Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Hector on pace to set another boarding mark

Fargo's airport is on track for another record-breaking year. Through the end of November, 249,816 passengers boarded commercial flights at Hector International. Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein figures the airport should easily pass its all-...

Fargo's airport is on track for another record-breaking year.

Through the end of November, 249,816 passengers boarded commercial flights at Hector International.

Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein figures the airport should easily pass its all-time high of 256,004 boardings.

That record, set last year, beat the record set in 2003.

"It's very, very dramatic growth," Dobberstein said.


Commercial charters already top last year's total. So far this year, 8,195 passengers have been reported on charter flights, and Dobberstein said there's a lag in reporting. Last year, 5,336 passengers boarded charters from Fargo.

By Hector's count, November itself also beat last November, with help from Allegiant Air. The low-fare carrier started twice-weekly flights last month from Fargo to Las Vegas.

But the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, which doesn't include Allegiant figures, showed Hector with a 2.4 percent decrease for the month.

Dobberstein said that's because the airport lost two days of traffic during a blizzard late last month.

Aeronautics Commission Director Gary Ness said Allegiant, which also serves Bismarck, will be included next year.

Overall, the state could be headed for record boardings.

Roughly 488,000 passengers boarded planes at North Dakota's eight commercial airports through Nov. 30.

There were 586,471 boardings in the state last year.


"We might be just a little short," Ness said. "It's just a matter of what December does."

Boardings peaked at about 550,000 in 1995, when the state had also had several low-fare carriers, Ness said.


Shawn Stuhaug

Rosewood CEO

All of Fargo's nursing homes will go smoke-free Jan. 1 with new policies that prevent smoking on their entire campuses.

The decision affects residents, employees and visitors at Elim Care Center, Rosewood on Broadway, ManorCare Health Services and Bethany Homes.

Although smoking inside the nursing homes was already prohibited, it has been allowed outside the buildings. Indoor smoking rooms have also been provided to residents in some instances.


Fargo MeritCare Hospital's decision last December to implement a stricter smoking policy spurred discussion among nursing home administrators to do the same, said Rosewood CEO Shawn Stuhaug.

Administrators agreed to enforce the new policies at the same time to make getting the message out easier, he said.

Villa Maria in Fargo has already had a campuswide nonsmoking policy in place for the past year.

A statewide smoking ban in public places and workplaces took effect on Aug. 1 in North Dakota.

However, an exemption allows residents of a licensed nursing or basic care facility to smoke in the facility or on its grounds if approved by the facility's board.

Because a nursing home is both a workplace and a home, it doesn't quite fit into regular guidelines, Stuhaug said.

"But we are still a health care facility so we struggle with the health care side of it as well," he said. "We want to promote wellness for the residents and the staff."

With the new policy, Rosewood employees who smoke will receive a contribution for products and services to help them quit. Those who continue to smoke must leave the grounds and do it on unpaid time.


The other nursing home facilities are enacting similar guidelines.

The three Rosewood residents who still occasionally smoke will be allowed to continue to do so in the ventilated smoking room, Stuhaug said. No other residents will be allowed to smoke in the future.


Villa Maria's no-smoking policy has worked out well this past year, said president/CEO Michael Pfeifer.

He said it's hard to say how many potential residents chose not to live at Villa Maria this past year due to its policy.

He said employees, residents and visitors have been cooperative.

"We need to create and provide as much safety and security and good health practices as possible," Pfeifer said.

Bethany Home residents applauded during the meeting announcing the new policy, said Executive Director Ray Weisgarber.


"It just makes sense as a health care facility that we provide a good, clean atmosphere for the people that visit here, live here and work here," he said.

In Moorhead, Eventide is in the process of studying its smoking policy, said Randy Bach, executive director of facilities and safety.

Employees and residents now have designated smoking areas on the campus.

A task force is giving all concerned an opportunity to provide input before a new policy is adopted, Bach said.

"It is a pretty difficult decision to make because you have the one end tugging at you for employee retention," he said. "At the same time, we're trying to be very sensitive of the residents and the residents' families."

The Moorhead Health Care Center also has a designated smoking area for staff and residents, said executive director Dave Erickson.

The building is smoke-free, but a campuswide policy isn't something the facility is doing at this time, he said.

There hasn't been much opposition at Elim Care Center regarding the decision to go smoke-free, said Kirsten Reile, director of nursing.


"A lot of them have said, 'We knew it was coming,' " she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556Readers can reach Forum reporter Teri Finneman at (701) 241-5560

What To Read Next
Get Local