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 — Tiffany Craigo hiked to a remote valley in the craggy badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park to say her goodbyes to a stallion named Gray Ghost. Gray Ghost was admired by those who follow the wild horses at the park for his flowing tail and mane as well as the pale gray coat that inspired his name. “He was a fan favorite,” Craigo said. “I thought he was beautiful and I liked him and I was happy when I saw him.”
FARGO — Hubs like the Midco data center here will serve as the "brains" for increasing armies of mobile devices and the "internet of things" that will exploit the lightning speed of broadband and wireless communications. That's the vision of Brendan Carr, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, who stopped here Thursday, Oct. 11, on a tour of locations in Minnesota and North Dakota that will continue with a field hearing Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
FARGO — T. Denny Sanford has repeatedly said that he wants to "die broke" and has given away more than $1 billion of his fortune, most notably contributing to namesake Sanford Health. But he's still wealthy enough to land on Forbes' list of billionaires. Forbes estimates Sanford's net worth at $2.6 billion, up from $2.2 billion in March. He owns Premier Bank, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., which specializes in offering credit cards to high-risk borrowers, and is one of the biggest issuers of Visa and Mastercards.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — David Shulkin, a physician whom President Donald Trump tapped to head health care for veterans and later fired, will serve as Sanford Health's chief innovation officer. Shulkin's portfolio will put him in charge of Sanford's research, clinical genetic medicine, Profile weight loss and world clinic programs, according to an announcement made Tuesday, Sept. 11.
FARGO — UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, has announced its plans to enter the small group market in the three-state region in a move North Dakota's insurance regulator said could increase competition. The entry in January into South Dakota and new parts of Minnesota, too, will add a major player in the health insurance market. In North Dakota, the market is now dominated by three companies: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the Sanford Plan and Medica.
FARGO—Sanford Health, which has pursued an aggressive growth strategy since merging with MeritCare, is poised to see its revenues more than double in less than a decade to almost $6 billion if it joins as planned with the Good Samaritan Society. When Sioux Falls-based Sanford and Fargo-based MeritCare merged in 2009, they had combined revenues exceeding $2.6 billion, more than 800 physicians and 17,000 employees. Today Sanford is a $4.5 billion enterprise, with more than 1,400 physicians and 28,000 employees in the Dakotas and seven other states.
MEDORA, N.D.—It was a gorgeous day for a hike in the Badlands. Not too hot, with some moody clouds that made the sky interesting and the sun less intense. Everything was perfect until my dog yelped. Zooey, my yellow Labrador retriever, whimpered and held up her front left paw, which she started licking furiously. I immediately suspected that she'd stepped on a prickly cactus, which were all around us. I crouched down and inspected her paw, which had begun to swell.
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.
FARGO—Stacked pallets filled with bags of malt line the back of Drekker Brewing Co. here and a fermenting aroma vaguely reminiscent of baking bread perfumed the brew house. The pleasant smell was a mild distraction as Mark Bjornstad, Drekker's co-founder, explained the crucial role of malt as a key ingredient in brewing beer.
FARGO — Crazy Horse is remembered as an uncompromising Lakota warrior who never signed a treaty and who played a leading role in the stunning defeat of Lt. Col. George Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He refused to be photographed, but his likeness is being carved on a mammoth scale in a mountain in the Black Hills, and he remains an enigma in spite of his lasting fame.