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Forum editorial: Spurge pile for ripping off grandma

LEAFY SPURGE: To 23-year-old Angela L. Oien of Horace, N.D., who is charged with a felony for allegedly exploiting her grandmother. The Cass County woman is charged with driving her 70-year-old grandmother, who has Alzheimer's disease, to the ban...

LEAFY SPURGE: To 23-year-old Angela L. Oien of Horace, N.D., who is charged with a felony for allegedly exploiting her grandmother. The Cass County woman is charged with driving her 70-year-old grandmother, who has Alzheimer's disease, to the bank to have her withdraw thousands of dollars for Oien.

Authorities say Oien wrote out at least six withdrawal slips and had her grandmother sign them. Grandma lost more than $3,000 but couldn't recall for an investigator the transactions or even the bank she used. Police nabbed Oien after another family member responsible for grandma's finances asked police to investigate after noticing the withdrawals. She's charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult. As far as we're concerned, no one should treat their grandmother this way. It just isn't right.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To folks at the Dakota Medical Foundation and Ronald McDonald House officials, who recently announced a second house would be located on Fargo's south side. An $800,000 fund-raising campaign is under way to remodel and open the building donated by the foundation. This one will be located at 1330 18th Ave. S. The current Ronald McDonald House at 1234 Broadway serves more than 500 families each year. The house provides families of children receiving medical treatment in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area a place to stay. Private donations fund the house and families are asked to contribute $7.50 for each night they stay at the house. Each of the six bedrooms is limited to four people and demand is so great that some 500 family members are turned away each year because of a space shortage. The second house will help fill the demand for lodging space. The Ronald McDonald House is a great organization. We're happy to see a second one in the planning stages.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Bill Hejl, the Amenia, N.D., sugar beet farmer who is a candidate for the presidency of the World Association of Beet and Cane Growers when the group meets later this month in Fargo. Some 140 sugar beet and cane farmers from 29 countries are expected to attend the five-day conference beginning July 26. It is the first time the United States has hosted the international conference and Hejl, a member of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association and the group's legislative liaison, is the odds-on favorite for the international presidency.

The Red River Valley's beet farmers are the nation's largest producers of beet sugar and are working hard to protect the domestic market from increased imports. Farmers from Brazil, the European Union, Thailand, Japan and India are among those expected to attend the meeting. We wish Hejl success in his bid for the presidency and offer our congratulations to local beet farmers for their hard work in getting this important gathering sited in our backyard.

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PRAIRIE ROSES: To Clay County Social Services Director Dennis Lien, who is retiring the end of September after 32 years with the agency. When he was hired back in 1972 as a line social worker, Lien was one of just 14 employees. Social Services is now the county's largest department with 100 employees and a 2004 budget of $77 million. Joe Pederson, who served under Lien for 10 years as one of the department's two financial assistance supervisors, called Lien the best boss he ever had. Pederson says Lien served Clay County and low-income people with dignity and respect. Lien worked hard and people listened to him. He was a real asset to Clay County government and will be missed. We wish him well in retirement.

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

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