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A look back at where we've been and what we've done in the year 2007

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Fargo, 58102
West Fargo Pioneer
(701) 241-5487 customer support
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

This week, we continue to take a look back at what happened in 2007. The year was highlighted by transition, change and growth in West Fargo and the surrounding communities of Harwood, Horace and Mapleton as previewed in the monthly accounts recognizing people, businesses and incidents who played a key role in the transformation.

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July 2007

Dan's Oil, a landmark family owned business serving the area for 66 years, changed hands with the sale to Petro Serve USA. The business, founded in Horace by Dan and Marie Rheault, later relocated to West Fargo where it was operated by Rheault children, Audrey Casperson, Carol Fjelstad, Elaine Wilhelmi and Dennis Rheault.

A franchise agreement between the City of West Fargo and Midcontinent Communications, Sioux Falls, was approved, paving the way for the cable company to provide additional services to the West Fargo community.

Doug Sherman sold Sherman, Inc. to Dennis Johnson of Professional Computer Services, Dickinson, with the business renamed SHERMANS, LLC. The beginning of the operation dates back to the 1930s when Doug's grandfather, Henry Sherman, established the plumbing portion of the business in the same north Fargo location it maintains today.

The West Fargo Park District celebrated its 50th anniversary with a birthday bash in Armour Park featuring Penny and Pals, music of the Red River Valley Veterans Band, a Kiddie Run and a movie.

Joe Karvonen, a student at West Fargo High School, was awarded the gold medal at the annual National Leadership Skills USA/VICA championships held in Kansas City, Mo., receiving a $24,000 scholarship from Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Phoenix, Ariz., where he enrolled in the fall of 2007.

Beth Slette was named principal at Westside Elementary school, succeeding Carol Zent who became principal of the new Aurora Elementary School.

Former West Fargo Mayor and longtime resident Florenz Bjornson was recognized with a special ceremony by the West Fargo City Commission, proclaiming her birthday, July 20, as Florenz Bjornson Day in the community.

Sandra Hannahs, who had served as interim library director, was named Library Director.

State Bank & Trust, 409 Sheyenne St., held an open house at their newly remodeled facility.

The West Fargo School Board approved its budget for the 2007-2008 year with expenditures set at $49,744,830, revenues at $51,226,680, leaving an ending balance of $7,288,300 for emergency cash carryover.

"Poppies," a watercolor by artist Marilyn Geske of West Fargo, was voted the people's choice winner at the 10th Annual Cormorant Area Club Show.

Rachel Rogen of West Fargo was the winner of a 2006 PT Cruiser in a raffle auctioned off at the West Fargo VFW, with proceeds benefiting the WDAY World War II Honor Flight.

An individual got away with an undisclosed amount of cash following an early morning armed robbery at the Kum n Go, located on the corner of Ninth Street East and 13th Avenue South, West Fargo.

August 2007

West Fargo City Commissioners voted 4-1 to have City residents decide the fate of a 100 percent citywide smoking ban on the June 2008 general election ballot.

A rainbow of fireworks exploded over West Fargo Aug. 4-10, as the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) presented their phenomenal "West Fargo Firestorm 2007" at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds.

The 13th annual National Night Out against crime observance was held at Elmwood Park, with hundreds of children and adults turning out for the informational, fun activity hosted by the West Fargo Police Department.

The community of Mapleton laid out the welcome mat for their annual street dance promoted by the Mapleton Volunteer Fire Department as their big fundraiser of the year, and a way to show appreciation to the community for their support throughout the year.

Travis Daschendorf, owner of Westside Hair Attractions and Dasch's Duds, 107 Sheyenne St., conducted a weeklong grand re-opening of his newly remodeled salon.

Carly Nelson, West Fargo, held an inaugural event to benefit the Angels of Courage Retreat Center she is working toward realizing with Don Goering, who donated 11 acres of land on the north side of Little Cormorant for the facility.

