1. With change to city council on the table, Fargo City Commission creates governance, election task force

Former Fargo Superintendent of Schools Jeff Schatz will be appointing a nine-member task force to examine the city's form of governance and possible election changes.

The City Commission unanimously approved the formation of the citizen panel on Monday night, Oct. 18, that will independently look into whether the city should convert from a city commission to a city council. With a city commission, all commissioners are elected at-large, and with a city council, members would be elected by wards or districts within the city.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

2. Protesters rally for Fergus Falls doctor who lost job after comments at hearing

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Protesters take to the streets of Fergus Falls Monday, Oct. 25 to rally for Dr. Jeff Horak, who was fired following comments he made during a school board meeting debating mask mandates. (Kevin Wallevand/WDAY)
Protesters take to the streets of Fergus Falls Monday, Oct. 25 to rally for Dr. Jeff Horak, who was fired following comments he made during a school board meeting debating mask mandates. (Kevin Wallevand/WDAY)

Despite sunny but chilly weather, hundreds gathered outside Lake Region Healthcare's Fergus Falls hospital Monday, Oct. 25, in support of a surgeon who lost his job after making anti-mask mandate comments at a public hearing.

Last week, Dr. Jeff Horak left his employment with Lake Region Medical Group, whom he worked for while he practiced at Lake Region Healthcare for about 16 years, after speaking in favor of "parental freedom" while delivering remarks against a school mask mandate at a Fergus Falls School Board meeting on Oct. 11.

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3. West Fargo elementary school mandates masks as COVID-19 outbreak worsens

Brooks Harbor
Brooks Harbor

All students at Brooks Harbor Elementary School in West Fargo will have to mask up.

The mandate went into effect Monday, Oct. 25, after 22 students tested positive for COVID-19 at the school, or just under 4.5% of all students. As of last Wednesday, 13 students and one staff member had tested positive.

The West Fargo School District implements a 14-day mask mandate if over 4% of students test positive for COVID-19. The mandate will remain in place for the full two weeks or until cases go back below 4%.

Watch the story from WDAY's Grace O'Neil

4. Flu shots to be offered during Fargo COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The main Fargo Cass Public Health building at 1240 25th St. S., in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum
The main Fargo Cass Public Health building at 1240 25th St. S., in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

People can arm themselves against both influenza and COVID-19 during upcoming vaccine clinics here this week and next week.

Fargo Cass Public Health will offer the flu shots during its regularly scheduled COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Flu shots will be given on a walk-in basis on Friday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 2, from noon to 6 p.m. at FCPH, 1240 25th St. S., in Fargo.

People may receive the flu shot, COVID-19 vaccine or both during the events. Flu shots will be available for anyone age 6 months and older. COVID-19 vaccine will be available for those needing either their first or second dose only.

Read more from The Forum's Robin Huebner

5. Public school opponent fuels fire in fight over rural Grant County referendum

West Central Area Public Schools Superintendent Dale Hogie shows where the new elementary school will be located in Grant County, Minn. if the bond referendum passes on Nov. 2, 2021. C.S. Hagen / The Forum
West Central Area Public Schools Superintendent Dale Hogie shows where the new elementary school will be located in Grant County, Minn. if the bond referendum passes on Nov. 2, 2021. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

The debate over a public school bond referendum in Grant County was always heated, but it became “nasty” after one town learned it may lose its elementary school to a quickly growing neighbor, population 608.

The discourse became personal after a little-known group guided by a man named Paul Dorr — who has burned LGBTQ library books in protest and for the past 25 years led multiple campaigns against school bond referendums throughout the Midwest by calling public education a “sin against God” — was hired to consult the campaign against the $47.4 million referendum.

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