1. Fargo-based Aldevron to be acquired for $9.6 billion by Danaher

Aldevron is poised to enter a new era with its planned acquisition for $9.6 billion by Danaher Corp. in a deal that will enable the firm to accelerate "next steps" as it serves the burgeoning bioscience sector.

Danaher announced Thursday, June 17, that it has a "definitive agreement" to purchase privately held Aldevron, the Fargo-based biotechnology company that has been a major hub for making a key ingredient for COVID-19 vaccines.

Aldevron, founded in 1998 in a small laboratory on the campus of North Dakota State University by Michael Chambers and John Ballantyne, has been growing with what a top executive called "breakneck speed."

Read more from The Fourm's Patrick Springer

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

2. Fargo-Moorhead swept into nationwide controversy on critical race theory in schools

Activist Vanessa Renee Clark being handcuffed by Moorhead Police for disorderly conduct Tuesday, June 15, 2021, during a conference opposing critical race theory at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead. C.S. Hagen / The Forum
Activist Vanessa Renee Clark being handcuffed by Moorhead Police for disorderly conduct Tuesday, June 15, 2021, during a conference opposing critical race theory at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

The atmosphere was calm, at first, when the conference organized by the Center of the American Experiment began Tuesday, June 15, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead.

Hors d'oeuvres and coffee were served. Nearly 100 attendees found their seats. And then Kendall Qualls, a Black man who grew up in Harlem, president of advocacy organization Take Charge, spoke about the dangers of critical race theory, a school of thought addressing systemic racism in America that is beginning to appear in public schools across the nation.

Read more from The Forum's C.S. Hagen

3. West Fargo bird rescue looks for birds after man says he released 80 parakeets

A budgie, a type of parakeet, stands on its perch while in a cage inside the Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education, 2202 2nd Ave. E in West Fargo. About 80 of these birds are in the wild all around the F-M area. Finn Harrison / WDAY
A budgie, a type of parakeet, stands on its perch while in a cage inside the Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education, 2202 2nd Ave. E in West Fargo. About 80 of these birds are in the wild all around the F-M area. Finn Harrison / WDAY

Adrian Renton, the secretary for the Center of Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education, spent some of Thursday afternoon, June 17, tending to 21 budgerigar parakeets, or budgies, in a cage, giving them water and food.

Renton received the parakeets from a man yesterday when he dropped them off before moving out of town.

While Renton said the hand-off went smoothly, he said the man told him he released 80 other budgies into the wild since he didn't know what to do with them.

"I was a little shocked (when he told me)," Renton said. "I tried not to react in front of him, because I don't want to start up anything."

Watch the story from WDAY's Tanner Robinson

4. Minnesota lawmakers spar over budget bills, transparency as deadline nears

Republican lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday, June 17, 2021, spent hours filibustering a commerce and energy spending bill that they said was crafted in secrecy and didn't include key priorities they wanted. (Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service)
Republican lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday, June 17, 2021, spent hours filibustering a commerce and energy spending bill that they said was crafted in secrecy and didn't include key priorities they wanted. (Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service)

The Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday, June 17, spent hours debating a commerce and energy spending bill, marking the first step in passing a $52 billion state budget.

Lawmakers for weeks have worked in private meetings to complete 14 pieces of a two-year spending plan with an outline handed down from legislative leaders and the governor. And they have a June 30 deadline to finish a state budget or risk a state government shutdown, spurring layoffs, a pause in services and state office closures.

Read more

5. Gunslingers compete in North Dakota, South Dakota cowboy shootout championships

Father and son Jim and Dalton Iversen, from South Dakota, in front of their refurbished horse trailer they use as a camper  on Thursday, June 17, 2021 with the revolvers they use to compete. C.S. Hagen / The Forum
Father and son Jim and Dalton Iversen, from South Dakota, in front of their refurbished horse trailer they use as a camper on Thursday, June 17, 2021 with the revolvers they use to compete. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

Nestled between luxury campers at the Sheyenne Valley Peacekeepers cowboy active shooting camp sits a rusty old horse trailer, refurbished with rustic wood, air conditioning and a flat screen television. It's occupied by Stewey, the cat, and father and son. Aside from the cat, they’re real-life gunfighters.

Jim Iversen, known on the range as “Jack Dalton,” and his 17-year-old son, Dalton, who goes by two nicknames, “Dutch Thomas” and “Max Voltage,” spend their summers traveling between shooting competitions. They share the unique ability to fire revolvers — quickly and accurately — with both hands.

Read more from The Forum's C.S. Hagen