Reigning 50s title national queen Jo-Anna Yvorchuk of West Fargo was off to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to crown her successor in the Beauties of America Pageant.

Fourteen students from Cheney Middle School flew to Virginia to compete in the 13-year-old Babe Ruth Baseball World Series.

One of West Fargo's oldest, original landmarks was taken down all for the sake of progress. The 60-foot plus seedless cottonwood tree on the former Allen Meyer property off of 13th Avenue East that was originally planted in the late 1880s, was cut down to make way for construction of a twinhome.

Susan Klabunde, a sixth grade teacher at Cheney Middle School, was among 19 North Dakota teachers receiving national certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Karen Huber was named general manager of the West Fargo Pioneer and its complementary publications, in addition to her duties as editor.

West Fargo daycare provider Jodie Ranzenberger announced that she would be discontinuing her home daycare and setting up shop in the former Eagle Tykes Childcare Center in the Eagle Run Plaza, south of I-94, off of Sheyenne Street.

Chad Peda, owner of Peda Contruction, held a grand opening in their newly expanded base of operation at 420 Main. St. in Horace.

A rainy day didn't dampen the spirits of the large crowd that gathered for the Horace Bean Day celebration that kicked off with the annual parade down Main Street.

Open houses were held to provide parents, family and friends, a glimpse of the two new West Fargo School District Schools, the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center and Aurora Elementary School, in advance of their openings the first day of school.

Greg Grooters was named principal at the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, Pam Cronin, assistant principal, and Michael Shea joined the Cheney Middle School staff as assistant principal.

Enrollment numbers for the first day of school in West Fargo totaled 6,218 students throughout the District, up 236 from last year's first day enrollment count of 5,982 students.

Harwood Fire Area and Rescue received a grant of $19,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for the fiscal year 2007. The money will be used to enhance firefighting operations and safety programs.

September 2007

The West Fargo Public Library hosted a World War II Bus Museum featuring a new exhibit "Behind Barbed Wire," which explored the experiences of Midwest prisoners of war who were imprisoned in Hitler's Reich, and the human context in which their experiences took place.

The 27th annual Big Iron 2007 Farm Show and Exposition, held three days at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, added something new with the involvement of the North Dakota Trade Office adding an international flavor to the event by welcoming visitors from foreign countries to check out what U.S. agricultural businesses have to offer.

Harwood celebrated their 125th anniversary with a huge community celebration complete with a recreation of what Main Street looked like in the early days, parade, vintage car show and a passel of other family activities throughout the three-day event.

West Fargo VFW Post 7564 and the Ladies Auxiliary received the VFW Outstanding Service Award at the National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., where Auxiliary President Janet Ronning and Auxiliary Commander Chris Rolph accepted the award.

Joel and Jill Carlson opened Divas & Rockstars Karaoke Bar in the Pioneer Center at 1410 9th St. E.

The 16th Annual West Fest Community Days celebration packed them in with a full slate of fun for everyone during the two-day observance that featured a Parade, attracting thousands of spectators, and the Valley Vintage Car Show at the Veterans Arena, also another huge draw.

The West Fargo City Commission agreed to expend $180,000 for the purchase of a 45,000 square foot parcel of land in Eagle Run 12th Addition on the north side of 32nd Avenue West for a new fire and police station south of the Interstate, with a 2010 construction time frame proposed.

A fire of unknown origin destroyed the detached garage at the residence of Vicki Scott, 720 Elm St.

The West Fargo Police Department purchased a "Video Detective" through federal funding that will help law enforcement to view video tapes of crimes being committed that might be of poor quality.

Longtime West Fargo residents and business owners, Wally and Mary Ann Tintes, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends.

King Matthew Harsch and Queen Merema Ahmed were crowned West Fargo High School Homecoming Royalty.

Carrie Scarr was named the new assistant director at the West Fargo Public Library, filling the spot left open by the move of Sandra Hannahs to the Library Director position. Scarr has a B.A. in English literature from Boise State University and an MLS from the University of North Texas.

