Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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FARGO — Imagine if, over the next 30 years, every motorist in Cass County drove an electric car and every resident used electricity generated by renewable sources, such as the sun and the wind. Actually, John Bagu has done that thought experiment for you, and he crunched a lot of numbers to estimate costs and benefits. He calculates the conversion to electric vehicles and renewable energy in Cass County would cost $15 billion over the next 30 years, create more than 2,000 new jobs and save every county resident $1,600 a year.
FARGO — Dean Hulse wouldn't mind paying more for his electricity if every kilowatt was generated from clean energy sources like the sun and the wind. He's prodding city officials to work with Xcel Energy to bring its Renewable Connect program here, a program that derives all of its power from renewable energy sources. The program has been popular in Minnesota—so popular that all of its capacity, 50 megawatts of wind generation and 25 megawatts of solar energy—is being used by customers.
FARGO—Cass County commissioners are debating whether to seek back taxes from rural residents whose applications for a farm-home property tax exemption have been denied. The possible crackdown came up in a discussion at the Cass County Commission meeting on Wednesday, July 18, when commissioners were briefed on the results of an audit of farm-home exemptions, expected to conclude this fall.
FARGO—Ken Koehler has been a regular presence among picketers outside the Red River Women's Clinic and its predecessor for more than 35 years in his enduring crusade to end abortion. Along with his like-minded counterparts, he has had the occasional satisfaction of persuading a woman not to enter the clinic to end her pregnancy. Koehler admits, however, that those triumphs are sporadic, often months apart.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The Fourth of July fireworks display near the Pavillion on the shore of Detroit Lake draws throngs of spectators who line the beach for a mile while others crane their necks from their perches on an armada of pontoon boats. The annual aerial display, which has grown over the decades, is reflected on the water, adding a shimmering mirror image to the pyrotechnics. Smaller versions, private displays from the hundreds of people who live around the lake, add more celebratory color and noise.
MANDAN, N.D.—North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani has a renewed contract that runs to 2020 following action by the State Board of Higher Education. The state board, meeting on Thursday, June 28, gave contract extensions to six of the North Dakota University System's 11 campus presidents through June 30, 2020, following routine evaluations of their performance. The contract renewals did not come with salary increases, given the slumping revenues that have plagued state government for the past two years. Bresciani's annual salary remains $354,568.
FARGO— A ruptured water pipe that feeds a major air-conditioning unit at Sanford South University resulted in the transfer of inpatients and the temporary closure of the urgent care clinic at the medical center. The disruptions, on Thursday, June 28, followed the discovery the evening of Tuesday, June 26, of the broken underground pipe, located beneath the hospital. Portable air conditioning units were brought in, but by Thursday, with a fix still not in place, further action became necessary, said Susan Jarvis, Sanford's vice president of operations in Fargo.
WEST FARGO — Farmers, confronting slumping crop prices that don't cover the cost of production and finding themselves pawns in an escalating trade war, rallied hours ahead of an appearance by President Donald Trump to deliver a message. "We need to tell them we need a price that will let us make a living on the farm," Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, said at a rally of farmers at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Thursday, June 27.
WEST FARGO — Farmers will rally at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 27, hours before President Donald Trump will stump for Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who is trying to unseat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in the North Dakota Senate race.
FARGO—Wind farms are hailed as a source of clean, renewable energy. But even wind energy supporters acknowledge that those spinning wind turbine blades impose an environmental cost: dead birds. Consequently, federal wildlife officials are mulling a morbid question involving a large North Dakota wind farm: How many bald eagle deaths do they consider acceptable for a bird that is legally protected and hallowed as a national symbol? Their tentative answer: About one per year, or up to five dead bald eagles over a five-year permit period.