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5 things to know today: Elim fire, Flood predictions, Gordon Kahl, Bison division, St. Paddy's Parade

Elim Children's Center where the fire started Thursday, Jan. 23..jpg
Elim Children's Center is part of the Elim Rehab & Care Center complex where a fire started Thursday, Jan. 23. Teachers said they helped the children, ages 2 to 5, reach safety. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

1. Kids alerted teachers to 'smelling s'mores' as fire broke out

Ash, ice and slush filled the west end of the Elim Rehab & Care Center parking lot Friday morning, Jan. 24, more than half a day after a fire that displaced 111 senior residents was reported at about 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23.

The air was still heavy with the smell of smoke as three day care teachers from Elim Children’s Center, which is part of the senior care complex, talked about their experiences.

Teacher Kelsey Fraase said the children first smelled something strange.

“It happened at the children’s center,” Fraase said. “We had kids telling us they could smell smoke, and they made up stories that they were smelling s'mores.”

More from Forum and C.S. Hagen

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2. Red River Valley faces possible top 5 record spring flood

snow water equivalent map.jpg
Source: National Weather Service

The Red River Valley faces the chance of fighting a top-five flood this spring following record or near-record fall rains throughout most of the valley and a snowy winter, a forecaster said Friday, Jan. 24.

"This year very well could be a top-five flood, though very much is yet to be determined," Greg Gust, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said in a briefing about the spring flood outlook.

"Precipitation is tracking high and is expected to continue that track," he said. "Soils are very, very wet."

From Sept. 1 through Jan. 20, Fargo has received 11.52 inches of total precipitation, the second highest on record, Gust said, exceeded only by the 12.97 inches that fell during the comparable period in 2008-09, which resulted in the record 40.84-foot Red River flood in Fargo.

More from The Forum's Patrick Springer

3. Widow of Gordon Kahl dies at 93

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Joan Kahl Britton vintage image
Joan Kahl, 62, wife of Gordon Kahl, is seen in this photo taken Feb. 22, 1983, being escorted to the Cass County Jail after a court appearance in Fargo in connection with the shooting deaths of two U.S. Marshals near Medina, N.D. Following in handcuffs are Scott Faul, 29, and Vernon Wegner, 25, a former Streeter, N.D., police officer. Joan Kahl faced charges in the wake of the Medina incident, and was ultimately acquitted. Forum file photo
Forum Communications Co.

Joan Kahl Britton, the widow of Gordon Kahl, who was involved in a deadly shootout with law enforcement officers in the early 1980s, died Thursday, Jan. 23, at the age of 93.

Gordon Kahl was prominent in the tax protest group Posse Comitatus in 1983 when he and others took part in a shootout with law enforcement officers near Medina, N.D.

During the confrontation, U.S. Marshal Kenneth Muir and Deputy Marshal Bob Cheshire were killed.

Yorie Kahl, the son of Gordon and Joan Kahl, is serving a life sentence for his role in the shootout, as is a co-defendant, Scott Faul.

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4. McFeely: Bison fans want team to stay FCS, poll finds

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The NDSU Bison flag flies over Toyota Stadium once again after the NCAA FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. David Samson / The Forum

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A strong plurality of North Dakota State football fans is content with the Bison dominating the Football Championship Subdivision and don't want the program to move up to the highest level of college football.

Interestingly, the group of North Dakotans that most heavily supports NDSU moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision is ... wait for it ... University of North Dakota hockey fans.

And, if you're looking to start a fun discussion on Twitter or at the local bar, here's another nugget: Among those who identify themselves as college sports fans in the state, NDSU football is significantly more popular than UND hockey.

Hey, Grand Forks, don't shoot the messenger.

Read more from Forum columnist Mike McFeely

5. Fargo-Moorhead St. Paddy's Parade looking for sponsors

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Irish music was a part of the 2019 St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Fargo. Forum file photo

The troubles aren’t over for the Fargo-Moorhead St. Patrick's Day Parade as new organizers hunt for the money needed to ensure the show can go on this March.

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The parade was initially canceled last year , with volunteers who organized it citing a lack of funding and manpower, which prompted safety concerns over growing crowds that required more barricades and volunteers along the route.

It was saved when Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney rolled his sleeves up and began to work on bringing it back, and the Downtown Community Partnership took over event management. Enough sponsorship was secured, and the parade continued on schedule despite the ill luck of an impending blizzard in the spring of 2019.

More from The Forum's C.S. Hagen

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