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Trade Talk: Thunder Road gets into the swing of summer

Batter up! Thunder Road amusement park is open for the season with a new attraction. Owners Dan and Nancy Isom invested $150,000 in a six-stall batting cage. The 100-foot wide, 100-foot deep and 50-foot high batting cage features three lanes set ...

Batter up!

Thunder Road amusement park is open for the season with a new attraction.

Owners Dan and Nancy Isom invested $150,000 in a six-stall batting cage.

The 100-foot wide, 100-foot deep and 50-foot high batting cage features three lanes set up for softball and three for baseball.

Step up to the plate and swing away at 25 balls for $2. Discount packages and cage rentals are also available, according to Nancy.

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"Everybody in town said they wanted a batting cage really bad," she said. "We've already had a lot of little-league coaches out here."

Thunder Road, also featuring its go-cart track and 36-hole miniature golf course, is off the 32nd Avenue South interchange on Interstate 29 in south Fargo.

Aldevron expands

Aldevron has expanded its facilities in Fargo at 3233 15th Ave. S.

The biotechnology firm, founded in 1999 by North Dakota State University graduate Michael Chambers, has renovated a building for its new genetic immunization and antibody production service.

Chambers said Aldevron has secured contracts to screen vaccines for Alzheimer's disease and HIV.

"Our technology has been shown to increase the immune response to DNA vaccines by as much as 100-fold," says Chambers, Aldevron's CEO. "This allows us to significantly reduce the development time for new vaccines."

Colorado acquisition

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Community First Bankshares Inc., through its affiliate Community First Insurance Inc., has acquired Kraft Insurance Service Inc. of Grand Junction, Colo.

The purchase marks Community First's 14th insurance agency acquisition since 2000, according to Mark Anderson, Community First's president and CEO.

"Insurance revenues represent an area of compelling growth within Community First, due to core growth, as well as acquisitions," Anderson said. Insurance revenues increased 25 percent in the first quarter of 2003, compared to the same period in 2002.

Fargo-based Community First Bankshares (NASDAQ: CFBX) is a $5.7 billion financials services company operating in 12 Western states.

Time for wine

Maple River Winery has released three new wines to its distributors.

Produced and bottled in Casselton, N.D., are Country Apple, Apple Cinnamon and Apple Jalapeno.

Maple River Winery is a Pride of North Dakota company. Its wines are distributed by Ed Phillips & Sons of Fargo.

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The company pays cash for apples, crab apples, wild plums and chokecherries.

Bracelet business

Fascino Italian Charms & More has graduated from a West Acres kiosk to a storefront business now at 3441 Interstate Blvd. in Fargo.

Owned by Jacqueline Knutson, Fascino has expanded from retail into wholesale and Internet distribution.

Its unique bracelets are designed so buyers can add charms in celebration of events and interests.

Readers can reach Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583 or Gerry Gilmour at (701) 241-5560

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