Lisa Artz, executive vice president of Choice Financial Group, West Fargo, was elected to her first term on the board of directors of the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota during the group's annual meeting.

Pastor Judy Holmen was installed as associate pastor of mission development at Faith Lutheran Church.

Beautiful weather contributed to an excellent Pioneer Days observance at Bonanzaville with approximately 2,000 guests on hand to take in the parade, demonstrations, and live music offered for everyone's enjoyment.

King of the Jungle Daycare, owned and operated by Tracy Rankin, and newly opened at 1141 13th Ave. E., earned the distinction of being the West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce's 400th member ribbon cutting.

Gary Bommersbach, a 23 year veteran of the West Fargo Police Department, was named Patrol Sergeant for the afternoon shift starting at 4 p.m.

October 2007

West Fargo City Commissioners approved the budget for the 2008 calendar year that set total expenditures at $25,712,743, setting the mill levy at 88.48, a decrease of -0.26 over last year's figure of 88.74.

Adam Trapp, son of Tim and Dawn Trapp, West Fargo, and a member of Troop 213, earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Tyler Roehl, a 2004 graduate of West Fargo High School and son of Richard and Marilyn Roehl, visited the third grade classroom of Kelly Idso, sharing his experiences as a star football player at NDSU with the students.

Trail King Industries officially opened their brand new manufacturing plant located on a 15-acre site in the West Fargo Industrial Park at 2130 3rd Ave. N.W. Gov. John Hoeven and N.D. Department of Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle, were among the dignitaries on hand for the occasion.

The West Fargo School Board voted unanimously to approve a new two-year contract for teachers that included a 4.79 percent increase in total compensation for the district's teachers in 2007-2008, and a 5.51 percent increase in 2008-2009.

The West Fargo High School recreational engines program was the recipient of a new XC 1200 Custom Harley Davidson motorcycle donated by Harley Davidson of Milwaukee, Wis., as the result of student Joe Karvonen winning first place honors at the National Skills USA/VICA competition.

ADESA Auctions announced that it had acquired Tri-State Auctions in West Fargo, and Sioux Falls Auto Auction, near Sioux Falls. Tri-State was renamed ADESA Fargo.

Robert Hoy, Brian Neugebauer and Robert Rosenvold, all practicing members of the Ohnstad Twichell Law Firm in West Fargo, were selected by their peers as "Great Plains Super Lawyers 2002."

Bruce and Peggy Kringlie and their children Kari Wehri and Ryan Kringlie acquired the Speedway Restaurant and Event Center at 680 W. Main Ave.

The African Children's Choir returned to Faith Lutheran Church for a special appearance, sharing their African heritage as they performed.

Westside Elementary first grade teacher Verna Rasmussen was named 2008 North Dakota Teacher of the Year in a special ceremony conducted by Gov. John Hoeven, during the NDEA Instructional Conference. She and her husband, Arland (West Fargo Police Chief), are longtime West Fargo residents. Rasmussen has been an instructor since 1991.

The West Fargo High School Drama Department presented "Story Theatre."

The Red River Valley Fair reached a settlement with former manager Bruce Olson regarding a pending lawsuit. It was agreed Olson would receive $10,000 from the Fair Associations insurance company in return for both parties dropping the lawsuits.

The West Fargo Exchange Club hosted their annual One Nation Under God luncheon, with guest speaker Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

Cheney Middle School students recreated the life of a famous man in history by presenting "The Perserverance of Teddy Roosevelt," written and co-directed by instructor Drue Haarsager.

November 2007

District 13th Representative Kim Koppelman was honored during the Annual State Trends and Leadership Forum in Oklahoma City as the 2008 National Chairman of the Council of State Governments. His appointment distinguishes him as one of only three North Dakotans to serve as chairman during the organization's 75 year history.

The West Fargo VFW honored service people with its annual Veterans Day program, complete with a flag raising ceremony and a special patriotic program and music.

