Matthew Von Pinnon
Von Pinnon is editor of The Forum.
- Member for
- 2 years 5 months
One year ago tomorrow, the Red River at Fargo-Moorhead crested at 36.95 feet, about nine days after it began rising. Two years ago today, the Red in Fargo eclipsed 18 feet - minor flood stage - on its way eight days later to a crest of 40.82 feet, the highest level since man began putting a numbered stick in the river at Fargo to record such things. These tight time frames from the start of flooding to top-level crests stand out in our minds because they are relatively fresh. But the circumstances of the epic 2009 flood probably won't be repeated anytime soon.
There's a saying in the newspaper business that every night is election night in the sports department. See, news departments plan for weeks and even months for big election nights, evenings usually marked by lots of late-breaking results and tighter-than-normal deadlines for everyone. The sports department, on the other hand, works in similar conditions more often than not, which leads to the saying. But even for busy sports departments, nothing compares in their world to the maddening pace of March, when most college and high school winter sports are consumed by playoff games and champion
The threat of an uncontrolled spill of gigantic Devils Lake into the Sheyenne River grows with every snowstorm. The lake in northeastern North Dakota has been setting modern-day water elevation records for a decade, and another high water record is expected this spring. A 2- to 3-foot rise this spring and summer will put the lake at an elevation never seen in modern times. Moreover, the lake has tripled in surface area to 252 square miles (sections) since 1993.
Few stories in my 16½ years at The Forum prompted as strong a response as one we published on Feb. 4. The story was about the great lengths taken by a Moorhead woman to try to get her regular mail carrier replaced. Readers let us have it in phone calls, letters and the online comment section.
Meet the six new members of The Forum's Readers Board. They join six returning members whose terms expire in June.
Access to information is a cornerstone of democracy. The public can't effectively govern itself or make good decisions if it doesn't know what's going on. It's this foundational belief that drives The Forum to seek information that by law is deemed public. Usually, the more sensitive the information, the more we run into obstacles trying to access it. A recent example illustrates this point: On Jan. 7, the Moorhead School District revealed to us that an unnamed number of its varsity hockey players were suspended for one or more games for victimizing a student on Dec.
When I was a boy, I could count on running one errand this time of year. My mother would have me bike down to Walgreens to get her a copy of the annual Ideals Christmas magazine. For those unfamiliar with Ideals, it's a simple but elegant glossy magazine dedicated to beautiful photography, hand-painted art and well-crafted stories, poems and seasonal songs. But what it really did well was sell nostalgia. As a child, I never really understood its allure. It seemed so basic, and yet it was expensive, even 30 years ago. But Mom had to have it every year.
Which is more important: protecting a crime victim from potential public exposure, or protecting the larger public from potential harm? That's the dilemma we faced twice on Friday for two very different stories. The first story involved the reported stranger rape of a teen Thursday night in her West Fargo home. Police said the girl told them a man entered her unlocked home, sexually assaulted her in her basement bedroom and left out the front door, all while her siblings slept and parents were away. West Fargo police said on Friday morning that the suspect was a 6-foot white man with facia
With all the travel associated with Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast approaching, there's been a lot of attention paid lately to the new, more-invasive airport security measures. Be it full-body pat-downs or full-body scanners, it seems more air travelers are starting to really question whether all the hassles associated with trying to keep them safe are really worth all the freedoms lost in the process. There's even an Internet-based campaign that asks air travelers on Wednesday - the busiest flying day of the year - to opt out of full-body scans and instead choose full-body pat-dow
On several instances in recent years, The Forum has fielded complaints from readers and even some fellow journalists upset with us for using or quoting in stories information from Facebook and other social media sites. The material is suspect, they say, because it's hard to know if the person posting comments is really who they say they are. Secondly, it's not an ideal source because the format doesn't readily allow for follow-up questions, often the most important and revealing part of any interview. And third, using social media sites for information-gathering can appear lazy, as it doesn