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Forum editorial: Bob Berg earns roses for smiles

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Bob Berg, a resident of Minnesota's Otter Tail County, who has done more than his share to put smiles on the faces of children facing trauma from things like fire, illness or automobile crashes. Bob has delivered countless packa...

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Bob Berg, a resident of Minnesota's Otter Tail County, who has done more than his share to put smiles on the faces of children facing trauma from things like fire, illness or automobile crashes. Bob has delivered countless packages throughout the Red River Valley as a driver for United Parcel Service for the past 20 years, but it's what he does in his free time that sets him apart. He delivers comfort to kids in the form of stuffed animals and other toys. He started collecting the toys last spring, gathering more than 6,000. He began distributing them over the summer. So far, 81 communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota have received toys. Many of the toys were donated by people in the Hankinson and Fairmount areas of North Dakota, where Berg does most of his driving for UPS these days. The cuddly items often are given to kids who are injured or whose families are experiencing a crisis. Berg doesn't plan any more toy drives at the moment, but he says he hopes others will pick up where he left off.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Fargo's Myron Bright, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge who is still dispensing justice at the age of 84. Bright, who has presided over more than 6,000 cases in 35 years as a federal judge, was appointed to the bench by President Lyndon Johnson in April 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. He took senior status in 1985 but still maintains a steady workload and says he has no plans to put down the gavel as long as his health is good. Bright, who has a host of friends and admirers, tends to be a friend of the little guy and has had a role in shaping some of the nation's job discrimination laws, environmental laws and prisoner rights. A University of Minnesota Law School graduate, Bright spent most of 20 years at the Vogel Law Firm in Fargo before becoming a federal judge. Mart Vogel, the law firm's 92-year-old patriarch, calls Bright one of the best lawyers the firm ever had. We congratulate Judge Bright for his 35 years of service and hope he has many more.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the two men who Moorhead police arrested and charged with placing a traffic sign across railroad tracks in downtown Moorhead last week. Police booked 24-year-old Roar M. Rommesmo of Fargo and 28-year-old David R. Jones of West Fargo on gross misdemeanor charges for placing an obstruction on a railroad track creating a risk of injury, accident or derailment. Not very smart.

LEAFY SPURGE: To a Fosston, Minn., truck driver who caused the shutdown of an eight-mile stretch of Interstate 29 in western Iowa on the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Driver Alexey Artemenko, 34, stopped at a weigh station and said he had an explosive in his truck and was going to detonate it. Then he said he was kidding. That got him charged with making a false report, a felony, and he ended up in the Woodbury (Iowa) County Jail. We wonder how long Artemenko will keep his job with S.A.U. Express Inc., of Blaine, Minn. We suspect he may already be looking for work.

PRAIRIE ROSES: to John and Julie Dyste, who have broken ground on a 9,650-square-foot grocery store in Hankinson, N.D. Work on Dyste's Food Pride began in August and is expected to be completed by Dec. 1, provided the weather cooperates. The Dystes own the Hankinson Jack and Jill grocery store, and stores in Forman, Milnor and Lidgerwood, N.D. A fourth-generation grocer, John Dyste's family has been in the grocery business since 1884. We wish the Dystes well in their latest venture.

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Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board

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