Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.
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FARGO—Fourteen months after West Acres lost its Sears store, the large vacancy at Fargo's mall is back in business. Best Buy will celebrate its grand opening at 9 a.m. Friday, June 8, occupying just over 50,000 square feet of the roughly 90,000-square-foot former Sears building. It's a small move for the electronics retailer, which has operated since 1994 in a 45,000-square-foot standalone building just south of West Acres. But Chris Heaton, West Acres' vice president of property management, said it'll mean big things for Best Buy's Fargo presence.
BISMARCK — The Republican-endorsed candidate for North Dakota secretary of state has withdrawn from the race just two days after The Forum reported on his 2006 window-peeping incident on the North Dakota State University campus. Will Gardner announced the decision around 3:50 p.m. Sunday, May 20, in a post to his Will Gardner for Secretary of State Facebook page. "In light of recent events, I have decided to withdraw from the election of Secretary of State. This is the best decision for my family and me," he wrote in the post.
FARGO — A Fargo School Board candidate is suing the Bismarck Police Department for $75 million and an apology for allegedly violating his civil rights during a 2007 arrest that came after his then-teenage son told authorities the man hit and threatened him. The candidate, 58-year-old Radomysl Twardowski, told Forum News Service on Thursday, April 12, that the 2007 arrest represented an "illegal, vicious, violent attack" on him.
OAKES, N.D. — Investigators have determined the cause of a Feb. 25 fire that burned a newspaper building here to the ground. Oakes Fire Chief Jerry Hollingsworth said the North Dakota Fire Marshal's Office issued a final determination of cause Thursday, April 5, that said electrical equipment failure was to blame. Hollingsworth said the blaze was essentially caused by the failure of a couple of breaker panels at the building where the Oakes Times operated. Part of the building was also used for cold storage and to shelter a truck.
FARGO—North Dakota Democrats are calling out Rep. Kevin Cramer after the U.S. Senate candidate compared his election rival's votes against the agenda of President Donald Trump to cheating on a spouse. But Cramer said those comments he made Wednesday, April 4, while talking with conservative North Dakota radio host Scott Hennen were taken out of context by a national news outlet. The comments in question came when Cramer said he was talking with Hennen about the voting record of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. The remarks prompted an article by CNN on Wednesday evening.
COLFAX, N.D. — The Richland 44 School Board will meet later this week to discuss whether or not to renew the contract of Superintendent Tim Godfrey, who has been on paid administrative leave since March 1. Richland 44 School District announced Wednesday morning, March 28, that it will hold a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. Friday in the Richland High School Board Room, 101 Main St., in Colfax.
FARGO — Sarah Light said she's tired of hearing more guns would reduce gun violence. Instead, the Fargo North High School student said the goal should be fewer guns. "The first step is to accept that we have a problem," Light said. Light and other local students, teachers and leaders spoke at Sanctuary Events Center, 670 Fourth Ave. N., on Saturday, March 24, as more than 800 March for Our Lives rallies took place around the world.
FARGO — A state lawmaker from Fargo who made national news after sending an explicit photo of himself on a gay dating app will seek a fifth term in the North Dakota House. Republican Rep. Randy Boehning, a self-employed subcontractor, says he's proud of his legislative accomplishments so far, but there's more to do, including the need to focus more on skilled trades and fight the ongoing opioid epidemic. "That is why I'm running once again," he said in a written statement issued Monday, March 19. "I will continue to be a strong voice for the residents in my district."
FARGO — Locals will have two chances to see Vice President Mike Pence in Fargo next week, including at a free event focusing on tax cuts that will feature Pence as a special guest. Nonprofit group America First Policies is planning a "Tax Cuts to Put America First" event at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in the Crystal Ballroom at Delta Hotels by Marriott, 1635 42nd St. S., according to an online posting about the upcoming talk.
MINNEAPOLIS—A Muslim civil rights group is calling for an investigation into a video that it says showed North Dakota militia members shooting at and blowing up a model of a mosque. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) issued a news release Wednesday evening, March 7, about the YouTube video, which was called "North Dakota Security Force III militia FTX."