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FARGO - Not many people can say they have been referred to as a "balloonatic." It is an honor Shantel Gray earned while attending a Ballooniversity in Athens, Ga. Gray, manager of Balloons & More, recently took time off from preparing for Valentine's Day to talk about the holiday and the business of balloons. Q. How did you get involved in this industry? It started as a hobby to put me through school. Because of some medical issues, I wound up turning my hobby into my career. I started out doing candy bouquets for Sweet Dreams Confections and for friends and family.
MAKING THE GRADE: Anna Wanzek, Fargo, has been named to the dean's list in the University of Notre Dame's College of Engineering in Indiana. Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, named the following area students to the fall semester dean's list: Connor Hoff, Maia Mastel, Naomi Sandgren, Jamie Stallman, Fargo; Maria Ellingson and Tia Stenson, Moorhead. The following area students were named to the dean's list at Gustavus Adolphus College, St.
FARGO - The U.S. Postal Service delivered bad news to some of its customers Wednesday when it announced it would eliminate Saturday delivery of letters in August. But a majority of people approached at the downtown Fargo Post Office didn't think the change would have much effect on them. "If it will save $2 billion, I think it's a good idea," said Bonita Carlson, of Fargo. Another customer added, "What does it matter? It's all junk mail now anyways." Even Rob Hosford, a recently retired Postal Service employee from Fargo, thinks cutting Saturday service might be a good idea.
MAKING THE GRADE: Alex Altenbernd, Moorhead, was named to the dean's list at the University of St. Thomas, St.
FARGO - Readers may have noticed a grim trend within the pages of The Forum in January. In January, The Forum ran 277 paid obituaries, totaling 3,834 column inches. The average number of obits per month in 2012 was just 199. There is a common perception that more people die in the month of January than any other month. Is there truth to the notion that people hang on in order to spend one more Christmas with their families? Do extreme changes in weather or the arrival of the flu bug or seasonal depression have any effect on January mortality rates?
FARGO - Auto dealers, auto service and repair stations and contractors were among the top 10 industries for consumer complaints made to the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota in 2012. "It's never really a surprise that these categories are near the top of the list, just because cars and homes are bigger purchases," said Dan Hendrickson, communications coordinator for the bureau, based in Burnsville, Minn., with offices in Fargo and St.
MOORHEAD - John Villiard can thank the women in his life for introducing him to the auctioneering profession. Villiard, owner of John Villiard Auction Service in Moorhead, was working as a teacher in Moorhead when his wife, Donna, mentioned to his parents that she wished he could find a good summer job. That is when his mother told her they had always considered sending him to auctioneering school. Villiard says his wife sent him to school the following summer, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
NDSU NEWS: The following area North Dakota students were named to the dean's list at North Dakota State University: Lukas Kinneberg, Abercrombie; Stephanie Erb, Amenia; Marie Hagemeister, Hailey Verwest, Argusville; Jalen Burchill, Arthur; Steffani Johnston, Arville; Kara Lepp, Ashley; Nicholas Haberman, Barney; Mikayla Fick, Taylor Holte, Zachery Staskywicz, Burlington; Kyle Aasand, Christopher Bjornstad, Ashley Campbell, Erin Endres, Tyler Hewitt, Brittany Indergaard, Ashlyn Riedesel, Chase Rosenau, Sierra Rosenau, Rachel Stokes, Whitney Zink, Carrington; Elizabeth Abel, Joshua Boeshans, Kri
FARGO - Even during an eight-year battle with cancer, Darold Rath was a man who continued to think about others. In his final months, he assembled a team to plan a fundraising push for Wellspring for the World, an area nonprofit responsible for constructing 70 deep-water wells in developing nations since 2005. Rath, a Wellspring board member from Fargo, wanted to see the organization reach a total of 100 wells.
FARGO - The number of travelers boarding airplanes at North Dakota's eight commercial airports soared to a record-breaking 1.02 million in 2012. While Fargo's Hector International Airport saw a record 364,727 passengers, the largest gains were reported in Minot and Williston. Minot International Airport had 224,421 boardings, up 49 percent, and Williston's Sloulin Field International Airport had 37,508 boardings, up 35 percent from 2011. New carriers and added destinations fueled growth at all three airports. Minot gained Allegiant flights to Phoenix in March and Frontier service to Denver