Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.
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MOORHEAD—A major step in the beer-brewing process that relies on growers across the nation is a lot like farming—with some important caveats. During a media tour of the Anheuser-Busch Moorhead Malt Plant, 2101 26th St. S., Director of Midwest Malt Operations Alan Slater said the process comes down to steeping, germinating and kilning. But there's another way to think about it. "Big picture, we're really farming without soil here," he said. "We're actually farmers, but we get to control the weather and the environment."
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Getting to ride in a Black Hawk helicopter certainly doesn't hurt, but that's not the reason Marshal Albright is looking forward to a trip to Camp Grafton this week. On Thursday, July 20, owners, CEOs, presidents and human resources supervisors from 10 Fargo-area businesses will board a Black Hawk helicopter in Fargo and fly to Camp Grafton, the primary Army National Guard training facility in the state, to get a firsthand look and find out more about its work.
FARGO—The newest airline doing business at Hector International Airport will be a familiar name—it's offered flights here four other times before. Frontier Airlines announced Tuesday, July 18, that it will add Fargo and 20 other cities to its network by next spring, doubling its number of routes. "We project this will save our customers over a billion dollars annually on their flights," President and CEO Barry Biffle said in a written statement. "These new flights will allow us to serve even more of America and make flying a truly affordable option."
FARGO—A technology company will close its facility here in the coming months, resulting in the loss of about 200 local jobs. HERE Technologies confirmed Wednesday, July 19, that it will close its Fargo location, 1715 Gold Drive. Company spokesman Jordan Stark said the positions will be transferred to HERE's other locations.
FARGO—Their brewery dreams fizzled out, but a Fargo couple is moving in a new direction with a business that's quenching some of the bottled up local demand for craft beverages. Jeremiah and Rachel Utecht debuted Flannel Fizz Tonic & Soda on July 8, selling 23.5 gallons to thirsty patrons at the first Red River Market of the season in downtown Fargo. At the end of that first day, they only had a half gallon of soda left, but no growlers to serve it in.
FARGO—The one and only Shaq will headline an eighth annual event that brings thought leaders to the community. The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce announced Monday, July 17, that basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, 45, will speak at the next installment of the Voices of Vision event on Wednesday, Oct. 4. His presentation, "Prepare for Greatness," will tell attendees the athlete and businessman's thoughts on teamwork, business and other topics, according to a new release. He'll also participate in a moderated question-and-answer session.
HAWLEY, Minn.—A business here doesn't make medication, but its work is invaluable to big players in the pharmaceutical industry.
FARGO—An office supply store here is almost ready to unveil its redesigned look after cutting down the size of the retail location and revamping its products and services. Office Depot, 4630 13th Ave. S., has several activities planned for its grand reopening from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 17, including a 4 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony, a petting zoo in the parking lot, face painting, a food truck, cupcakes and beverages. The store will also offer a 20 percent discount on most of its products and a special price on business card orders during the event.
FARGO—A downtown women's clothing boutique has a new name. Vive's Boutique, 716 Main Ave., announced Monday, July 10, that it would be changing its business name to JessieBlue. A new sign with the JessieBlue name was installed on the building Tuesday, July 11. "Same great shopping location, friendly faces and products you've come to expect and MORE!" a Monday post on the store's Facebook page said. The post didn't explain the reason for the name change. Owner Yvonne Denault didn't return a Forum request for comment about the change earlier this week.
MOORHEAD—After 15 years working for Target, Doug Restemayer learned all too well how easily a gathering of employees can become a dreaded part of the job. "My whole day consisted of meetings," he said. "Not many of them are very productive." That's why Restemayer, the president and owner of beer and beverage distributor D-S Beverages Inc., said it's been "refreshing" to run a small company and structure it the way he wants—and that includes a demand to make meetings relevant and effective, not a necessary evil of the workday.