Kim Hyatt / Forum News Service
FARGO — A grisly Chicago case of murder and fetal abduction is reminding people of what happened in Fargo two years ago to 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. Chicago police made arrests this week in connection with the homicide of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez , who was nine months pregnant when she went missing on April 23.
FARGO — Danielle Wilkie's sobs were drowned out by blenders in a busy south Fargo coffee shop. She used the sleeves of her North Dakota State College of Science sweatshirt to wipe away tears after a long day of driving to and from the college in Wahpeton, where she's pursuing a construction management degree in honor of two men she lost last year. In a span of less than four months, Wilkie's little brother and father died — both while inmates at North Dakota county jails. “It’s completely surreal that it happened one after another,” she said.
WEST FARGO — Nearly two months after a fatal apartment fire, officials have released the identity of a 40-year-old West Fargo man who died a week after the blaze. Samual Yorke was pulled from his apartment by West Fargo police officers at about 5:30 a.m. Feb. 28, officials said. The cause of the fire was ruled as accidental and related to smoking materials.
FARGO — Terry Jones was never bitten by a dog during her 32-year career as a postal carrier in Fargo, but there were plenty of close calls when she had to use her satchel as a shield. “It can be terrifying,” she said. Jones, president of the North Dakota branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said carriers are trained to recognize the body language of dogs and avoid delivering or picking up at homes with aggressive dogs. “Just because they’re wagging their tail doesn’t mean they’re not upset,” she said.
FARGO — Alma Cipranic was fed up. After six months of being the target of harassment, threatening texts and rumors online, Cipranic said, she called police on her way home from work late Saturday, April 13, to report a video circulating on Snapchat. The video, which was viewed by The Forum, shows a group of women referring to Cipranic, saying “(expletive) Bosnians” and calling Bosnians “terrorists.” Cipranic, 20, is Bosnian and also a Muslim.
FARGO — North Dakota may be known as the Peace Garden state, but it's not immune to mass shootings or mass killings. The state has a history of murderous episodes, with the most recent tragedy being this week's quadruple homicide at a Mandan business. On April 1, the owner and three employees of RJR Management & Maintenance were killed. Three of the victims were shot and stabbed, and a fourth victim was stabbed, according to court documents.
FARGO — A package of legislation aimed at preventing human trafficking and violence against indigenous people is heading for Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk. Freshman Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, first brought forward one of the bills, House Bill 1313, to create a database for missing indigenous people. But the legislation expanded to include all North Dakotans because the state doesn’t collect this data. Already approved by the North Dakota House, the bill passed the state Senate unanimously Friday, March 29.
FARGO — More than a dozen school districts asking the state to forgive missed days due to severe weather got some relief this week from Gov. Doug Burgum's office. Nineteen districts that were granted waivers Tuesday, March 26, but many waivers are still being processed. In total, 43 districts requested waivers through the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. The department forwards the requests to Burgum for final approval.
FARGO — Although leery for her safety after receiving threats this week for showing support for U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, North Dakota Rep. Ruth Buffalo said she's continuing her work on policies rather than focusing on polarization. Buffalo and Omar each made history in the November election. Omar was the first Somali-American congresswoman and one of the two first Muslim women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Buffalo was the first Native American Democrat elected to the North Dakota Legislature.
FARGO — The tragic drownings last summer of a 6-year-old South Sudanese boy and 9-year-old Liberian-American girl prompted police to create free water survival programs for new Americans. Further inspiration for starting the program, said Fargo Police Cultural Liaison Officer Vince Kempf, was a special report by The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead following the drownings that illustrated an alarming trend, locally and across the U.S. and Canada.