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Forum editorial: Medical team wins the roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the Fargo physicians and their nurses who successfully performed a rare four-hour eye surgery on 2-year-old Guatemalan orphan Silver Vega Lemus. Ophthalmologist Lance Bergstrom operated on the child, along with plastic surgeon D...

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the Fargo physicians and their nurses who successfully performed a rare four-hour eye surgery on 2-year-old Guatemalan orphan Silver Vega Lemus. Ophthalmologist Lance Bergstrom operated on the child, along with plastic surgeon Dr. Jeff Chapman. Silver came here thanks to the generosity of the Bismarck-based God's Child charity. He will stay at the Sacred Heart Convent with his grandmother for about a month before being fitted with a prosthetic eye. This kind of human activity is far better than suicide bombings and terrorist attacks.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the hundreds of people who played roles, minor or major, in the rescue of nine men trapped for more than three days in a coal mine 240 feet underground outside Somerset, Pa. Very seldom do situations like this turn out well. Usually there are widows and fatherless children. This time family members cried and hugged each other and their neighbors as the miners were pulled to the surface. "Wow. Wow. Wow. It's just unbelievable," said mine worker Lou Lepley. "I have no words." Neither do we.

LEAFY SPURGE: To those who stand in the way of common sense decisions in the face of overwhelming evidence. A recent example is the resistance to consolidating the Halliday and Killdeer school districts northwest of Bismarck by July 2003. Halliday will have only 76 students this fall and the number continues to drop. Killdeer's enrollment has dipped from 438 to 359. We understand the great resistance to school consolidation, but the reality is there are going to be more of them. We should work to strengthen elementary and secondary education in North Dakota. Not all towns will benefit from the results. That's a given we will have to accept.

LEAFY SPURGE: To all those who get hung up on this owner vs. renter dispute in the Fargo-Moorhead housing market. We realize this multiple-housing vs. single-family housing phenomenon is not unique to the F-M community, but it's a bit disgusting. There is no overwhelming evidence that property values decline because of home density or nearby apartments. In fact, some of the best people we know are renters. Remember when you were, too?

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Abner Arauza of Moorhead, associate director of Multicultural Affairs at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He was recently named "Outstanding Educator of the Year" by La Prensa de Minnesota, a bilingual weekly Latino newspaper based in Minneapolis and distributed to more than 300 locations in the state. Arauza was recognized for making both MSUM's student body and campus activities more diverse. In an effort to encourage more diversity, he recruits minority students from places like Texas and California. He had 11 students in his program when he came. Now he has 89. We applaud Arauza for his efforts.

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PRAIRIE ROSES: To West Fargo 14-year-old Braden Kirkey, who won the U.S. Marine Corps History Medal for his paper, "Shadow Heroes -- Native American Code Talkers." Kirkey's paper covered the Navajo code talkers of World War II and a little-known group of Choctaw who helped turn the tide in the battle for the South Pacific island of Iwo Jima. Claire Strom, who teaches history at North Dakota State University, called it an excellent paper.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum

management and the newspaper's Editorial Board

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the 60 participants in North Dakota's Governor's School. They're spending part of the summer at North Dakota State University taking part in the academic enrichment program geared toward students interested in science, math and business. The students in this six-week program are the future leaders of our communities, state and country. This program offers them academic challenges and opportunities and new experiences that allow them to spread their wings. We think programs like this will play a major role in our future.

LEAFY SPURGE: To Miss North Carolina, who turned in her tiara recently after her former fiance told officials at the Miss America organization they had overlooked topless photographs of her. Rebekah Revels resigned, even though she was not forced to do so by Miss America officials -- at least not yet. The 24-year-old Revels said she was convinced she would be denied a shot at the national crown if she retained the state title. Surprise, surprise. Even though we sometimes question the need for the pageant, at least officials attempt to maintain an aura of wholesomeness, albeit it's a bit artificially at times.

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