1. Movie to be filmed in Fargo
In 1996, a neo-noir, dark comedy film gave people around the world a chilly idea of our cold corner of the Midwest — complete with a thick and distinct accent and the infamous murder weapon that's become the backdrop for millions of family photos in the city that bears the film's name.
Fargo begins another chance to make a name for itself in the feature film world beginning Monday, Sept. 16.
Click Content Studios, a video-production company owned by Fargo-based Forum Communications Co., and Los Angeles-based Momentum Studios have partnered to produce "Tankhouse," a comedy that follows two New York City theatre industry exiles as they leave the Big Apple to start a theatrical revolution in Fargo.
The process to set a film in Fargo doesn't happen overnight. Planning began back in April, with the formal announcement coming out this week. Filming downtown begins Monday.
2. A step closer to a new south Fargo middle school
A unanimous vote by the Fargo School Board brought a new 8th-9th grade school one step closer to being built.
The board on Tuesday, Sept. 10, updated its long-range facility plan, which now contemplates embarking on the design phase of the new school in the fall of 2020, with a possible groundbreaking in the spring of 2021.
The 8th-9th grade facility, also described as a modified middle school, would open in the fall of 2023, under the newly updated long-range facility plan.
Superintendent Rupak Gandhi stressed, however, that when it comes to a new middle school the long-range facility plan is viewed by school officials as a guiding document, not a concrete plan. He said only "soft timelines" exist for when phases may take place.
3. Crookston bishop to be investigated
Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner is the first in the nation to be investigated under new rules implemented this summer by Pope Francis that aim to standardize the protocol for investigating clergy sexual abuse.
An allegation surfaced publicly in 2017 that Hoeppner allowed abuse to continue by silencing a victim. Ronald Vasek named the bishop in a civil suit that also included allegations of sexual assault by Monsignor Roger Grundhaus.
The Crookston Diocese declined to comment on the investigation but noted that Hoeppner remains in office.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Wednesday, Sept. 11, it will begin the investigation. Pope Francis called for worldwide action and implemented legislation to create a mandatory and standardized reporting process to address claims of sexual abuse and protect the reporting party. The law went into effect in June.
4. Moorhead mosque finds new location
Moorhead's Islamic community has found a new home about a block away from its former mosque.
The new facility will be in the former 12,000-square-foot Moorhead Electric building at 2215 12th Ave. S. The company was leasing the building from the Lakes Country Service Cooperative of Fergus Falls, which has sold it to the Moorhead-Fargo Islamic Community Center.
Prayers and services are already being held in the new building, said spokesperson Sajid Ghauri.
He said their former home was on the second floor of a building, which made it difficult for older members of the center to navigate the stairways.
5. Happy Hooligan recalls mission on 9/11
A clear blue sky waited for Rick Gibney 18 years ago as he prepared for flight training at the Fargo Air National Guard Base.
Then he heard reports that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City. A second impact into the twin towers confirmed the U.S. was under attack. Training was canceled, jets were scrambled, and Gibney got his own mission.
As the day turned to night, the North Dakota Air National Guard pilot would become the only plane in the sky — except for Air Force One — carrying an emergency response official in an F-16 to Albany, N.Y., in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
“I just remember saying several times, ‘This is going to change everything,’” he said as he recalled his flight to New York state.