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Looking back at 2010: A year in review (Part 1)

The year 2010 was one of transition and continued growth in West Fargo and surrounding communities, whether the topic pertained to city government, school related endeavors, or was attached to business or resident issues in general.

The city elected its mayor to a third four-year term, opted for a new school superintendent who was already familiar with the area, and saw their 50-year old chamber merge into one entity, providing more enhanced services to the entire metropolitan region.

The following recaps are intended to track the path of activity throughout the year on a monthly basis as space allows, with remaining previews to be featured in the Jan. 5 issues of the West Fargo Pioneer and West Fargo News.

January 2010

Lou Bennett announced he would be seeking a third four-year term on the West Fargo City Commission, while Commissioner Bryan Schulz said he would be stepping down to free up more time for family and his position as manager at the Red River Valley Fair.

Longtime West Fargoan LaVern Fillbrandt, now living in Hunter, N.D., celebrated his 80th birthday with family and friends.

Chad Anderson, technology education teacher at Cheney Middle School, was the recipient of a $2,500 Qwest Foundation Teachers and Technology Grant used to purchase a scope/camera and accompanying software and accessories to implement a nanoscience technology unit in his 8th grade class.

Travis Bruse, son of Kevin and Connie Bruse, Horace, earned Eagle Scout rank and was recognized with a court of honor. He is a member of Troop 274, Horace.

The West Fargo Park District hosted a full slate of Winter Days activities for all age levels at various locations throughout the community.

Corey Steiner, assistant principal at the West Fargo Middle School, was named the N.D. Assistant Principal of the year by The N.D. Association of Secondary School Principals.

Kayla Fountain was named West Fargo Community High School Student of the Month for January.

A winter storm, accented by wind, rain and blowing snow, walloped the region, complete with a coating of ice and cold temperatures, taking its toll on people, wildlife, and mechanical equipment, making driving and walking treacherous and damaging power lines and equipment in the process.

The West Fargo Park District's Westside Park playground benefited from a North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department $15,000 matching grant that will go toward a new play structure at the park, located on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Eighth Street West.

Matthew Tintes, son of Mary C. Tintes of West Fargo, is living his musical dream touring as a member of the classically trained, touring male vocal ensemble "Cantus."

Ellie Grooters, a senior at West Fargo High School and the daughter of Greg and Robin Grooters, was named the West Fargo Exchange Club Student of the Month for January.

February 2010

West Fargo City Commissioners approved a 30-year lease agreement with the West Fargo Fire Department for the construction of a second fire station at 445 29th Ave. W. on an approximate 40,000 square foot parcel owned by the city.

In an abrupt move, newly hired West Fargo Area Chamber Executive Director Kent Campbell left the position he held for six months to 'pursue other opportunities.'

Longtime West Fargo resident and local businessman Bernie Dardis was honored with the West Fargo Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds award, a prestigious honor bestowed on an individual who has made a significant impact on the community through the years.

City Commissioner Mike Thorstad announced his bid to challenge West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern in the June Primary Election. Mattern announced his plan to seek his third four-year term as mayor in December of 2009. He was first elected in June of 2002.

West Fargo School Board members voted unanimously to move forward with a March 23 special election for the district's proposed $40 million bond referendum that included construction of a new high school and elementary school.

The West Fargo High School Drama Department presented Andrew Lloyd Weber's world-renowned musical "Cats," featuring over 100 students in the cast, crew and orchestra.

The 10th annual North Dakota Muzzle Loaders and Historical Trade Fair was held in the Agricultural Building at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds.

Peter Karl filed the necessary paperwork, making him the third candidate for mayor of West Fargo.

DeAwna Cross was named West Fargo Community High School Student of the Month for February.

The West Fargo Shakers announced that their annual New Year's Eve Function held at the Speedway Event Center (now Legend's Event Center) ended on a high note with the group raising $2,500 for two great community causes: Hope, Inc., the recipient of $2,000, and Charlie Company Readiness Group, receiving $500.

Speedway Restaurant underwent a major remodeling project that converted the longtime West Main Avenue eatery into Legend's Bar and Grill, featuring a new interior décor and menu.

George and Clare Schmidt of West Fargo observed their 50th wedding anniversary Feb. 27.

Danielle Meyer, a senior at West Fargo High School and the daughter of John and Jodi Meyer, was named West Fargo Exchange Club Student of the Month for February.

Jeraine "Jiggs" Anderson, 66, longtime owner-operator of Jiggs' Homestyle Restaurant, passed away.

March 2010

Senator Judy Lee announced she would be seeking her fourth term in the North Dakota Senate, representing West Fargo's District 13.

LeRoy Fuss, 79, longtime West Fargo resident and 25 year volunteer for the West Fargo Fire Department, passed away following an illness. Survivors include his wife, Clara, three grown children, 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and a brother.

A draft of a new communication plan intended to help with "clarity and coordination of communication" was unveiled by West Fargo School Board members.

Rep. Kim Koppelman, first elected in 1994 to represent West Fargo's District 13, announced he would seek re-election to the North Dakota House of Representatives.

Cass County's sandbag operation center for the spring flood was housed out of the Chase Steel Building at 220 21st St. N.W., in West Fargo.

Richard Lewis, retired from a 33-year career with the Cass County Highway Department in West Fargo, threw his hat in the ring as a candidate for one of two open positions on the West Fargo City Commission.

Master Sgt. Shane J. Amundson, West Fargo, received the honor of Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year as the Happy Hooligans recognized their Outstanding Airman of the Year winners at their annual banquet.

Horace native Bryan Beyer, a 1995 graduate of West Fargo High School, opened a new office for Nodak Mutual Insurance at 402 Main St., Horace.

District 13 Representative Alon Wieland announced plans to seek a third term in the N.D. Legislature.

