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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BISMARCK — North Dakota's rebounding sales tax collections continued in the second quarter with receipts that were almost 10 percent higher than the second quarter last year. Taxable sales and purchases for April, May and June reached almost $5.15 billion, almost 9.5 percent above last year's second quarter, according to figures from the Office of State Tax Commissioner released Monday, Sept. 17.
FARGO — The presidents of North Dakota's two flagship universities said the state's long history of economic peaks and valleys underscores the need for strategic investments in university research to help diversify an economy dependent on agriculture and oil. Dean Bresciani, president of North Dakota State University, and Mark Kennedy, president of the University of North Dakota, outlined their proposal for the state to invest $100 million in research at the two campuses over a four-year period.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — David Shulkin, a physician whom President Donald Trump tapped to head health care for veterans and later fired, will serve as Sanford Health's chief innovation officer. Shulkin's portfolio will put him in charge of Sanford's research, clinical genetic medicine, Profile weight loss and world clinic programs, according to an announcement made Tuesday, Sept. 11.
FARGO — Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., briefed North Dakota auto dealers on federal efforts to resolve trade disputes during a meeting with The Automobile Dealers Association of North Dakota on Monday, Sept. 10. Those dealers hope U.S. negotiations will achieve fair trade without having to impose tariffs on imported cars and trucks.
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.