Robin Huebner is also a 5 p.m. news anchor on WDAY-TV.
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FARGO—Gov. Doug Burgum wished North Dakota State University spring graduates here well in a commencement speech that focused on technology and change, and acknowledged the deep budget cuts made recently to the state's university system. Burgum spoke at both morning and afternoon NDSU graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, staged at the Fargodome.
FARGO — Elsie Brenkworth doesn't like people telling her what to do. So when her daughter who lives in Maryland lined up someone to visit the 93-year-old weekly at her home here, Brenkworth resisted. Volunteer companion Mary McCormack, 64, admits it was a stumbling start for the two. "At first, she tried to get rid of me," McCormack laughed, "so we did have some weeks when we didn't get together." Now, their friendship is humming along, with a two- to three-hour visit every Tuesday. "I do enjoy her, and I look forward to her coming," Brenkworth said.
FARGO—They're described as "good kids who do dumb things" out of anger, frustration and boredom, or because they're testing their limits, as kids often do. Twice weekly in a conference room here, children and teens accused of shoplifting, vandalizing, egging a house or some other disorderly act sit before a jury of their peers to face the consequences.
FARGO—Danika Murphy grew up in a family of motorcycle enthusiasts, but was new to the thrills of riding herself. Just last summer, she bought a starter bike, a Honda Rebel 250, went through the basic rider's course and got her license. Her mother, Cyndi Woeck of Hendrum, Minn., said Danika was excited. "Just the feeling it gave her. Powerful, independent, cool," Cyndi said. But between then and this spring, she rode fewer than a dozen times, and that inexperience ended up costing the 26-year-old from West Fargo her life.
NOME, N.D.—The last pastor to serve at the former Zion Lutheran Church in Nome said he and former members are glad white supremacist Craig Cobb won't be living in the building after all. The 108-year-old church in rural Barnes County burned to the ground in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday, March 22, the same day a story on the church and its possible new owner was featured on The Forum's front page. The Rev. Bradley Edin presides over several Lutheran congregations in the area and served at Zion for 15 years before it closed in the summer of 2012.
NOME, N.D.—A recent deed to an old church in this tiny Barnes County town lists known white supremacist Craig Cobb as an owner of the property. However, people in Nome are still waiting to learn whether he'll become the full and rightful owner of the building there, in order for him to move to the town of about 60 people 70 miles southwest of Fargo. Cobb, also known as Paul Cobb, has already tried unsuccessfully to turn the North Dakota towns of Leith and Antler into enclaves for white supremacists.
FARGO—North Dakota has toughened up its lightest penalties for sexual assault. Gov. Doug Burgum signed a law last week that increases the maximum penalty for the least-severe misdemeanor sexual assault conviction from 30 days in jail to up to a year in jail. House Bill 1218 was initiated by county state's attorneys, who have said there's a gap in North Dakota sex-crime statutes. The bill was approved without a single dissenting vote in the House or the Senate and signed by Burgum on Tuesday, March 14.
FARGO—Leaders of nonprofit organizations are gearing up to fight a legislative proposal that could pave the way for up to six state-owned casinos in North Dakota. State-run casinos would take a big bite out of the gaming profits many North Dakota charities rely on to run their programs, said Jonathan Jorgensen, president of the board of directors for the Charitable Gaming Association of North Dakota. "It could affect services for tens of thousands of people, to be honest," Jorgensen said.
FARGO — It's been 10 years since Marie Jensen lived in New York City, but the Fargo native and Grand Forks resident has no plans to give up her cell number with its telltale 917 area code. She received it with her first cellphone during freshman year at New York University. "It's hard to let go of," Jensen said. "It feels like a part of my identity." For Debbie Winzenburg, who moved to Denver from Fargo with her husband two years ago to be close to a daughter and grandkids, her North Dakota number brings memories of home.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—Never underestimate the power of a bag of candy, a joke book or a Nerf gun to help lighten a difficult situation. For 8-year-old Arlyn Anderson and his family, a strong belief in God helps a great deal, too. They tapped into humor and faith to make it through an ordeal that saw Arlyn in dire need of a liver transplant at the same time his mother Erica was about to deliver her third child.