Local communities were on 'red' alert for potential flooding, but West Fargo officials assured members of its community that the Sheyenne Diversion was working the way it was intended and would provide flood protection, keeping the community safe and dry.

The West Fargo High School Drama Department presented their final performance of the school year, "Bench 18," which was held in conjunction with a choir concert.

The Red River Valley Fairgrounds hosted the annual Red River Valley Gun Show.

Former longtime school board member Duane Hanson announced his intention to run for one of the two open West Fargo City Commission seats.

Jordan Sanders and Chad Watterud, West Fargo High School students, were among ten Fargo-Moorhead area young adults each awarded $2,000 'scholarships for sandbags' for volunteering during the spring flood fight. Dakota Medical Foundation, Impact Foundation and the city of Fargo presented the awards through a drawing of thousands of students.

Brianna Schell was named West Fargo Community High School Student of the Month for March.

South Elementary's Arjun Srivatsa and Eastwood Elementary's Brady Boll received first place honors in local spelling bees, earning the right to represent their schools at the North Dakota Geographic Spelling Bee in Bismarck.

The District 13 Dem-NPL Party endorsed three longtime West Fargo residents as candidates for the North Dakota Legislature: Sylvan Loegering for the District 13 Senate seat and Mary C. Tintes and Michael Halvorson for the North Dakota House of Representatives.

By less than three percent, the West Fargo School District bond referendum failed for the second straight year, putting the halt to no new taxes and no new schools, including a proposed $30 million high school and $10 million elementary school.

Elizabeth Anderson, a senior at West Fargo High School and the daughter of Chad and Diana Anderson, was named West Fargo Exchange Club Student of the Month for March.

April 2010

Glen Maurer, lifetime member of AMVETS Post No. 8, West Fargo, was the recipient of the prestigious Silver Helmet Award honoring him as national AMVET of the Year. He traveled to Herndon, Va. to accept the award.

Lou Bennett announced his intention to seek a third four-year term on the West Fargo City Commission.

The West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce began exploratory talks to weigh the benefits of a possible merger with the Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce.

Monsanto Company officials were in town to break ground on a multi-million dollar expansion that will serve as the home of their Asgrow soybean seed production facility.

Eventide Senior Living Communities opened Eventide at Sheyenne Crossings Care Center, West Fargo's first skilled nursing facility. The center is adjacent to Sheyenne Crossings which opened on the site in 2007.

A record thirteen candidates filed for four open seats on the seven-seat West Fargo School Board - incumbents Angela Korsmo and Karen Nitzkorski, Mark Akers, David Olson, Jenny Durbin, Christine McDougall, Mark Sahli, Jason Loos, Rhonda Hawley, Janel Simonson, David Colter, Mark Bourdon and Judy Kvaale.

Longtime West Fargo resident and retired attorney Duane Breitling filed as a candidate for one of two open seats on the West Fargo City Commission.

Sue Klabunde, and instructor at Cheney Middle School, was recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to serve as a member of the committee that revised the Middle School Childhood Generalist Standards.

David Pralguske and Kevin Hawley were honored for 25 years of volunteer service to the West Fargo Fire Department, and Kurt Sandeen for nine years as a member of the board of directors at the group's annual Spring Recognition Banquet.

The West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce conducted a special ribboncutting ceremony at Legends Bar & Grill (formerly Speedway Restaurant), in honor of their brand new look and brand new name, operating at 680 W. Main Ave.

West Fargo High School English and journalist instructor Jeremy Murphy was presented with the North Dakota Education Association Professional Courage Award at the group's annual meeting in Bismarck. Murphy was recognized for his professional dedication to teaching responsible journalism and not compromising his students' freedoms of speech, even at the expense of losing his newspaper advisor position.

Seven staff members with a combined 232 years of service at South Elementary Schoolstepped down at the conclusion of the school year: Mary Hansen, Merle McNamara, Bobbie Krenz, Lynda Hammer, Nancy Jones, Gary Otterness and Linda Nilles.

May 2010

David Flowers, who had been serving as superintendent of schools at Hutchinson, Kan. and had previously served in Fargo, was selected as the West Fargo School District's new leader, succeeding Dana Diesel Wallace in July.

Gloreen Maxwell wrapped up 35 ½ years of service with the West Fargo Public Works Department; beginning her career in October of 1974.

Longtime West Fargo resident Dwight Schroeder marked his 90 year birthday milestone, celebrating with family and friends.

West Fargo VFW Post 7564 presented over $13,000 raised from their annual R.O.S.S. fundraiser to local military family readiness groups, supporting military family members in the local area.

Kim Alberty, general manager of Agassiz Seeds, West Fargo, was reappointed chairman of the 20-member North Dakota Agriculture in the Classroom Council, by North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring.

Sgt. Dale Wasness of West Fargo was presented the Army Commendation Medal at Fort Bondsteel for exceptional service in support of the battle group's mission. Wasness was deployed to Kosovo with Fargo's 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade on a NATO peacekeeping mission, working with the Multinational Battle Group East civic military operations section as a driver.

Spencer Uetz, a senior at West Fargo High School and the son of Al and Deb Uetz of Horace, was named West Fargo Exchange Club Student of the Month for April.

The 12th annual Silver Dollar Bike Run was a huge success with over 200 people and 180 motorcycles participating, raising over $4,000 for the Ronald McDonald House.

After a long, heated debate West Fargo City Commissioners voted unanimously not to approve an ordinance change that would allow up to four chickens within enclosures on residential property.

Courtney Baker was named West Fargo Community High School Student of the Month for April.

First International Bank & Trust was 100 years old, celebrating the milestone with special open houses at its variety of metro locations, including its West Fargo branch at 1350 13th Ave. E.