The West Fargo City Commission approved having the West Fargo Police and Fire Departments join the Red River Regional Dispatch Center which means the City will have its 911 calls answered by the agency, a service it coordinates for all the cities in Cass and Clay County.

Discover Dinosaur Museum, located right next to Dinosaur's and More, 705 E. Main Ave., hosted a grand opening.

Jenni Hummel put North Dakota on the map by representing Team USA in the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China. She won the silver in team bowling, placed 7th in doubles and took another silver medal in singles, missing the gold by only five pins. She is a West Fargo High School and Central Lakes College graduate, and the daughter of Lynn and Yvonne Hummel.

West Fargo High School students took second place with 174 points in the 45th Annual NDHSAA Student Congress held at the State Capitol in Bismarck, with 94 students from 17 schools participating in this state competition based on mock-legislation style. Nicole Cowden, West Fargo, was a presiding officer in House IID.

Several area students worked long and hard to help "fill the dome" with almost 81,000 pounds of food ultimately collected and donated to the Great Plains Food Bank for distribution to local food pantries to help feed the less fortunate. West Fargo students, spurred on by Student Council President Alex Windjue, were a driving force in the effort that was summed up as the largest youth led food drive in the area's history.

West Fargo City Commissioners voted 4-1 to allocate $2,500 toward a feasibility study for a proposed 18-hole golf course on land donated by developers in Westport Beach, south of I-94.

E.W. Wylie, a national flatbed carrier company, opened its new West Fargo headquarters on a seven-acre site in the Butler Industrial Park, just north of Bonanzaville.

The West Fargo Fitness Center, owned by Matt and Jessica Lepird, welcomed clients in its new space at 215 E. Main Ave. Formerly known as the Fradet building, the location has a colorful history, having had a wide variety of businesses occupy it over the years, including Fradet's Seafood Market and Lepird Home Decorating, operated by Matt's parents Larry and Andrea Lepird.

The community welcomed its first real blast of winter complete with below zero temperature readings, icy streets and blizzard-like conditions.

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church prepared their annual Thanksgiving feast for those seeking companionship and fellowship on the holiday.

December 2007

The West Fargo High School introduced their unique Christmas gift in the form of "Packeropoly," their very own version of the world-famous Monopoly game. Proceeds from the effort will fund DECA endeavors as well as KIVA, an international nonprofit organization that sets up small business loans for low-income entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries.

The 6th Annual City Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony was held at West Fargo City Hall, with L.E. Berger Elementary School second-grade student Madison Pearson helping flip the switch. New hanging decorations along Sheyenne Street were also part of the holiday theme, featuring holiday flags and light enhancers.

A fire that apparently began in the dash area, destroyed a 2001 Ford fullsize van belonging to Tom Anderson of Enderlin, who was in West Fargo working on a job at a residence on Oak Street.

Mary Anderson, a family and consumer science teacher at Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, was named the March of Dimes North Dakota 2007 Volunteer Teacher of the Year, receiving a plaque and trophy for her dedication and effort from Karin Roseland of the March of Dimes.

Bonanzaville with filled with the spirit of the holiday as they hosted their annual Christmas at Bonanzaville, providing the opportunity for the children to decorate Christmas cookies, a lefse demonstration by Darlene Sabo Ellefson and plenty of music in the form of traditional carols sung by young and old alike.

Families turned out in full force for the annual VFW sponsored Christmas Party with special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus and their two elves, and a special performance by Penny and Pals. Children filled the lower level of the VFW club for the program and were treated to a bag of goodies at the conclusion.

West Fargo Meals on Wheels received a generous $500 donation from the West Fargo VFW, as well as 25 $20 gift cards for each of the volunteers delivering the Meals on Wheels to local residents.

Longtime West Fargo residents and business people Larry and Andrea Lepird celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family at a special open house.

West Fargo High math instructor Don Burnham shaved his beard for the first time since 1975, promising to do so if students raised 70 boxes of food for the 'fill the dome' project. They more than doubled that challenge by collecting 150 boxes.

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