush administration. More recently, from 2010 to 2016, Wrigley served as North Dakota’s lieutenant governor under former Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
LINTON, N.D. —Leo Kuntz was a lifelong bachelor. He lived alone on the family ranch in Emmons County and tended a large herd of horses whose very existence was his greatest achievement. The horses came to be called Nokotas, a name Leo coined to signify the North Dakota horse, which was named the honorary state equine in 1993. Kuntz scraped by, never spending money on himself, saving every penny to care for a herd of Nokota horses that grew over the years to number more than 200 on his ramshackle ranch.
FARGO—Sanford Health, which has pursued an aggressive growth strategy since merging with MeritCare, is poised to see its revenues more than double in less than a decade to almost $6 billion if it joins as planned with the Good Samaritan Society. When Sioux Falls-based Sanford and Fargo-based MeritCare merged in 2009, they had combined revenues exceeding $2.6 billion, more than 800 physicians and 17,000 employees. Today Sanford is a $4.5 billion enterprise, with more than 1,400 physicians and 28,000 employees in the Dakotas and seven other states.
FARGO — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., presumes the Russians will try to intervene in the hotly contested North Dakota Senate race on behalf of her opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. The possibility of Russian interference in the North Dakota race, which could help determine control of the Senate, was raised publicly in a newspaper column by Lloyd Omdahl, a retired political science professor at the University of North Dakota.
FARGO—Xcel Energy broke ground on the 150-megawatt Foxtail Wind project in southeastern North Dakota on Thursday, July 9. The project will have the capacity to provide electricity for 80,000 homes. The groundbreaking marked the start of a project that is part of a push by Xcel to grow its wind generation by 1,850 megawatts, which represents a 70-percent expansion of its wind portfolio. Foxtail, which is located near Ellendale, a 144 miles southeast of Fargo, will sprawl over 35,000 acres, 99 percent of which will remain available for farming, according to Xcel.
FARGO—A watchdog group is urging federal officials to investigate what it claims is a pattern at North Dakota State University of failing to report non-compliance with regulations to protect research animals. The letter seeking action from the National Institutes of Health, which funds more than $4 million of research at NDSU involving laboratory animals, is the latest from Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!