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5 things to know today: Lubitz verdict, Firefighter settlement, Airport deal, Untold story, Hello Dali

Ginny Lubitz and bailiff minutes before a jury found her guilty of murder..jpg
Ginny Lubitz and a bailiff are seen minutes before a jury found her guilty of murder Monday, Jan. 13, in Cass County District Court. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

1. Jury rejects lesser charge, convicts mom of murder in Fargo newborn drowning

Jurors found Ginny Rose Lubitz guilty of murder Monday, Jan. 13, in the bathtub drowning of her newborn son.

Gary Ripplinger, the jury's foreman, told The Forum the process of reaching a verdict was painstaking, not only for the legal responsibility, but grasping the applicable meanings behind legal terms in making the unanimous decision.

“It was very difficult,” Ripplinger said after the trial. “We had to go through a lot of the evidence. I was very impressed with the state and the defense.”

If the jury had not found Lubitz guilty of murder, they could have found her guilty of lesser crimes: manslaughter or negligent homicide. The jury, comprised of mostly women, also did not find Lubitz was under extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the drowning, which was a legal option for the jury that would have resulted in a reduction of her punishment.

More from The Forum's C.S. Hagen


2. Lawsuit with Fargo firefighter who sought $1.8 million for discrimination settled

Scot Kelsh
Scot Kelsh

A settlement has been reached with a former Fargo firefighter and state legislator who had sued the city for $1.8 million for what he said was discrimination against him after he was diagnosed with a health issue.

After going into executive session, the Fargo City Commission on Monday night, Jan. 13, voted 5-0 to agree to a settlement that had been mediated in federal court to pay Scot Kelsh $63,000.

Details of the agreement weren't released, but Assistant City Attorney Nancy Morris said the city had a "strong case" and the agreement stated there was "no discrimination or wrongdoing by the city."

Kelsh, who had been a Fargo firefighter for six years and a state legislator representing south-central Fargo for 18 years, said in a telephone interview after the meeting that he was "ready to move on."

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

3. Fargo City Commission OKs deal with airport board


airport authority meeting 10-22-10 lighter version
Fargo City Attorney Erik Johnson, lefts, speaks to the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority board on Tuesday, Oct. 22, as Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn, lower right, listens. Piepkorn later walked out of the meeting after the airport authority rejected a proposed memorandum of understanding from the city commission. Dave Olson / The Forum

After months of disagreements between the two parties, the Fargo City Commission voted 5-0 Monday night, Jan. 13, to approve a new agreement with the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority, though no details were publicly released.

City Attorney Erik Johnson said under North Dakota law, the mediated settlement agreement is confidential until the Airport Authority also votes on it. That is expected to happen Tuesday morning when the airport authority meets at 8 a.m.

Despite a lack of specifics, Commissioner Tony Grindberg wanted to make it clear the agreement will not dissolve the Airport Authority as some residents, airport businesses and airlines had feared.

More from The Forum's Barry Amundson

4. Moorhead man finds father's story of fighting in WWII

Keyframe - Letters.jpg
Andrew Nelson / WDAY

Cleaning out the house of a parent or grandparent after they die is emotional, even exhausting, but it can often reveal facets of loved ones' lives that would otherwise be forgotten.


Moorhead resident Dave Sherman, like many children of WWII veterans, never knew much about his father's time in the service. His dad, William Sherman of Fargo, went into the Army at age 18 and saw combat in the Pacific Ocean.

"It was vicious, it was hand to hand, I can't imagine the dreams that people would have after that, just because of the things they saw," the younger Sherman said about the battle at Guadalcanal on the Solomon Islands in the Pacific near Papua New Guinea.

Watch the story from WDAY's Kevin Wallevand

5. ND's first major surrealist exhibition offers view of famed artist's life

The Salvador Dali exhibit at the Plains Art Museum features 143 images from two projects in the late surrealist's life. Courtesy of the Plains Art Museum / Special to The Forum

Things are getting pretty surreal at the Plains Art Museum , and that’s entirely by design.

In December, the Plains opened “Stairway to Heaven,” a sprawling exhibit of prints by celebrated surrealist Salvador Dalí that's a touring exhibit from the Park West Museum in Southfield, Mich.

The show features works from two Dali portfolios, illustrations for the books “Comte de Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror” (“The Songs of Maldoror”) and Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy,” originally published in 1320. The artist created the images for “Maldoror” in 1934 and illustrated “The Divine Comedy” in 1960.

“It’s pretty exciting for us to exhibit a large number in one space,” says the Plains Director and CEO Andy Maus, adding that he believes it’s the first major Dalí show in North Dakota.

More from The Forum's John Lamb

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